Stop Teaching Your Toddler to Read!

Katherine - posted on 02/24/2011 ( 209 moms have responded )

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Re-Posted from Cafemom

Now for some counter-intuitive advice from Maryland kindergarten teachers, as teaching your toddler to read is apparently annoying them. Also, they think you're a type-A jerk. But I paraphrase. According to Lynda Potter, a head of a primary school in suburban Maryland, teaching our kids to read means we aren't teaching them things like how to hang up their coat. And that's a problem.

I'll admit it. I spend more time reading to my kids than discussing the value of hanging up their coats. Call me crazy, but it seems a little bit more important. Also, our coat hooks are way too high for them to reach.

But according to Potter, I'm just a successful person who wants my kids to be "stars" so I can put another notch on my belt.

Forget the fact that everyone in my family loves to read. We have a ton of English majors on each side of the family, and everyone we have Thanksgiving dinner with loves to chat about the lit. We have bookshelves instead of art all over the walls. And my kids both take books to bed with them every single night and have since they were babies. They kind of want to learn how to read. So I'm teaching them. Sue me.

Another Maryland educator takes a bit of a different view, but still wants us to understand that we're not doing our kids any favors by teaching them to love literature.

Patricia Appel, a learning specialist at Glenelg's primary school, said that many times, if pre-kindergarten children learn a word, it's simply a picture they’re internalizing.

"Then, as they enter school, it's almost re-learning," she said. "We still have to back them up and teach them phonics and syntax."

She added that with early readers, teachers try to even out the other skills the children need to be successful in the classroom.

"This year we have two pre-kindergarten boys who can't hold a pencil and write but read at a first-grade level," she said. "We try to boost up the areas that are weaker to make a child more balanced."

I know when my daughter has memorized versus is sounding out the word. Quite frankly, she wants to be able to pick up a book on her own and not always depend on mom and dad, so I don't care how she goes about "reading." It's about enjoyment in our house, not whether she can win a reading contest but fail at the pencil-holding and coat-hanging portion of the challenge.

By acting like reading is just another skill set, these educators take the pleasure out of the act. Snuggling up with a good book is a joy, not unlike going for a swim in the ocean or taking a bite of chocolate cake. Perhaps if they looked at it from a child's point of view, it might not be seen as such a threat.

Are you teaching your toddler how to read?

http://thestir.cafemom.com/toddler/11667...

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[deleted account]

The problem with programs like "Your Baby Can Read" is that it strictly teaches by memorization. The learning process is so much greater and in depth than that. That's the problem that educators have with the program. The child misses out on learning comprehension. What good is it if a child can read 3 grade levels ahead, but has no clue as to what he just read?

Teaching a child the LOVE of reading and a child learning to read through BOOKS and at their own pace is a world apart from learning through memorization.

Lucy - posted on 03/01/2011

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I think a lot of the ladies posting here seem to misunderstand the message about not teaching your child to read before school, and getting unnecessarily wound up!

I don't think any school or early years/reception teacher would suggest that you should not allow your children access to books or hold their curiosity back. But you can encourage your child to love writing and literature through play (writing a menu for a play cafe), practical activities (helping to cook and follow a recipe), family outings (spotting plants and trees in an identification book on a nature walk) and bonding activities like bed time stories, WITHOUT sitting them down with a formal learning system or work book- and the bonus is that the child will be developing physically, emotionally and socially at the same time.

Teachers want a class room full of kids that have a love for books and a passion for learning, as well as the confidence, independence and emotional/social maturity to launch into a new challenge when they start school. Children who have been "hot housed" with a formal learning system can lack the latter, so although they may appear to be ahead initially, they often struggle with the school experience and actually fall behind their peers in the longer run.

[deleted account]

If they aren't sounding out the letters as they read.... it's memorization. Memorization is PART of reading, but only one part. If you don't have the phonics or comprehension abilities as well..... it's useless.



