Early Education and Lessons

[deleted account] ( 46 moms have responded )

Do you think children should be introduced to the reading and writing and sports before they are the average age? like "my baby can read" or "baby swim class"

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Candi - posted on 02/10/2011

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On way to boost grammer skills while having fun is MadLibs. We play every night while eating dinner. Before my kids started school, they knew what adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs, and all were. Its a lot of fun. We've been doing it for years and it keeps the kids at the table!

[deleted account]

I think we should introduce our children to reading as soon as they are born, but by actually reading them stories and showing them books not by 'my baby can read' I think that is a complete farce and does not teach our children to read properly. To actually learn to read we need to know about letters and phonics and be able to sound out words we are not sure on, the my baby can read programme teaches children how to recognise words not read them (from what I can gather) and so actually has the potential to hold children back when they get to the appropriate reading age because they then have to start from scratch again.

As for the swimming baby, I'm a bit on the fence, I know people who have completed classes with their children and swear by it, but for us I chose to take my son to the local swimming pool and just let him be in the water, I will get him swim classes when he is older though because they are important.

Johnny - posted on 02/09/2011

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Laura, there are a large number of educators very opposed to the program. Our provincial early literacy program strongly recommends parents to avoid it. Grade one teachers, including my cousin, have told me that programs like "My Baby Can Read" put children behind in the learning curve because they are based on whole word recognition and not phonics. It makes it hard for them to develop growing reading and writing skills. First they have to unlearn the stuff from the programs.

http://trevorcairney.blogspot.com/2008/0...

[deleted account]

I have taught my son to raise his arms, wave, kick, stamp, touch body parts (head etc), wiggle his fingers, and so much more just by singing nursery rhymes to him regularly, I cannot see the point in wasting £125, which I could and have spent on other things such as Zoo trips, on a programme that teaches recognition when I can do it for free.

Merry - posted on 02/08/2011

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We did both, I figure experiences are wonderful for babies, and they love to play and laugh, and learn so why not give them all the playing experiences they can get!
Eric loved baby can read, he learned a few good commands by it, like arms up, or wave, and kick, and he loved the songs and music and the animals on the show.
He also loved swim lessons, he was 7 months and he just loved the water! He kicked and splashed and loved the water toys. He wasn't scared,and he just loved it, especially the water fountains!
He loves anything I do interactively with him, so if I'm playing words with him he eats it up! He loves numbers and always wants m to count with him, and he likes the alphabet song, and pretty much anything I do in fun with him he likes.
He can't be hurt by learning, playing, exploring, or interacting. So why not!
It's not like you have to do these things, but if money, and time allow it, there's no harm in using structured things to help you play more interactively with your baby.
Both of these examples were just nice tools to keep me and Eric playing together and learning every day.

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Candyce - posted on 02/16/2011

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Uh no. Hell no. Wtf is the point? Let kids be kids, and when they're ready, they'll love to plunge into age-appropriate academics.

Blessed Be

[deleted account]

Ethan started his sign language when he was 6 months, we incorporated it into songs so it was enjoyable. Now he signs milk, hot, bird, chicken, duck, fsh and gone. We still use the signs for the other things we learnt but he obviously feels those are the important ones for him - it is so cute when he signs milk at bedtime, it is how he tells us he wants to go to bed, and because we always say the word when he signs it he has started saying mill now along with his sign, his speech is certainly coming on :-)

Candi - posted on 02/14/2011

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sign language is great. My cousin was deaf (he is deceased now) and it was great being able to communicate with him. My youngest learned sign language when she was just over a year old and loved it. If you look around, a lot of churches off it for free and community colleges have classes you can take

Johnny - posted on 02/14/2011

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The sign language thing is great. I wish I'd stuck with it more with my daughter. I think I got discouraged, but after I stopped bothering, a few months went by and she suddenly started signing "more", "food", and "drink" all on her own.

If I have another kid, I'll try to stick it out the next time.

Sherri - posted on 02/14/2011

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I agree Toni sign language is an amazing learning tool and amazing communication skill for those unable to fully form words that are understandable yet. It helps with a childs self confidence and leads to far less fits due to frustration, for parent and child.

[deleted account]

I agree with Sherri on the fact schools do adapt to childrens needs the my baby can read programme isn't teaching correct reading skills so when the child (who has learnt to read from the programme) finds a word they don't know they can't work out how it should be read/ said. You need to know letters and phonics before we can work out words.

