Will Learning to Read Early Make Children Bored When They Start School?
Plus Short Story by a First Grader & Free Coloring Book
As I work with many younger children, teaching them to read, a common question I get asked often is "won't they be bored once they start school if they already know how to read?" I always like to answer this question with a question of my own: "Do you really want to deny your child the amazing opportunity and benefits of learning to read early just so he/she does not get bored at school? Besides, why would a child be bored at school if he/she already knows how to read?" We all get bored at times, regardless of whether we know how to read or not.
It is a legitimate question, but a misplaced concern, I think. I've never had a parent tell me that their children were bored in class because they learned to read early. Instead, parents tell me about the incredible reading adventures and exceptional school performances of their children. In kindergarten and grade one, while other children are still learning to read (by sight words and whole language) my children and students that I've taught are already Reading to Learn. Being able to "read to learn" makes a world of difference in a young child's early life.
For my children, kindergarten taught little in regards to a structured approach to learning reading. In G1, they bring home 5 sight words to "learn" each week - "memorize" is a better way to phrase it.? While other students are learning some basic letters, sounds and sight words, my children were reading for information and entertainment. They would tell me all the things they learn while reading about spiders, dinosaurs, cars, outer space, plants, and so much more. They each had particular topics that interested them, and they spent a lot of time reading about those topics.
So you see, children just don't get bored when they learn to read early! In fact, it's the complete opposite. Learning to read early fosters a love of reading and a love of learning, and reading often becomes the entertainment of choice for these young children. Learning to read early confers such an enormous advantage that by the time they are in K and G1, these young kids are not only reading, but already writing their own stories! In an education system where - unfortunately - there are minimal expectations of children, children that complete our reading program are years ahead of their peers, not only in reading, but in comprehension, spelling, and writing skills.
I have many short stories to share with you, written by my own children and also by many of my students aged 5 to 6 years old - children that are still in Kindergarten or Grade one. Here, I'll just share one short story with you written by my 6 year 2 months old son, who wrote the story when he just started first grade. It's a simple story about a pig that ate a pie. I took the time and created the art for his short story. The illustrated version and his original writings are posted below:
You can download a PDF version of the complete story here and print it out as a coloring activity. Below is the original story by Ethan:
I hope you enjoyed the short story written by a first grader. =) And I hope that I've put your mind to rest in regards to the concern that children who learn to read early may get bored in school. We all get bored sometimes, but certainly not because we know how to read!