Madeline Levine on pushing kids too early

Using flash cards at age 1. Teaching kids to read at 3. Pushing students to get ahead of the curve in early elementary. Does any of this even help our kids academically?

“We have this idea that earlier is better, more is better, faster is better,” says renowned psychologist Madeline Levine but is it? The author of the recently published Teach Your Children Well talks about the increasing push toward early achievement and how much good (or harm) it does our children in the long run.

Want more? Learn about the “gifted” curse from Stanford researcher Carol Dweck.

Video transcript

We have this idea that early is better, more is better, faster is better. The research is incredibly clear – it makes no differences if your child is reading at 3, or 5, or 7. In Finland, the world’s exemplar right now in education, they don’t start until 7. So, you know it’s interesting. It’s an arena that we actually have a lot of data on and yet it’s sort of not getting through. It doesn’t matter and in many cases it’s better not to do it earlier because it’s out of the sync with what the natural trajectory. A 3-year-old should be playing and manipulating the world and not necessary having flash cards or sitting in front of Baby Einstein.

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