Sign language is brill though it really helps, my son can sign words that he can't yet say, it really helps with our communication, while he is still learning the words.

Sherri - posted on 02/14/2011

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Not really Cyndel it is about learning phonics and the correct way to read. Many public schools adapt to children that need it but it delays their being able to actually do phonics and then they need to be retaught how to actually read phonetically. Trust me as an an educator I have seen first hand the detriment of the program once the students get into school.

Cyndel - posted on 02/14/2011

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as for the "my baby can read" putting kids behind, that is only because schools are unadaptable, the child has to adapt and force himself into the school mold rather then learning in the manner and pace he works best. To some extent this is necessary but it is a shame. Which is why I homeschool. I want my kids to learn in the way best for them.

Cyndel - posted on 02/14/2011

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No, there is no need. The only one I plan to use is the sign language one. If it works it will really help with this second child.

The baby swim classes, I don't see a problem with it if

your family swims a lot, it is something you do for fun often and love it. It could be an excellent way for daddy to spend one on one time with baby, or mommy for that matter. But I have heard of daddies who love swimming using these classes as one on one baby time.

Children will learn more if you play games, read, color, etc with them then introducing most any kind of structured learning until around age 6.

As for 'my baby can read' I used it with my son, but he hated it if I made him watch it. He still watches it often but hates it if I make him. I think it works if you are willing to do the program how it suggests, but I simply don't see the need in a child learning to read early unless they ask to learn.

Though I will say I won't be using the phonics meathod.

Sherri - posted on 02/11/2011

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NO WAY!!!! on the babies can read program as far as swim we don't have anything before they are 3yrs old here.

[deleted account]

The libraries have a reading hour once or twice a week. but nothing else other than the typical daycare for children under 4, really.

Johnny - posted on 02/10/2011

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There isn't a pool offering Waterbabies or a "Mother Goose" nursery rhyme reading for babies at your libraries? Even where my MIL lives, which is completely in the middle of nowhere (according to Google maps at least, lol) the little village has a parent drop-in centre with activities for all ages and the local volunteer firehall teaches kids as young as 5 to swim in the river in the summer.

Amy - posted on 02/10/2011

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Swim - could save lives. Why not? IF it's offered in your area, go for it. Anything educational, eh, whatever. let them be kids. they are learning tons every day anyway. Why push?

Candi - posted on 02/10/2011

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My kids started school at 3. My son and oldest daughter learned to speak German when they were 3 and 4. my youngest daughter started dancing at 3, my other daughter was 5. My kids have always been involved in things, but not until they ask. I have read to my kids since I was pregnant with them. Now they love books. My son will finish a book in a couple of days. He is 12 and now reading nonfiction about the Holocaust! He just started taking swimming lessons last year. He was 11 and the other kids in his group were 3-5. lol. He didn't feel weird at all. He said "Mom, in a year we will all be swimmers and nobody will care when or where we learned to swim." Next month, all 3 will be in swimming classes. Swimming is important, especially living near water like we do. Sports? Not so much. My son is 12-a boy scout, camping, archery, volleyball, shooting, and ping-pong(don't know why or how), plays trumpet in school band. Daughter-10:jazz dancing, ballet, guitar when she feels like it., can speak a little German, Japanese, French, and spanish. Daughter-5. Tap dancing, learning Spanish. They are all learning most of this stuff at school. I don't pressure them. They are all labeled as gifted though, so they are expected to do more, by their teachers and the school board. I don't see anything wrong with a little push and encouragement in order to succeed

[deleted account]

Infant swim lessons are about being comfortable in the water not about doing crawl stroke. By introducing your child to water at a young age, you are skipping the fear stage. It also allows for a smoother transition to the higher levels. There is a huge difference.

I compare it to taking your child to the park to kick a ball around, they aren't playing soccor/football; they are learning coordination.

The "my baby can read" is a waste of money. Children should be learning more important things at that age. Academics can come later. Like what Johnny said it doesn't teach the proper way to read, so children can have a harder time later on.

Krista - posted on 02/09/2011

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Yeah, because it's not actually learning. It's simply rote memorization. They just recognize the appearance of the word, but they have no learning of the concepts behind different letter sounds and phonics, so if you give them a word that ISN'T in the program, they have no idea what it says.

