Your baby can read!!!! (but what's the point?)

Sarah - posted on 07/13/2010 ( 38 moms have responded )

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Ok, so I saw a thread about "your baby can read" on the Welcome thread and it made me wonder about this.
Is there any point in teaching a baby to "read"? I'm not saying there's any harm in it, and if they enjoy it, then fair enough.
Me personally though, I don't see the point.

Your thoughts?

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[deleted account]

I was wondering if this topic would ever shop up here. =)

As a teacher, I don't put any faith in it. It does teach babies to read, but by memorization. Reading is so much more complex than just memorization.

My certification is first through eighth grades so I don't have extensive early childhood training. Maybe when Loureen shows up again after having this baby, she can explain better. But I'll do my best. =)

When a child learns to read, they need a combination of phonics, fluency, comprehension and sight words. This program offers the sight words, but leaves out the rest. Knowing common words by sight does help with fluency and comprehension, but when a child comes to a word they don't know, then what? That's where a mixture of phonics and comprehension comes in. The child can sound out the word, then put it in the context of the sentence to figure out the meaning. Comprehension is also "taught" and "learned" by talking about the story, the major events and characters, and predicting what will happen. The program leaves that out.

The best way to teach a child to read is to read to them starting at a young age. Learning how to hold and open a book and that the words match the pictures are all part of the reading process. If your child can recognize the McDonalds symbol that is part of the reading process. When you read, talk about the book. When you color together, write the letters of the child's name and talk about the sounds. It all comes together eventually and doesn't have to be as formal or expensive as this program.

Charlene - posted on 07/15/2010

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I personally don't think this program is any more than a money grab catering to the sad desire some parents have for their children to be the best, be a genius.

It's memorization... reading, like it has already been pointed out, is a lot more than that.

What ever happened to just letting babies learn at their own pace? I started reading when I was 2.5 and it had nothing to do with this program. My uncle lived with us and he read to me all the time, wrote and sounded out letters for me when I asked. It was all because I WANTED to learn. If people would just take the time to read a book a day with their kids, a lot of them would be genuinely interested in reading and learn it at their own pace. (And fyi, I may have read early, but I am certainly not a genius, so it means SQUAT. LMAO)

I will never spend the couple hundred bucks on this program.
I've heard people talk about how many words their child knows because of this program, but how many of those could their child know if the parent had just taken the time to read and talk to their child. (Real talking, not baby talk).

It's a scam IMO.

[deleted account]

I don't doubt that it works, but I think it's a scam to get parents to throw away money on a program that will teach their infant/toddler something that they can learn for free at their own pace anyway.

Learning to read early will not give them an academic edge. Helping them discover the thrill of learning and instilling in them the desire and ability to learn for themselves WILL. :)

[deleted account]

Formal "education" at a young age is ridiculous! It's just pushing the poor kid - and why? To get "a head start?" So mum/dad can say "Oh, little Johnny is so far ahead of everybody else?" Or som some company can make money?

Lindsay - posted on 07/13/2010

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Personally, I see ths product as nothing more than a parent's desire to be able to brag that their child is "better" than the one sitting next to them.

I would never spend money on this product and I often wonder if it doesn't inhibit them later when phonics and letter sounds come in to play. I could be wrong but it seems that they would at a point almost "relearn" how to read. You can't possibly have the capacity to memorize every single word, can you? Kids need to explore and discover so much in their first years. I can't imagine plopping a baby in front of a TV or drilling them with flashcards at such a young age. I much refer to read to my kids, sing the alphabet song, and let that skill naturally progress.

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Becky - posted on 07/23/2010

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I also don't see the point. I think it's a ridiculous waste of money. Whether it works or not, what is the advantage to it? Maybe it gives them a small edge when they start school - maybe - but I'm sure it gives them no edge whatsoever as school continues.
Why do our babies need to be geniuses? why can't they just be babies? Why can't we get excited about them playing peek-a-boo and patty-cake, instead of pushing them to read???
My boys love books. My 2 year old can recite most of his favorite books by heart, and has the vocabulary and verbal abilities of a 4 year old. (He's just mastered the use of "either/or"!) All we do is read to him and talk to him. No pressure, no expectations. I actually think that using a program like this places too much pressure on your child. What if academics is not where their strengths lie? not that you don't want them to learn to speak and to read and all that, but why not spend more time encouraging the things they are best at?

