Very Early Reading - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 35 Old 02-15-2002, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
geomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My daughter has been very interested in books since she was nine months. At 15 months she shocked the heck out of me by pointing to letters on a box and naming them. She's 22 months now and knows the lower and upper case letters. And she shocked us again, by recognizing words in a story we had never read to her before just last week.

My husband and I were early self-taught readers and as adults are bibliophiles. We aren't totally shocked by her early interest in reading. But we keep asking ourselves, "What are we going to do with this kid?" I guess I am wondering what early education is like with a child that takes to it so easily. What pitfalls should we be on the look out for? What kind of programs might compliment her interests and aptitudes in a couple of years if we go the preschool route?
geomom is offline  
#2 of 35 Old 02-16-2002, 03:07 PM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm also really interested in this subject and am keen to hear from others who have been through early education with children like this. Dd is now seventeen months and knows just about all her letters and some of the sounds. She recognises her name and a few words. Everywhere we go she is pointing out print. People have asked me how I have 'taught' her and it makes me laugh - how could you 'teach' this to a baby? She is just wired to do it.

I've taught early readers in the past, and they have all been very well adjusted in pre-school and through elementary school, as long as the classroom is not too formal and rigid in its curriculum. My friend's five year old daughter was sent home with a pre-reader book on her first day at school. My friend had to return it to school and point out that her daughter had been able to read fluently for over two years. The teacher was very embarrassed, but had just assumed that all children were at the same starting point when the entered school. That would worry me if a teacher showed such a lack of understanding about differentiation.

This is what I would look for in a preschool and school - that the children are treated as individuals and that the curriculum is play and discovery based. Whatever your daughter's ability in reading - or other areas - I think that she needs a play based curriculum at least for the first few years. Open ended activities mean that all children are catered for, whatever their individual needs. There shouldn't then be any need to move children up or down a grade - a good teacher can make a curriculum work for all the individuals in her class by giving open ended tasks and responding to individual needs.

But I do know how you feel. For a few weeks I worried about dd and wondered if I should try to slow her learning down. And I am someone who believes vehemently in maximising the learning potential of children through knowledge and understanding of the brain! I then spoke to a few ex-colleagues who made me sit back and think objectively. It's so easy when you are talking about someone else's child, but so hard when it's your own!

Now I am working again to help dd to learn whatever it is that she wants and needs to learn. We read, read, read. We play with her letters, we draw and write letters when she asks, we 'write' emails and letters to people, and we read the labels on everything. We'll find the right educational environment for her nearer the time, and who knows, by then she may be at the same level as her peers anyway! I've decided to relax about it and enjoy her enthusiasm.
Britishmum is offline  
#3 of 35 Old 02-17-2002, 11:12 PM
 
zombiemommie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: NJ
Posts: 391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Different twist - *I* was an early reader, reading stories by 3 and in pre-kindergarden was paraded into a 3rd grade classroom to read one of their books (I remember this vividly-I was very uncomfortable). Anywho, I was skipped to the 1st grade from pre-k however I was not very socially mature at that time, still crying for my mom often. I was "bullied" per se by others in the early grades and remained quite sensitive (also from dysfunctional household, who knows what was from what LOL). The point of this story is that, altho I was reading on a 4th grade level at early age 5, the other areas in my schooling were never developed (perhaps because I was too young for the subject material, perhaps because it was "hard" for me and reading was easy and I didn't like to work? ) I was "pushed" along and I did not develop good math skills until COLLEGE. I was getting c's and d's in math and everybody pushed me along, ultimately doing things like giving me extra credit to boost my end grades because I was such a good reader. Nobody could comprehend putting a good reader into remedial math classes. I know that in 6th grade my mother had to work with me with FLASH cards for simple multiplication tables (I'm talking 3x6). This happened even into high school. I think it is great to nurture the reading, because it is a lifelong enjoyment and can enrich your life in so many ways. I just say "be careful" and be sure to encourage the other areas as well, so that your child has balance, and should your child be an exceptional reader, not to place too much focus on THAT but on the whole as well.

