talk to me about reading to babies & children... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-09-2005, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I just read, "You are your childs first teacher" and loved it....I am very inspired by Waldorf methods and want to incorporate them into the way I raise my dd who I have read to ever since she was a teeny babe...and when I read the paragraph on when reading should be introduced last night I felt upset by the idea that something I have always felt good about doing with my daughter was the wrong thing for her development...she loves to read, in fact she is sitting on the couch right now delightfully "reading" her books we got at the library yesterday...Ive never planned to rush her into reading or numbers but now I am wondering if by simply reading to her like I have...I have pushed her into reading and being intellectually awake sooner than necessary. Any thoughts?

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#2 of 4 Old 01-10-2005, 12:54 PM
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If she has picked it up on her own that is different than actively teaching her to read. I think you should continue to read to her.

Keep in mind her age and keep to stories that are appropriate. Our teacher gave us a good rule of thumb, the hero/heroine should be no more than 2 years older than your child. So the first Harry Potter book is okay for 9 year olds but the last should wait until the child is at least 13. So let her pick out books at the library to read that are appropriate. You might want to keep adult books, magazines and newspapers out of her reach. Unfortunatley, there is nothing you can do about billboards and signs while driving.

I think also, if you engage her in lots of imaginative play and don't let her focus all of her time on reading so that she will be more well rounded.
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#3 of 4 Old 01-10-2005, 02:19 PM
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Hi Mystic Mama,

It isn't clear from your message how old your daughter is and whether she is playing at reading or really reading. My granddaughter is five. She went through a stage for a while where she would "read" by reciting a book. Currently she is busy accumulating the letters of the alphabet, practicing writing them, and spotting them around. As long as most of the impetus is coming from her, her enthusiastic waldorf parents don't worry about it.

Personally I think exposing children to books, even from an early age is really not a problem. Books are life-enriching, overall. I grew up in a very intellectual family. There were five of us and we all learned to read at different ages. If we learned on our own, my parents were fine with that. If we hadn't learned by about half way through first grade they started pushing. By today's standards that is very laid back but by waldorf standards it is rushing it.

Anyway, relax, you can't undo whatever has already been done. Look at where your daughter is, try to see if she is leaning too far in one way or another (for her age) and then try to bring in activities for balance. For example, a child who is a heavy reader at age 5 would probably benefit from more physical activity and imaginative play. A child who is very physically active but doesn't do much make-believe might benefit from storytelling. And so on.

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#4 of 4 Old 01-10-2005, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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my dd is a week away from being 2.9 years old....when she reads it is partly from memory and partly her own ideas of the story...last night we had story time but I just got her involved in the pictures and we spent story time looking and talking about that pictures, I am glad to know she would so easily do that.

The balance between her imaginative play time and reading time needs some is not my strong point, and I am her main playmate almost all the time...if anyone has suggestions for my on ways I can better play with my daughter I would love to hear them!


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