Coley - posted on 07/23/2010

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I read at a reasonably young age, because I wanted to learn how, as I've always been a huge fan of stories. My whole family loves books, and we took weekly trips to the library when I was little. Any parent who is able to devote so much time to flash cards has the time to teach their kid how to speak and communicate well without forcing them to memorize stacks of cards for the sake of the parent's bragging rights. Where are the studies that say these forced "super babies" end up with a higher IQ, or superior problem-solving skills, or an enriched social life, or become successful as a result of the cards when they're an adult? IMO, its like training a puppy to do mindless tricks just to show off, but I doubt those "tricks" will make any difference in the long-run. Will it benefit them to recognize the word "pirate" if they're so young that they have absolutely no concept of piracy or the ocean or sea-faring vessels or history or anything else relating to pirates? If there's a picture of a pirate next to the word, they would probably think a "pirate" is a funny looking person with goofy clothes. They at least need a basic understanding of some things before "reading" has a point. They will gain understanding as their brain develops and you tell them stories, explain and show them things, and just read to them. Nobody cares if your baby can recognize the word "refrigerator" at 1 year old, unless they can tell you what it is and what it does.THEN I'd be impressed, but still doubt the flash cards were more responsible for it than the parents teachings.

[deleted account]

Kids learn to read themselves. I learned to read at an early age (can't remember exactly, it was a long time ago!) It was because there were always books around in our house. Mum and Dad were both readers. They both went to the library on a regular basis. Just having books around stimulates a child's interest.

Same with my kids - lots of books around, so they just took part. I think the key is being part of a book-reading culture. Have books around. Let your kids see you enjoy reading. Go to the library.
If you're not a book person, become one. You don't know what you're missing.

[deleted account]

That's my feelings exactly Charlene. I taught myself to read at 4. My mom didn't teach me any more than just reading to me since she didn't know I COULD learn to read at that age. My girls started reading at 3.5 since the oldest kid in their preschool (who had just turned 5) figured out how to read and they wanted to as well. ALL for free... or just the cost of regularly purchasing books. :)

Jackie - posted on 07/22/2010

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What ever happened to story time? My SIL bought it for her daughter which is one month older than Allison (17/18 months) I didn't want to be rude or "know it all" but I couldn't help but to wonder why. I say, let them be babies. Read a book, play with some flash cards! I thinks its stupid. AND do you have any idea how freaking expensive it is!? Holy crap!

April - posted on 07/22/2010

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i like everything that Sara Hopkins said. I also wonder if formally teaching them at a young age can actually make things go the opposite way. I think just reading books to your infant is more enjoyable, while sitting there with flashcards is not. This makes me curious as to weather flashcard babies grow up to be children who don't like to read?

[deleted account]

Danielle, get him some board books and let him play with them. Learning how to handle books and looking at the pictures (even if for a second) by himself is all part of the process!

Danielle - posted on 07/22/2010

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If it's not bogus I think it's really neat. I'm having a hard time believing it's real though. Also, my son is 15 months old. Until he was mobile I read to him all the time but now I can't at all. He won't sit still long enough to even notice I'm reading. I'll read to him again when he's a little older and knows to sit still and read with mommy a little better.

Lea - posted on 07/15/2010

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I think that everything you are saying is correct. However, as a teacher I am responsible for 100 % of children learning to read by a certain age. Many kids are hopelessly behind and have no motivation to learn. Anything that can help prevent this situation I am for, although I agree that simply reading one or a few books to your child starting in infancy is probably all thats needed and is probably not being done with the kids that are behind.

Rogina - posted on 07/14/2010

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What is this program? I have never even heard of it. These will be the mothers complaining oh my little ( insert name here ) grew up too fast. I am enjoying my time with my 8 month old. In all of his raspberry blowing, giggling , throwing and exploring glory.

Brandy - posted on 07/14/2010

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I read books with my 2 year old. She happens to recognize some of the words and can recognize her own name when I write it when we are coloring together. Does this mean I am going to sit there with her for an hour making her memorize words written on flash cards? No. Read with your child, talk to your child and play with you child and their language and reading skills will catch on when they are ready. Until they are in school, that's all they need.

