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Is Literacy Important For Toddlers?

Alphabet MagnetsWhen you read a status update of a “friend’s” child that says:

“Charlie spelled his name today!! And he’s only twenty-two months!!” Do you get anxious, or just frustrated? Or perhaps your child could spell “onomatopoeia” by that age so you thought this kid must be way behind?

Regardless, there’s a lot of pressure out there to keep up with the Jones’ toddler, especially when so many Joneses have access to Facebook.

On the flip side, preschools that are play-based, and non-academic are more popular than ever. Everyone talks about how important it is to let kids just be kids for the first five years of life. Academics can come later.

But back to reality.

After all that playing, you learn  how academic kindergarten has become. So now, you’re kind of caught between a rock and a hard place.  As a former public elementary school teacher, I know that kids who came into the kindergarten classroom not knowing their letters and numbers were definitely at a disadvantage. That being said, I would never advocate sitting your toddler down with a pile of flashcards.

So what’s the answer?  Do you think toddlers should be introduced to the basics of reading, writing and math? And if so, how?

Image Credit: Flickr/jetheriot

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