The Better Late Than Early debate for teaching young children

The Better Late Than Early debate for teaching young children

Renee EllisonJul 22, '20

A mom asked us: “At what age did your daughter start learning piano? I think it said four years on the Quick Piano description. Is three too young? One of my aunts was talking to me about a book called, Better Late than Early. Michael and Debi Pearl seem to advocate that approach as well (their children didn’t read till they were 8-10, if I correctly remember reading that). My three-year-old loves learning as much as I can teach her, though, and thinks age three is a great time to start reading. So, does the same go with piano? She also wants to learn to type, but I do think learning to read and write first could have its benefits.” :)

I replied,
Yes, I’ve read all that “better late” stuff…but they didn’t have your daughter or mine as a child!!! I finally came down to “you’ll know when to do what by the child’s response.” If you have a child who shows no interest, and doesn’t respond when you feed them beginning tidbits in any area then you don’t bother going down that road, just yet. But if you have eager beavers, trying to read cereal boxes, and street signs, then you go for it! You could start your daughter on both keyboarding programs--piano and typing, right now. She could just learn her alphabet letters right off the keyboard, which by the way, a young child we taught did…it was amazing. She learned the letters in her fingers..just multi-sensored it one more level from the get-go.

Now here is the rub. It is really a question of the mama’s fatigue level. To teach children at very, very, young ages extracts a pound of flesh out of mama. If you wait, you can teach the very same thing in three hours that took you three months to teach when the child was younger. But, it does make the days very exciting for the child to nick away at all the topics, just inch by inch, from wee ages. If you have an eager child, they absolutely love this stuff, and they beg you for Wal-Mart workbooks, etc. Always only do a little bit, quit before they really want to, and you’ll have them lathering at the mouth to learn. And we did find that the early neuron-networking patterning catapults them into success later, far beyond their years. For example, we patterned our infant daughter everyday in ballet positions; her dad moved the feet while I moved the arms into those positions. When she took ballet, she was a natural, far ahead. Same with all sorts of plant and animal flash-cards, etc. Ten years later she pointed out an Indian Paintbrush flower to me on a hillside—and she had never seen one since she saw me show her a picture of one on a flashcard when she was six months old.

The opposite of Better Late…is all of the stuff out of the Better Baby Institute in Philadelphia. But that’s a topic for another time…

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published