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1  EARLY LEARNING / Teaching Your Child to Read / Teaching Babies to Read - Phonics Vs Whole Word Method on: Today at 04:12:57 PM
There is much debate about whether babies should be taught to read by the rules of phonics or if they should be taught with the whole word method, also called sight-reading. The answer may surprise you.

Phonics Vs Whole Word Method

Should parents that want to teach their babies to read stick with phonics or should they begin with the whole word method? The answer is that there is no either or when it comes to learning to read. In order to learn to read well, we need to embrace a combination of both methods. Although much of the English language is read phonetically, there are many exceptions that cannot be read using phonics. This means that programs that claim to be strictly phonetic, can not in fact teach children to read the words that are exceptions except through sight-reading.

So how does this affect the way we teach our babies?

This depends a lot on the child's age. For babies 3 months through 3 years old, the whole word method is the most effective choice for parents teaching their babies to read. By introducing babies to hundreds and thousands of words through site-reading, they are gaining a greater understanding of language and the phonetic patterns. This is a sort of immersion method to teaching reading. Babies are immersed in written language and allowed to make connections and associations between letters and their sound values on their own. Whenever we figure things out on our own it makes much more sense to us. This is true for babies as well.

Once a baby has been exposed to hundreds of words, it is an ideal time to begin to introduce words that follow specific phonetic rules. By this point in the reading program, babies are already able to identify many of the sounds in the language. This is evident when asking a baby to read a new word that they are unfamiliar with. Parents notice that even if the baby cannot read the word correctly, they are relying on phonics to make a close attempt to read the word. They will not confuse the beginning sound of the word to be something completely other than what it is. For example, let's say that your baby can read the word banana and now you show your child the word bandage. Your baby will make an attempt to read it and get pretty close or will be able to read the word. It is extremely rare that a baby would say that the word bandage said something like garden.

By beginning a reading program using the whole word method babies are given the opportunity to be exposed to many words. This allows them to have a better understanding of language before the words are organized into phonetic patterns. When deciding to teach your baby to read, it is a combination of the two methods that make the best readers. 👪
2  EARLY LEARNING / Homeschooling / Home School Disadvantages on: June 25, 2018, 02:47:51 PM
Home schooling has a growing number of supporters, but it would be unwise to ignore the many home school disadvantages, not just of the children but also for the parents.

Home schooling requires a lot of sacrifice on the part of the parents in physical, financial and emotional and social terms. Parents have to devote time to learning the matter they will be teaching, teach it, organize future schedules, arrange for field trips and other outside activities and then arrange for some social inter action for their children with their peers. That's a full day job.

Another of the many home school disadvantages is the cost when the expense of all the inputs required for home schooling are weighed against that of sending a child to a public school. Additionally one parent may have given up a lucrative job to stay at home and this loss of income should be treated as an expense, especially for families that were used to a double income.

Home schooling means that parents are constantly with their children and have not time to themselves which can be emotionally demanding and may cause emotional traumas in the family.

Another of the many home school disadvantages is that parents' social circles are often made up of their children's' friends parents. Home school parents are cut off from this and, especially if there are no support groups available, get trapped into an inward looking lifestyle.

There are many home school disadvantages for the children, the chief among them being limited or no opportunities to develop social skills. Home schooled children are often awkward in social situations and have limited opportunities for making friends. Even when the opportunities come their way, they often have little in common with the majority of children who attend regular schools and so have nothing to talk about or activities they can indulge in together. Many communities have home school support groups but these are artificial social units and the children associate only with families with the same values and beliefs. They are deprived of the opportunity to meet with children of varied backgrounds and beliefs. While such interactions may sometimes be painful and lead to arguments and fights, it is an essential part of the growing up process that enables a child to be able to function in a varied and culturally complex society.

One of the home school disadvantages that many home schooling parents also recognize is that their children cannot take part in extra curricular activities and sports. Things like debating, dramatics, camping, school excursions and sports are important to developing a child's character and self confidence.

Sports are not just about physical exercise but about understanding and working with a team. Home school parents often feel that their family is a team and if their children can work with this team they are fine. What they overlook is that the family is a team with strong emotional bonds. What the children are being deprived of is the ability to learn how to function in a team where people will have different priorities, attitudes and goals.

Home school disadvantages for children are not in the quality of the education they receive, but in their social development and ability to function effectively in a complex society.
3  EARLY LEARNING / Teaching Your Child Music / Benefits of Learning Piano For Kids on: June 22, 2018, 01:57:04 AM
Studies on the effect of music on kids reveal that music, particularly playing the piano has intellectual benefits on a child. In particular, piano lessons enhance the mathematical ability and the intelligence, in general, of a child.

As parents of course, we would love if our kids' intellectual capacities will be improved by factors aside from the nourishing that we give to them. Letting our kids piano would be one of the many options that can be tried. Kids' piano lesson can be availed if we enroll our kids to music schools. But there are other options available. We the advent of internet technology, we can actually avail online free piano lessons for our kids.

Kids' learning the piano has the following specific benefits:

Such activity enhances the coordination of the kids' body, particularly their hands and feet. Playing the piano requires the use of both hands to press the keyboards and feet to push the pedals. Hence, learning piano skills will be a great factor to develop your kids' body coordination.



