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kizudo
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« on: February 09, 2012, 08:13:20 PM »

Two conversations (not including the ones silently going on in my own head at the time!) - insert sarcastic tones where appropriate...there will be several.

1.  Yesterday I was talking with a mom of a 4 (almost 5) year old boy.  She LOVES his preschool class because he is learning SOOOO much -- since January they've been focusing on one letter a day!  They're already up to G!  She happily said "Last night he showed me his paper saying 'Look mom, /g/, /g/, /g/ goat starts with /g/!"  (Here's where you imagine my own little chatter going on in my brain - thankful that my lips didn't let any of it out)

2.  Today I was talking with a mom of a just barely 4 year old boy who also LOVES his preschool.  She loves it because they get to play, share, wait their turn, etc (which I do believe to be good - it's just shooting too low).  I asked if she was happy with the academics.  To which she laughed outloud.  "He's only 4." she responded.  "What kind of academics are you expecting?"  So, I changed my question and said "Well, what types of things is he learning?"  Her response - "I don't know, I haven't had the chance to volunteer yet. But really, he knows his letters and numbers already. What more does he need?"  (Knowing I would already be the topic for jokes in her circles for asking this question in the first place, I kept my mouth shut again.)

Anyway, all this just to say, I'm thankful - so thankful - for like minded folks like yourselves who accept and embrace the potential of what early learning can do for our children.  Big old Valentines hugs to you!  I wish I could pack you all up and have you over for tea!

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MamaOfWill
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2012, 08:54:46 PM »

I'm only doing 3 languages + reading, basic math (LM), winging my "music lessons" from day to day (oh please hurry up with LMs) and little bits of learning bits.  For the rest I just keep in mind that my baby is briliant whenever I interact with him.  If I had more time I would do more, but I'm just not that super, I can't get my stuff organized and prepared.  I bet many of you moms (and dads) think I'm doing too little to call myself a profesional mother, but really, how do you all do it? blink

So what's my point?  Well, some look at me and think:  "Whoaa, why do you torture your baby with all this teaching stuff!" others think "why don't you teach more?" but it's all relative.

My maid lives in the black townships here in Johannesburg, SA.  I told her what I'm teaching my baby and said she shouldn't think I'm crazy (I wanted a native Zulu to help with LR recordings.)  She told me that her mother teaches her children to read before they start school, because the schools in the town ships have so many pupils and so little teachers that you don't know what your kids are learning, and that her children all speak 5 languages, because of their invironment, (SA has 11 official languages.)   My maid didn't think I'm doing anything funny, yet my friends all think I'm bonkers.

Then lastly, something that I think about every now and again:  Teaching is fun for me, learning fun for my baby and hopefully I'll give him a bit of an advantage in school and in life, but sit and watch your child, he's teaching himself so much per second that you're not even poring a drop in that ocean of learning.  The child who "isn't learning anything" is still learning tons! Sorry to use myself as an example, but I didn't get much attention at a young age, youngest of 4, parents working full time, raised by the TV.  Yes I had learning difficulties (which I hope to save my children from), yes I can't spell to save my life, but here I am, IQ of 169, MSc Applied Mathematics, never had to study for math tests in school  yes


I know you didn't say anything to those moms who didn't know about  / didn't care / didn't believe in early education, but give them a break, they're probably doing great jobs as parents anyhow.

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Kerileanne99
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2012, 09:06:29 PM »