BTW, my 19 month old son has been pointing out letters since about 13 months old, anywhere and everywhere. Actually he used to hate the car seat and once he discovered signs, he's been a joy. He used to mimic my intonations from reciting the alphabet whenever he'd see a letter, but now he can identify certain letters b, o, s, x, y, z and will identify a few words like "moon" and "book". However he isn't a big talker yet so I'm not sure what he "really" understands. I read to him, but he is a busy child and would rather be jumping on the furniture LOL. I hope that I am able to instill a LOVE of reading rather than the the ability to read. DH struggles with reading and he talks about how he never like to read as a child - I, however, enjoyed being "sent to my room" because I could read all day long ! NOt a punishment to me !

What smart little babies we have, huh ?
zombiemommie is offline  
#4 of 35 Old 02-18-2002, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
geomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you. I guess my real concern is keeping it well rounded. When I think about it though, I don't think it will be a big problem. I am a math/science geek and dh likes science too. I probably will have to keep a close eye on preschool/school to make sure they keep it well rounded too. Of course, I will be involved anyway.

So far her interests are wide and varied. Right now she is more interested in us making up stories than reading books. Every rock, stick, and leaf she picks up has to have a story. Good opportunities to introduce natural history. Ack! Our imaginations are being seriously taxed though. Luckily, she likes repetition. And when I get tired of reading and story telling, we practicing kicking the ball and running around the apartment giving loud whoops an hoots. The neighbors probably think we're crazy.
geomom is offline  
#5 of 35 Old 02-18-2002, 01:40 PM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Zombiemommie - I think you have a great point and a clear illustration of what can go wrong if people mishandle early reading.

Like Geomom, I make sure that dd has a well rounded experience. We do all the normal toddler activities - music, art, mess, play, and a visit to the park every day. Maths doesn't worry me as she seems as forward in maths skills as reading - she sorts her bricks by colour and shape and knows some of her colours and shapes. I haven't formally 'taught' her but she insists on being told! Dh is an engineer so they spend hours building with lego.

Dd is more cautious about gross motor activities than her peers though - she will climb but wants often to hold my hand and takes a long time to tackle new apparatus, where her little friends seem to whizz off while she is still standing looking! It seems that her nature is to think first whereas many of them seem to climb then deal with it if they get stuck. I am trying to encourage her to be more adventurous, but I think it is her character to be cautious and weigh up all the possibilities before acting - the same as dh!

I'm not so worried about her home experience, but more about how schools treat children who are literate early. That is my main concern - finding a school that suits her needs at the time and where she won't be accelerated through grades just because she can read well.

Homeschooling is not an option for us unless I really couldn't find somewhere where dd is happy. I'm trying not to worry for now, although I do have to go to look at pre-schools to get her name on waiting lists. I'm hoping to find somewhere with a good playbased curriculum where all round development is fostered.
Britishmum is offline  
#6 of 35 Old 03-02-2002, 06:55 PM
 
battymomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: mn
Posts: 723
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
britishmum--i appreciate that you said you want to find a school where your babe won't be accelerated just b/c she reads well early!
i am reading The Hurried Child right now and that is one of the things the author (david elkind?) says. it is good to have the gifted and talented programs, but not if they are actually at the expense of our kids!
battymomma is offline  
#7 of 35 Old 03-03-2002, 04:27 PM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Battymomma - I'll look up that book. It sounds interesting. I see so many people here who were rushed through grade levels until they were at college at the age of fifteen or sixteen. Yuck.

It amazes me that so many people want their child accelerated up grade levels. I want my child to fulfil her potential and use her intelligence to full advantage, but I want her equally to develop emotional intelligence and life skills - and be well-adjusted and happy! That means that she needs to spend a lot of her time socialising and playing age appropriate games with children of her own age, not be involved only in activities with children who are much older than her, just because she can read or do maths as well as them.

Anyway, I'll check out that book - who knows if I will need it, but it's good to be prepared!
Britishmum is offline  
#8 of 35 Old 03-03-2002, 06:52 PM
 
battymomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: mn
Posts: 723
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
yes, it is very good, very interesting. has really helped my attitude change about many things these past few days.
i HAD to buy it for a college class, but never really read it or appreciated it then. now i am totally absorbed and thinking about it the way i should, not like a college kid forced to read, KWIM!
battymomma is offline  
#9 of 35 Old 03-26-2002, 06:28 PM
 
AmyB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by zombiemommie
The point of this story is that, altho I was reading on a 4th grade level at early age 5, the other areas in my schooling were never developed
I also read at 3 years old, and had the same problem that because I was a good reader teachers assumed I was also good at math (I was not particularly) and that I could comprehend what I read (I could not always). In elementary school I initially had the problem that teachers sent me home with inappropriately easy reading material, but in later grades the school curriculum had self-paced reading modules or reading lists so that wasn't a problem any more. You might want to find out if your daughter's school has this kind of self-paced instruction.

