A new book Too Much, Too Soon? looks at the way children are being robbed of their carefree childhood days when important foundations should be laid that will prepare them for the coming years.

Reversing the erosion of childhood

Too Much, Too Soon? is edited by Richard House and has contributions by many leading UK experts in the field of child development, education and wellbeing.

The book looks at how we can once again encourage and nurture young children’s well-being and learning and reverse the erosion of childhood that is happening in many western countries today. Children’s lives have been speeded up by commercialisation, ‘adultification’, and the government’s ‘nappy curriculum’ which ‘schoolifies’ them and pushes quasi-formal learning too soon.

New research in the book argues that the more we push early cognitively based and relentlessly assessed learning, the less young children really learn through free, creative play; and so in effect we unwittingly disrupt the laying of a truly effective foundation for later formal learning.

Steve Biddulph is Adjunct Professor in the School of Psychology, Cairnmillar Institute Melbourne and a Generation Next speaker. As an author in his own right and contributor to this book, he said “This timely book offers a wide-ranging collective wisdom on how to optimize the individual potential of the next generation.”

Following an extensive introduction by Richard House, looking at ‘toxic childhood’ in context, the book is divided into four parts:

  • 1. Making and the Erosion of Childhood: the Case of the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • 2. The Foundations of Child Development and Early Learning: Perspectives, Principles and Practices
  • 3. Advocacy, Research and Policy Making for Children’s Early Years Learning
  • 4. Ways Ahead to Achievable Futures

Joan Almon from Alliance for Childhood said “Many health and education experts now link the ‘Too Much Too Soon’ mindset to increased stress in children and decreased levels of creativity, curiosity, problem-solving and social capacity. It is high time for a paradigm shift, and this book can serve as a lever to bring that about.”

Contributors include:
Penelope Leach on children’s real early learning foundations
Respected international authorities on play, neuroscience, child development, learning
readiness, psychology and early education such as Prof. Lillian Katz, Steve Biddulph,
Tricia David, Lynne Oldfield, Sue Palmer, Sally Goddard Blythe and Wendy Scott.
Aric Sigman revisits the mandatory use of screen technology in the EYFS.
Sue Palmer, a literacy specialist, writes, “If I wanted my child to read and write, I wouldn’t start here.”

Editor, Richard House, Ph.D. lectures at the Research Centre for Therapeutic Education, University of Roehampton, UK. He writes extensively on childcare, education and psychotherapeutic issues.

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: Too Much Too Soon?