For a long time there has been a push by many concerned citizens, educators, politicians, and others to improve the education of children by getting them into school sooner. The idea being that the sooner children were taught to read, write, and do arithmetic, the more mastery they'll have of these subjects. I was surprised to learn that a hundred years ago in some states it was against the law for children to go to school until they were at least eight years old.
Raymond & Dorothy Moore spent years investigating the results of early education. They examined other studies and did their own studies. They found that in the early years, up to somewhere around ages 8 to 10, it is best for children to be at home in a loving and supportive environment. They found that children who are kept home until they are ready for school quickly catch up with the early starters.
One of the main points is children can't effectively learn until they are developmentally ready. The book explores readiness issues dealing with eye sight, hearing, coordination, ability to focus, emotional stability, and others. Once children have hit a certain level, then their ability to learn is amazing. The book explores some of the problems that can happen when a child is forced to learn before they are ready.
Another main point in the book is how the home is the best place for young children. It is acknowledged that in some situations, like a working single parent, a child may need to be put in preschool, but that the optimal environment is a home where the child feels secure and is free to develop at his own pace. They are free to make mistakes without 25 other students making fun of them. They feel loved. One of the problems with sending children off to preschool is how many of them feel rejected by their parents.
The second half of the book covers various age ranges and gives insight on what is happening to children at this age and advice on how parents can best support and help their children.
This book is well written. There is a ton of good information in it. If you are interested in how best to help a young child, this is a good book to read.