Apologies for the very huge and long-winded title but I really want to make a statement about the way the marketing machine is putting too much pressure on our young children to become mini geniuses before they even chance to develop at a normal child capacity!! Unfortunately these programs that promise to teach your child to read early are not saying what the research says about early child development and how a child best learns. Tullis (2011) describes the increasing trend of children preschool age expected to sit down and learn just like those of school age. Where Ginsburg (2007) states, how play is essential for the overall well-being and development of a child. With all of this in mind I what to give you an inexpensive example of how you can assist your child’s learning without paying a crap load of money to the marketing beast!!!
- The book you see below was purchased for about $12-$15, I bought it a while ago so I can’t remember the exact amount but I know that it was within my budget. I chose this book as my Son enjoys it when we walk to the lake and he can sit on the jetty. Therefore, its crucial to notice what things your child loves and is interested in.
- Every night (or most nights) we read this book to him. According to Mem Fox, this is awesome!!!!! Please note that the only cost factor here is the time one. By reading to your child you are creating good connections and strong relationships.
- The ice-cream container that is in the second picture was for free, as his Grandma bought the ice-cream, my son devoured it and then collected the container after it was cleaned. The intention for collecting it was so he could carry his vast amount of cars without dropping them everywhere. One night when I ran him a bath I put the ice cream container in the bath and instantly my son referred to the toy boat and began reciting the first page. Right there people!!! Right there is literacy event in the life of a young boy!!!!
- Now I will bring your attention to the towel that is on the floor that cost me nothing except for its initial cost. The towel became the lake and my son retrieved his ice-cream container and proceeded to re-enact the “toy boat”!! Once again, this is a literacy event that shows how my son’s early learning development is indeed progressing.
Please note that within my examples that I’ve given you there is a huge emphasis on play with no pressure to perform. My son has been learning without he even realising it. Please don’t be pressured to believe that if your child is not in a special program then they wont do well in school. This is simply not true as expressed by Almon & Miller (2011) who point out that in Finland they allow children be children by letting them play and introduce academics at an appropriate age and yet constantly come out on top for “Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)” .
So it’s time now to take the pressure off and stick it to the marketing man!!!! I suggest play, play and more play!!!!!!