Friday, January 18, 2008

Having faith in yourself and your parenting style

When all my mommy friends are doing baby kumon or flash cards or some kind of enrichment activity I don't know whether or not to jump on the latest fad band-wagon and do something "educational" with Sophie too. But I think I'll keep letting Sophie decide what she wants to learn and I think we're okay... We will just keep reading, talking and playing with her in different languages and see where it takes us. I am pretty sure that not many 20 month olds can say "armadillo" and "hippopotamus" when it appears in their picture book. We've definitely left the "farmyard" variety of animals behind us and (apart from dinosaurs - which is her other favourite) she loves looking through a dog breeding book and we show her "labrador" and "german shepard" and "border collie".

... the best predictor of how a child will do in school is not reading ability but rather the size and richness of the child's vocabulary....
conducted a meticulous longitudinal study tracking the vocabulary growth in young children coming from three types of families: professional class, working class, and those who were on welfare. The results were stunning, and depressing for anyone who is troubled by inequity. ... Across four years, the average child from a professional family would have heard nearly 45 million words spoken to them, the average child from a working class family, 26 million, and the average child from a family on welfare, 13 million. That means that compared with the affluent child, the poor child would be starting school with an astonishing deficit of 32 million words of language experience. ... As long as parents are exposing their children to a nurturing, vibrant environment, reading to them regularly, and speaking with them intelligently, they should feel free to put the flash cards away


You can read the full article here

3 comments:

J Comparet said...

No flash cards in our routine either...we read a lot but these stats of a 32 million difference is amazing! Also read about your creative liberties with Snow White and Cinderella etc...did you censor all evil queens and step mum too, cos I read somewhere that fairy tales are a way to introduce our cruel world to children...have you read the original Cinderella story?? (shivers) but I think Disney still could do better...eg intelligent female characters, not one that depends on magical intervention. For DVDs, I've almost ban Cinderella. Barbie - princess and the peasant is fine...you'll know what I mean...although at the begining I still censored some stuff...wonder if I'm being over protective!?

Irreverent Football Tragic said...

Surely, there is no more important a word to learn than LABRADOR. Sophie will go very very far!

PS: Baby kumons? That's sick. As if kids didn't have short enough childhoods. Anyway, your baby's multilingualism will help her to learn/comprehend way faster than her peers, no matter her age. No worries there!

Ash said...

Nice article. Thanks for sharing! :)