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There has been a shift in how we teach our young people in the last 25-30 years. These days, the emphasis is on paper-pencil activities largely centred around learning the alphabet and ‘preparing for reading’. In fact, many studies show that if we neglect fundamental skills, reading can be delayed. The old approach to Kindergarten instruction was more centred in structure and directed play and this did as much (more I might argue) to prepare children for reading than any remedial program available today. You simply cannot rush growth and proper development, but you can provide an optimal learning environment to enable reading in later years.
The following article discusses this idea that while schools have changed, children have not, and this leads to a growing gap between what is required and what is available.