A child who likes to read mainly needs lots of access to books. Get her a library card and let her pick out books she wants to read. Try not to censor too much. A kid who can read will figure out how to read "off limits" books behind your back anyhow. If there are books you especially want her to read, just leave them around in your bookshelf or under the couch.

--AmyB
AmyB is offline  
#10 of 35 Old 04-14-2002, 08:45 AM
 
mamasi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was an early reader, too, and agree with much of what has been said here already. Just wanted to add that while I totally agree that one should not censor what one's kid reads, paying attention carefully, talking with your child about it, is really key. I read books that were way over my head because I was a skilled reader but I lacked the social context for understanding what was going on. For example, I read Little Women when I was five, and when Beth dies I was totally traumatized. I still remember how sad and confused I was about why she died--it made me depressed for what seems now like a long time. I wish that my parents had asked me about things I was reading and given me a way to talk about it (maybe some kids will just speak up, but for whatever reason I didn't). That's my goal for myself, if ds turns out to be into reading!
mamasi is offline  
#11 of 35 Old 04-14-2002, 03:11 PM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That's a great point, Mamasi, about making sure that reading material is age-appropriate. Dd already loves books that are meant for age 4-6, although of course I am reading them to her. I find it strange when she brings books to other people, and they flick through and coo at the pictures for her and say things like 'Oooh, pretty kitty!' when she already knows the story. She gets frustrated and keeps saying 'Read the book' but most people just can't believe that she really means it!

I have had to put some books away as she loves to look at them but I worry about the content. For example, Not Now Bernard, where the monster eats the little boy. You really have to look through books carefully to check what they contain, and try to imagine what they would mean to the child, who has the ability to understand the content but not necessarily the emotional maturity to separate out that it is humour or fantasy.
Britishmum is offline  
#12 of 35 Old 04-14-2002, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
geomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Britishmum and mamasi- Good points. Dd loves Beatrix Potter, but we've had to edit a couple of them a bit because dd gets upset when the animals eat each other.

Right now she is giving letters and words a short break and going crazy over puzzles, blocks, and numbers. Now I worry about her doing jig-saw puzzles meant for 4 year olds.

Of course I worry she doesn't speak in sentences yet too. She does combinations of signs, words and gestures to get her meaning across. But of course, I meet these toddlers who are speaking in sentences and wonder when dd will start.

I can be such a mom.
geomom is offline  
#13 of 35 Old 04-18-2002, 07:43 AM
 
USAmma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 18,763
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Abi is 16 mos. old and can recite most of the alphabet with me, count to 10, recognizes a few letters in both Tamil (dh's language) and English, and knows a couple of colors. No I did not set out to make her a brain child, nor do I think she's "gifted". I just make learning a game and she's so ready to learn whatever I teach her. This started with me just talking to her. Sometimes I couldn't think of anything to say so I would recite a poem or the alphabet or count to 10. Just in the last two weeks she's shown all the skills listed above. Totally blew us away!

I read a book in India called Teach Your Baby To Read and it was facinating but too much effort. Besides, I asked myself what was the rush in teaching her to read? She can learn at the normal age. I didn't really expect her to learn all that she has by now, but we just keep making it a game and she enjoys it. She's even starting to write letters in Tamil as well as trying to copy the 5 pointed star, and does well with circles. My MIL is an artist and of course says it's in her genes to draw well. ;-) It's part of dh's routine to come home and spend time drawing out and naming letters on the magnadoodle. Abi gets it for him sometimes and then after he's drawn it she copies it.

