Unlike learning to speak, learning to read is not a natural process. With speech, children begin acquiring language skills almost as soon as they are born. They will pick up on the sounds that their parents and siblings use and begin to mimic those sounds. Slowly, those sounds resolve into words that have meaning. Thus, a child learns to speak.
Reading, however, is technically unnatural. Speech is the process of millions of years of evolution and a biological phenomenon. At its heart, human speech is based on the same processes as birdsong, lion roars, dog barks and chattering squirrels. It is a natural, biological form of communication. Written language, however, is purely manmade and a very recent phenomenon. Written language is not a universal rule either. Only half of the more than 7,000 human languages spoken today have a written form.
Reading and writing are not something a child can acquire. They are things that must be taught, and reading is not always easy to learn or teach. The sheer number of myths that surround the process of learning to read do not help either. Well-intentioned parents might end up buying into these sometimes damaging falsehoods. Here are four myths about kids’ reading habits that are not true.