or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting the Gifted Child › What do you think about 'teaching' toddlers to read?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What do you think about 'teaching' toddlers to read? - Page 2

post #21 of 35
I do not feel inclined to teach my toddlers how to read. Simply because it's not in their nature (unless you have a specifically gifted child who is not "gifted" because the parents are drilling them). A toddlers nature is play and imitating those around them. A toddlers nature is in their physical body--they're sole job is to get used to be in their body. Once they are grounded in their body, then their brains are freed up to learn to read and write. Just my 2 cents!
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kindermama View Post
I do not feel inclined to teach my toddlers how to read. Simply because it's not in their nature (unless you have a specifically gifted child who is not "gifted" because the parents are drilling them). A toddlers nature is play and imitating those around them. A toddlers nature is in their physical body--they're sole job is to get used to be in their body. Once they are grounded in their body, then their brains are freed up to learn to read and write. Just my 2 cents!
Well, that may seem to apply for MOST kids, but some are truly on a different timeline. My 3 yo was walking at 6 months and is now reading fluently. Nobody has pushed her to do this. She does plenty of physical stuff and has been developmentally advanced from the very beginning. Just be careful that you don't try to put everyone in a tiny box, especially in a forum like this where there are parents of outliers.

I agree very much with No5 above. I'm fine with letting them discover things and reading to kids a lot and answering their questions. I did not actively teach either of my early readers. They come by it genetically.

They spend plenty of time playing and immitating those around them. They are plenty comfortable in their own bodies.

Maybe I'm a bit defensive because I find it weird to read those kinds of comments in the gifted forum.

To the OP, I agree with No5. I wouldn't actively teach my kids to read as toddlers, especially if they weren't asking for it, but I can imagine there might be some children who were interested, developmentally ready and who would benefit from instruction. I would not think the average child would be well served by being taught to read at one or two. Three, four and five are still too early for many/most kids, but everyone is different.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kindermama View Post
Simply because it's not in their nature (unless you have a specifically gifted child who is not "gifted" because the parents are drilling them).
Um, those "specifically gifted" (whatever you mean by specifically) children who are not "gifted because the parents are drilling them" are what this forum is actually about, kwim? Kinda the whole point?

Is it from a Waldorf perspective that you are writing?
post #24 of 35
Well, this question isn't really about reading or even gifted kids, but about teaching/quizzing toddlers more generally.

How do you read a small toddler books without quizzing them? And does it matter? My 14 month old loves bringing me books to "read" to him - except he often doesn't really want to hear the stories, and will often bring books with nothing but animal pictures in them. So I end up sitting with him and teaching him the sign language and sounds for the different animals, and quizzing him on the pictures (e.g. who's that? which one is big? where's the other mouse? etc...). He loves it, and knows dozens of animal signs (crude approximations anyway). And I don't know what else to do with those books. But I worry that this is just as bad as focusing on teaching an older toddler the words? Is there a better way to read with him?

My kid's not gifted so far as I know, so maybe this question doesn't belong here. But it seems like the folks on this thread have spent a lot of time thinking about the pluses and minuses of teaching and quizzing, so I thought I'd ask anyway.
post #25 of 35
My just-turned-3 year old has been wanting to learn how to read for about a year and now he is starting to read sentences. Yes, I do teach him. But I do take his lead on it too.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerle View Post
Um, those "specifically gifted" (whatever you mean by specifically) children who are not "gifted because the parents are drilling them" are what this forum is actually about, kwim? Kinda the whole point?

Is it from a Waldorf perspective that you are writing?
I was coming from parents who teach their children without the child actually leading the parent to teach (reading/math/writing etc) in the first place. I have a friend who taught her son to read by 3 years old. He learned because she did it with rewards and punishment, but he wasn't interested in his own right. I don't consider that gifted but maybe it is!

