Any literature on why *not* to teach children before they are showing interest...especially written/read language? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 02-17-2013, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,

 

It seems my DH and I are differing on when to introduce letter identification to our 13 month old :(

 

I have a strong aversion to teaching things before interest is shown, and my DD learned to read on her own at age 3.

 

I know I've read articles/books on the subject before but am having a hard time finding accessible information to send to DH.

 

TIA if you know of any sources!

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#2 of 11 Old 02-17-2013, 09:26 PM
 
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Quick search turned up these, but I have seen better when doing my Master's--I just don't have those at my fingertips.  I'm thinking of one specifically about math and long-term outcomes that made me scream about how they push and drill math from very early on; and another one that made one of my classes hot with fury about the HeadStart programs greensad.gif  Realize that much of the research is done to justify funding for preschool exposure for lower socio-economic status kids because the historically dominant culture of this country deems them "at risk".  But here are some links to jump off of:

 

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Early-Childhood-Research-Practice/134246975.html

 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8624.1995.tb00866.x/abstract

 

http://www.highscope.org/file/Research/high_scope_curriculum/Curric_factsheet.pdf

 

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02568549309594852

 

Also, Barry Zimmerman is someone that does a lot of writing and research on self-regulated learning.  I could only find some of his articles on it, but I'm pretty sure he did research, too.


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#3 of 11 Old 02-18-2013, 06:57 PM
 
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The classic would be "Better Late than Early" by the Moore's.  You might be able to get it from the library. 

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#4 of 11 Old 02-18-2013, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Many thank yous, ladies - dh is a professor so the academic study is great, and I will check out Moore's book as well! I love this community.
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#5 of 11 Old 02-19-2013, 11:12 AM
 
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I have been thinking about this for a couple days now.

There is plenty of research for waiting and it looks like you've got that.
But sometimes, our marriages need compromise, placating, and a little petting.

I think it would be appropriate to get those foam mats that connect like a puzzle to make a play space with letters and numbers.

With someone that young you could use the padding to catch the falls as walking is becoming a part of his/her reality. It is, IMHO, an appropriate introduction to letters and numbers, it can mark off the play space, and makes a fine puzzle...all things considered, the perfect addition and compromise.

This could bridge the gap between waiting for interest (and could generate interest) and is a helpful learning tool for the young. We still use them as part of our curriculum.

(Although, I suggest you pull all the centers (like B, R, O, etc) as this become obnoxious fast and are used as the world's most disgusting tethers ever...)

Hope that helps. (Let me know if I wasn't clear enough and ill find a link for the foam letter things)
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#6 of 11 Old 02-19-2013, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your reply! 

 

I agree there is always room for compromise in marriage...I guess what I am trying to do is present my philosophy in an articulate way. DH comes from a background of adult-initiated learning and he also does a lot of clapping when baby gets something "right" and beyond that I think he actually doesn't quite understand what is developmentally appropriate for a 13 month old....sometimes he thinks ds is speaking sentences but he's just babbling! 

 

Interestingly - this is marriage #2 for both of us and we have daughters from our previous marriages. My dd is 11 and I was very hands-off with her - she taught herself to read at 3 and is an excellent reader with a very big imagination and serious independent streak. She is pretty spacey and in her own head a lot! Difficult to "get with the program".

Dsd is 9 and has a more difficult time with learning, is a very concrete thinker and very dependent on praise and hand-holding as motivation for learning. She's a lot better at organization and is much easier going though.

 

I think though that those are the girls' personalities though! But it's interesting...DH definitely pushed letters on dsd very early. We were both the primary engaged parent with our dd's and so there is a bit of reckoning that we have to come to consensus and can't just do things our way all the time with the new guy! But it's good for us.

 

I am remembering "How Children Learn" by John Holt as my best resource for this I think. I love that guy. 

 

We do read to ds and I'm not totally opposed to introducing the concept of letters here and there - I just want to explain my thoughts to dh because I do feel that meddling in these early ages can have negative consequences and he has *no* idea what I'm talking about ...it would never occur to him that it could be anything but positive to introduce letters, numbers etc. early. And I have done a lot of reading on early childhood development, whereas he is lacking some basic knowledge on what happens when developmentally in this age group. So I am looking for some "third-party" info.

 

Thank you again everyone!

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#7 of 11 Old 02-23-2013, 06:54 PM
 
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I was shocked to see you are already thinking of letter recognition with a 13mo old. Then I realized I have been following a Waldorf-ish approach which strongly follows delayed academics. Maybe you can get more info on this in a Waldorf group/forum. My DS is 4.5 & is just now asking to learn his letters so we will begin to learn now. So far the only time I have 'worked with letters' was if they were in a story or the alphabet song. I think most research shows that the kids are no better off in the long run learning at 2 than learning at 4 & there may be some negative consequences. 