We do read to her a lot but she's not interested in sitting for the whole story. So mostly we just point to the pictures and tell her the story in summary. She started the letter recognition with an ABC book that had one big letter on each page in red, plus one big picture to go with it. Now when she sees a letter A like in her magnetic fridge magnets, she calls it "apple." It's just facinating to see her brain developing! At the same time I'm in no rush to push her. Just going by her cues.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
USAmma is offline  
#14 of 35 Old 04-18-2002, 08:30 AM
PM
Banned
 
PM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,707
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
**slightly off-topic, sorry***

Zombiemommie - You and I had very similar experiences in school. I always went to reading class in the higher grades, or read those reading card/questionnaire thingies in my classroom about 500 times. I had C, D and even F grades in math. In college I needed 2 points on my math entrance exam to get out of taking remedial math. My English score, however, got me into 300-level English and creative writing classes. My advisor happened to be the director of the Creative Writing program, so she did me no favor by "giving" me those 2 points so I could concentrate on my writing. Of course, later on, to support that underpaid (non-paying) writing career I needed a "real" job, one where I had to do all sorts of math. Well, I finally learned my math, and loved it.

**back to regularly scheduled thread, in which I can't participate because Iris has enough trouble learning two languages, much less reading already!**
PM is offline  
#15 of 35 Old 04-18-2002, 11:24 PM
 
USAmma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 18,763
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ParisMaman
this is off topic too but I enjoyed hearing the story of Iris' name on that name thread, esp. the grandmother's journal! That is so cool!

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
USAmma is offline  
#16 of 35 Old 04-20-2002, 11:30 AM
 
SeaMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Seattle
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My ds first recognized words at age 2, read fluently by age 3, and now, at age 5, is devouring chapter books faster than we can procure them. It is such a joy to have him share our love of reading! But there are a number of challenges too, as you gals have discussed. The main one has been to shield him from excess praise from other people, who want to freak out and talk about what a "genius" he is. It drives me crazy when people say to him "Oh, you can read? You're so smart!" He is incredibly gifted but it has always been our goal that he be happy, rather than accomplished. So we have never pushed the academic stuff, we just follow his lead (which he makes very clear!) as to what he wants to do. And he is totally well-rounded, he likes to play with Legos and run around shrieking with his friends as much as he likes reading.

The other challenge right now is finding appropriate books for him, and this is a tough one. This is a kid who will read the newspaper if we leave it lying around ("Mom, what's a serial rapist?"), but even though he reads at an adult level he is still only 5 and needs to be protected from inappropriate information. He is too young for the Harry Potter books, for example. I have just found an awesome children's librarian at a library across town, who after learning that ds is an early reader spent 20 minutes dashing all over the children's section and coming back with stacks and stacks of books. I wanted to kiss her!

Sometimes I wonder what it's like for him to have so much more information streaming into his brain than other kids his age. I get overwhelmed when I think about it too much, because quite frankly, he's about to bypass us and we can barely keep up! Thank god he just got accepted into the perfect school for him, where they celebrate the uniqueness of each child and teach with an inquiry-based style rather than textbook.

Whew, long post, but it's one of my favorite topics and it's the first time I've wandered into this forum!
SeaMama is offline  
#17 of 35 Old 04-20-2002, 06:09 PM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's so reassuring to hear from others whose children are doing these things early. Sometimes I find it hard being around other parents of children the same age (19 months), although luckily a good friend's little girl is now talking and interacting with dd, so we have somebody 'closer' to our experience. Dd seems instinctively to prefer to play wiht this little girl, because she will want to do some of the same things such as look at books and stay focused on an activity for a longer time.

Another mother asked me the other day if dd is interested in colours. What could I say? She's known her colours for several months - she knew a couple at one year, and I thought I was truly going mad thinking it, until my mum realised and mentioned it.

I sometimes want to talk to other people about my concerns about my child in the same way that others do if they are worried for example, that their child isn't talking yet. But if you say anything, those parents think you're crazy! It's like you can only worry if you think your child might be behind the average, not if they are above.

We are working hard to foster all the play things, and she adores playing with lego and toy cars etc. Although then I watch her build with all the yellow bricks, or sort out all the red cars and line them up, and see other children going 'brum brum' with theirs. I go with the flow, answer her questions and enjoy watching her develop, but I still worry about school. We'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it, but it's good to hear other people's experiences and be prepared for what might lie ahead.
Britishmum is offline  
#18 of 35 Old 04-21-2002, 10:01 AM
 