Merry - posted on 02/09/2011

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That's very hard to believe, I can't imagine how learning could harm a child.

But hey, I have no degree!

I didn't know it was controversial.

Krista - posted on 02/09/2011

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Laura, the "Your Baby Can Read" program has been discussed on numerous threads throughout COM over the years. And multiple women on here who have years of experience and training in early childhood education (like Loureen, for example), have said that the program is worse than worthless -- they've stated that it actually sets kids BEHIND in reading.

Merry - posted on 02/08/2011

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How many of you who are so against 'your baby can read' have actually watched through the 6 DVDs? If you haven't watched it yourself then don't talk about it.
Simply put, there's alot of comments here that are absolutely false, and it's really rude to be so negative with false facts.

Alexis - posted on 02/06/2011

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My son got the baby can read for his first birthday. He has learned a lot of words from it....I wouldnt say he can read though. We also are planning on putting him in a swim class this summer since we live in an area that has a high child drowning incidents and I would prefer he know how to swim to help reduce the risk of an accidental drowning. IMO. A lot of the 'sports' like things we do are simply for fun and as a reason to get out with other kids and moms. We havent done anything structured like an actual team sport or anything though either. I don't think introducing them to it will hurt nor will it not hurt to not introduce it to them....I don't think a parent should pressure their child into something, especially at such a young age either. They either want to do it or not, but giving them the opportunity doesnt cause harm. In fact my son is highly social from all the things we do. Even if he does them his way :) my son is 16 months.

[deleted account]

I suppose some assume more than they should but others actually force things onto their children. If you tell them they dont like it or arent ready they say "they will thank me later"

Johnny - posted on 02/05/2011

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Many babies find the water very natural and comforting. If a bath freaks your kid out, swimming is probably the wrong choice. But if you have a baby who just relaxes and gets that "gassy smile" look, then floating in a warm pool with mommy while she sings songs and dances is a treat. Which is about all most mommy & me lessons are. It sounds like some people think that you're teaching babies/toddlers to do the butterfly, lol.

Carly - posted on 02/05/2011

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I think children know when they are ready for stuff (to a point). For instance I will not put my children into swim classes before they can walk. But I'm also not going to let my kids wait till they're 10 before they start reading.
As a homeschooling parent I'm blessed to watch my children closely and use their cues to determine when they are ready for things.

Shana - posted on 02/05/2011

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I haven't started reading to my son on a consistent basis but I actually heard that reading to a toddler starting at 12 months helps with their language development..Now sitting my child in front of a TV and letting him watch My Child can Read program is a different story. I have never truly believed in that system anyway..I will say this. I am kinda looking forward to the Mommy & Me swim class this summer..I think it would be great bonding time while enjoying others company and playing in the water! Bottom line I think it all has to do with how you perceive things.

Johnny - posted on 02/05/2011

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Not really that surprising, at least not where I live. We're actually less scheduled than most. I only sign her up for 2 things a week. Right now it's just a play program (sort of a 1 hour beginners pre-school idea) and karate. Many moms I meet when I take her to the play gym have a daily activity for their under 2's, be it dance, swimming, art, etc. The new thing here is gymnastics, which I have a hard time seeing a 2 year old doing. Unless it just involves swinging on the bars, lol.

Johnny - posted on 02/04/2011

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I think there is a big difference between introducing things and pushing them. We've always had books around the house for my daughter and read a lot throughout the day. I think the worst thing that could happen in her world now (she's 2 1/2) would be to not have her books. She reads everywhere she goes, I actually had to make a no walking and reading rule. She's just very curious about reading and writing. I am totally opposed to programs like "My Baby Can Read" or formalized flashcards. I don't want my child to be an automaton, I want her to develop her own passions.

I did take her to an art class for a while, but I pulled her when I could tell she wasn't enjoying it. Now, she has access to crayons and paints, but nothing structured. She just takes her crayons and tries to write letters. She still doesn't really draw pictures at all. I asked her to draw mommy, and she drew an M. :(( Hopefully one day....

I did put her in swim lessons starting at 4 months. It was a blast. It's not like they're learning to swim laps or anything, just floating around and playing with mom. We sang and danced a bit. It was more a nice work out for me and a chance to bond. Now she adores the pool and is always begging to go.

