Why shouldn't children start reading and writing before the age of 6?

It is a reality that each country seems to have its own rules regarding the literacy initiation of children . World reference countries in education, such as Finland, establish the age of 7 as the best age to initiate children to reading and writing, while others such as Spain initiate children to this practice at an earlier age ( 5 to 6 years as a general rule). But what is the opinion on this?

Reading and writing before the age of 6… is it a rule for everyone?

Schooling frames all children within a pattern, as if they all learned at the same age and with the same difficulty . But the reality is that not all children are the same. There are children who at 5 and 6 years old learn to read and write without difficulty, many of them even start highly self-motivated and in these cases their motivation should not be stopped, on the contrary, it is a sign that the child is motor and psychologically prepared.

Other children see this initiation with difficulty and the rush of parents and teachers only takes them away from motivation, and may cause some long-term delay .

According to specialists in the field, the average age of motor maturation for reading and writing is the age of 7 years, so countries like Finland have no problem waiting. If you are going to put all the children in a pattern, it is advisable that it be the one that benefits the most. That is the thinking that is generated in this Finnish society.

Disadvantages of literacy before 6 years of age when the child is not ready

If the child before 6 years of age is already motor and psychologically prepared , there should be no problem in their initiation or in their future schooling. However, if the child is forced without being ready yet, the following risks may be run:

  • Loss of motivation for reading and writing.
  • Low self-esteem and fear of facing their own difficulties.
  • Guilt and learning block.
  • Anxiety about studying and rejection of formal learning.
  • School delay in the future.

However, it is normal for parents to follow the instructions given by their teachers , or to feel concerned about not involving the child in this learning when everyone else is doing it. So, without a doubt, this is a problem that needs to be raised to other instances, such as public educational policies in each country, in order to reach a social consensus. Such consensus would be the most desirable to achieve an educational balance and practices that benefit the little ones as much as possible.

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