I highly recommend the book 'yor childs growing mind' by jane healy. chapter 9 in particular.

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#8 of 11 Old 02-23-2013, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you! I was shocked too - it is DH who is gearing up for teaching letters, I am opposed and in agreement with you, though not fully on the Waldorf train :) 

 

Thank you for the recommendation, I will be sure to check it out!

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#9 of 11 Old 03-05-2013, 01:20 PM
 
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Also depends on what he means by teaching written language. You can certainly point out letters, and if the kid's not interested in the moment, just drop it. "Hey, that's a "B!" That letter is in your name too!," just like you might say "Hey, look! A train! Cool! You have toy trains at home too, but this is a big one!" Etc. I don't really see the big problem in this, although I think most kids are not going to get excited about it. Likewise with the foam mat kind of things. Having letter stuff around, and pointing them out once in a while is unlikely to do any harm in my opinion.


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#10 of 11 Old 03-11-2013, 11:25 PM
 
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Perhaps your husband would/should look at research on child development. Here's a great book that looks at LOTS of research. "Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn--and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less" http://www.amazon.com/Einstein-Never-Used-Flashcards-Learn--/dp/1594860688/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363068793&sr=1-1&keywords=einstein+never+used+flashcards

 

My favorite study looked at kids who were in play-based preschools versus academic preschools. Although the academically prepared kids started out kindergarten knowing more academics, by the end of the year all the kids were at the same point academically. The big difference between the two groups was that the kids who had gone to play based preschool were more creative and the ones that had gone to academic preschools were more anxious. 

 

 

My personal favorite homeschooling book  is "Legendary Learning: The Famous Homeschoolers' Guide to Self-Directed Excellence" http://www.amazon.com/Legendary-Learning-Homeschoolers-Self-Directed-Excellence/dp/0983151008/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363067037&sr=1-1&keywords=legendary+learning

 

The author discusses the education of people like Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt, the Wright Brothers, Agatha Christie, etc. etc. All were homeschooled and, essentially, unschooled. It is also a reasonably short book with a powerful message--let children unfold their world so their personal creativity can come through.

 

When I taught nursing I had two main goals for my students: Critical Thinking and How to Find Information (really, who do you want taking care of your sick mom--a health care provider who can recite an encyclopedia and not apply it or one who can look at you and deduce that something is wrong then go to google to find out what to do.) For my children I have those goals plus a third one: Creativity. Teaching academics at 13 months is bound to do nothing but raise an unhappy, anxious, uncreative child. And who do you think will do better as an adult: a creative person who can see outside the box or someone who had the creativity drilled out of them at 13 months?


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#11 of 11 Old 03-12-2013, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post

Perhaps your husband would/should look at research on child development. Here's a great book that looks at LOTS of research. "Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn--and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less" http://www.amazon.com/Einstein-Never-Used-Flashcards-Learn--/dp/1594860688/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363068793&sr=1-1&keywords=einstein+never+used+flashcards

 

My favorite study looked at kids who were in play-based preschools versus academic preschools. Although the academically prepared kids started out kindergarten knowing more academics, by the end of the year all the kids were at the same point academically. The big difference between the two groups was that the kids who had gone to play based preschool were more creative and the ones that had gone to academic preschools were more anxious. 

 

 

My personal favorite homeschooling book  is "Legendary Learning: The Famous Homeschoolers' Guide to Self-Directed Excellence" http://www.amazon.com/Legendary-Learning-Homeschoolers-Self-Directed-Excellence/dp/0983151008/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363067037&sr=1-1&keywords=legendary+learning

 

The author discusses the education of people like Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt, the Wright Brothers, Agatha Christie, etc. etc. All were homeschooled and, essentially, unschooled. It is also a reasonably short book with a powerful message--let children unfold their world so their personal creativity can come through.

 

When I taught nursing I had two main goals for my students: Critical Thinking and How to Find Information (really, who do you want taking care of your sick mom--a health care provider who can recite an encyclopedia and not apply it or one who can look at you and deduce that something is wrong then go to google to find out what to do.) For my children I have those goals plus a third one: Creativity. Teaching academics at 13 months is bound to do nothing but raise an unhappy, anxious, uncreative child. And who do you think will do better as an adult: a creative person who can see outside the box or someone who had the creativity drilled out of them at 13 months?

You hit the nail on the head, Sunday! Thank you for articulating this for me. The book you first mentioned sounds perfect.

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