What would happen to a child if the only books you read to them were more complex? -

Sage In All Fields

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I don't know what exactly to search for to get actual science on this, or if there even is any science on this, but presumably there was a time when 'children's literature' wasn't really a genre and they would have to learn to read from regular books? If this is the case how might that impact a child's development?

I'm wondering if when I have kids I should avoid exposing them to 'children's literature' because I'm wondering if it may in fact be contributing to people growing up to be really illiterate.
 

Troonos

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I've wondered the same. Sometimes I think about teaching my kids science when they're toddlers.
 
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Medulseur

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Comprehension. The reason why books aimed at children are simpler is because most kids can't comprehend more advanced material. That is how it's always been, even before 'children's literature' became a genre. If you start them out with a complicated book that they can't understand, they won't get far very quickly and they won't enjoy reading at all.
 

Rusty Crab

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If you try and teach anybody something that's too far beyond their level, it will just go in one ear and out the other instantly. Even if they manage to memorize it, they still won't actually understand it. The key in education is to challenge, but not overwhelm.
 
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Botchy Galoop

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In the not-so-distant past, the only literature available to most Western families was the Bible, often in Latin or Greek. It was not unusual for 6 and 7 year old children to be literate not only in their native language, but also in the Ecclesiastical languages. Reading more adult books to children will give them a much greater vocabulary.
That being said, children's literature is also useful in teaching sounds, phonemes, alphabet, etc. to the rapidly growing sponge that is a childs' brain.
Probably the best thing you can do with an infant/toddler/child is to blow up your TV and do not give them the internet until puberty, if ever.
 

Sage In All Fields

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Even if they manage to memorize it, they still won't actually understand it.
But isn't this how alot of things are learned? We usually teach the more concrete before going into details right? You learn that things fall before you learn how gravity works right?
 

Sage In All Fields

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Probably the best thing you can do with an infant/toddler/child is to blow up your TV and do not give them the internet until puberty, if ever.
I'm considering having my children build their own simple machines, or using old hardware so that they get a chance to learn and their ability to use the internet is bottlenecked enough that they'll restrict its use to important things. I really don't see a reason to own a TV though, it just seems to harm.
 

Dutch Courage

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Comprehension. The reason why books aimed at children are simpler is because most kids can't comprehend more advanced material. That is how it's always been, even before 'children's literature' became a genre. If you start them out with a complicated book that they can't understand, they won't get far very quickly and they won't enjoy reading at all.
The problem is too many books written for kids are too stupid. The authors are dumb, and they patronize the kids.

There has been plenty of quality children's literature in the last century; some of it is a little old, but it is timeless (like the original Winnie the Pooh, for example). There has to be some substance to a story, or kids (like anyone) get bored. Also important is for the parent to talk about the story with the kid, to help him to think analytically and critically. Kids can still learn to love to read, but they need the right guidance.
 

Rusty Crab

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I'm considering having my children build their own simple machines, or using old hardware so that they get a chance to learn
That's a much better idea. Active, hands-on learning tends to stick with you much better and you get to think about the underlying principles more. To this day, I credit my career in software dev to Lego Mindstorms. Do not underestimate the power of tinkering.
 

Botchy Galoop

Socially Distant
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OP, if you want to dive a little deeper into this subject, look up Early Childhood Education, language acquisition, literacy. There is a plethora of info, but beware the later studies, they are definitely tainted by political correctness.
How children -age birth thru 5- develop language is pretty fascinating...at least to this sped.
 
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Kosher Dill

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In the not-so-distant past, the only literature available to most Western families was the Bible
And in the even-less-distant past, the second book a household would have had was "The Pilgrim's Progress".

But let's not forget what good old Sleepy Joe taught us - learning also depends on how many words you hear on the record player.
 
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Overly Serious

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There's a related thread around here somewhere about good books to provide to kids to guard them against social evils / political oppression etc. It's a worthwhile question but it's misguided because the first things children need are values. It's no good teaching little children about Evil before they've learned to value Good.

Consider G.K.Chesterton's statement that fairy tales are important not because they teach us dragons are real, but because they teach us that dragons can be fought.

We teach values before we teach moral theory. To teach moral theory without first teaching values leads to the sort of post-modernist moral relativism we see in colleges today.

We teach addition before multiplication, multiplication before indices.

Children should read true things (allegory can still be truth). But they need to start with the basic building blocks because if you present them with the whole cathedral right away they wont know whether to focus on superficial details or the basic architecture.

And in particular children should have fun. Wuthering Heights is a powerful novel but a child isn't equipped to understand the relationships or motivations within it. They can understand the motives and relations in The Hobbit because it's writ large: curiosity, greed, danger and loyalty. Those four things are in Wuthering Heights, too but a child wont recognize them. And if you start them off on Wuthering Heights and not The Hobbit they may never understand them. Same way if you started a kid off on integration and skipped multiplication they may never really understand integration even if they eventually learned to follow the process. Kids will find the Hobbit fun. Wuthering Heights not so much.

None of this is saying kids should read bad literature. There's plenty of that out there aimed at children. Specifically aimed at children it seems. But if you want them to understand villainy and forgiveness, you start them off with Darth Vader, not Heathcliffe.
 

Lemmingwise

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Probably the best thing you can do with an infant/toddler/child is to blow up your TV and do not give them the internet until puberty, if ever
Yeah, why would you want a kid with modern skills in pandemic future? They might actually get a job and move out and get their own pod to live in.

Here's some good bedtime reading ages 4-6
downloadfile-119.jpg
 
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Sage In All Fields

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Yeah, why would you want a kid with modern skills in pandemic future? They might actually get a job and move out and get their own pod to live in.
If you wanna breed drones who are entirely dependent on the neoliberal system to function that's on you.

Here's some good bedtime reading ages 4-6View attachment 1743515
I actually read "Who Stole Feminsm", Christina Hoff Sommers oversold it by alot, if you've seen her speak it's basically an entire book rehashing that, mentioning most of the same stories. I got bored and stopped reading half way.
 

Lemmingwise

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I actually read "Who Stole Feminsm", Christina Hoff Sommers oversold it by alot, if you've seen her speak it's basically an entire book rehashing that, mentioning most of the same stories. I got bored and stopped reading half way.

Well yeah, if you're over 6 it's going to be boring. Might as well read harry potter at that point.

As for political awareness, have you tried talking to your kids?
 

albert chan

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most of the complex books that children read before say fantasy novels and comic books will have the child go through phases and backtalk towards authority. if you force children to pay attention to said “complex” books, he’ll just go back to doing what children do: ACT LIKE CHILDREN
 
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