I didn't realize this was the "gifted forum"...I saw it in "new posts". I apologize if I offended anyone here. I didn't mean for that comment to come across as a black or white statement.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mckittre View Post
How do you read a small toddler books without quizzing them? And does it matter?
If he is just interested in the pictures, you can sit & talk about the pictures without doing a quizzing type of thing. DD has always loved listening to books, but when I've tried to read to kids who weren't as patient, we've usually just talked and turned pages. I wouldn't try to push kids to sit & read if they're not into it. And, while I think most parents do a bit of quizzing here & there, I would definitely not want that to be one of the primary ways I interacted with my kid. It just seems like such a boring and shallow endeavor, whereas the world is an amazing, exciting, interactive place. I'd much rather my DD spends her time exploring than sitting & learning the names of things. That comes soon enough, anyway.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mckittre View Post
Well, this question isn't really about reading or even gifted kids, but about teaching/quizzing toddlers more generally.

How do you read a small toddler books without quizzing them? And does it matter? My 14 month old loves bringing me books to "read" to him - except he often doesn't really want to hear the stories, and will often bring books with nothing but animal pictures in them. So I end up sitting with him and teaching him the sign language and sounds for the different animals, and quizzing him on the pictures (e.g. who's that? which one is big? where's the other mouse? etc...). He loves it, and knows dozens of animal signs (crude approximations anyway). And I don't know what else to do with those books. But I worry that this is just as bad as focusing on teaching an older toddler the words? Is there a better way to read with him?

My kid's not gifted so far as I know, so maybe this question doesn't belong here. But it seems like the folks on this thread have spent a lot of time thinking about the pluses and minuses of teaching and quizzing, so I thought I'd ask anyway.
When DD was about 1yo, she adored those kinds of books (we started with a few signing ones people gave us and realized the pages with all the different things kept her occupied and happy in the car). So we bought her a big book of words. It does seem like they make so many of those books to train kids into learning words or how to read those words? But DD just loves to sit and go through all of the pictures... and yes, she'd sort of quiz US and she did love us to quiz her back eventually... but mostly we would use it to jump off to other things like singing songs about the types of things on each page, telling stories, etc.

But she ALSO would sit for hours while we read "real" books like picture books with poetry or stories. That other kind of book was just for sometimes, when we were trapped on a plane (a trip with just her and me is why I bought it) or in the car. Although she LOVED to look at the kids' faces and see them hugging, happy, jumping, etc. And while we went to playgroup almost daily, she's our first and only had me around so why not let her look at baby/kid faces?

I hate how people were always quizzing her (and still do, especially strangers it seems, but back then it was everyone!). We tried to never quiz her ourselves, but we would play sort of I spy with the book, and follow her lead. It seems like quizzing is the only way some people know to interact with little kids. Colors, animals, etc. I don't know why, but it seems really common. But when a kid is asking to play it as a game, I have a hard time denying them that. But it's not like we offered any sort of rewards/reinforcement for doing it, so I figured it really was just her desire. This was the kid that around the same age was rehearsing words, like looking down at her apron and whispering it over and over again to herself, after having learned it, forgotten it, and heard it again. I guess some kids are born studious
post #29 of 35
I only read those books when he brings them to me - I like the stories much better myself, but I let him take the lead on which books we look at. I don't really want to focus on teaching him words, but one of this kid's favorite activities in the whole world is to label things. He'll spend forever pointing at objects or pictures and making the sign (or saying the word if he knows it). He'll do that even by himself quite a bit. Even in the books with stories he spends a lot of time pointing out and labeling the things in the pictures. And he's always asking me to show him the sign for something.

I guess I just don't know quite what to say about the animals in the book? It seems silly to tell him "that's a bear, he's big and brown and has long claws" when he knows perfectly well what it is... So I tend to say "where's the bear?" or "who's that?" and then follow up his answer with "he's big and brown and has long claws" or something similar. He seems to enjoy doing the labeling himself so much... It seems more interactive to ask him questions than to just tell him something. But again, it is a kind of quizzing, so I'm conflicted. What sort of thing would you say about an animal picture?
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mckittre View Post
What sort of thing would you say about an animal picture?
What about, "I think that bear looks happy. I wonder if it's just eaten some honey." Or, "You have to be very careful if you ever see a bear in the wild. You wouldn't want a bear to step on your toes!" Or, "Do you remember when we saw the bears in the zoo?" Or, "Would you like to sing a song about bears?" Or, "Grandpa told me he saw a bear when he went on a hike the other day. Would you like to call Grandpa and ask him about it?" You don't have to limit your comments to describing what you see.

