which states that research suggests that teaching the children the alphabet, nursery rhymes or a musical instrument may have "no impact". You can read it here.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/7994612/Early-learning-at-home-has-no-impact.html I would like to read the actual research.
Time spent doing these things at home is, presumably, time spent with a parent and positive time at that. These things should be enjoyable. They should assist in the development of the child-parent relationship. Of course if you are trying to teach little Johnny or little Mary to read at a very early age in order to boast about their skills that is unlikely to be a good thing but reciting nursery rhymes should be part of childhood. It is part of our culture and our heritage. Knowing about these things helps us make sense of our world.
Oh yes, you can learn these things at day-care, at nursery school, at kindergarten and pre-school and wherever else working parents leave their children but you will not learn them in quite the same way. It will not be one-on-one. It will not be your time with your parent or accompanied by your bedtime routine or some other ritual. Learning to sing "Three blind mice" in a crowd of other children is not the same. There it becomes just another song you sing. You probably will not even notice the words, let alone wonder about carving knives and tails and other things.
The stories you hear will not be the same. There will probably just be one story, followed by a suitable "educational" activity. It might be quite good fun but it will not much up to two or three bedtime stories and a favourite story repeated for nights on end. There are no comforting rituals in the crowd if you are very small. The world revolves around you. You want to be the centre of attention. You want to be comforted when things go wrong and you want to be safely on a parent's knee when the wolf is blowing the house down or someone is going to get into trouble for eating someone else's porridge or the witch is going to put you in the oven.
Or maybe they do not even read those sort of stories in other-than-parent-or-grandparent care? Do they now read about the new child who has two mothers or two fathers or came here on a boat or who has a missing parent? Is this what is really bothering the researchers? Is it because children are not being confronted by "social issues" and "political correctness"?
If teaching the alphabet and nursery rhymes has "no impact" then why should these things have an impact? Why do we insist that children "should not be wasting time" but "actively engaged in learning" at all times?
I would rather have an individual child look up and tell me, "Say it again!" Have we forgotten that playing is also a form of work?