That's one of the problems I had w/ my girls starting to read at 3.5 (even though they did it mostly on their own). They were great w/ the phonics and good w/ the memorization, but the comprehension took several years to catch up. While they could READ w/ no problem.... they couldn't really tell me what it was about when they were finished. Comprehension is SO important in real reading. All the components need to come together otherwise it is pointless and more of a hinderance than a help.

Sarah - posted on 02/24/2011

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I can see it from the teachers' point of view. Their time is better spend than hanging 30 coats up. There is also a difference between parents who let their children develop a natural love of books and reading and those who force their toddlers to sit and work on learning letters and sounds when they're just not ready.

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Julie - posted on 03/04/2011

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your not the only one patricia to say this so your questions and comments rang a bell with a lot of mums and as you know us mums can be fiery when we want LOL i am passionate about books and learning regardless of age and think it is great when the kids show and interest too.

Julie - posted on 03/04/2011

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well i find it curious that we are told to stop teaching our kids to read. there is nothing wrong in reading with your child it is good quality relaxing time. we need to get our kids interested in books. my kids had a good library going on with the books myself and family bought them. my daughter at 20 still loves to read all kinds of literature. its not to get another notch in a parents belt it is to teach our kids that to read a reall book is good and that there is a world of information in print not just on the internet. the internet is destroying the art of print. i love books and so do my kids and all our families kids. am e-book is not the same as holding the reall thing and our kids need to know this. it is fun to read and fun to be read to. we do not specificaly start out teaching our kids to read we start by reading nice stories and answering any questions whether it be what word is that or what does that word mean. when they bring books home from school we are encouraged to read it with them so teachers think on you want us to help but critisise when we do. you want kids interested in the written printed word.

Sarah - posted on 03/03/2011

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Emma- the cattiness that caused the mod to step in. The off topic, personal, if-people-don't-agree-with-me-and-the-way-I-choose-to-parent-they're-idiots cattiness. :) I rarely see it on this site, and for that I'm so grateful.

[deleted account]

My daughter is 21 months now and LOVES her books! She brings them to me to read ALL the time! By 17 months she knew her numbers by sight and say 1-10, shapes, colors AND now she knows all her alphabets by see and misses only 2 by saying them in order. If she wants to learn I'm going to let her. I did the same thing with my son. He always was wanting to learn new words. I'm going to college to be an elementary education teacher and certainly would LOVE to have kids who wanted to learn and read more than anything. When people start talking crap about this stuff I'm like "whatever!" My kid wants to learn I'M going to teach them!

Isobel - posted on 03/03/2011

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Yes, God forbid they tell you what is actually good for learning to read and not agree with the "your baby can read" profit machine.



I apologize for appearing to sound like I was talking about everybody...I thought I was quite clear when I said in two different posts...



that reading to your children and helping them to love reading is GOOD! By definition then, those of you who have read to your children and helped them to love reading are doing a wonderful job of giving your child the best head start possible.



The other people, however, who have been insinuating that ALL teachers are braindead because THEY, themselves didn't understand the article (like I said) have NO business teaching anybody to read, as they clearly have problems with their own comprehension skills and are needlessly hostile to teachers.

Patricia - posted on 03/03/2011

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they are full what better head start could your child have you are an excellent mum just ignore them they don't know what they are on about i am surprised they are even teachers

Jessica - posted on 03/03/2011

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I was responding to and earlier post.... a mother who uses your baby can read was being attacked. I had no idea that THIS attack was going on... I frankly knew I wouldn't have time to read it all... so I responded to the one that bothered me. I think you all should step back and look at yourselves when you attack others. THAT is what your children see and THAT is what they will learn. Helps me... maybe it will help you. If we freak out and can't get along, how can we expect our children to do the same? We are all here because we are moms right (maybe even a couple single dad out their)? Lets act like it.

Rebecca - posted on 03/03/2011

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My granddaughter's favorite trip of many with her grandma was to the book store. She couldn't wait to try to read her own books (at 12 months). But I agree it is important to be balanced. My favorite memories of my children are times where we had just as much fun mowing the grass together at my grandmas or doing dishes at the holidays (even at a young age).