I don't think there's anything wrong with pointing/labeling with a kid who is learning to talk and enjoying that sort of play. As I said, I just wouldn't want that to the the main interaction. I always talked to DD about whatever I was thinking of, as if she could understand and participate. Creative play (e.g., singing, dancing, joking, storytelling, etc.) has always been our main way of interacting.
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by no5no5 View Post
What about, "I think that bear looks happy. I wonder if it's just eaten some honey." Or, "You have to be very careful if you ever see a bear in the wild. You wouldn't want a bear to step on your toes!" Or, "Do you remember when we saw the bears in the zoo?" Or, "Would you like to sing a song about bears?" Or, "Grandpa told me he saw a bear when he went on a hike the other day. Would you like to call Grandpa and ask him about it?" You don't have to limit your comments to describing what you see.
I agree you don't need to just describe the pictures. You use it as a jumping off point for a conversation.

I'd likely have said something like "This history of stuffed bears...Teddy Roosevelt..." or "bears are omnivores" or "did you ever noticed that our neighbor Mr. Jones has an odd resemblance to a bear, why is that?"

Which make me wonder was my kid actually born a weirdo or am I somewhat to blame?
post #32 of 35
"A toddlers nature is in their physical body--they're sole job is to get used to be in their body. Once they are grounded in their body, then their brains are freed up to learn to read and write."

This is an opinion, not a fact. And this drives me crazy. The brain is part of their body. They are learning language and movement, all of which is based out of the the brain. I just do not agree at all with this premise of pre-determined developmental stages. Regardless of whether a child has been identified in a formal way as measurably "gifted" (bearing in mind that the definition of "gifted" varies and is evolving all the time) to do this is so very limiting. This is a Waldorf idea, which is a spiritual/religious idea, again, a theory, and one that has not been universally accepted as fact. While I don't disagree with the statement that formal instruction in reading isn't necessary at this age (in fact, I happen to agree), I wouldn't consider doing it in anyway detrimental to the "whole" child.

I am usually not one to post opinions or true disagreements with other posts, but this is one that has frustrated me for quite sometime. My dd is so far out of the range of "average" in so many ways, and so many people have tried to tell me what is "wrong" with my child since she was two and how to parent and what will/will not work, is/is not appropriate, that these kinds of one-size fits all statements are just frustrating.

That being said, with my daughter we did no formal teaching her to read before school started. She is one that will perfect a skill before displaying it and just about spontaneously started reading chapter books in 1st-2nd grade and in 4th grade is reading with comprehension and vocabulary (not just decoding or phonic reading) at a college level. Not only that, she is just so developmentally all-over-the-place in her emotional, physical, and intellectual being that putting her in an age-related developmental category just does not work for parenting, socially, or educationally.

I love so many of the practices behind Waldorf. However, I do not think that the basis of those practices are based on universal truths.

Okay, way off topic, but thanks for listening. I am not one for posting opinions..so I may come back and delete this...maybe. I don't like conflict (disagreements), but I think my opinion and thoughts on this are valid and worthwhile on this one.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Which make me wonder was my kid actually born a weirdo or am I somewhat to blame?
I think it's safe to say that you deserve some of the credit.
post #34 of 35
My friend always says that she's not sure if she created this or if she's just responding to it.
post #35 of 35
Thanks for the thoughts. I guess I've been stuck in a rut that's a little too concrete in talking to him, and I should try to branch out a bit farther from what I know he can see. I know he understands more than I realize, a lot of the time, but it's easy to forget that for a little one that can't talk yet.
Sorry for hijacking your gifted forum!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting the Gifted Child
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting the Gifted Child › What do you think about 'teaching' toddlers to read?