Playing the piano also enhances the mathematical skill of a child. Playing and reading music in particular involves the unconscious application of math skills so by learning  how to play the piano  will improve the kids' mathematical ability as well as analytical skills. Their cognitive development also goes high.

Practicing to learn the piano requires self-discipline, allocating time to practice the piano will surely enhance the kids' discipline. This will also help to develop their self-esteem since they usually undergo some recitals.

This will also make them stronger as a person and have a positive attitude towards life. Discipline and patience during practice brings them lots of confidence towards life and becomes hopeful to more challenges. This will also help them more concentrated and focus in life.



4  Products Marketplace / Product Discussions and Reviews / Re: Teach Your kids to Read - Android app on: June 17, 2018, 05:18:39 PM
We have taught our 2 year old daughter to read through teaching phonics sounds and lessons, and helping her develop phonemic awareness. If you watched the video, that is our daughter reading randomly created sentences. We simply started teaching phonics sounds to her by spending 5 to 10 minutes each day, spread between 2 to 3 separate lessons, and slowly introduced new letters and reading material.
5  Parents' Lounge / General Pregnancy / 3 Things You Must Never Forget When Trying To Conceive on: June 17, 2018, 05:01:29 PM
While some people do almost everything to try to prevent pregnancy, others find the process of trying to get pregnant frustrating and difficult. There are many factors that affect conception and fertility and this is the reason for the varying difficulties that women face when trying to have a baby. A woman being fertile for a limited time only serves to complicate the situation. The following are the three things that any woman who is trying to conceive must never forget.

Stop Using Contraceptives

Contraceptives are primarily designed to prevent pregnancy. Using them does nothing to enhance your chances of having a baby. You must stop using birth control immediately after deciding that you want to get pregnant.

This does not however mean that you will get pregnant immediately after the discontinued use of birth control. In most cases, when hormonal birth control mechanisms are used, a woman may take several months before getting pregnant. Therefore, the sooner you stop using; the better will be your chances to have a baby. However, if you were using condoms to prevent pregnancy, you should be able to get pregnant almost immediately after discontinuing. Women with implanted contraceptives must see a medical profession to have them removed properly.

Your Physical Health And Chances Of Conception

Your physical health plays a vital role in your ability to get pregnant. Having a healthy weight, being free of any chronic illnesses, dealing with any pre-existing infections will go a long way in boosting your chances of getting pregnant. Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and bacterial or viral infections are known to have a significant impact on both the pregnancy and the ability of a woman to conceive. Resolving these health issues is advisable if your want to get pregnant faster.

There are also some health conditions which may be made worse by pregnancy. Paying a visit to a medical profession is advisable as this will enable you to make an informed decision so far as becoming pregnant is concerned. There may also be a need for close monitoring after getting pregnant to make sure that the baby is not adversely affected by your condition.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is also necessary both when trying to conceive and after getting pregnant. You should always remember to include fruits and vegetables in your diet. Taking enough proteins when pregnant is also advisable as this is important for fetal development.

Have Unprotected Sex When Trying To Get Pregnant

Sexual intercourse is a necessity, with the exception of assisted fertility methods, if you are trying to conceive. This is because it is the most effective way to make sperms available to fertilize your eggs. You should remember to have unprotected sex since use of contraceptives usually prevents fertilization. Having sexual intercourse around the time of ovulation will  increase your chances of getting pregnant and thus something you should try. Regular sex is always advised when trying to get pregnant.
6  EARLY LEARNING / Teaching Your Child to Read / My Baby Can Read and Your Baby Can Read Too, If You Follow This Advice on: June 15, 2018, 05:05:57 AM
I began teaching my baby to read when he was around 3 months old. He loved it and has never known a time when he couldn't read. It was a game we played throughout the day, after a diaper change, or first thing in the morning. I didn't know if he was learning to read, because he couldn't talk yet. Imagine my surprise when at 12 months he read his first word out loud!

That was just the beginning. He began reading words that I would write down on paper, in the sand or on the black board. He would amaze family, friends and even strangers with this skill. The fascinating part of this story is that all babies have this ability. If parents gain a basic understanding of how babies learn to read, their babies will be reading too.

He was never forced to read. He was always given the option of looking at a book or looking at words. If he did not want to, we played a different game.

He had a very long attention span by his first birthday, sometimes wanting to view his reading books by the stack. He loved learning to read and would sometimes view hundreds of words at one time, at his request.



Part of our morning routine was to cuddle and  smooch   read his reading books . These are precious memories and even if he had not learned to read, I wouldn't trade them for anything. Teaching your baby to read really bonds the two of you together.

In order to teach your baby to read, make sure the words you show your baby are large. You don't want your baby to have to strain to read them. You can use a piece of copy paper to write one word. Use a marker, red or black, and start off with your baby's name, your name and your pet's names.

I used plastic sheet protectors so the paper would be more durable. Just read each word to your baby and move on. By doing this frequently, about 15-20 times per word, your baby is learning to read.

You can move on from there to anything that interests your child. It is so much fun to gently lead your child into the wonderful world of discovering reading.
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