Sarah - posted on 03/03/2011

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So glad circle of moms moderates the arguments. I've left several other sites bc after a while, the cattiness gets old.

Jodi - posted on 03/03/2011

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****MOD WARNING***
Ladies, please refrain from personal attacks and stay on topic. Any further deviation from the topic and I will lock this thread and issue warnings.

Thank you
Jodi Adams
WtCoM Moderator

Victoria - posted on 03/03/2011

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I would just like to say that reading early doesn't necesaraly mean that you will be some kind of genius. I learned to read at school by the time I was 3. I went to a private school that had grades K2, K3, K4, and K5. It didn't make me any smarter than I would of been if I had learned to read later. I will say that graduating from Kindergarten was a much bigger deal for me than it was for my son who went to public school. I knew how to count, tell time, add, subtract, multiply, divide, read and comprehend. But I am definately no rocket scientist! :) I feel that if that is where your childs intrest is then go with it and teach them the right way the best you can. Otherwise let them enjoy being a kid and let the stresses of school work come later. My son is 12 and I feel like I am reteaching him everything anyways. Like hang up your coat ext. My daughter is 3 and is learning how to do all kinds of household chores and enjoys helping me now but I also know that by the time she is 12 she probably won't but that is kids for ya! :) And it is ok! Just do your best and be good examples. I think good morals, character, kindness and charity are more important to learn at a young age then reading, writing and arithmatic!

Lucy - posted on 03/03/2011

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Kris- I assume from the "wow" reference you are answering me? I'm unsure as you don't say, and none of the quotes you cite are mine, but I guess I'll respond just in case.

I have read all of your previous posts, and as with most of the ladies, and the nature of a discussion, I agree with some of what you say and disagree with some. Hey, that's life, and I have no problem with you venting or declaring your opinion at all. I can agree to disagree as happily as the next guy.

The "wow" was my response to how personally targeted your comments were towards Laura. Some others have been pretty insulting about groups of teachers or parents in general terms. I haven't done it in my posts, and I don't think it's particularly helpful which ever side of the fence you sit on. But you went a step further and suggested that Laura herself (not teachers in general) should reconsider her ability to do her job if she were a teacher and that you wouldn't allow her near your child.

That's pretty rude and very personal, and as far as I can see it hasn't happened anywhere else in the discussion.

Shawnn - posted on 03/03/2011

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Ok, Kris, Laura, ENOUGH. Laura, you did phrase the one post to sound like you were telling us we all had poor comprehension, thus had no place teaching our children. I doubt you meant it that way, but that's how it came across. Kris, YOU jumped right on that bandwagon by associating Laura's name with being "opposite of what she posted" and assuming she was a burnt out teacher. NOW, lets be adults again, and get over it.

There are frustrations on both sides, and having been on both sides, I have experienced both sets of frustrating circumstances. From the educator side, NOTHING is more frustrating than a 5 year old who thinks they are entitled to be waited on hand and foot because that is what they experience at home. Or the parent who thinks they should get special permission because of race, religion, politcal affiliation or otherwise. There is one parent in our school district who has changed schools for his 5 year old 3 times this year, because the PARENT doesn't like being told to follow the school rules of student attendance, etc. He is doing no favors to his kid by his behavior. I have had children tell me "My mom says I DON"T HAVE to do this if I don't want to." Well, that's great for snack time, but when it comes to sitting down and listening during letters practice, that's the wrong attitude. Then there are the children whom you KNOW are getting no attention at home. The ones who come to school hungry because mom either didn't have the money to buy cereal, or plain old didn't bother. Or the ones with underlying behavior issues that indicate deep seated abuse. It breaks our hearts daily to see these children, and know that you are in a limited position to help them, but you do what you can and keep moving forward. You realize you cannot save the world, you can just improve your little corner. (that is, if you are allowed, with the budgetary restrictions, and the standardized test that your students MUST do well on so that the district doesn't lose funding...)

