Monday, March 12, 2007

Early teaching for accelerated learning

I have seen this premise acted out in real life. As I said before, babies and little children are sponges, soaking in their surroundings each day. As a parent, I can potentially create a child that others will label "smart" or "intelligent." This is accomplished by "educating" my child from the earliest days of infancy. (Please do realize that having a "smart" or "intelligent" child is not the reason for educating a child in this manner.)

I must admit my real-life illustration does not come from my house but rather exists in my brother's house. From the moment his daughter was born, he and his wife have read alphabet and counting books to her, pointing out the different numbers and letters. They constantly talked to her - in adult language, for the most part, although they would occasionally use baby-talk as well.

What were the results of this unintentional education? At 6 months, my niece was saying, "I love you." Oh, it wasn't perfectly enunciated, but it was certainly repeated often enough and clearly enough that there was no doubt as to the baby's verbal intentions. By age 2, she could recite her alphabet and count to 10. She also knew her full name and the name of both of her parents. Her vocabulary was also astounding, evidenced by the quirky adult words and phrases that issued from her lips. Today, she is 3. She has been speaking in complete sentences for quite some time now. The education that started at birth is continuing with obviously good results.

I realize that not every child is gifted with the same measure of native intelligence, but this post really isn't about native intelligence. It's about the results of teaching your child from birth. Don't wait until you feel your child can "understand" before you attempt to teach them something. Everything they learn is new to them anyway. With repetition comes understanding.

Do you have any anecdotes about something you taught your child at an early age?


Michelle said...

We started teaching Kayla American Sign Language and once she started picking it up I was amazed at how many signs she could use before she could even speak! We used the Signing Time videos and they were awsome to teach her, and us!

Revka said...

That is great, Michelle! One of my good friends did that, too. I didn't know about baby signing until after my girls could already talk, but I will probably try it with my next ones. We discovered Signing Time on PBS and think it is awesome. Thanks for the great input.