Saturday, October 15, 2022

Providing an educational edge

Bryan Garner offers "A Dozen Ways to Boost a Child’s Education: Part 1":
.... Like almost all other parents, I was committed to doing what I could to give my children an educational edge. My approach was anything but desultory: I researched child development and tried purposefully to apply what I’d learned. The following pointers (six this time, six more next) result from both what I discovered through research and my own innovations.
  • From the day they’re born, speak maturely to them. The literature advising against baby talk is voluminous. Whether or not baby talk really stultifies, my approach was to talk to my children tenderly but professorially from the day they came home from the hospital. On the first day, I explained all that I could about the family they’d been born into and gave them a tour of the house. .... I don’t for a moment think they were absorbing my words. But they were hearing the language used decently enough, in complete sentences, with fully elaborated thoughts.
  • Read nursery rhymes — with great repetition. Does it really work? Here’s what Drs. Sally and Jonathan Shaywitz say in the 2020 edition of their book Overcoming Dyslexia: “Children’s familiarity with nursery rhymes turns out to be a strong predictor of their later success in reading. In England, researchers asked three-and four-year-olds, ‘Can you say “Humpty Dumpty” for me?’ Regardless of intelligence or family circumstances, the children who were most familiar with nursery rhymes were also top readers three years later. Conversely, children who demonstrate reading difficulties may show early signs of insensitivity to rhyme.”
  • Own plenty of books, for both children and adults. Reading specialists have adopted the initialism HLE to denote “home literacy environment,” which measures parental involvement in reading with the child and the quality of parent–child interactions. In one category of HLE, “book exposure,” homes are evaluated according to how many books are there. In some studies, the lowest score is given to households with 30 or fewer, and the highest to households with more than 200. Study after study has emphasized the importance of book exposure. With books around, you create opportunities to read. And you accustom children to the old-fashioned type of reading — with a codex in hand. .... (more)
Bryan Garner, "A Dozen Ways to Boost a Child’s Education: Part 1," National Review, Oct 13, 2022.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:21 AM

    I am often challenged to understand, but appreciate this challenge, in your posts. This one, however, aligns with my thinking of raising children intentionally. For example , I thought it important to speak maturely to my son from the day he was born, explaining things. Once he cut the tip of his sock off and showed it to me. We looked at it and I explained the ramifications, that he would not be able to wear it with a hole. I could have told him it made us angry, but that isn’t the real reason. My mother and husband witnessed this exchange and my husband said I needed to “get on” him about cutting the sock. I told them I wanted Seth to know why he shouldn’t do something, not because I was angry. I also wanted him to feel comfortable coming to me. My mother asked if I thought Seth understood a word I said. I said I wasn’t sure. I asked her if she could tell me the point at which he would understanding and she, who rarely talked to us until we were young adults, said she didn’t know. I said then I’m starting now. I believe it had an impact on his ability to self govern himself as a teenager. We always played imagining or thinking games in the car, repetition of AWANA verses. I told Seth he didn’t have to sit and “work” at memorizing his verses, we would simply repeat them three times each time we get in the car, by Wednesday he knew them. I wish I would have thought of the writing practice Garner suggests. While Seth enjoys writing, it doesn’t come smoothly for him.


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