mamaat40's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi Everyone - this is my first post to Mothering. Glad I found you guys. Dh and I have one son, Max, 14 mos. Last night I was over at a friend's house who introduced me to the concepts in Teach your Baby to Read by Dolman. Her son was reading novels by age 4, etc. He's in public school, age appropriate grade, but is an accelerated reader. Anyway what this method involves is, it piqued my interest as we have not done anything like this for Max --we read to him lots and he's always busy with his toys-- is having separate flash cards beginning with names of people he knows -- mommy, daddy, grandma, etc., pets names...-- 3 times a day you are supposed to just run through them - saying the name while he sees the word. Then you go to body parts and then to common items he knows. You make a group of flash cards for each-- (eyes, ears nose, etc,) and cup, spoon, fork, plate, etc, and flash these (just once - 3x/day) while you say the word. It's word recognition he's learning. Later on, my friend said she'd put the word on the item (these were the bigger items, not the silverware I guess) like refrigerator, oven.....

Also included - Dolman has a kit or you can make your own - is phonics - flash cards with "eigh" "ing" "sp" "st" etc. and you say these while you flash in front of your child, just once, 3x/day.

You can also make booklets with pictures on one side, the word on the other and flash through those. Seemed to me like just a way to bring in more stimulation, while not pushing him, etc. I'm not interested in hurrying him at all. The cool thing was all the stacks of categories she had -- pictures of animals, famous paintings, flowers... : I'm thinking of doing this. Thanks for all the thoughtful replies from you accelerated readers. I'm a bit hesitant in starting this, too.

margi
dh bob, ds max 14 mos.
mamaat40 is offline  
#19 of 35 Old 04-21-2002, 10:11 AM
PM
Banned
 
PM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,707
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I guess my question would be: How does this benefit my child? What does it bring my child to be an accelerated reader? Future success? No thanks. Better grades? If he/she loves school, those will come naturally. A true love of reading? Maybe not.

What do you all think? I've read to Iris since before she came out of my womb, but I did it to spend time with her, to interact with her, not to teach her how to read. She loves books; she "reads" every book she owns 3-4 times every single day.
PM is offline  
#20 of 35 Old 04-21-2002, 12:06 PM
 
SeaMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Seattle
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I feel very strongly that little kids, pre-kindergarten ages, do not need to be "taught" to read. I think that, by being around lots of books and being read to by enthusiastic parents, if they pick it up early, great. But early readers are not the norm, most kids don't start until at least 5 or so. And the way my ds started to read was by whole word recognition, he has no clue about phonics or anything, but he now reads like an adult and can sound out words and is learning rules of grammar etc. as he goes. Which I think is the natural way for early readers to do it. I think phonics and other methods of teaching reading is fantastic for older kids but actually might be detrimental for little ones. If they are totally into it and that's what they want to do, great, but I don't see the point in rushing it. I know it is believed that early readers generally have an easier time of it in school, but while I don't even necessarily think this is true (I was an early reader and completely fell through the cracks at school), I also don't think the converse is true: non-early readers (normal-paced readers) can and do have very successful school lives.

This is JMO, and I know lots and lots of people don't agree. I just feel it's one of those things where people seem anxious to have their kids grow up too fast.
SeaMama is offline  
#21 of 35 Old 04-22-2002, 06:08 PM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
mamaat40, I think that any system like the one you describe would be fine if used in play and exploration. Personally, I wouldn't set aside time to use flashcards in that manner, but I'd let my child play with them and enjoy matching and sorting them - which is what they like to do with picture dominoes etc. If it is play, then it is going to be an enriching experience. If a child is interested, he or she will want to get out the cards and play with them, if he isn't, then maybe the time isn't right.

I would be extremely wary of cards using phonics with very young children. As somebody else said, early readers learn by whole word recognition - they tend to be strongly visual learners who can easily learn to recognise the shape of a word. These children usually have to learn phonics at a later stage. (I didn't learn phonics until I was in college, they were a mystery to me as I was an early whole-word reader). Peronally, I don't think that 'teaching' reading using phonics has a place in the very early years. A phonic sound with its spelling is an abstract concept that doesnt have a place in the very early years, in my opinion.

The brain is phenomonal and we are only just discovering what it can do. There is no reason to assume that even children who are not naturally visual learners cannot learn to recognise whole words if they are exposed to them. It makes sense to use family names etc first. Dd learned to read my name from a name badge at our music class. The first I realised it, was when she started spelling it out on the fridge with her fridge magnets when we got home! Now she can recognise our family names and picks out words like 'daddy' and 'mummy' from books of her own accord.