Now, from the parent side: I am extremely frustrated that the teachers in my school district decided that both of my sons had "graphic output disorder", without asking my permission for them to be assessed, nor whether I thought there was an issue with their work or not. I knew both had an issue with doing homework, mainly because their primary teachers never held them responsible for turning it in, and when I asked about that, they said they were not to force anyone to do anything they didn't want to do. This approach brought the realization to my children that if they didn't have consequences, they didn't need to do the work. When I kept pushing that they needed to be held responsible for their assignments, and given consequences for blowing it off, I was told that they both had this new "disorder", and that it would be counter productive to force them. What the teachers simply didn't want to admit was that if every student turned in homework, they'd have to spend time grading it. So, at the middle school age, I was struggling to get both of my kids to understand consequences of blowing off homework. They were both ineligible for an accommodation plan, because the "disorder" that their elementary teachers had saddled them with does not, in fact, exist. So, these teachers, from Kindergarten on, dropped the ball on my kids. I DID NOT! I insisted that they complete homework and turn it in, but the TEACHERS DID NOT BACK ME UP. So, when I read an article that quotes a teacher as saying "do not teach your kids_____" I pretty much toss it in the recycle bin like the garbage it is. I am TIRED of teachers being forced to teach to the "TEST" and not teaching our kids the basic skills needed to get along in life, such as basic multiplication/division. In our district, students are taught to "guestimate" math answers, rather than teaching 12X12=144.

So, ladies, in general there is frustration on both sides of the equation. Don't you think it's time for parents and teachers to find some middle ground again? Be honest.

Melissa - posted on 03/03/2011

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It is good to read to your kids! Not what the article was saying. Teaching them sight words isn't bad, they need that. They also need phonics skills. Schools teach both because some excel at one more than the other, but they need to have both. This is not forcing them to conform. If you don't know phonics, then how are you going to figure out a word that its not in your list of sight words?
The problem I have with "My Baby Can Read" is that it is not developmentally appropriate to be teaching an 18 month old to actually read. At 3 and 4 I understand that some children have an interest in learning to read which is good for them.
And yes a five yr old should be able to hang their coat. People complain about the schools, but how can a teacher focus on academics if having to spend time doing drills to hang coats?
Being a homeschooler and a schoolteacher are very different. You have the option to do things however you want. Teachers have to follow their curriculum. Most of the time they can teach it how they want, but thats not always the case either.

[deleted account]

My son was read to from birth. He has a huge library. He brought me books as soon as he learned to grasp them and demanded to be read to. His favorite was, "Thomas the Tank Engine's, "Little Engines Can Do Big Things" and "Hurray for Thomas". He had a few of his books memorized page for page when he could talk, but I knew he was not reading. I also did laugh when I saw the "Teach Your Baby/Toddler To Read" commercial. It looked unnatural. I agree with the education professionals who suggest it is just shape memorization. But if it has worked for some children, then let their parents make that decision. Teachers should be prepared in this day and age for differing learning styles and needs in their students. Sadly and often I have found that they lack this flexibility. I am concerned with the number of children in Title 1 this year and failure to teach readers and non-readers separately in our school system. They should NOT be forced to conform to each other.

I am now working on Dolch sight words with my son. He looks at the words and sounds them out and faster and faster sounds them. Then he can use them to read many 1st grade books next year.

And if a teacher complains about something like hanging up coats????? I have no respect. As a parent surrounded by educators (family and friends) I can right away think of a great opportunity for the teacher to have "coat drills" and play games to quickly encourage hanging up coats and putting other apparel in cubbies.

I am not a schoolteacher, but I am a night time homeschooler. I expect my son to be reading at med school level with me by the time he is in post secondary (or before) but right now its a great way to soothe him to sleep!

Isobel - posted on 03/03/2011

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I'm not a teacher, just a solid reader.

I don't see how suggesting that CLEARLY MANY people on this thread DID NOT UNDERSTAND the article...and therefore THEY should not be teaching anybody to read.

