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Your Child's Reading ability

  1. #17
    hkmama1 is offline Registered User
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    Just let kids be kids in Kindergarten cause the pressure comes on in primary. Each child develops at their own pace and we should stop comparing our kids to others, that is the worst thing we can do for them. Easier said then done in HK, I know.....

    My own son started reading books very well in his primary school life and at home because he just loves books. He started reading on his own accord and it went from there. The stronger the love the kid has for books the better....

  2. #18
    sherron is offline Registered User
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    okay I have to agree with Fee and would like to ask what is the point of children learning to read early? I do know kids who have taught themselves or who were avid book babies and showed such intense interest that the parents had to teach them because it was thing that brought their child the most joy.
    Am yet to see a link between early reading and increased brain capacity or higher university grades or a better job after university.
    I love to read and do read books, but one of my boys just uses books as a missile ( 3 yrs old) and the other (20 mths) adores books and pick them up to read to me whenever he can.

    go with your childs giftings and let them learn to read when they have the desire to learn.

  3. #19
    Bubbly is offline Registered User
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    Perhaps I should rewrite my message.

    My emphasis is really learning through play, so you can teach your baby to read, roll over, play music or whatever you fancy, but you should do it in a way that it is fun. That is something that I know has worked for me as I was brought up this way.

    There is no 'right or wrong' way to teach a child because there will never be proof that it would have been better if you did this ot that for your child. I thikn at the end of the day, we all want our children to be happy and I am sure everyone has different views of what happiness means. So for a lot of parents in Hong Kong, they feel that by allowing their children to learn early etc. they have a head start in getting into better schools, which in turn will help them get better jobs, better salaries, therefore more comfortable lives... which equals happiness. So we cannot say that they are wrong in this sense.

    I am still going to play with my baby using the Doman cards, since she really does enjoy them. It is not about having her read at 4 months, but it is an activity we both enjoy doing together

  4. #20
    run4fun is offline Registered User
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    True, no one is in the position to judge the "right or wrong" way of teaching a child, but whatever that you are doing to a child WILL have a LIFE-LONG impact on that child. We all want our child to have a happy childhood. Who doesn't? But if there is one thing in the whole world that parents want more than "the happy childhood", it must be "A happy life" for their children. Simply put, What we truly want is: A happy childhood that prepares them for a happy and desirable life.

    Your formula here is: learning early (in a happy way) will lead to a head start, which will in turn lead to a better school, then better job, better salary and better life. First of all, let us not focus on head start. In any competition, the winner is always determined at the finishing line, not the starting point. And even if we could place our child ahead on the starting point, we cannot run the race for him. He needs to be mentally and physically ready and run the race himself. Better life and better jobs needed to be pursuit after by themselves. Motivation, determination are all part of the "early learning" that cannot be learned from just books and flash cards.

    Another critical point that I must raise here is the definition of "early learning". What is "early learning"? "Reading early" alone is not "learning early"? I am 100% pro reading. I have a library of children's book at home, and I read to my kids every night. But knowing the information in an encyclopedia does not necessary mean you are wiser. And why is learn-through-play, hand-on learning and manipulative important? When you do flash cards, say, flash a child 10 dots on a card or the word "ten" on a card. The child might realize that 10 is more than 1. But will the child realize that 10 is longer than 1, or that 10 is heavier than 1? But the child who lines up toy cars at home might realize that. When you flash a photo of a "Stingray", how much other details could you force feed him? But a child who goes to, say Ocean Park, will have a photographic image of how the stingray glide in the water and how its habitat looks like and how it is in relation to all other aquatic animals. That is their own LIFE experience. It's like a film that they need to record in their mind map. you wouldn't want them to record in their mind a room with mom with flashcards after flashcards. Please don't deprive them their rights of experiencing life and viewing the world with their own eyes.

    We want children to have a mind of their own. We want them to observe and draw their own conclusions. We want them to build their critical thinking, be creative and be problem solvers. You need to have experience in life. If we are constantly feeding them information, how do we expect them to be leaders and not to rely on us in the future?