I have no doubt that these systems work, but I think that they should be play and discovery based, not used in an overly structured manner. And above all, the child has to learn to love books, otherwise the motivation to learn to read independently is not going to be there.
Britishmum is offline  
#22 of 35 Old 04-22-2002, 08:35 PM
 
mamaat40's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks Parismaman, SeaMama and Britishmum for the words of wisdom......being read to, around books a lot, love of books most important. Of course I want ds to balance emotional intelligence too, and the more i thought about my friend and her situation with her son the early reader, something about how structured and invested she was in him being an early reader seemed a little off to me. Whereas just following your child's lead and perhaps playing with words and letters now seems more natural --- thanks!
mamaat40 is offline  
#23 of 35 Old 04-23-2002, 11:56 AM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
mamaat40 - how wise you are!

Playing with letters satisfies that part of dd that wants to learn to read. We've ended up with letters on the fridge, abc puzzles, letters in the bath, two sets of alphabet bricks - in fact, letters all over the house! This has come from her, since she grabbed the first set in a toy shop and wouldn't let go. They are a 'toy' like anything else, she gets them out as she would get out the lego or her dolls to play.

This is so important, by handling the letters themselves she is using the sense of touch and learning kinesthetically, not just visually. Within a couple of weeks she could name all of them, which pleased her enormously. Now, of her own accord, she will sort out all the letter Bs from each set, or all the pink letters, or bring me some of the letters from my name or her name, etc etc.

I see nothing wrong with providing these materials as toys, even if your child doesn't ask for them, and incorporating them into his or her play. But that is different to going through flashcards with a tiny tot. Children learn through play, so I would tap into that natural propensity to learn, not use a formal system.

Flashcards can be fun - we have a set from Baby Einstein of animal photographs, but they need to be kept for play, in my opinion. And alongside all this, reading, reading and more reading!
Britishmum is offline  
#24 of 35 Old 06-26-2002, 08:43 PM
 
zipworth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 1,243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hello everyone, I have been working as a preschool teacher for eight years, and I have seen a lot of amazingly bright children. Children that are very bright seem to be able to absorb knowledge naturally from the world around them. A sensitive preschool teacher will keep bright children stimulated by monitering their interests and providing them with experiences to nurture thier natural instinct for learning. That being said, the most important learning that occurs in the preschool years is the aquiring of social and emotional skills that enable the child to deal with others in an empathic manner. Children, no matter how bright, need to learn how to deal with other human beings in a compassionate environment. To me this is more important than whenther or not a child is being stimulated cognitively.
zipworth is offline  
#25 of 35 Old 06-26-2002, 09:08 PM
Banned
 
~member~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: on a lily pad
Posts: 13,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
zipworth!! Where were you when I was in preschool??? Are there more of you? If yes, will you send some here? Perhaps there are even college professors?? The teachers here seem only interested in making 'good, hard workers' to work in tomorrows low paying jobs.

I think what you said is sooo important. If teachers were this way in every grade/level of education, imagine the difference. Children who were not shunned/shamed and could develop their full intelligence.

Well, this is probably a different thread, so just to stay on topic, I was also an early reader. For third grade I did my book report on a VC Andrews book I had found on the street, talk about watching what your children are reading LOL! I went to a Catholic school, so you can just imagine the consequences of that.

I agree with earlier posts regarding rounding out one's education. Or at least working a little harder on the weaker aspects.
~member~ is offline  
#26 of 35 Old 06-27-2002, 12:06 AM
 
SeaMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Seattle
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Zipworth, I love what you said! My ds (very early reader - reading at 4th-6th grade level now) is graduating from preschool this week and starting k-garten in the fall. The reason we sent him to preschool is to become socialized, because he went in being pretty much "ready" for kindergarten scholastically, but he definitely needed socializing and the 2 years he has been there have accomplished just that. It seems that for many people these days, preschool has become "prep school" for kindergarten, academically speaking, and then I think you lose out on those wonderful few years where school is pure fun.
SeaMama is offline  
#27 of 35 Old 06-27-2002, 02:47 AM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Zipworth - I totally agree.

What does worry me though is that so many people seem to think that cognitive development and social learning have to be mutually exclusive - ie that if a child is learning to read and write early, they must be missing out on play and developing social skills.