Sarah - posted on 03/03/2011

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Teaching him to read? No. Cultivating a love of books and learning? Yes. In our house, learning is fun and incorporated into our activities, but formal instruction (especially the baby DVDs) are not happening. I heard one time that the baby education DVDs teach in an "icing on the cake" fashion. The child isn't actively figuring things out, more like passively absorbing sets of information. I feel the same way about systems that are meant to teach my child to read. I'd rather sit down and read a book with him than teach him how to read on his own right now. However, when he begins to show interest in reading, of course I'll help him chart the course then.
I think these teachers aren't saying don't read to your child or don't allow them to learn to read. I think they're specifically talking to those parents who aren't engaging with their children with the every day things (hence the coat comment) but are spending all kindsof time teaching them to read. Kind of like the movie curly sue; she could spell potato but not cat (or something like that). People who are neglecting vital instruction so that their child can be ahead in reading.
If your child began showing the interest on his own, or if she can "hang up her coat" so to speak, then teyre obviously not talking to you.

[deleted account]

Wow.



Quote:

"I am amazed at how many people have been on this thread spewing garbage about teachers being idiots and not knowing what is good for children learning when the obvious truth is the exact opposite.



This thread is kinda proving to me that maybe you guys SHOULDN'T be teaching your kids to read...since the comprehension levels are absurd! "





Is it just me or is this an attack? Calling people "of absurd comprehension levels" AND "garbage spewers" is the same as calling them stupid or idiots? That's name-calling.



I said previously, "name-calling is inappropriate" and meant it. I have an opinion and deserve to sound it without it being generalized as an attack. Maybe read my prior post before your "Wow".



How is saying "Yeah i agree with "so-n-so" okay when saying "I don't agree with so-n-so"an attack? And I was not yelling??

Another good indication of an attack.

Jessica - posted on 03/03/2011

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I don't feel either way about your baby can read. My oldest just turned 1 on the 11th of February. He already asks, "whats this"... I am guessing it is like the "why" phase. He is already learning his shapes and colors and probably reading too, just by asking and us answering him. I worry about keeping up with him not teaching him on purpose... but that seems normal in my family. I was the same as a child. 90 percent of what we learn is before the age of five. It seems Alecia is teaching her daughter enjoyment. may I remind some of you why we are here? we are here to share and bounce ideas off each other, even support each other, but NOT to attack each other and tell each other. we even share beliefs with each other, but I will thank those of you who feel the need to tell other moms to stop what they are doing and do it how you are to shut up, because obviously you don't respect those with different views. Your baby can read isn't bad and neither is not using it. Education here sucks. If his current lvl is anything to go by, preschool will be useless to my kids except for social skills... which my oldest already has. he tries to play with ppl not beside us. Some kids do better with different methods. I am not going to refuse to answer my son out of fear that he will have to wait for others to catch up... besides, we are waiting for him, not the other way around. He decides when he is ready not any "educator" somewhere who doesn't know him.

Melissa - posted on 03/03/2011

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Laura- you are right. People are not really reading the article and understanding what it is talking about. The name calling is completely inappropriate and again generalizations are being made for ALL teachers and it is not true. I think some people have had a bad experience and now are saying that all teachers are like that. Parents like that make it harder on a teacher who already has the difficult task of helping 18-20 5 yr olds who all come in at different levels and have different needs. You should support the teacher and find a way to work it out if you should disagree with them. Some people also seem to think that pulling their child to homeschool is the only and best option. Well, it may work for some, but others its just not a good idea. Again, kids are different and have different needs. I'm not so sure that you are teaching them the best things either about how to solve problems. Situations vary and it might work for some, but not all.
Kris- Parents can vent also, but teachers do deserve some level of respect. I have not seen a teacher on here resort to name calling or belittling another. Just curious...are you a teacher?

Lucy - posted on 03/03/2011

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Wow, kris, I'm not sure threats are the way to go here!

Everybody is expressing different opinions here and have managed not to get personal, so it would be nice if we could stick to that.

