Just like a tiny seed grows into a mature tree, one hardly noticeable trait, if encouraged, can flourish into a character quality that will ensure a child's success as an adult: imagination.
For many children, using writing as a vehicle for teaching them to read makes a whole lot of sense. For those children who are global, random, right-brained, visual, kinesthetic, or tactile learners, it is most certainly a method worth starting with when they are first learning to read.
Our teachers are required to cover an increasing amount of content and to boost test scores on a rising number of standardized tests. But if we are teaching to the test, are kids missing out on things far more important than a test grade?