Does your child use educational products?
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Stephany - posted on 05/02/2010
8 month old babies that can read freak me out. There's no need for it, really. It's more like a trick they can do. They have no comprehension or understanding of what they are saying/doing/READING, so why bother? Why not let them chew on their teether like all the other babies? These are the kids that are going to grow up and have panic attacks when they 'don't so it right'. Let them be kids. Sure, we teach our kids their numbers and letters, and they know all about animals and plants, and we teach them patience and kindness. We do all of this in the most kid-centric way- through play. We go to the zoo, and we bake together, and we play with blocks, and we count our change to buy new cars, and we have a garden and go on nature walks. My oldest has been in preschool since he was 2 1/2 and my youngest has been in preschool since he was 13 months (he went with me and brother). Even in preschool all of their learning was play-based and child-directed. My kids know more than the average 2 1/2 and 4 year old, but that's not because we plopped them in front of the TV and popped in a DVD.
Kathy - posted on 05/02/2010
No, definitely not! All children like to learn, you can help them by introducing them to their environment (walking etc), talking lots, reading, visiting parks, museums, zoos. Interact by baking together, doing crafts, as September said. Join the library, go to expos. Giving a child an interest in life and what's around him/her is the most valuable learning gift.
I hate those so-called "educational products" that are designed to separate you from your money! Complete waste of time, and if that's not rushing your babies I don't know what is!
Ashley - posted on 04/30/2010
I have never used educational products myself. My son has alwasy been a learner, but we do it through play as well. Colouring teaches colours, reading teaches alphabet, ect. My son is 2 1/2 and can understand the letters that make up his name lol. but mostly through his dad showing him his name a million times! I would never waste money on stuff that "teaches" kids when I can teach myself with much more conventional methods.
September - posted on 04/30/2010
We have some educational products that we use in our home such as homemade flash cards, books, children's CD's, colored blocks, boxes of shapes, lego’s and stuff like that, it's more for fun than anything at this point. However we do not use products like Your Baby Can Read or any product that has anything to do with learning from the television. Our son is 18 months old and at this age I love spending one on one time with him so his tv time is super limited. So we spend a lot of time read, singing, dancing, play with his toys, listening to music, doing crafts, cooking or baking, going to the park, going for walks, going on a road trips or just hanging of out as a family. I love my family time :)
Emma - posted on 04/30/2010
I have lots, i tend to only buy toys that are fun but teach my kids something while they play.
I also made my own flash cards as the ones we get hear tend to be in US English so they are spelt differential than the Queens English we use hear in SA, Plus i could also use pics of things around our house, and Family members so they know the different names for Nanna and Uncle ect.
I ma also doing pre School prep work books with my eldest as they are from the Education Dep so im teaching the same way as she will be at school as not to confuse her.
Lady - posted on 04/30/2010
I don't ever use anything that's meant to be educational until they are school age. Like LaCi and Sara said every toy that they have can be educational in some way. I think they are at school for such a long time that before that all they need to learn they can do through play. They are learning new stuff everyday just by going out or exploring their environment be that at home, at day care or at the park. I find just watching children completley fasinating and they are always teaching me so much. We do have blocks whith letters but there more for building than anything, when they get a bit older and have been introduced to letters they may take an interest in whats on them. Schools will generally move kids along at the same rate whether they know letters and numbers and reading before they go or not I've found so never saw the need to push my kids. They are all very clever - top of all there classes and pick it all up easily so I must have done something right. If you want to use educational toys at home I don't have a problem with it, it's entirley your choice and if the kids enjoy it to it's just another way of playing, they only time I don't like it is if people are trying to force something on their child that they are not ready for because I personally don't really see the benifit of it and it just makes the child miserable.
Kelly - posted on 04/29/2010
I used a version of the DISTAR method modified for home school use to teach my son to read. He started trying to read when he was about 2 and was asking daily when I would teach him to read by the time he was 3, so I bought that curriculum. It was developed in the 1960's originally to help low income students compete with peers from higher income families. I liked that it didn't focus much on "sight words" or learning words just by memorizing the way they looked. It also used rhyming and rhythm sparingly, and focused on letter sounds and letter combination sounds, so he can figure out almost any word.
It worked very well, my son is 5 and a half and will start 5k this coming fall. I don't really know what grade level he is reading on, but he reads chapter books without pictures and can write short stories (6-8 sentences) although he still misspells a lot of words.
Good Day! - posted on 04/29/2010
I think everything, whether intended to be educational or not, can easily become educational if you just use it differently.
I think LaCi got it right with that statement.
I believe in learning through play. We play with blocks and talk about the shapes and colors everyday. And she knows the big blocks go on the bottom if the tower we are building is to be stable. So that's pretty much basic physics. In the tub she points to her body parts and says the name and that is what I'll wash next. Also in the tub we pour water into different size cups. A lesson in volume? Yesterday we went to the zoo and when we came home we pretended to be elephants and stood on one foot like the flamingos did. I write letters and numbers with sidewalk chalk and she tries to copy me and knows the letter "E". There is just so much you can do without spending tons of money on those products.
Kids pick up on so much just from adults talking, reading and playing with them. Your Baby Can Read is so not necessary. Plus it leaves out some of the important aspects of reading. It's just memorization. I think they play on the emotions of parents who desperately want their kids to do well in school. In reality, it's not the best way to teach reading and can mess kids up when they get to school.
Alison - posted on 04/29/2010
I think they are fine providing they arn't pushed onto a child. I didn't do those products myself, but I had lots of educational baby and toddler toys like the alphabet cow. I'm sure they can be effective learning tools.
LaCi - posted on 04/29/2010
I make flashcards. He has those wooden blocks with the letters on them, which we use more like the flashcards than blocks. "where's A?" and he brings me the block or points to the block. We used his giant lego's to learn colors, and flashcards I made. I'm about to make number flashcards and small word flashcards. I was tempted to buy the your baby can read stuff, but it was mega expensive and I thought I'd rather just try to do it myself :)
I think everything, whether intended to be educational or not, can easily become educational if you just use it differently. He can't focus on the television long enough to bother with educational DVDs, although he'll watch in amazement if I'm playing the Wii... but the most he'll watch the tv otherwise is 5 or 10 minutes of Elmo or Curious George.
Meghan - posted on 04/29/2010
We work with flash cards almost everyday...Carleigh really likes them, and asks to play with them before I even get a chance to settle down from the long day. I think they really help. She already knows what all the numbers look like up to 17 and can tell you want each letter of the alphabet is when they are all mixed up. She also Loves to watch Elmo on VHS and DVD so she learns a lot from those as well.
Tanya - posted on 04/29/2010
I think that they can't hurt. I use some so smart dvds about once every two weeks. I also use some flash cards about once a week. When my son gets a little older we will probably do these kinds of things more often, but for now we are busy work on our gross motor skills!