[deleted account]

Laura Golightly sounds like a burned out teacher, and it's hilarious how your name contradicts your post. Back off. Teachers get to vent, so should parents. Namecalling is not appropriate, your are right, but YOU sound just like the type of teacher who needs to get a good assessment as to whether you are mentally geared to deal with your job anymore, or if I would want my child near you, that is if you are a teacher right now. Watch your Ps and Qs maybe.

I am a Wisconsin parent by the way. We are very very keen on the issue of teachers' tenures and whether or not "years of service" or "quality of service" are qualifiers for job security.

So be careful, word spreads.

[deleted account]

I think it would be harder on teachers when their classroom has broadly different levels of learning in the students. Isn’t there a reading/ teaching style that groups the kids in a class by level?? The term escapes me, who knows it? Why isn’t that encouraged or more popular? I know my son’s school does not implement it.



The reason I took books and reading (and homeschooling all subjects on the side) into my own hands is: in response to hearing too many educators complain that parents are NOT involved in their children’s' education enough and too many children were so difficult to teach. I don't want to be "that parent". Now have I gone overboard with preparing my son? I do very much disagree with our present assessment -based education curriculums or “teaching to the test”. I do not use the “Teach Your Toddler to Read” program and thought it was ludicrous.



It's also coincidental that my son's teacher complains that he has dressing issues: too slow, always last, runs late (she has an aggravated tone when she tells me... can't be too far off her tone with him) and he’s too silly about it (he does not it when you get too serious with him, makes fun to lighten things up, looks disrespectful, but it’s his personality, you can’t change it). I do NOT have this dressing problem with him at home. It really sounds like a personal conflict and behavior rut to me. Shouldn’t she be smart enough to see this?? She is always punishing him. She suggested he be assessed and might be ADHD, went on about how meds have helped past students…

I can’t help but feel we parents can’t win. I tried my darndest to prevent teacher complaints and smooth school experience for my child. He was fantastic and top of his class all through Preschool. Now Kindergarten comes along and he’s a “troublemaker”. I’m remaining calm, but *what to do what to do*?



Teachers do complain because they have a hard job. I agree! Teaching is not easy and must be very stressful. I will listen to your vents and complaints and truly empathize with your hard job. But at the end of your hard day I hope you taught everyone something… including yourself.

Isobel - posted on 03/03/2011

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for GOD'S SAKE...NOBODY has said don't read with your kid or foster their love of books! NOBODY!

The problem addressed in the OP was parents who teach their kids how to read incorrectly (ie:memorizing pictures of words).

MANY teachers have told me that teaching a child to learn to read incorrectly HINDERS their ability to REALLY learn how to read.

Call your kids' teachers idiots all you want...doesn't make it true.

I am amazed at how many people have been on this thread spewing garbage about teachers being idiots and not knowing what is good for children learning when the obvious truth is the exact opposite.

This thread is kinda proving to me that maybe you guys SHOULDN'T be teaching your kids to read...since the comprehension levels are absurd!

Veronica - posted on 03/03/2011

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I just want to say it sounds like the education system could use a LOT more teachers like you.

Veronica - posted on 03/03/2011

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Our local school starts teaching reading and basic phonics in pre- k and kindergarten.Every night is 20 min. worth of reading for homework even in K .So when my son was reading by age 4 and not just reading sounding out basic words he had a headstart on some of it. He is the youngest of 4 children they all love books my oldest daughter has maintained a 3.8 to 4.0 gpa since 4th grade now in 10th and is in NHS and my he is in gifted classes both have loved books almost since birth. When you read to your child they develope a love for it and up until this "my baby can read started" it was strongly incouraged to read to your child. you can teach your child to read and still teach them to other things like hang up coats write names ect

Karen - posted on 03/03/2011

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They need to learn life skills. If your child goes to school unable to dress him/herself etc then their learning time will be wasted. If they don't know how to wash their hands properly they will have time off sick therefore impacting on their learning. I wouldn't say 'don't teach them to read.' but I would say 'make sure they can manage their shoes and clothes. Teach them how to put on an apron and hang it up again. Teach them manners and to share. Teach them how to follow instructions and then lists of instructions.etc. Then teach them how to read.' Think how annoying and dangerous it would be to be in a class of 30 children who don't hang their coats up because they haven't been taught to!

