We’re living in a world of where the rates of children with developmental, attention, behavioural and learning challenges are increasing at an alarming pace. This is something to be concerned about. And yes, preventative action is needed. But our modern society has got the solution upside-down and inside-out.
Take a closer look around you. Why are three year old children spending their child care days brainstorming words that start with the letter A? Why are iPads seen as an essential learning tool for children who can’t yet walk? Why are four year old’s completing programs like Reading Eggs before even starting school? Why do plastic toys that sing the alphabet sell better than those which promote a child’s imagination and curiosity? (And just for the record, the last letter of the alphabet is zed not zee!).
Modern parents are buying into the hype and marketing, thinking that introducing academics early is the best way to prevent their child being one of the 20% who later struggle. But the point is, young children are already learning! And in the best ways possible; learning through play, interaction, exploring boundaries, sensory engagement and most importantly for a developing brain…through movement.
Introducing academics too early robs a child of the time and space to wire their brain for later success. Young children are innately programmed to create strong neural pathways of their own accord, so let’s put aside our best intentions and let them get on with it.