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Common Objections To Early Learning
Objection 1: No evidence that early learning works
To some parents, the concept of “early learning”—teaching children at a very young age with specific methods and techniques—may seem like a modern myth, with little scientific evidence to support it. Yes, you may occasionally read in the newspapers about the child prodigy who could read long books, solve difficult math problems, or play music like a virtuoso, but isn’t this more the exception than the rule?
Scour the world wide web, and it’s easy to discover otherwise. If nothing else, the wealth of videos posted online of many children reading, doing math, and playing a musical instrument is proof positive that early learning is much more common and successful than some people believe. parents could imagine. The parenting community on the Internet is full of personal testimonials and anecdotal accounts of how their children have benefited in different ways from their early teaching efforts.
On the scientific front, there has been growing research to document the possibility of early learning. Separate studies have found that (1) children are born with perfect pitch, (2) children have the ability to subitise, that is, perceive the number of objects in a set without counting, and (3) children are naturally predisposed to learn languages. We will read later in this article about other 2 studies that illustrate the long-term effects of early reading on children. Evidence is slowly but surely mounting to support early learning theories proposed by educators such as Glenn Doman and Makoto Shichida. As they have always emphasized, children are totally capable of learning at a very young age, and the first 6 years (when the right brain is dominant) is really the best time to maximize the potential of each child.
Objection 2: Children are not developmentally ready
There is still a common belief that very young children are not ready for early learning development: they cannot stand still, pay attention and remember abstract forms of letters, words or numbers. This is because the neurological pathways responsible for these abilities are not yet fully formed in early childhood.
However, researchers have discovered that a fetus can respond to sounds during the fifth month in the womb, when its sense of hearing is already developed. In fact, newborns exhibit preferences for the sounds they heard before birth, especially the mother’s voice, and children who were prenatally exposed to classical music were also found to demonstrate early musical skills. Clearly, learning can begin even before birth.
What happens after birth? A child is not born with a fully formed brain. The child’s brain builds itself, forming connections in response to the stimulation it receives. The more stimuli, the more complex is the brain’s wiring. Learning will never be as fast and effortless as it is now. The fact that every child can speak their native language quite well from the first 3 years is testimony to the sponge absorbency of the brain in early childhood.
Wiring The Right Brain
In the first 6 years, when the child’s right brain is more dominant than the left brain, the goal of early learning is to provide appropriate activities to stimulate the right brain and grow its neural circuits, in other words , increase their abilities. A small child, with an activated right brain, can easily be taught to read words and perceive numerical quantities. The right brain allows a child to grasp words and numbers as visual images. Sight reading (sight word recognition) falls into this category of right brain activity. In contrast, the left brain allows a child to grasp words and numbers through logical analysis. Phonetic reading (sounding out each letter of a word) comes under the purview of the left brain. But why the left brain develops later than the right brain—after 3 years of age, until 6 years, when it takes over from the right brain as the dominant half—is not surprising which critics of early learning still have. insisted that very young children are not developmentally ready for “reading,” by which they actually mean phonetic reading.
Early learning: a brain-based system
If we think about it, early learning is essentially a brain-based educational system, which takes into account the way a child’s brain develops. Therefore, by right, every child, no matter how young, would be developmentally ready for everything that early learning aims to achieve.
Objection 3: Children will not like early learning
Many people may assume that implementing an early learning program involves forcing unhappy children to learn against their will. It is because we can still remember our childhood experience in school, when learning a new academic subject invariably involves a certain amount of tediousness, difficulty and even dislike.
The beginning of joy
While traditional schools practice left brain learning, early learning is more about right brain learning. The first thing to know about right brain learning is that it develops completely on the joy principle. Early learning experts Glenn Doman and Makoto Shichida have consistently highlighted that early learning lessons should always be fun and stress-free for the child. Lessons should be carried out, only when the child is happy and received, and stopped before the child loses interest. When taught in this way, parents will find that their children look forward to lessons, and even try to prolong them.
A natural love for learning
Parents should keep in mind that all children naturally love to learn. When children are taught in a fun and relaxed way, they do not distinguish between learning and play. Plus, they don’t need much effort to pick up reading or math skills—unlike an older child. Children in school tend to find reading or mathematics more difficult, precisely because they started too late in their learning. In contrast, children who have been given a head start in reading or mathematics will have a much easier time in school and enjoy school more.
Objection 4: What is the point of early learning if the cognitive advantage cannot be sustained over time?
It can be argued that everything is very good for a child to be able to read, do math or play a musical instrument at an early age, but over time, his friends are sure to catch up. If so, isn’t initial learning a waste of time and effort? Why should we be concerned about harassment then?
Sustainable benefits from early learning
There is growing research to show that the cognitive advantage gained by children who were taught to read early is indeed sustainable over the years. Several studies point to an indisputable fact: early learning brings significant long-term benefits to children.
A supporting scientific study
In an early study conducted in the United States in the 1960s and 70s by Dolores Durkin, it was found that children who were taught to read at a young age read better with greater comprehension than children taught at school age In addition, the study also found that the advantage gained by early readers widened, even when compared with children of the same IQ and the same socio-economic status. His ability to read well is obviously not a reflection of a higher IQ or a more privileged background, but simply a result of early learning.
Another supporting scientific study
In a more recent scientific study, “An Illustrative Case Study of Early Reading Skills,” published in 2004 in Gifted Child Quarterly, authors Rhona Stainthorp and Diana Hughes compared the school progress of children who began read first, with children who have started reading at school. an average age. They found that the cognitive advantage gained by early readers continued to increase, and in fact improved at a much faster rate “when appropriate interventions were provided.”
To teach or not to teach first?
Of course, it is worth, as a parent, to look for the arguments for and against early learning to reach your own logical conclusion. It may have some impact on whether you choose to teach your child early. But whatever the reasoning and arguments, nothing will influence our decision more than our boundless love and hopes for the future of our children.
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