I know what you mean!
Now that A is two I look back to when she was younger and laugh at my naïveté! I actually thought that the only reason that not every parent was doing YBCR was because they just didn't know about it laugh I used to carry my little info book everywhere with me so that if other moms asked why I carried my little magnetic writing board with me everywhere, writing new words constantly, I could show them! I just wanted to share the excitement and pure joy that it created for and within our family. It didn't even occur to me that not everybody would NOT want to do that with their kids.
   When A was 13 months old we were in a restaurant waiting for our food.  To keep her entertained, we were playing "I Spy." with a twist...I would say "I spy with my little eye a..." and then write the word for hr.  These would be things around the table, the ceiling, across the room, and A would look around until she found it, then start bouncing up and down, pointing and giggling LOL The absolute joy with which she did this should have been enough to convince people...instead, I had two women confront me about 'pressuring an innocent baby". Huh?
Today I took A to a children's museum that she adores...we go at least once per week because she loves it so much...one of her first non Signing Time ASL signs was 'museum.'. So because we go often we see the same people there.  I have gotten used to 'overhearing' snide comments about me and my parenting, but it upsets me more now that A is old enough to understand some of them...I would never openly criticize anybody's parenting style...especially in front of their kids!  Even when conversations are started about preschools and their proud stories about how their kids are learning most of their colors and shapes at age 4! And knowing their numbers means they can count out loud from 1-10...not necessarily actually count that many objects...
     Which brings me to more proof that I amso glad to have found this forum!  And other people who can share my hopes, dreams, accomplishments, and even failures as a parent on this EL roller coaster...
   BTW- today I did have to bite my tongue at the museum, with one of the most vocal mom squad critics nowink She was showing her five year old boy a poisonous dart frog...the boy was clearly begging for information? Mom, what does this say, pointing to the informational card (that includes an explanation of why they are called dart frogs!).  "why are they called dart frogs?", he asked.  She proceeded to patiently explain to him that they 'shoot poisonous darts from their tails!  Good thing they are behind glass!'
   Just think, it's probably a good thing that she DIDN'T teach him to read Wink He might have figured out that his mom has no clue!

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Alex\'s YouTube Channel: BabyBibliophile
queriquita
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 05:25:27 AM »

LOL yes! agreed, agreed, agreed.  but i do have hope.  i have hope that there are sooooooo many more of us out there who haven't heard the message yet, and that if we can get the message out there well enough and loud enough, there will come a point where el will be the norm and that my children won't have to be 'in the closet' teacher/parents!  for this reason, we have started organizing awareness conferences under the GiftedVillageCARES nonprofit.  the first event we are planning to have in August 2012 in memphis, tennessee and we would LOVE for any and all who can come to attend!

Also, whether you can attend or not, i highly encourage you to help in any way possible!  a formal post will go out here soon, and bk forum will announce the event officially very shortly, last i heard, but if you have questions between now and then, please don't hesitate to PM me or email me at my username @gmail.com.  (queriquita@gmail.com). 

Can't wait to meet you all soon!

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Joey has his own blog in which he posts his adventures.  He would love to meet some friends from around the world.   Have your little one stop by and say, Hi!  (www.joeysjaunt.blogspot.com)
Kerileanne99
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 05:50:27 AM »

Queriquita-
Sounds fantastic! Tennessee is close enough that we could swing it. Would love to meet other moms, swap ideas, and maybe have Alex meet other kids she doesn't ultimately decide are furniture- to be ignored, walked around, and occasionally climbed on laugh!!!
I have to admit there is a huge appeal for me to get to be 'ourselves' for awhile!  The thought of actually sharing ideas and accomplishments/failures in a CONSTRUCTIVE way, with no fear of judgement or reprisals puts a smile on my face!

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queriquita
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 06:45:26 AM »

I'm so excited about the thought of finally meeting!!  It's funny that you mention that about Alex because my mother keeps pointing out that Joey tends to do the same.  I guess I hadn't noticed it before simply because so many other children around his age really don't do as much, so to see him interacting with older children on the playground just made sense.  We have been fortunate, however, to have quite a variety of playgroups to attend with parents who seem pretty supportive and curious (or maybe I have learned to just be oblivious to people's less obvious negative comments/stares because of my own childhood experiences *shrug*), but yes, I know what you mean and really am looking forward to the event. :-)  Here's the link with more details: http://forum.brillkids.com/general-discussion-b5/let-the-countdown-begin!-are-you-ready-to-meet-the-2012-convention-is-coming!!/msg81132/?topicseen#new.  Can't wait;  It's about time!! :-D.

« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 06:50:29 AM by queriquita » Logged

Joey has his own blog in which he posts his adventures.  He would love to meet some friends from around the world.   Have your little one stop by and say, Hi!  (www.joeysjaunt.blogspot.com)
Krista G
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 08:43:05 PM »

Kerileanne99, I guess I was not the only one who thought that.  I thought that the world just needed to know and then the revolution would begin.  When my little guy was learning to read as a baby I showed and told anyone I met that babies could read.  I thought and still think it is just fantastic.  I have become more reserved now, perhaps because it is our business and I don't want to have people feel like I am soliciting them with our products, but come on.  Even before I new about EL I knew my little kids were learning all kinds of things.  I taught my first 3 kids to read starting around 3 with phonics.  When I learned about EL it just made perfect sense that kids could learn more than what we teach them.  My oldest loved TV and would learn a lot from Sesame Street back 16 years ago.  I remember telling my husband that I wanted to find some new videos to teach her stuff because she seemed to learn so well from the TV.  This was of course pre-YBCR.  I think the bottom line is that people should know and then they can make a decision.  I wish I had known before I had my first.  Learning about these things has been life changing for our family.

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queriquita
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2012, 03:26:56 PM »

Hey,  hey, no bursting bubbles - the sky's the limit still :-)   I want to believe that if the right people are told, we can make huge impacts for our grandchildren's futures - and their friends' futures too, as well as in the lives of all who they impact.  I think that's one of the reasons that I'm so excited about the convention!  But you're right, I don't 'preach to the deaf' about this - a receptive ear is best.  I try not to overwhelm and just start simple when introducing the concepts, and allow the conversation to unfold based on what the other person is saying.  It's much easier for someone not previously exposed to the concept of early learning to understand, for example, starting with signing time, than it is for them to believe that a 3 year old can speed read and take you seriously about anything else mentioned.  Often times, it's a whole belief system that you are going up against - a belief system that helps mold someone's identity.  Some people don't want to believe that 'accelerated learning' is true because there is so much angst that would ensue from not having had the opportunity with their own kids, or worse ... what sort of life would they have had if they had been exposed?  Somehow, don't ask me why - people get bent out of shape because sharing all the possibilities is almost like saying, "YOU (or your child) isn't good enough because you're UNDER the bar of possibilities and that means that you FAIL".  While this isn't our intention and we know that this judgment isn't true - that there are plenty of GOOD people with GREAT character who weren't exposed to early learning ... people somehow confuse our desire to teach our children early with a judgment of the type of person they will become.  Character development is a completely different bubble (related, yes, but different).  I hope this explains a little why you may get a random person coming up to you so worked up.  The importance is to not get worked up and to have confidence that so long as you are doing anything joyfully and enthusiastically, you are doing something right :-) 

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Joey has his own blog in which he posts his adventures.  He would love to meet some friends from around the world.   Have your little one stop by and say, Hi!  (www.joeysjaunt.blogspot.com)
Tanikit
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2012, 03:41:18 PM »

I have found that the best way to approach early learning when talking to someone is to tell them what my child struggles with first - that she has a hard time leaving me when being dropped off at an activity or that she doesn't sleep well - something that that person can relate to and that tells them that my child is just an ordinary child who is just 4 years old in many ways. And then I might mention that she can read - this means little to people but you will get a reaction - they have no clue what you mean when you say your child can read and many will think that your child can recognise some words and then might ask what you did. I almost never let on what is really going on unless the person is very receptive to the idea of early learning. Another way is to find out what they think about children knowing their colours very young since this is something that most people do teach their children sometime between 1 and 2 years of age - if they are anti this then they will be even more anti reading and other early learning and there is no point taking the conversation further. Another thing that can help you guage whether to talk about early learning is to ask what kind of games their children play depending on their age and approach it from this angle - many people have an idea that teaching reading needs to be formal, but really for a baby it is all a "game" or a fun "activity" - if you can compare it to something they are already doing with their children - that early learning is just an extension of baby "games" then they might also be more open to the idea.

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kizudo
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2012, 07:18:49 PM »

If only I could pack up all the wisdom of these posts for when I open my mouth!  I know the mommies that I have spoken to are all lovely and good.  They adore their children and do want the best for them.  So much of motherhood, unfortunately, tends to be thinking about how we are failing our children - mommy and daddy fought in front of baby, mommy threatened discipline and didn't follow through, mommy reinforced good behaviour with food, mommy kept baby up too late because she wanted to stay out later than she should have, etc.  The last few posts on this thread exhibit so much grace.  I love it.  I hope I can remember the suggested strategies the next time I want to share...and hopefully, I will be smarter about with whom I share it.  Thank you!

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