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At what age do children learn to read and write?

Q: My daughter is 2 years old. I heard a doctor saying that they don't recommend children to read and write at the age of 3. What is the correct age, when a child begins to learn this? Since we had no idea about the right time, we give her crayons and she's happy drawing random shapes, nearly manages a circle, but no lines (vertical & horizontal) yet. We have also got her alphabet books and ask her to identify letters, which she may or may not answer correctly. I don't think we are pushing too hard to make her learn them. When should she be expected to identify colours? She has an interview for nursery soon.

A:There is a big difference between what experts think ideal age of child for starting to read and write and what nursery schools expect from them. This does leave parents in some confusion. You will agree that at two years of age, the child should not be learning the alphabets. But it is perfectly OK for her to scribble randomly with a crayon on paper or with chalk on the floor. Getting her to see pictures in books is fine, but surely, there is plenty of time for alphabets later on. For the child, all learning is through play. Instead of pushing concepts of colour or shape as your curriculum give her many things to play with from which she will pick up words and chat with you. The world around is enchanting for a child and she is the best judge of where to start. In Delhi, interviews for preschool admission have been banned. Others may follow suit. Anyway, relax and let the child grow up happily and with the right kind of stimulation, like music and stories.

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