[deleted account]

I think reading should be thought while reading books and having story time with baby.. not memorization of flash cards or other "miracle" method. Moreover, the memorization method from my baby can read as been shown to delay proper reading once in school.. kids have to relearn to read using phonetics and sounds, not words that are memorized.

Not something I want for my child

[deleted account]

My opinion they spend so many years of their lives in school learning let them have the first three years off so they can learn to walk, talk and poop in the right place. I mean if they cant do those three properly theres no point in reading anyway lmao

Lady - posted on 07/14/2010

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I love this community, it really gives me hope for the world to know that there are still some sensible people out there.
I thought the exact same as you all when I first saw the advert and am so glad others feel the way I do. You guys rock!!!

Sarah - posted on 07/14/2010

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Glad I'm not the only one!

I think there's a reason kids don't get taught to read until later, it's when they can process the whole "system" of reading.
As Sara said, there's much more to reading than just memorising. I guess it seems to me that memorising words is setting them up for bad habits later on.

As I said, I don't think there's any real harm to it, I just think that it would be easier (and cheaper!!) to just read to them lots and teach them how wonderful books are! :)

Johnny - posted on 07/13/2010

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Well drat! She's supposed to be reading? And here I was so proud that I'd successfully taught her to pick her own nose. I thought she was really going somewhere.

Julie - posted on 07/13/2010

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I don't even see the point of a kid being able to read as they enter Kindergarten, but I've heard things have changed since I went.

The time for a child to learn how to read is when they bring you a book and ask how to read it on their own (in a perfect world).

To answer more directly, I don't really believe the babies can read. I think it is likely pattern recognition. At some point in the program are they given NOVEL words that they then read? If it is the same word list over and over, it is NOT reading!

[deleted account]

There is no point to it... just a company making money out of parent's desire to turn their babies into little geniuses.

[deleted account]

I noticed this on here quite a bit latly aswell. I honestly thought if i commented i would have been looked down on as my 3yr old daughter can't read, she doesn't know her alphabet yet. Well she sort of does. We read to her all the time as she loves to pretend to read to us so when she pulls a book out then it gets read. I don't see the point in rushing her she is only a child and will have plenty of time to learn in her life, why push it now? I'd rather her get out and run and play and learn social skills at 3 then be able to read. Come on to all those mothers who push it on their children just let your child be young as they will never get this time back!



I agree with everything Andrea said.

Katherine - posted on 07/13/2010

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I agree, it's ridiculous. It's popped up a lot lately on the welcome page. I just want to post, "WHO Cares?"
I'm not impressed and like Sara said, it's memorization, nothing compared to what a child needs to know to actually READ.
There aren't even developmentally equiped for that. So it's a big fat *eye roll* from me.

Andrea - posted on 07/13/2010

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Because I'm lazy I copied and pasted my opinions from the other thread.

Umm ok ! My 10 month old won't sit still for more than 3 second If showed her a flash card she want to eat it. I turned on a video she look at like so what. Yes I'm sure if I show them a word, I clap,and say clap after a while they figure out all those things go together. So every time they see the word clap they clap doesn't mean they read it. If I show them the word clap and they point to it, it is not reading it is memorizing. If I put my arms up my daughter would do the same, if I showed her the phrase arms up every time we did this she would at some point be able to do it just seeing the words because she recongized it from when I showed it to her while putting my arms up. This not reading!

There is no scientific evidence that baby can read. In general studies of neurological development and education show that forcing kids to learn some task before their brains are naturally ready does not have any advantage. You cannot force the brain to develop quicker or better. In fact, it seems that children need only a minimally stimulating environment for their brain development program to unfold as it is destined to.

I would love to hear from some parent that have use this and there kids are know in school. Even better I like to see something on someone that used this program at 9 months, then something on starting this program on a 4 year (the recommend age a child should start learning to read), then end result being how well each preformed once they both are in school. In theory if this programmed worked you think child that started at 9 months would be far more advanced than the 4 year old.

I don't have a problem with someone buy the program and using it, I not disagreeing that there learning something I'm sure the are. We as parents want are kids to be a smart and take of vantage of ever situation and learn something from it. I do be leave they are learning with this program but not to read. At months, 9 months 12 months, 18 months your child isn't reading they are memorizing and recongizing. To be able to read you have to know your ABC and know what every letter is. You have to know what sound every letter make. They have to be able to put those sounds together. When my son was 3 I read him a book every day for weeks, he was then able to read me the book word for word, not because he learned to read but because he memorized the book.

