Are baby reading programs worth your money?
Baby reading programs are all the rage these days. But do they actually work and are they worth the price you pay for them? Find out more on whether you should invest in this program for your little one as well as cheaper alternatives out there.
Every parent would like to give their kids an educational head start and this can start right from the moment the baby enters the world. It is this inherent love and desire that has fueled the teach-your-baby movement. Of course there is no denying the fact that a baby’s brain absorbs information like a sponge, but does it mean we should cram them with information and academics?
The sheer number of baby reading programs available now seems to suggest so but do these programs really work, and are they worth your money?
What is it?
Baby reading programs such as Your Baby Can Read!, Little Reader and the Orton and Shichida methods utilise specially made flash cards to help babies, toddlers and young learners in general connect the written word with the object. The flashcards are shown in quick succession to focus the baby's attention, and according to the Schichida and Orton methods, the quick succession of cards also trains the right brain and stimulates your baby's photographic memory and right brain development.
Can a baby really read?
The claims are amazing with some of the baby reading programs promising literacy in babies as young as three where the average age a child learns to read is around five. After all which parent does not want their child to be ahead of the developmental curve? Yet the question that keeps popping up is whether your baby can actually read or is this just a form of memorisation?
Peter Vishton, a psychology professor at the College of William & Mary, was quoted in Huffington Post, "There has been little to no evaluation of the effectiveness of programs like 'Your Baby Can Read.' Most researchers are confident that the children are not really reading, but just responding to shapes in a stimulus-response fashion."
The truth is that no alternative like baby reading programs can compare to hard work and time. Most parents we spoke to believe that the best way to teach your child to read is by taking the time to read to them everyday and talk to them continually. Lisa Guernsey, Director of Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation has even suggested that “Putting flashcards in front of babies, is nowhere near as richly stimulating to children as communicating with them through real back-and-forth conversations about the world around them.” This constant interaction with your baby also has the added benefit of further bonding you with your child, something that flashcards can never replace.
Will you rely on baby reading programs for your kids? We'd love to hear from you!
Check out this video of a mum using one of the baby reading programs called 'Your Baby Can Read':