Post # 1
So, MightySapphire’s post about baby einstein got me thinking… my daughter was never really into those videos either, but she LOVES My Baby Can Read. Someone posted on her thread that no one has ever really proven either of them to be helpful. Ava has always been a little chatter box (i have no idea where she gets THAT from hehe) but MBCR really has broadened her vocabulary. She repeats EVERY word when it pops up on the screen(even big words) and absolutely loves the flash cards! Every time she says a word on the card she gets this look of accomplishment on her face and says “yayyyy” when i tell her she got it right. it’s so cute 🙂 No one may be able to prove it’s helpful but I dont see any harm in it? right? Shes learning a larger vocabulary and I can still interact with her while doing it(the flash cards). Has anyone else had results from this video like I have? Someone mentioned on MightySapphire’s thread that videos like this actually slow down development.. I just dont see how it does?
Post # 3
I think that is the case when the parents are using it as a babysitter and not interacting with the video as you have described. (That is a personal opinion, not scientific fact.) I have a feeling that they are comparing two parenting styles in those studies and not in fact the activities themselves. If I give MB a pile of flashcards and walk away, she’ll be just as unlearned as when I started. If I hold up the flashcards and talk to her about them, she will learn from them. I think the same can be said for these videos. If you put them on and watch them with your child, they may be beneficial. (Although Baby Einstien uses toys that look NOTHING like a freakin bear or whatever, so I don’t know how your kid would learn “bear” from their videos, but I digress…)
So, in a shorter version, I think if you are interacting USING the videos, then you are right, they are probably increasing vocabulary than if your child was just playing by herself with a ball.
Post # 4
Not trying to burst your bubble, but because you baby recognizes some symbols doesn’t mean your baby can read any more than a dog learning “W-A-L-K” = “walk” means it can spell. Your baby just learns a repetitive process, they aren’t “reading”.
I work at a childrens’ hospital, our doctors/psychologists don’t recommend any of the baby videos.
Post # 5
I think if your daughter enjoys it and if you are interacting with her, it’s probably fine. We can debate whether it’s actually “reading,” but does that really matter? There are far worse things than interacting with your kid while watching a video!
Post # 6
well arent “symbols”, also known as letters or our alphabet, how everyone learns to read and write and spell, etc?? if your child recognizes that word, yes they are learning bc if they had never seen it before the would not know it. who cares if its repetitive? they are still learning that those letters together make this sound and it looks like this. i can totally see how it could work, like mighty said, IF you interact with your child while they are learning.
Post # 7
Yeah, someone bought me the MBCR book, and I read it, I wasn’t overly hyped, but thought ‘what the hell I’ll try it” and yeah… didn’t work.
Now, maybe my kid is retarded (though I have my doubts) but imho I think programs that use flash cards work better when the child is old enough to start recognizing letters/concepts on their own.
Post # 8
Sounds like baby is repeating/memorizing words, not reading. Reading starts with learning what all of the sounds in a word make and then learning how to blend those sounds to make a word. But, expanding her vocab. can’t be bad!
Post # 9
@abbyful: Dont worry, you didnt burst my bubble. A dog can’t read the word “walk” can they? You just tell them and they do it. PEOPLE are different than dogs lol I dont think its just a repetitive process if she can look at a word/picture on a flash card and READ it or tell me what it is. Well i guess it sort of is bc isnt that how everyone learns? repetition? but I dont see how you can consider that not reading? She’s 18 months.. of course she can’t spell yet! but atleast she’s talking her head off and can read 🙂 If it’s advancing her I dont see anything wrong with it.. which is why i was asking all of you that said it’s not recommended why?
Post # 10
@JessicaL, if a child can’t understand “letters”, they can’t really “read”. And the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends zero TV-time (including so-called educational videos) for children under 2.
Post # 11
When I was a baby, I was forming sentences while my peers were learning to form words, and while they were learning to form sentences, I knew all my nursery rhymes by heart.
When my mother took me to the pediatrician, she said “my child is a genius. Look at all she knows, and how far ahead she is”. The dr. turned to my mother and said, “sorry, that doesn’t make her a genius, it just means you have spent so much time with her focusing on this that she has learned to repeat it back to please you”.
I have always been VERY against people attempting to “advance” their kids. For whose benefit are you doing this? All you are doing is setting your child up to be uncomfortable in school or worse- bored in school, like I was. I feel parents who do this are akin to parents who put thier kids in pageants. They aren’t really doing it for the child’s benefit, they’re doing it so they can show the child off. The child actually suffers because right out of the gate they learned that life is about pleasing Mom and Dad, having pressure put on them by the parents, and later themselves-and not about learning and growing with peers. She is already learning this- as you said, when you show her how pleased you are, she smiles. she should be smling when you play with her, when she sees you smile, when she sees other children, dogs, and silly shapes. Instead, you are choosing to make her smile or laugh when she pleases you.
Doing this to your child will NOT make your child smarter. In my opinion, and having “been there” myself, all you are doing is taking childhood or babyhood away from your child.
Sorry to seem cold, but I grew up with this kind of pressure my whole life. I was not allowed to enjoy childhood as I should have been able to, to enjoy each stage of growing and learning at the pace I was supposed to learn. Instead I was bored in school because I was ahead of everyone else, had a hard time making friends my own age, and was miserable a lot of the time. So I get a little upset when I see parents doing flash cards with babies or shoving them into learning situations they are not ready for.