Jaime - posted on 07/13/2010

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My baby can't read and I'm okay with that. I don't see the point in this program either.

Sharon - posted on 07/13/2010

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If your child isn't a genius - all the memorization won't fix stupid. Your child may start a bit ahead of other babies but because your child was tied to a chair learning to spot "cat" instead of perfecting walking and running - guess who winds up the target in dodgeball? or gets picked last for kickball.

Now your kid is smart but lazy. Excellent.

Ok that was an exaggeration. Why not just let your child proceed as his or her nature directs? you can guide a child, or force a child down a path - which is better?

Jodi - posted on 07/13/2010

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I personally think there are many other things a baby should be learning. Reading isn't one of them. Babies have so much to learn about the world around them, and if you think about it, there is only so much their little brains can take in and comprehend at any one time. Let them use their senses to explore the world around them, including learning a love for books. Count with them doing every day activities. Develop their motor skills. I just think adding a formal reading program in the mix of things is pushing something baby is not meant to be able to do at 1 or 2 or 3.

They all learn to read eventually, and it really doesn't give them an academic edge when starting school. So no, I don't see the point.

Meghan - posted on 07/13/2010

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How did we all learn to read...memorizing letters and how they are combined to make a word...you learn all of that at 3+..let a baby be a baby...let them look at the picutres and memorize those...let them memorize a routine where mommy reads the same story for 300 nites in a row...It may work for some familes, but I would never in a million years expect my toddler or "baby" to learn to read.

[deleted account]

Reading is much more than memorization. See my previous post.

I'm glad it's improved language in your brother. That's great. Just be sure that he is exposed to all parts of reading.

Dominique - posted on 07/13/2010

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It does work I've seen it first hand. I don't think its more of the reading aspect of it though. It has improved talking more than anything in my brother. Plus he loves the songs and sings along and does the movements with them. He really enjoys it. He watches it before nap and before bed time so when he is ready for bed he tells us baby. He talks way more and you can understand what he is telling you. Reading is memorization... you memorize the words that you see and they get put into sentences to make a book.

Caitlin - posted on 07/13/2010

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My friends son can "read" using that program, he's 2.5 yrs old, but I don't see the point. Really, my daughter recognizes words, letters and numbers, and points to them excitedly, knowing that they mean something, but has no idea what (she's 19 months, we have a caterpillar with letters on it and boxes with 1-2-3 on them). I thought briefly she had learned the number 2, because she would always point to the box with that number on it and say something that sounded a heck of a lot like two (more like "choo"), I was so proud until I realised that she did the same thing for 1 and 3... She's no miracle baby and I don't care. Heck, she's still not verbal (I don't call 4-6 words verbal), but I don't care..

Joanna - posted on 07/13/2010

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Whatever happened to reading to your kids? Or maybe introducing flashcards for fun "learning"? We're trying to "teach" babies something meant for more developed minds, and it just irks me to no end.

Rosie - posted on 07/13/2010

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i don't see the point either. my preschooler (5 year old) learning to read is good enough for me, i don't feel any need to have the most advanced child in the world. whenever it comes to them naturally is what i enjoy. i'm pretty sure no baby starts the reading process themselves. seems forced and artificial.

LaCi - posted on 07/13/2010

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I think it's a nice head start, making the connection between words in print, speech and the associated objects. If nico were very interested in it I'd be all for it, but he was so freakin focused on individual letters and numbers I couldn't get him to notice the larger picture until recently. It would have been a waste of time. He doesn't pay attention to anything for long ;) Neither do I, so thats cool.

[deleted account]

I don't get it either Sarah - what is the problem with letting babies be babies? Surely they have enough to learn without trying to force reading skills on them as well. Personally as long as my son is doing what is expected for his age then I am happy.

[deleted account]

I've seen the commercials. I honestly don't think it helps children that much and really just panders to the sick need some parents have to make their child 'better' than anyone else's.

A love of reading and the ability comprehend what you read is not just a learned skill, it's also done by watching others doing it.

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