jacob continues to make me think

This started out as a reply to cannot be trusted's comment, and grew out of control:
I certainly understand your position. And I've come across a lot of crazy parents out to make their baby a genius. My philosophy is that babies LOVE to learn about anything, and it is my job to present her with things she would have otherwise not discovered on her own. I absolutely agree with you about testing, and I feel a little ashamed that I said anything about her picking the right flag, because it is TRULY not the point of the game. Its about stimulating her visual pathway with interesting things. I am actually opposed to testing as a learning tool, and will not use it when I start formally schooling Violet. As much as it sounds like pressure, it really is a game. When she gets the flag wrong I say "Good girl! That's Venezuela!" I also believe that reading is a neurological function, not an academic one, and that children can learn to read as early as they learn language. I think a lot of the issue with reading is that we wait so long to teach children to read, that by the time they learn, the material they are presented with is far below their intellectual level, and bores them to tears. I agree that babies need lots of time to tool around and explore, and Gillian's little baby brain will be chock full of experiential knowledge one way or the other. And keep on crawling!

4 rubber neckers:

gone said...

Right on...in my best former-stoner voice!

Our schools fail children in so many respects its frightening.

But unfortunately, the main reason children struggle with reading (and why successful reading is so closely tied to socioeconomic status) is because of a lack of stimulation as an infant, and a lack of exposure to reading materials at a young age. Exposure is the best medicine to a sick reader, as well as modelling. The more a baby sees mommy or daddy with a book in their hand, the more likely they will pick up one themselves...because they want to know what all the fuss is about on all of those egshell pages littered with fine, dark print. So, when children come into the school system with a well entrenched deficiency, the phonics vs. whole language debate is mute. The battle is uphill, no matter how you look at it. I blame TV.

This got kind of long.

sweetviolet said...

Yes. Right on back. That is why the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" crowd makes me crazy. TV is a major contributing factor to the problem, on so many levels. The shortened attention spans, yes. The needing a song and dance to learn anything. The constant barrage of child-targeted advertising leaving them with glucose crashes and attention problems. And the constant pressure to spend our time, energy and money in the wrong places and on the wrong things.

Many of the parents I've come across in the baby-learning arena take the wrong (in my opinion) view on the whole thing. If I show Violet all the works of Matisse, and she can name them all when she's five, that's neat, and could possibly be useful to her someday. But it's really just gravy. The real payoff is in all the little dendrites that grew in her beautiful little brain when she saw the tone and texture and shape of the images. It really comes down to whether I'm trying to enable Violet to have an easier time learning in her life, or whether I want to say, hey watch my kid name all the presidents. (Which is what the other post implied...sigh) This post got long too, but it’s not like ANYONE ELSE is saying anything.

PS. you may be interested in this

WunEyedDog said...

I'm assuming that was directed at me. Some of us have jobs and deadlines here. Thank you very much. Anyway, I guess I can contribute while I'm defending myself.

I'm sorry I made the comment that started this all. It came across as more negative than intended. I dont' really care if she knows the SA flags when she's 1, 2 or 35. That's not what I think is important. It's important that she does something more than sit in a vibrating chair in front of cartoons while her mother sits outside and smokes with the neighbors. If her looking at this stuff now makes her able to learn better as she ages, so that when she picks what she wants to learn, she can, that's what I'm going for. That was kind of a run on sentence, sorry, but I hope it conveyed my point.
Now. I believe I'll return to my work, thank you very much.

sweetviolet said...

c'mon...its not like planes will crash if you don't do your job...oh wait.


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