Post # 12
@menobride: She likes it. She comes up to me and says “baby can read” when she wants to watch it. I only show it to her when she ASKS for it. I dont think that would be considered shoving her into it? would it? She’s just like any other normal child.. plays with other kids fine, plays outside, at the park, paints/colors at daycare. OH, and actually is a very happy baby=smiling alot. You make me sounds like i sit her in front of the tv 24/7, MAKE her watch it, and dont allow her to do anything else lol I’m very sorry you didnt have a good childhood but I’m not depriving my daughter of hers. and how dare you say i’m only doing this to show my child off? seriously? May I ask who I’m showing her off to? because that wasn’t the point of this post. I was asking why they say these videos arent good for them because they seem to work great for my daughter. Just because your sensitive to this subject doesnt mean everyone that practices words with their child is just like your parents. Wow. That just crossed the line a little my dear.
Post # 13
@menobride: I understand where you are coming from about parental pressure on children to succeed and parents using their children for their own reasons and not the child’s best interest. However, I think that you are projecting some of your own experience onto the OP’s situation. The OP did not write about her all-encompassing quest to advance her daughter’s academic skills; from all we can see, she and her child are enjoying this activity amongst all the other regular activities they do. And of course kids like what their parents like when they’re little—that’s how social learning works; children copy what they see. While it is perfectly possible to ruin someone’s childhood by pushing them too hard too soon, it doesn’t sound at all like that is what is going on here.
Also, I wonder whether there’s more to the misery you felt in school than the pressure you felt from your parents. When you said “I was bored in school because I was ahead of everyone else, had a hard time making friends my own age, and was miserable a lot of the time,” I thought I could have written those words. Well, my parents didn’t pressure me and I didn’t learn academic skills like reading ahead of time, but I still felt this way because when I did learn things in school along with everyone else, the “pace I was supposed to learn” at was much too slow for me. When I was allowed to go at my own pace, I leaped well ahead of my peers and often felt left out and lonely. Later on in middle and high school I got to be part of a great advanced curriculum and my experience really improved.
It’s a shame when kids aren’t challenged at school and when their parents push them too hard. However, some kids actually are very bright, and just because a video purports to be educational doesn’t mean that kids aren’t allowed to like it.
Post # 14
@menobride: I’m sorry but I’m going to have to disagree with you. My parents valued education and I also showed an early aptitude for it. I was reading before kindergarten. I learned how to multiply and divide when I was 4 years old. And I guess I could’ve been bored in school except my parents and the school never let that happen. In 1st grade they sent me to 2nd grade for math. In 2nd grade they sent me to 3rd. Then I skipped third grade. In 5th grade they sent me to the high school before school every day to work with a teacher on advanced math. By middle school there were advanced classes that were in place and that I could be mainstreamed into. I don’t really see what the problem is. I still had friends, I still had fun. I played soccer and basketball and was a cheerleader. I was in student counsel and band and choir and drama. I think that the trick is to make sure your kid is well rounded and isn’t defined by JUST being smart. And also to make sure the school is providing opportunities to be challenged.
Post # 15
@menobride: I suggest the book Punished by Rewards written by Alfie Kohn. A lot of kids choose to do the stuff they do for the rewards/praise their parents give for their behavior (like good grades, etc).
I totally agree with you though. So many parents push their children or have this notion that their child is above average, genius, incredibly intelligent. I just want to tell them, hey there’s average for a reason so why is it so bad to have an average child? I’m not saying you shouldn’t tell your kid not to work hard at school or shouldn’t tell them to try their best but who does it benefit more? I was a type A child and learned to behave nearly perfectly. I got all As, went through the gifted/talented high school program, but I went off to college and was absolutely miserable (mostly related to competitiveness pushed upon me). I realized that hey, I am average and that’s okay. I’m not going to punish my child for it. Forcing the genius when your kid isn’t one does more harm than good in my opinion.
Sorry, this was all irrelevant to the OP. Hey, OP, kids do learn to read by associating sounds to words. So if they keep hearing “dog” and see the letters d-o-g, they’ll eventually understand that those letters form the word “dog.” I’ll probably read to my (future) kid(s), just for bonding and I always loved being read to. I won’t start helping my children with letters until they can sit still and intently concentrate for more than 10 minutes (4 years old).
EDIT: I failed to also mention, that I think circumstances will change when people actually have children. A lot of people say they won’t let their children watch tv, and then it ends up happening. I’m not going to feel guilty about it. I love my (future) child, I’ll engage and play with them but if we’re singing along to a dvd, I’m not going to feel guilty for that.
Post # 16
“So if they keep hearing “dog” and see the letters d-o-g, they’ll eventually understand that those letters form the word “dog.””
I’ll try to clarify what I was trying to explain earlier from this.
I don’t think those videos teach kids “d-o-g” means “dog”. They tech kids that “dog” means “dog”. And then they teach kids that “cat” means “cat”. But if a kid could really read, they would be able to figure out “c-o-t” spelled “cot”, or “t-a-g” spelled “tag” after that, and they can’t.
The videos could show a blue square and say “dog”, and a red circle and say “cat”, and the kids would learn to say “dog” and “cat” when those shapes appeared.
But since we adults recgonize words, while kids do not yet understand written language, we think they are “reading” when they go through a Baby Can Read video.