Learning baby

I remember the first time I took Bean to one of my old workplaces and the head anchor there was like, “Lisa do you read to her?” “Um, not really,” I answered quite sheepishly. “Oh, I read to my boys all the time. I’d nurse them for hours and just read and read.”

I came home and was a little freaked out and intimidated. Oh, no! What if I was already stunting Bean’s development? I didn’t even have any kids books yet. I remember calling my sister-in-law and asking her if I should already be reading. A few weeks later Ruth brought up a mini-library for Bean and I started trying to read sometimes, but she honestly wasn’t at all interested.

Within the past year, Stephen has really started to love reading and learning. He is rarely without a book these days and his guitars and amps are mostly sitting around collecting dust. Part of that makes me a little sad as I’ve always been a big proponent of his musical endeavors, but it just isn’t where he’s at right now. I do love, however, the effect of both of us reading all the time has on Bean. Like most kids she wants to copy everything we do and being such a Papa’s girl this is especially true of anything he does. She loves to pull out her books when we do and look at the pictures, point to things in the book and ask us, “Isth ut?” (which I think might mean “What is that?” or “What is it?”) and have us read to her.

The past couple months I’ve also started going on starfall.com a couple times a week and doing a few letters with her until she gets bored. And then for her birthday, my sister, Andrea, gave us the Your Baby Can Read! language development system which has been featured on infomercials and TV shows. I admit to thinking this thing is quite cheesy, but I read through the materials and what he says about early learning seems to make sense.

I am not, however, willing to dedicate a daily allotment of time for reviewing the DVD, books and flash cards. I think his system is a bit strict for a child this young. Plus, I think the way the system goes about teaching words encourages sight-reading over phonics (which is why I continue to use starfall).

In the few weeks since we started using it though, Bean has learned some of the words. While she can’t say all of them, she does recognize clap (she claps her hands when it is said), mouth (will point to her mouth), baby (she can actually say this one), arms up (does this), and hi (waves).

Clapping after pointing to the word clap and hearing me say it.

Waving “hi” after I pointed to the girl waving hi and said hi to her.

I really don’t think there is much to his system though that most parents couldn’t cobble together on their own. I think the biggest part is just actually setting aside time to either read or go over words, pictures, letters, colors, etc. Repetition seems to be a big part of it too. I also think it is important to watch their cues when they are this young. If they are clearly disinterested and ready to move on to the next thing, I wouldn’t force them to continue to sit through the rest of the video or book or whatever.

She really likes pointing to the tiger and hearing me say that one. I’m not sure why.

Anyway, a few friends asked me to do a bit of a review of the product and that is what I think so far. I guess this means homeschooling has already begun around here?


Filed under Family, Homeschooling, Literary Love, Parenting, Reviews

3 responses to “Learning baby

  1. Liz

    I love starfall.com. My three year old and I use it all the time for his Kindergarten curriculum. We are homeschooling as well. As for my 1 year old, he listens when we read to the older one. He has his own books as well that he pulls out of his basket and looks at. And honestly, I think that’s all he needs at 1. The only reason we are homeschooling our three year old already is because he’s testing at a 5 year old level. We wouldn’t have started already otherwise. Well, we wouldn’t have called it homeschooling. 1 is a little young to call it that. lol.

  2. Ruth

    You homeschooler, you. 😛

    I read a statistic that children who grow up in a home where one or both parents read regularly are very, very likely to grow up to be readers themselves. You should get the Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease – it’s fantastic and will help you understand all of the reasons why you should read to your kids as often as you can.

    Lizzie was always very interested in looking at books and being read to, from a very early age (6 months?), and I am sure that is why she has such strong language skills now. Half-pint has just recently really become interested in being read to and now that she is I can see the beginnings of these skills developing in her, too. Kids are amazing, they are capable of learning so much, and the amount of time we spend teaching them and guiding them is a huge factor in how much.

    So have fun with all of the learning that is going to be taking place in your home! It is such an amazing process, watching them learn to talk, recognize letters and sounds, and then finally put it together and be able to read their first words. An unforgettable experience. 😀

  3. So cute! You should teach her some simple baby signs (check out some books at the library) so she can communicate. It really does reduce frustration with little ones. 🙂

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