    Every little information that we provide them, we take away one chance for them to discover on their own. I understand that we must provide photos and explain at times. We can't bring them to the jungle or to all the world's monuments. But before you flash them the next time, think how necessary it is to flash that card.


    p.s. Although I mentioned competition and race here, as a Montessori teacher, I believe that children learn more in collaboration than competition.
    Last edited by run4fun; 09-21-2007 at 02:06 AM.

  5. #21
    Linda&Hanley is offline Registered User
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    Can't agree more with run4fun's advice not to 'deprive them their rights of experiencing life and viewing the world with their own eyes'. Years back I took my child to a trial class doing right-mind training but then decided that it was not the right kind of playgroup for him (they're showing pictures and words that children won't get in touch with in their daily life). Nevertheless, talking about early literacy, I don't see any reason why they shouldn't learn to read using flash cards given that it is only a small part of their learning experience (say, 3 minutes every day) and it won't really deprive them of any opportunities to engage in other activities like reading books, playing toys or visiting the park...

    Linda

  6. #22
    Bubbly is offline Registered User
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    I also agree that we should not deprive them of life experiences. If you are doing flashcards for 24 hours a day in a room with just mom, no baby will ever enjoy that. As Linda says, flashcard only takes 3 mins a day, for the rest of the day, you can do whatever you want with your baby, games, Ocean park, reading, singing etc.

    The formula I gave is just the way I think a lot of parents think, it may be a little naive but you cannot say it's wrong. I do not agree that formula is the best way to go but I was just giving it as an example that we should not never judge others as they must have a reason behind doing things even if it is not in our opinion the 'best' way.

    I do see a lot of kids who had a 'happy childhood' but because they were 'too happy' and did not experience any pressure at all throughout their childhood, that when they face the 'real' world, they are in shock. They cannot face any challenges and tend to give up very easily. I have interviewed and employed so many of these kids that it is sad to see the new generation like that.

    There are life long arguments about the 'best' teaching methods for children and I am in no position to challenge any of these experts Montessori, Doman, Shichida, Suzuki, Steiner etc. However, I just think that doing something the whole family enjoys is, for me, the best way to bring up my happy child.

    As I mentioned before, I was raised without many toys (as my parents were quite poor then), algebra and hang man were my games and pieces of scrunched up paper and hand drawn mazes were my toys. Without realising these were actually maths, spelling, creativity and art. I found school very fun as I could do a lot of things without any effort. I cannot say whether I am 'ahead' of others but I am certainly happier than a lot of people (those who know me will know how cheerful and happy I am), no matter how much work/ stress I have.

    That is my aim for my baby (and babies to come! ), a happy go easy personality who can still face reality and endure some pressure and stress.

  7. #23
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Bubbly, i think that there is no such thing as a 'too happy' child as you say. people don't face problems in life as adults because they were too happy as children but because they knew no discipline growing up and were not held accountable for the actions.

    A very interesting fact that many people seem to be missing is that the most successful kids at school are, for the very large majority, NOT the most successful people in life. Achieving good grades at school means you are good at rote learning. Big deal... Look back at the people you went to school with, i'm sure most will agree that the people who turned out the 'most successful' by modern day standards, i.e. good job, good income, were not the highest achievers in class.

    Run4fun is right, children learn best from doing and it's a hell of a lot more fun than reading a one dimensional flash card.

  8. #24
    Linda&Hanley is offline Registered User
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    Different people have different views about what a happy childhood is, but academic life is a reality that every child has to face. I'm one of those local parents who chose the international stream to avoid the unnecessary pressure of frequent tests and heavy workload given to the children. I'm also among those who started to teach their children to read early, with the initial intention of fostering right brain development. I don’t know whether it’s really made my child smarter, but what’s true is that his early literacy is achieved with no pain at all -- he did enjoy the process and now has fun reading lots of books on his own. The few minutes we spent on word cards daily when he was small has actually saved him lots of time he would otherwise have spent on revising for dictations now.

    High-achievers academic-wise do not necessarily become successful in their career eventually, but I believe there must be some areas in school (whether academic or non-academic) that let the children feel a sense of achievement, or how are they going to like their school life? Those whose parents don’t see academic results as the sole indicator of their achievement in school are the lucky ones indeed. Yet those parents exercising their will to help develop their children’s full potential not in sacrifice of their happy childhood deserve equal respect.

    Linda

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