Early Learning – Our Experiences…

This is why you should start teaching your child as early as possible…

Recently, Gareth has started bulking at certain things. At 17 months, he’ll protest if I try to show him anything he doesn’t like. He used to be happy whenever we turned on the TV. Now he grabs the remote controls in an effort to put on his own programs. Thankfully, his favourite DVDs are still They Might Be Giants (although Gavin is fast growing weary of the repeats). Unfortunately, Gareth did not get into Peter Weatherall sufficiently before he decided he had an opinion about everything. Now I can’t even play the CD in the car for Gavin (who does enjoy them) without Gareth screaming in protest from his carseat. Ironically, he doesn’t mind if I sing the songs for him as long as the CD is not playing.

This is why perseverence pays…

Gareth, who couldn’t sit still long enough to get through the reading of a single book is finally able to sit through a reading of one The Cat in the Hat Learning Library book – that’s quite a feat given how long it takes to read one of those books. He has also started to flip through his own books in a meaningful way – that is, he isn’t trying to gnaw at the books, and he’s actually looking at the pages intently as he turns from page to page.

This is why you should set the example…

I think a large part of Gareth’s interest in books was developed through observing his brother and mother reading books. Gareth goes nuts every time Gavin takes out his Mr Men collection. He’s also started flipping through the pages and “reading” to himself in babble.

Learning through music really works…

After listening to They Might be Giants Here Comes Science and Here Comes the 123s:

  • Gavin can remember the names of some dinosaurs, like Pachycephalosaurus, and he’s picked up an interest in learning about dinosaurs – a subject I have been trying in vain to teach him since he could walk.
  • Gavin has learned about the circulatory system and is interested to learn more about human biology.
  • Gavin has learned about elements of the Periodic Table and wants to know more.
  • Gavin has learned a few numbers in Spanish.

Technology has its uses…

Even if your child is 17 months. I’m not advising excessive use of it, but the iPad and iPhone has taught Gareth a few things. He responds really well to the WordWorld App – he has started to say the names of the animals from WordWorld as they appear on the app. He also loves to practice writing his numbers and alphabets on iWriteWords – he lets me guide his finger.

Although I was initially apprehensive to hand over such gadgets to a child under two years of age, it has occured to me that some of these apps are really no different to me handing him his lights and sounds leapfrog toys. If I am okay with a child playing with a toy phone that makes noise and lights up whenever he presses the buttons, then how is that really any different to an iPhone app that mimics a mobilephone? As long as you don’t overdo the usage and turn on airplane mode (to minimise radiation exposure), I think it’s okay.

I won’t even begin to talk about how useful the iPhone/iPad has been for Gavin who plays puzzles, word games, and brain stimulation games on it. He also reads books on it on his own like Dr Seuss and other titles (although he enjoys putting on the naration, I’ve noticed he will also read them on silent when I let him play with the iPad without sound so I can get Gareth to sleep).

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

4 thoughts on “Early Learning – Our Experiences…

  1. Fully agreed!! Although still have many people won’t agreed we input so many “knowledge” to our children, but we see the different.

    Last year, we went to the Singapore Science centre, and Em falling in love when she first saw dinosaurs sculpture, and she found a book all about dinosaurs, since then she remember some of the dinosaurs name, and questioned me whether I knew how many differences dinosaurs there have. This year her preschool have a field trip to the Dinosaurs live @ the Science Centre,KL,which is help her to expand the history knowledge about the dinosaurs.

    The iPad/iPhone educational apps for kids are great, can’t complaint anymore for the lazy mom like me. :p

    Like

    1. Yeah, I would love to take Gavin to the Dino science exhibit now that he is showing more interest in dinosaurs – just need to figure out how to juggle the two boys for the visit since Gareth is only interested in running around these days.

      Yup, I never thought much about the iPad/iPhone apps initially, but I must admit I’m really impressed by the thought behind some of the educational apps.

      Like

  2. since he like d Dino, these are the books that I bought for Em last visited Singapore, she chosen them. May be he love it too.

    FIRST DISCOVERY DINOSAUR

    How to dinosaur go to school.

    Em wanted to go again to see the Dino. Daddy keep saying, but her activities so tight up!! She juz don’t understand One day only have 24hrs, she can’t do too much of stuff that she wanted to do!!

    Like

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