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Amazing baby brain power – What you can teach your baby from birth to five years surprises many.
Many people have the preconceived notion that children aren’t ready to learn much until they are 5 or 6 years old. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In the last century, early childhood educators have discovered that the optimal time to teach babies almost anything is from birth to 5 years old. Babies are wired to learn from birth, so what can
we teach them?
First of all, babies are born linguistic geniuses. They can learn any language. This includes foreign languages, sign language and even written language, giving babies the ability to read before their first birthdays.
Baby Brain Power – What You Can Teach Your Baby From Birth to Five
Babies that are taught sign language are able to communicate their needs much sooner than babies that depend on verbal communication.
Babies that are exposed to foreign language from birth are able to speak like a native with no accent. The younger we teach our babies language, the faster and better they learn it.
Babies can also learn how to recognize true quantity. When babies are taught quantity before the numerical equivalent, they are able to then easily learn how to add, subtract, multiply and divide.
When we expose babies to music, they are able to learn perfect pitch as well as the names of the notes. If exposed to classical music and told what the pieces are, they will be able to identify the music of different composers and different periods.
If babies are allowed to spend time on their tummies, they are able to crawl, creep, and walk much earlier than children that are not given these opportunities. Babies are able to learn how to swim beginning at birth. They actually know how to swim; they have been doing it for 9 months. They just need to be given the opportunity to continue practicing their skills.
Babies are like sponges, waiting to absorb all they can from their environment. It is our duty as parents and caregivers to create an environment that is rich in language, music, math, science and whatever else might interest our babies. From birth to five we are laying the foundation for a love of learning for a lifetime.
I met a man the other day that is the father of four children. He has 5-year-old twins and wants to get them interested in reading. He was asking me for some advice, but there is something to be learned from his story.
He said his twins are not interested in much more than playing and he wants to get them excited about learning to read. He was asking me if I think teaching them phonics would be fun for them. While teaching children to read according to rules of phonics at the age of 5 or 6 may be fun, I doubt that they will want to put their toys down and rush over to see their workbooks. Parents can make things more exciting and interesting and successfully teach their children to read, but there is nothing that can replace the ease of teaching babies to read. Here is what else he had to say.
He went on to tell me that he got some reading videos for his now 7 year old boy when he was a baby. He claimed that he would put those on for the baby and that is it. He didn’t use flash cards; he just had his boy watch the reading videos. He said his son was interested in them and went on to read on his own.
Today he is reading anything and everything and his dad never taught him any of it. He learned while watching TV. The father is realizing that he should have also done this with his younger boys, but he didn’t.
The window of opportunity for teaching language is from birth to 5 years old. That is why it is best to teach your baby to read before they are a year old. It is just so easy. Wouldn’t you like to know that your child is watching programs that have such a wonderful benefit to them?
Parents these days are strapped for time, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want what is best for their children. Busy parents can still offer their babies an early advantage in learning to read without spending a lot of time or money.
With more and more focus being put on babies that are learning to read, other parents don’t want their children to be left behind. So how can a busy parent give their baby this necessary life skill and still get through their daily to do list?
Most babies are naturally attracted to television. Studies reveal that by first grade, children have been exposed to over 5,000 hours of television. This is a lot of television viewing, and how many of these hours were of valuable content? It is hard to say. Parents can capitalize on babies’ natural attraction to the television while incorporating quality programming.
For a small investment, parents can control the programming their babies watch. There are several companies that produce videos that teach babies to read. The benefit of these videos is twofold. Babies are occupied for half an hour while the parents are able to accomplish some necessary tasks, and baby is learning skills such as learning to read.
Educational videos don’t have to be dry and boring and many are very interactive and fun for babies to watch. By viewing one or two videos a day, babies will be gaining skills that are necessary for advancement in school.
If children are going to view as much as 5,000 hours of television, let’s make it quality programming.
If you are teaching your baby to read, or thinking about getting started, here are some things to remember along the way.
Start now. – Babies have the ability to learn to read beginning at around 3 months old. If you have the opportunity to begin early do so. Don’t wait until your baby is older. When you begin at a time when your baby is not doing much physically, they will give you their attention. When beginning with older babies, some parents struggle with holding their attention. When certain babies gain mobility, they have no time to sit still, even for a few seconds. Begin early and your child will never remember a time when they couldn’t read.
Aim for short fast sessions. – Teaching a baby to read requires several quick short sessions during the day. This means, you have some words that you want to teach your baby and you quickly show the words and put them away. This should take between 30 seconds and a minute. When you are ready to present some words, your goal should be to get it done. Flash the words and put them away. Do this 2 or 3 times per day. If you do this when baby wakes up, after a bath and after a diaper change, you are done for the day. This is not something you do all day.
Don’t bore your baby. – Your baby has the ability to learn as many languages as they are exposed to from birth to five years old. This means your baby is extremely intelligent. Don’t bore your baby by going too slowly. Show the cards around 15 times per word and move on. You can review, but be sure to include plenty of new material.
Cater to your baby’s interests. – Although there are packaged reading programs available, be sure to include words that your baby finds interesting. Don’t be afraid to add words to your program. As far as what you can teach, the sky is the limit. Don’t limit yourself in thinking that any program is perfect. You can add and take away from them as needed.
Use video. – There are some great videos available that teach babies to read. This is a great way to get your program started, Babies like to watch television. You can see how the words are presented and how your baby responds to the program. It is really easy to branch out to flash cards once you have begun with videos.
I am sure there are more than five things I learned while teaching my babies to read, but here are the top 5 things I learned.
Video was my tireless helper when it came to teaching my babies to read. – I started out on this journey by allowing my babies to watch video DVDs designed to teach babies to read. Each morning, after a meal, my baby would watch 30 minutes of television that was teaching them to read. Sometimes we used these twice a day, depending on how much I needed to get done. These videos are wonderful for teaching babies to read. I was confident that my child was viewing something that was going to have a tremendous impact on their life. Wouldn’t you say reading before the age of one can change a child’s life for the better?
Build gradually to using other materials. – We began with videos. Once we were in the groove of viewing those for about a month we began to use other materials. I would show my baby some flash cards after a diaper change a few times a day. This required a minute or so of my time, but quickly became a cherished time for my baby and for me. We would sneak away from the chaos of the house and spend a moment reading together.
Start as early as possible. – A baby can begin learning to read at 3 months old. The earlier you begin the better. Since a 3 month old is not very active physically, this is the perfect time to begin teaching your baby to read. They are a captive audience and really enjoy reading words. Their amazing brain development allows them to learn quickly, helping to build a solid reading vocabulary before they are a year old. Babies that learn early will never know a time when they couldn’t read.
Know when to teach and when to take a break. – Sometimes life gets crazy and these are perfect times to take a break from teaching your baby to read. You should only participate in the activities your baby really enjoys and you should both be in a good mood. If teaching your baby is just another chore for you, your baby will sense that and won’t enjoy your sessions. Only teach when you are both in a receptive mood.
Once you get in a groove, you will see opportunities everywhere for teaching your baby to read. – Getting into a groove with your program is a wonderful thing. You may be showing your baby a video each day and enjoying some flash cards. Now you notice that you can play with letters and words throughout the day as word play with alphabet blocks, foam letters, and magnetic letters. You can point out words to your baby as you go about your day. When you reach this point, there is no specific time that you teach your baby to read. You simply show your baby that words are everywhere and they can learn read them.