The 'I want my child to play and not be made to learn' attitude misses the point, in my opinion. Work and play are the same thing, and different children have different play - or work - needs. You can't 'make' a child learn anyway, what you do is offer the stimulating curriculum and let them follow their natural course - which is to learn!

A good preschool caters for all aspects of child development and treats children as individuals. I like your description of a sensitive preschool teacher very much!
Britishmum is offline  
#28 of 35 Old 07-02-2002, 04:40 PM
 
EnviroBecca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 5,203
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
I also think Zipworth's description of preschool is wonderful. I attended a wonderful preschool that definitely supported my ability to learn instead of TEACHING. One of the things about it that I appreciate most in retrospect is that the unstructured part of each session, between the structured activities at beginning and end, was called Work Time. We could work at drawing pictures, running, observing the gerbils, doing puzzles, dressing dolls--the work of children.

I was a precocious reader, too. I think my parents did a good job of encouraging my interest without pressuring me. One of my earliest clear memories is learning to read, when I was 3. I had figured out that the words on the page somehow told the adults what the story said, but it hadn't occurred to me that I could learn that ability (I thought it was one of those things that would show up when I became an adult, like breasts) until we were at a yard sale and I asked my dad about a particular book, and he said, "That's a book that's used to teach children to read." I then insisted on having this book. My dad told me the title, Tip (which turned out to be the name of the dog featured in the book), and I guess the fact that it was just one word and the fact that I knew a book's title was printed on the cover combined so that I suddenly understood that the word on the cover of this book was the word Tip. I was enthralled! I went thru the whole book, finding Tip every time it appeared. I wouldn't let my parents read me the book; I insisted I was going to read it myself, and they humored me; every so often I would ask them to identify another word, and then I would go thru the book again with one more word I could read. I remember being so pleased to realize that the capital letter I when used all by itself was the word "I"! After a few days of being obsessed with this project, totally self-motivated, I could read that whole little book, and I just kept going from there. My parents claim (I don't remember this) that they came home from something once and found the babysitter struggling to respond to my demand that she spell "bicentennial" with the fridge magnets.

Not only did my parents not make a big deal of my learning to read, but they discouraged me from being stuck-up about it. Whenever I was acting superior to a kid who couldn't read, they would point out something the other kid could do that I couldn't, like jump rope. "Everyone is really good at something," they said. It was a much better attitude than that of one friend's mother, who seemed to take her daughter's athletic prowess for granted but was constantly raving about my reading. Not only did she say to her daughter, "Why don't you have Becca teach YOU to read?" but once she called me into the living room when they had guests and showed me off to the guests by having me read from her much-older daughter's textbook. (I didn't understand what I was reading, but I did my best to pronounce the words.) That hardly boosted my self-esteem, because although the adults were impressed, they were looking at me as if I were in a side-show! Ironically, what I'd been doing when my friend's mother had summoned me for this performance was reading a story to my friend, who loved it because her parents and siblings never read to her....:

Anyway, I think it's important to provide resources for kids to explore their interests and to give them help when they ask for it ("What's this word?") but refrain from making a big deal out of it. Let them know you're proud of what they've learned, but don't suggest what they should tackle next; just let it come naturally. Sounds like all of you with precocious kids are doing well at that so far!

Mama to a boy EnviroKid treehugger.gif 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby baby.gif!

I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more. computergeek2.gif

EnviroBecca is offline  
#29 of 35 Old 07-03-2002, 02:00 AM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Envirobecca - what a wonderful memory you have, and how well your parents dealt with your abilities.

I recall as a child being told to 'put that book down' and 'come outside and play like all the other children' - like I was some sort of oddball. It did nothing for my self-esteem, and made me even more reluctant to go outside and play!

I hope with my children that I will be able to appreciate that they have their own interests and preferences, and be comfortable in supporting them in what they want to do. It can be hard when their choices aren't necessarily what you think they 'should' be - but parenting is one big learning experience!
Britishmum is offline  
#30 of 35 Old 07-03-2002, 02:56 PM
 
sleepies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: illinois
Posts: 2,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
wow! Alex mostly will just pull the book away from me and wants to hold it himself. i am thinking of getting 2copies of some books, so he can hold one while i read.

you are lucky that much interest is being expressed!!!!

go with it!

i'd read to that baby all the time! how great!
sleepies is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off