I have rarely discussed with my friends what I do with Sophia as when I have there has been a large amount of backlash or just plain ignoring. I thought I would start by airing my own frustration with this and my frustrations I have had with teaching my children and the battles I have had with in myself as to whether I am doing the right thing or not.
With teaching my own daughter I have had many ups and downs. There are days where she just does not want to do anything other than play and I have not been able to show her any flash cards or presentations on the computer or even play with the letter fridge magnets. I sometimes pull my own hair out as I have my own schedule and curriculum in mind with what I want to teach and where I think I should be, but I always follow Glenn Doman's rule keep the lessons short and fun and Right brain Kids rule Follow the child. It is sometimes hard when the child just wants to play with playdoh and knows when you try to turn that into a lesson.
One day I clearly remember I was cleaning up the flashcards I had made her and her loudly pronouncing NO FLASH CARDS MUMMY, I said im not Im cleaning them up trying to make them neat for the next baby. "NO FLASHCARDS MUMMY" Okay okay I said and haven't shown her any since. It does frustrate me because I want to teach her so much and I feel I get further and further behind.
I am also continually changing my methods of teaching one week she will respond to one form of learning the next week it will change again. I always have to be ready to adapt and change my style very quickly. Even at two she already has preferences for one style of the other and she now responds very well to teaching through art and craft. If she is able to create something of her own she seems to learn so much better than strickly flash cards or from a computer program. She still likes these methods but not as much as creating something of her own
I recently cut out a whole heap of polygons from shiny colourful paper and let her creat a collage of shapes and then I wrote underneath each shape what it was. Soon Sophia was holding up the shapes going "that's a rhombus, that's a right angle triangle. So on and so on. I watched her thouroughly enjoy creating something special as well as actually learning something and I was pretty proud of myself for 'discovering' a way that she liked to learn.
This taught me a very valuable lesson in 'follow your child' not all children will respond in a way that a book will tell you that they will so it is important to adapt your style to theirs and be willing to try things that may not be convential but get the job done.
The other battle I have had is the battle with myself. I have often asked my self if I am doing the 'right thing' will i make her too advanced? will this hinder her socially? will she be bored in school if she goes to school already reading and grasping mathematics? will she regret me teaching her at such a young age? Is there any real benefit to teaching at such a young age?
I have asked myself and my husand these questions so many times I have lost count. I never have really come up with an answer other than I want her to love learning more than anything in the world. I also love the bond that I have built with her, (even though at this point of time Im currently rebuilding that bond as I had a five day stay in hosp when I had daughter no 2 and Sophia has broken away from me slightly). As for socially Sophia does enjoy the company of older children and sometimes does engage in more advanced play for her age but she goes to day-care 2 days a week and has made little friends which she talks about all the time. So I have gladly let go of that fallacy of early childhood learning socially hinders them.
As for any real benefit of early learning well I think a love of learning that lasts a life time and love of discovering things for themselves will help foster a highly motivated adult in the future and one I hope does not think that the world owes them.
As for other people: Well what does it matter what they say let the results speak for themselves and most people don't really understand the whole early learning thing and some people might be really threatened by it especially if it something they do not want to do with their own children. It takes a lot of time and preperation to teach a young child even when the lesson is no longer than 5 minutes. I have given up on telling people, its the best way to continue teaching my little one's I let the results speak for themselves and I don't want sophia being 'tested' all the time like she is a trained seal. The early learning process has become a special thing between us and I don't want that broken.
Thanks for reading my post