We've all seen the commercials touting educational systems that claim that very small children (we're talking babies, here) can be taught to read. I fell victim to this claim last year when I gave into temptation and picked up the first level of instruction in a particular series, determined that my genius two-year-old would be regaling the house with Shakespearean sonnets by years' end. So, did it work? Um, no. Eli is brilliant in many ways, but he lasted through the educational video approximately one and a half times and hid the flash cards in various nooks and crannies of the house. Then he pulled out his monster trucks and had a rip-roaring good time crushing things.
Naturally, my next question was whether other children could learn to read at an early age. After all, I didn't really force the issue, so perhaps Eli's reading prowess would have blossomed had I really pushed it. The answer, according to experts, is yes -- and no.
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