She's also in karate. I signed her up to go with my husband, because the aim of the class is not to actually teach karate, but to improve parent-child communication and help parents learn successful discipline techniques. It's made a world of difference to how her and her father get along, and really strengthened their bond. She adores her "Sensei" and is always showing off her kicks and punches. It's also helped to teach her that you never physically attack another person, and she's very good about that. When she was younger, and a kid pushed her around, she'd go into her "attack mode" as we called it. Now, she tries to deal with it more calmly or walks away. Or occasionally she lectures the other kid, which is hilarious. Not that she's immune from honing in on other kids things though.

The other thing we did was dance. Not like a formal ballet class or anything, it was just dancing around the room to various songs that had actions accompanying them. Lots of fun, and very silly.

[deleted account]

I just want to add something...

It seem to me that no parent THINKS they're pushing. Who would want to knowingly push their child? I had this experience with potty training - I thought my DD was ready when she was around 20 months. So I "went with the flow." She did fine, except she kept having accidents. They grew more and more occasional as time went on, but she wasn't truly, absolutely potty trained until she was 4 years old. I think if I had waited, we both would've had quicker success and less stress.

I think the same is true of academics. Should we read to our children? Sure! But just because you're not using flash cards doesn't mean you're not pushing. Instruction should wait until they're much older.

Meghan - posted on 02/03/2011

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I don't push anything "educational" on him. I read lots to him, we practice the alphabet and numbers but I don't have flash cards or study time or anything.
Swimming...I don't push it but I do think it is important for him to learn to swim...he LOVES sports and has been asking for like 3 months to play them... unfortunately he is only 2 and there aren't any programs for him yet.

[deleted account]

I personally agree not to. I think when they can ask then try. lol. sports may be a judge on what they seem to like. For example, my 11 month old loves to dance so I have considered dance lessons when she is old enough.

Danielle - posted on 02/03/2011

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Not my baby can read, I understand that the program doesn't help at all, it hinders in fact. As for sports, if my son and daughter want to join them then fine, if not I'm ok with that too-when they are older (like 7) I might ask them, but before then they would need to bring it up. That being said, we have a pool which we swim in with our son. We "kind of" taught him how to swim in that we hold his hands/arms and he kicks his feet-but that's as far as we're going until he's older. So to answer your question...maybe a year early if the child is ready, but no, don't push them, let them be a kid! :P

[deleted account]

Ethan loves his books, sometimes he sits and 'reads' them on his own, by that I mean he looks at them and talks to himself - too cute, other times he brings them to me to read to him. I love that he is already showing such a great interest in reading but it is completely natural and by no way forced on him.

Krista - posted on 02/03/2011

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I'm pretty much with Lisa on this one. There's nothing at all wrong with exposing your kids to those things. But official programs just create unrealistic expectations.

I read to my son, and he always has books out that he can leaf through, and I take him to the Y often and we splash around in the kiddie pool, so that he gets comfortable with the water. Once he's 3 or so, I'll put him in proper swimming lessons.

Minnie - posted on 02/03/2011

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Not official programs. My Baby Can Read is bunk anyways. It's sight recognition of a pattern of marks. Not true reading.

But my girls were introduced to reading from birth- we've always read books to them. No coercion, no expectations, and they gradually acquire a love for reading. Math is the same too. It's simply incoporated into daily activities. Exercise is the same.

[deleted account]

No!!! Let them be babies, and develop naturally. You can help them enjoy their environment by interacting, eg looking at picture books, together, go places (the park, the zoo, the museum..) and basically talk . Don't push!!

[deleted account]

Definitely not on the academic stuff; their brains are not ready and there are several studies that show this can actually be detrimental in the long run. So you may get to brag while your kid is in pre-school, but you will pay for it later.



As for the sports stuff, my son and I took a "mommy & me baby water class" that was just for fun and socialization--not to teach the babies to actually swim. I think structured, group, physical activities are good for kids of all ages, but they should not be centered on teaching a skill or bettering ability, they should just be a fun, structured way to get out some energy and be around other kids--play!

[deleted account]

No, no, no!!! I think those kinds of things are an unfortunate byproduct of parental peer pressure. There's a lot of pressure out there to make sure your child is ahead of the game, but if we all slowed down and educated ourselves, we'd feel better knowing that children aren't meant to be reading until much later. All this pushing only generates academic burnout and in some cases learning disabilities.

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