Early Learning is a topic that everyone seems to have a different option.
What is Early Learning?
All kids start learning at a very early age. Even before they are born, fetuses are learning the sound of their mother’s voice. Infants start learning their native tongue. Toddlers learn how to walk, talk, etc.
Well yes all that is learning, I don’t consider that “Early Learning” though.
To me Early Learning is a parent creating an environment for a child to learn something that is not typically taught at that age.
While no one will bat an eyelash at the thought of teaching a little one there ABCs or to count to 10. As soon as your start teaching your little one letter sounds, sight words, days of the week, addition, etc, you MUST be pressuring them.
Early Learning is not hot housing little babies. Its not strapping them down and drilling math problems. Those types of techniques would not work on a baby or a toddler.
But when you present information to a child in a fun, gentle, calm way, your child will WANT to learn. When I do flashcards with my child or for us we use Learning Binders Little Z gets so excited. While we were with the NACD, they did not want us doing this program, so I put the binders away. Well one day I found that he broke into my room and found them in the closet and was using them himself. So trust me this is a gentle process.
What does Early Learning Look Like?
Early Learning when it comes to reading might be a mom sitting down with her child at 6 months following the flashcard program designed in Glenn Doman’s How to Teach your Baby to Read book.
Early Learning For Toddlers
To another family Early Learning Reading might look like it did for Wes and I when he was two. In the morning I would play Your Baby Can Read(YBCR) DVDs while he ate his breakfast. Then I would buckle him in the car to go to daycare and flash through a few index cards with words handwritten on them. We would arrive at daycare and we would go through them again. He would get dropped off at daycare and I would go to work. In the evening he would watch another video of YBCR. Then after supper and playtime, it would be bath and bed. We would read a book or two together, flash though some flashcards and off to bed he went. When he was three we finished the YBCR DVDs and started using BrillKids Little Reader(2 sessions) before bed.
Early Learning For Babies
To another family Early Learning Reading might look like what happened with Z. He was a second child to an Early Learning family. We started some of Glenn Doman’s “How Smart is Your Baby program early on. We also started him on Sparkabilities DVD’s at a week old. Then when he was 3 months old we started BK Little Reader. It took me a little longer then I would have liked to start him on the other BrillKids programs because my laptop broke and took me a few months to replace, But during that time I was so grateful to have the iPad. When he was 12 months we started doing apps like Hooked On Phonics and Teach Me among others.
I think that the environment is the key. I think at the end of the day to be considered an Early Learning parent, your child must be in the early learning window of 0-5 years old. These parents go beyond the usual ABC’s and 123’s.
What is Early Learning to your family?