I've been reading Home Grown Kids by R. Moore, and a section of his book really stands out to me, and I thought it worth repeating here.
It is quite possible to teach a bright three or four year old how to read, but while he is spending time doing that he is missing out on something more essential to that stage of his development - something he might not be able to make up later. Premature emphasis on any learning, particularly by rote memory, can close pathways to other learning. When leaders of student radicals were studied in the late 60s, it was found in most cases that intellect had been developed at too early an age with a corresponding lack in emotional development. These young adults had brilliant minds but had progressed emotionally only to the temper-tantrum stage.Yikes. Makes me think of all the "child advocates" who are pushing for younger and younger compulsory school entrance age. Where, may I ask, is the evidence that younger children thrive in school? That they learn more than children who start formal education later?
As a mother who plans on teaching her son herself, it would seem wise to create situations where learning occurs almost "by accident"...where he would be free to be himself, make mistakes without fear of reprisal, mocking, or belittling...all of which create hostile learning environments; all of which inhibit learning. When children are allowed to "grow up" a little more (mature their senses, which is key for learning) and develop Godly values before being put in a herd with their ignorant peers they will almost always (it would seem) come out ahead of those who are forced to go to preschool (or nursery school, whatever). Just because "everyone is doing it" does not mean that it's the right thing to do.
The task ahead of my husband and me is to provide an excellent home structure where he feels safe, secure, and valued as a little person.
Wow. What an awesome task ahead of us. And apparently no rush to "school" him just yet!