Sarah - posted on 03/03/2011

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At age three my second daughter, whilst reading a book together said mummy I can see the word "The". I then used this opportunity to teach her to read sight words in a fun, game environment and i always stopped before she had the chance to tell me to stop- that way she always looked forward to our next get together. Being a bit shy compared to other children, this ability to read gave her amazing confidence when she got to school. She is now thirteen, keeps her room tidy, keeps on top of her jobs around the house, prepares for everything for the next day the night before and is a delightfuland greatly loved teenager- You CAN teach your toddlers to read and teach them life skills - just make it non pressured and as much fun as possible.

Kitara - posted on 03/02/2011

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I'm not quite sure how i feel about this. My 3 year old knows how to read although he is not a big fan of sounding out the words. He'd much rather ask what the word is and continue reading. He does look at the book for context clues as to what the word might possibly be and he knows how to spell phonetically just not read. So is the teacher saying I'm doing my son a disservice by encouraging his curiosity for reading and learning?
We are our children's first teachers and in some places we are our children's BEST teachers. I think we will do our children a disservice by not teaching them to read, write or anything else.

Tia - posted on 03/02/2011

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That is just ignorant of a teacher to say, she knows as well as any caregiver that children learn at different speeds and who is to say that the 4 1/2 year old gay can read could write his name any better if he couldn't read? I have twin girls that have been exposed to the same amount of words, colors, numbers, letters, animals, and speech. One has excelled in all and the other struggles with number and letter recognition and even had to take speech classes but this one can tell you about a story you just read inside and out. So I say why not expose your child to as much as you can as early as you can. You can never tell what they will be great at and when you find something there not so great at you have time to fix it. ( you know kids will fail kindergarten if they can't write there name or know abc's, so why leave your Childs education souly in the hands of a teacher who may or may not even care?) these are just my thoughts :)

Lisa - posted on 03/02/2011

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I agree with Josie. I am not advocating teaching a baby to read. I follow Piaget and Erikson on the ways children should explore the world at that age.

Josie - posted on 03/02/2011

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There is reading to your child, and encouraging a love of reading. Then, there's the Your Baby Can Read program.
If reading to your child is teaching them to read, then I've been "teaching" my son since the day he came home. I would sit in the slider, reading about Queen Antoinette out loud. No educator would ever call that counter-productive.
Personally, I think anyone that wastes their money on a ridiculous program that claims to "teach" a baby/toddler to read has someone that they are trying to impress. They feel the need to show that their baby is more advanced, and smarter than the neighbor's, the sibling's, or the co-worker's babies. Shame on them.
Keep on reading, ladies!!!

Lisa - posted on 03/02/2011

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Not all educators share the view that you should not teach your children. I teach first grade and have taught kindergarten.... and I appreciate any work that parents are doing at home with their kids. Maybe because I teach at a poor school, where most of my students should be so lucky. I have high readers as well too. What I see a lot with the kids who come in to first grade reading at the end of second grade is that they sometimes read too fast, like it is a race to finish a book, or they read well, but lack the comprehension needed at a higher level. So, I would just advise parents to talk to their kids about what they are reading to make sure they understand the story. And, as your child moves on, maybe reading 5th grade level books in thrid grade- look carefully at the content. Some books at a level your child can read may not have appropriate content. And, don't push your child away from picture books in leu of chapter books, because some picture books are full of rich vocabulary. However, I would never tell a parent don't teach your child to read. Parents are the first teachers and the teachers your child will have their whole life. Classroom teachers are just around for a year. I wonder if some of the teachers who are saying don't teach your kid etc. are teachers without kids. It is hard as a mom to not let your child explore something they enjoy. If they take to books at an early age great. Forcing it at an early age is another thing though.

