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What age is the ‘right’ age to read? (Today’s Parent)

Susan Goldberg looks at what age children should be reading by. She finds that while there is a huge range of ‘natural’ ages. Starting to read ‘later’ is not in itself an issue. For home educated children late reading does not cause a problem but, because of the reliance on reading for learning, ‘late’ reading for children in school can mean numerous knock on negative effects

“The brain isn’t naturally hard-wired to read in the way that it’s wired to speak or listen,” explains Bev Brenna, an education professor at the University of Saskatchewan who specializes in literacy education. There simply isn’t one age where kids can or should be reading—despite the deeply ingrained North American ideal that children learn to read in first grade, around age six.”

“Home-schooling gives them the luxury of being able to learn at their own pace. And Holloway says she often hears of home-schooled kids learning to read at about age nine—and going on to complete high school and attend university without any negative effects.”

“For kids who attend school, the stakes are different. Even if there’s no biologically correct age to read, students who aren’t reading according to a school’s timetable can fall behind and experience distress as a result. If the gap between slower readers and their peers isn’t identified and dealt with early on, it can widen over time and lead to other issues.”

Read it in full

Learning to read: What age is the “right” age? (Today’s Parent, 7 May 2016)

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