Saturday, September 10, 2011

Babies That Read - Hype or Hoopla?

Have you heard of the program "Your Baby Can Read"? One of my best friends told me about this when my daughter was two months old. I thought, sure why not, I will give the program a whirl. I watched the infomercials and YouTube videos of babies reading and remember thinking "really?". So, I bought the program and started Ellery on it when she was three months old.  She watched one video for about a month, two times a day, with a total of five videos in seven months. At ten months old, she could recognize the words and point to the correct word.

The videos taught her basic words like: Hi - Car - Animals - Pets, and classic children's songs like the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Row Row Row Your Boat. Then before Ellery went to bed, we  read her favorite children's books (and still do) along and one of her program's book which reviewed the words from the video. If anything she seemed to really like it, but can you call this reading?

The Today show did an investigative report on this in November 2010 and the top University's all agree this isn't reading, but rather memorization. You are shown the same words over and over again and before you know they are recognizing the words and even "reading" them. This is exactly what my daughter did and by twelve to thirteen months when her vocabulary really kicked in she was actually "reading" the words to us.

I do have to agree with the Universities. This is memorization rather than reading because there is no phonics involved. But, I do think the program helped Ellery accelerate her learning and understanding of concepts faster.  I can't prove that since this might just be who she is, with or without  my help or any program. But, I do know she can tell you almost every part of the body (taught to her by the program), count up to ten (that's me), and talk mini sentences "Come On", "Down Please" "Just a minute" (my short phrases around the house)- by 14 months.

Only time will tell if this program will prove to be a valuable reading foundation for the future until then we continue to read her favorite children's books everyday because she loves them.

1 comment:

  1. Great Blog! Following from MBC. Can't wait to read more posts.