Susan - posted on 03/02/2011

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My older daughter was plopped in front of Sasame Street and Electric Company as a baby...She was REALLY reading at around 3 years...and by 3 1/2 years, when she was inPre-School the teachers would take a bathroom break and give her a book to read to the class...No emotional problems related to reading early, and she still learned how to tie shoes and hang up her coat..

Cynthia - posted on 03/02/2011

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What is funny is my second daughter who had no touble at all learning to read unlike her eldest sister who struggled until the principal took 6 kids in from the grade two class who were struggling to read and whose parents kept being told they would pick it up (whole language teaching no phonic) she had them all barring one though even his reading improved reading in less than six weeks.
any way back to daughter number two, when she reached adolecence she sudddenly started struggling with comprehension, Part of it was a mindblock concerning the length of books she was now required to read, and learning to read at a higher level with bigger words. I had to read her books out loud with her to help get her through that year, I felt the introduction of mulimedia into language arts should have been withheld or taught as a secondary course and option because it gave my daughter an approved excuxe to take the easy way out to not stretch and grow.
Anyway she struggled through and in her third year of university she buckled down to teach her self to read for comprehension with speed and successfull completed her psychology degree and concentration in rural development. By bright bug third daughter who excelled at school working so hard I was concerned for her. I gave her permission to slack off from bring home 100's so she did know studying and came home with 80's she is now 25 and studying childhood development. Now quite what I thought she might do with those brains but she has learned all kinds of transferrable skills through the years, and is happy so far in her chosen feild, Now if I could just get her off her computor, I think a gift card to her local coles book store for her birthday this year! :)

Tracey - posted on 03/02/2011

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you have got to be kidding! yes i was proud that my 4th/5th grader was reading at a 9th grade level but we love books i didnt teach her to read so we all looked smart but so she could enjoy books as id rather that than TV and computer games, she had no problem holding a pencil because craft was a big part of her upbringing too, maybe these teachers should be bagging computer games instead of reading.

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My grand daughter doesn't read but knows the alphabet, can count to 20 and sings 5 songs by heart and several other things and just turned 2! My sister in law thought this was horrible. She said we're not letting her be a child. Well my grand daughter loves to learn. And we will continue to teach her. Teachers should be glad parents are teaching children things. They aren't raising our children!

Cynthia - posted on 03/02/2011

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I my third child desperately wanted to learn to read rigtht around the time I had my fourth, I couldn't get any peace to nurse him for her constant nagging all day long to teach her word by word. so I hired a tutor to come in twice a week and teacher her phonics how to write her name, etc. The tutor gave me quite a grilling before she accepted the comission, to make sure it wasn't me pushing my daughter! I know part of it was the new baby and less time with mum one on one she was about 5 months shy of her fourth birthday when her brother was born and her older siblings were mastering reading being in gradwe one and three, she was feeling left out on several levels despite attending playschool three afternoons a week. This particular daughter is a visual auditory learner, so learning to read was a puzzle for her to solve, Funnily enough her brother could read a quite a few words by the time he was three, probably because he was the "student" whenever his sisters played school!

Katrina - posted on 03/02/2011

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There is a difference between children who are natural readers and those who start formal reading lessons at an early age. Too often parents think they are doing their children a favor by teaching them everything they need to know to finish 1st grade and wonder why they are bored at kindergarten. If you are going to use a school to educate your children, don't duplicate their services.

Jennie - posted on 03/02/2011

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Both my kids sleep with books. My two year old makes up stories about the drawings in her books. I think it is great. People are to judgmental

Sweta - posted on 03/02/2011

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Yes, I am teaching my daughter how to read. She LOVES reading and books! It's a fun thing to do together! I think any teacher that says parents shouldn't cultivate this in their children is being ridiculous! Parents are children's first teachers. I do agree that it's important to have a balanced child, but then parents should focus on all skills with them and not just one. The key is to not force it. You can encourage it, but if they are not ready or not interested, put it away. I am not forcing my daughter how to read. She just plain loves it!

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