Friday, November 6, 2009

Email from Intellectual Baby

Some people are so closed minded to teaching babies to read. I just don't get it. When I learned this stuff I completely
embraced it because I already had children and saw what they were capable of learning. This was just a natural next step to take. How can people be so closed minded to teaching kids and giving them a strong start in life?

I just had to post this because I could sense the frustration in this email. She has dedicated part of her life to her children's advancement, and wants to see others do the same. I got into a flame war a while back on a forum that was totally unrelated to parenting, but a had a subforum for Parenthood. A poster asked about the Your Baby Can Read Program, and there was completely uniform dissent from every poster except me. People are closed-minded for several reasons. I will list them here.

1) The phonics vs. sight words debate. Many educators are against the use of sight words and are for the exclusive use of phonics for reading education. Because they are only familiar developmentally with 6 year olds, they apply this anti-sight reading stance to babies as well.
2) People do not want their children to be particularly advanced or smart, because they remember not liking their smart peers in school.
3) They worry about their children fitting in socially more than they worry about their literacy.
4) They do not believe that babies can really learn to read.
5) Alternatively, they believe if babies can learn to read it is a useless skill for a baby to have.
6) They believe "just reading" to your child is the only appropriate exposure of a child to the printed word.
7) There are very very annoying parents out there that show off their babies skills in a very condescending way to other parents, and there is nothing worse than being "that parent."
8) And finally, they believe that they learned to read at an early age from a parent who just read to them. Or know a story about some one who did.
9) Some one told them that all children read at a 3rd grade level in the 3rd grade and they don't use their common sense to determine whether that could possibly even be true.
10) They don't like to read much themselves.

I know it's been work for her to market her product, but the community of Americans who would want their child to know anything beyond the ABC song going to kindergarten is very small.

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