Teaching a toddler to read, is that possible?


Can you teach a baby or toddler to read? In some countries it has become all the rage: very young children who learn to read from their parents at an early age. Harmful, some say. Harmless, others say. Some children learn to read by the age of three and they enjoy it, but they aren't ready to read books themselves. Small children can't comprehend the contents of most books yet. Is there any point in learning to read so early?

Whether your child is only 1 year and 10 months old, 2 years or 3 years or older, a method to teach children to read from a very young age has become a hype. Not only in the US, but also in China, toddlers learn to read at an excessively young age. In Europe, more and more parents are discovering that they can teach their children to read letters, words and sentences at a very young age using special methods.

Can you teach children to read at an early age?

With (among others) the method "Children Learning Reading Program", very small children can learn to read sentences in a playful way at a very young age (from approximately 2 years). They first learn to spell the words and then read the word aloud, and then they learn to read complete sentences. The question is what's the use. The opinions about the usefulness of learning to read at an early age are disputed by supporters and opponents. For the time being, an increasing number of parents are showing an interest in programs that allow children to learn to read before they go to school. But also in preschools and kindergartens, children are already prepared for the real reading work. Children can learn to read at a young age, but they can't comprehend the contents of complicated, age-appropriate books. Children who learn to read at a very young age may also become bored at school if the rest of the class can't read yet. Boredom easily leads to loss of motivation and loss of motivation can lead to poor results. Teaching a child to read at an early age therefore only makes sense if it were necessary for whatever reason.

How can toddlers learn to read?

What you need to teach toddlers to read are letters for children. For example, an alphabet that you buy in the toy store, specially suitable for children. Toddlers and preschoolers are better at learning to read than babies. Babies will babble once they start talking, but you'll be amazed that a baby can do that. However, the baby (b) doesn't seem to understand the content of the words yet. Toddlers can do that a lot better, but with them too it seems more like a trick than a gift.

Teaching toddlers to read, is it harmful?

In schools, children are also learning to read earlier and earlier. In the past, it was only started in group 3, nowadays children already come into contact with words and letters in group 1 and 2. However, children are most sensitive to learning to speak and read language, at about the age of three and before that. In fact, from the moment they start talking, the sensitivity to language development begins. However, children aren't yet in school. More and more parents are finding it a challenge to playfully teach their small children to read at home at a very early age. Experts are often critical of the methods of teaching toddlers to read. It turns out that at a very young age children can recite words in succession, but in most cases they don't grasp the meaning of sentences that they can read. Reading then seems specially fun for the parents, who in this way can show the environment how smart their toddler is. It's great to teach toddlers to relate shapes and sounds. Expecting a child to perform at an early age could be harmful in the long run.

What are the benefits of learning to read at an early age?

Your child learns from an early age to read and recognize words, form sentences and realize that there is such a thing as written language. Language consisting of sounds with a communicative value. Don't we all say 'ouch' when we hurt ourselves? And 'boo' if we want to scare each other? Children therefore establish a relationship between sound and meaning at an early age. Teaching a child that there is also a written code (words) is a logical next step. But starting too early may be quite pointless. 'Reading' then becomes a kind of rumbling trick and the content of rumbled sentences isn't understood. Then it's not a reading but a trick. The benefits of teaching a child to read at the age of two therefore don't appear to be great or perhaps even nonexistent. It's possible that insufficient research has been done on this.


A child can be stimulated too young to read when he isn't yet ready to read it. The child has to repeat the trick again and again when there is a visitor and the compliments afterwards are the only fun for a child. A child doesn't get a higher IQ by learning to read earlier, because the IQ is hereditary. Another disadvantage is that a child can have a short-term head start in kindergarten, which makes him bored with the school chores. As a result, they can become unmotivated for school in general. A baby who 'can read' does read the words but doesn't understand the content, or insufficiently. That can actually cause frustration. A somewhat older toddler (about 3 years old) and of course also preschoolers understand the content better or even well. The child will then have a reading advantage over other children in kindergarten and also in the primary school years after that. That can be inconvenient, because your child is then further reading than the rest. Schools are (still) very focused on averages. The disadvantage of this could be that your child is bored during reading lessons at school. It can already read. If a child only has an advantage in one subject, for example reading, a teacher will have to come up with a solution. The advantage of this may be that the child will be able to read higher Avi books more quickly, but only if the school accepts that there are differences between pupils in terms of development per subject and if they want to take differences into account. There should be no compulsion behind learning to read. The child should enjoy it and it should not be at the expense of other important activities, such as sleeping or playing with other children.

Is early learning to read suitable for children with a high IQ?

You can't properly test a toddler's IQ yet. Intelligence tests for toddlers aren't real IQ tests but more tests that look at how far a child's development has progressed. Some of the preschool children have a developmental advantage over the average. The greater the lead, the greater the chance that there is a question of being gifted or gifted. Parents who practice a lot with their children can ensure that the child scores above average on a part of an IQ test, but this is only possible in the area of ​​skills to be learned, such as general knowledge. You can hardly make the result of an IQ test come out higher. Unless, of course, there is prior knowledge of the content of a test. It's therefore true that if the general development is above average, you can also score slightly higher on IQ tests. This is because IQ testing also tests the general development on some parts, using average knowledge as a benchmark. So if your general knowledge is greater than average, you'll be able to score higher on that part. This can make the overall IQ picture slightly higher, but not spectacularly. Furthermore, IQ tests are focused on other things, such as problem-solving ability and how quickly someone knows an answer. So it's also measured how quickly you realize something and whether you quickly spot errors and how well you can come up with solutions for problems. It's also measured whether you can recognize complicated shapes and whether you have good spatial insight, and so on. The more points you get on an IQ test, the higher the IQ is. That is why you can exert some influence on the level of the result on the parts with which the general knowledge is tested, but not much else. Conversely, you can strongly influence an IQ test to your disadvantage.

Does reading help to increase IQ?

Someone with moderate general knowledge will score lower on that part while taking an IQ test. Someone who responds slowly to questions, due to lack of motivation while taking a test, also loses points. Someone with performance anxiety can have a high IQ but still show a low score. For example, it may be because that person is doubting themselves and therefore takes more time to answer than necessary. Someone can nervously give wrong answers, which will negatively influence the result of an IQ test. Even if you're tired, don't feel like taking the test, are sad, sick or scared, you can score lower on an IQ test. A lot of reading helps to increase your general knowledge. So reading is good for your general development if you understand the content of books or newspapers. However, many people will think that your child is very intelligent if they can read from a very young age. If the child is too young to comprehend the contents of a book, 'reading' isn't proof that a toddler has a higher IQ than a child who can't yet read. Highly intelligent children often show an early interest in learning. For example, they can tell the time early and they teach themselves to read.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn
Back to top

Home | Privacy Policy

Copyright 2011 - 2022 - All Rights Reserved