Babies truly are amazing. At birth they are unable to speak and can hardly move around. Within a few short years they are able to articulate complete sentences and have a mind of their own. How does this happen?
During the first years of life a baby’s brain is forming many synapses, or connections, based on their environment and what they are exposed to. The interactions that babies learn from are incredibly fast paced. Babies do not need to be told something a countless number of times before they get it. They are like little scientists that are bent on seeing, touching and tasting everything. It is through these experiences that they learn everything they can in their world.
Parents that have watched their baby drop his spoon from the highchair can attest to this. Why is baby doing this? Why must he drop his spoon so many times? He has discovered gravity and is concluding that every time he lets it go – it falls down. To a baby this is a fantastic discovery that deserves a bit of attention.
Babies are Speed Learners
Babies are looking around their environment and figuring out the rules. That is what they are set on doing during their first years of life. We know that this does not take them a long time to figure out. If you watch a baby make their way around an unfamiliar room, you will see that they spend just enough time on each item to figure out all that they need to know from each interaction. Once they understand how it tastes, what sound it makes and so forth, they are on to the next item. They are essentially speed learners.
Fast Interactions Several Times
We must keep this is mind as we set about to teach our babies anything. Most babies prefer short, quick sessions and interactions. While some babies will have a longer attention span, when teaching babies to read, aim for fast interactions several times throughout the day. This can take as little as 30 seconds per session. Babies do not need to stare at words to learn them. A brief glance at a word as it is spoken to them allows the baby to grasp it. By repeatedly showing them a word or words, they begin to figure out the patterns and the rules of the language.
There is something to be learned from every word your baby encounters. They quickly begin to recognize that a certain letter or letters make a particular sound. Babies that are exposed to language in short, quick intervals are able to figure out the rules of language much in the same way that they figured out the rules of gravity.
Parents must not expect a baby to learn in the same way that an older child does. Babies are speed learners. They enjoy and thrive on fast paced learning. This is how they learn best and this is how they enjoy learning. The key to keeping their attention is to make it fast and fun. Visit MonkiSee.com to view some great baby dvds and flash cards creatively designed to teach babies to read.