Thursday, June 12, 2008

Soon he'll have his own blog

I’ve always been somewhat irritated by the term Slacker Mom being used to describe mothers who are loathe to enroll their children in a plethora of enriching activities.

But I can’t deny that I am loathe to enroll my child in a plethora of enriching activities.

I’ve never managed to get my butt to a mommy-and-me music class, I don’t own any flashcards and I never bothered with baby sign language because it just sounded like too much effort.

And so it was guilt, truthfully, that had me agreeing to try out the Early Start Active Reading Method when a representative contacted me a few weeks back.

Because while I may not always be ahead of the game when it comes to creating my very own toddler genius, I have always been passionate about reading and writing and I am committed to passing that passion along to Graham.

Does a - gulp - slacker mom need to pull out the flash cards to help instill a love of reading in her child? Click on over to Don Mills Diva Recipes and Reviews to read about our experience with the Early Start Active Reading Method.

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34 comments:

Mandy said...

I've been called by that organization a ton of times. I always declined. I'll be interested to see how it works out for you.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I'm getting an error message for the link. So I will rant right here.

The only educational thing you should be doing with your toddler is letting him play and reading to him. Nothing else is necessary. All of my kids love reading, and I don't even bother teaching them the sounds of the letters until they are ready (believe me, they ask). Even if your toddler is able to learn letter sounds, the time you spend drilling him is time he should be spending exploring colors and shapes and the real world around him. Or, you could spend that time reading real live books to him than with doing some artificial educational exercise.

Not that I feel strongly on this subject, or anything...

Jen said...

Have you read "to hell with all that" by Kaitlyn Flanagan? Her theory on children's activities is that they are an extension of the mommy-wars. SAHM's load their kids up on activities so they can get out of the house & speak to other adults. WOHM's load their kids up on activities because they are not about to be outdone or have it implied that their children suffer because they work.

My DH is an educational psychologist, and we think along the same lines as Suburban Correspondent. Read read read to your kid. Talk to your kid with a running commentary on what's going on, and allow them to experience different tactile toys and they will be more than AOK at school.

Girl said...

I used to think because I didn't do all those "things" they were gonna come take my kids away... funny, I have a stellar student now and a child who can build 1000 piece puzzles. It's all about parenting, IMO, not classes.

angie said...

I firmly believe that over scheduling ones children is not a good thing......for mom or child.

MommyTime said...

I too have always avoided all the classes. The most we ever did was story time at the local public library. I read to the kids every day; we do lots of projects that require me to sweep up snips of paper off the floor and wash glue off the table, and we build things, garden, etc. I will get them into organized sports or some other activity when they're older if they want to do it, but otherwise, I think that if we give them tools, and the space for imagination, and encourage them, all the rest will come. That said, given that you and I seem to have similar philosophies, I would be very curious about what you've thought of this system -- but the link isn't working...

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

The link is not working.

I must say that I pretty much agree with everything Suburban Correspondent said. All my kids went to part-time, play-based preschool--no academics. I read to them, they saw me read. All 4 of my kids have always scored in the highest ranges on any type of testing relating to reading. I think there's a real danger of burning kids out when they start too young.

flutter said...

I am so bummed about your link being broken

Good & Crazy said...

yeah, I don't care for all those scripted mommy and me classes either. I try not to make fun of all my suburban neighbors who attend every class like they were getting little jimmy into college. and don't get me started on CAMP. I hate summer camps. My kids deserve DOWN time in the summer, and so do I!

noble pig said...

No you don't need flash cards, geez I totally, totally agree. The place I hate the most....the park! I hate it! Gasp!

Kathryn said...

I think over-scheduling a child can do much more harm than good.

zoeyjane said...

we don't do anything except for a regular playtime thing and it's 40% for her to get to play with other kids and 60% for me to get to watch from the sidelines with a cup of coffee. other than that - our days are built around walking and saying hi to everything and everyone, being (too) social and learning what everyday things are called and their colours, etc.

but we do have flash cards. we do them after 20 minutes of reading, before bed almost every night. it's the beginning of home schooling plans - 3 years early. :P

C said...

Oh, I can definitely see it now! Graham is going to have his own blog and will be writing neat little stories of his own...before he even gets to kindergarten! ;)

Cee said...

kids dont need a ton of fancy activites- isn't play a child's work anyway? I just had the outdoors and the world around me to learn from. Of coure, reading is a very good skill to get a head start in!

chelle said...

We play ... I must be a slacker because we focus on open play. The girl does some soccer, but one activity at a time. Life gets so intense why not be carefree for as long as possible?

Anonymous said...

I never had my son on a schedule or classes either. He loved to read and play sports so that is what we did. Do what you think is best for your child and he will grow into the special person he is meant to be.

Mara
http://24stepstogo.blogspot.com/

Marmarbug said...

that is great that you are starting young. I was reading at 4. My mom taught me.
I hope that I can try to goet Bean started soon!!!

kay said...

i too am a slacker mom. oldest played basketball one year in the 4th grade. the little guy, nothing. i personally hate to drive all over creation to get them to stuff so we just stay home and *GASP* play!!

David said...

I love and so adhere to suburbancorrespondent's comment. She said it all for me.

Mental P Mama said...

Well, this slacker mom has two high honor students about to enter their senior year of high school. Children need time to play and just be. That does more for their creativity and development than anything. And reading? You can't do better than sitting down and reading to your child. Okay, getting down off my high horse now. Enjoy!

Shannon said...

I am going to see what you thought right now! I have twins that were born Novemeber 2005 too. I am not much of a joiner either.

Holly said...

Well call me a slacker mom then. All I ever did was read to my boys. No special classes, no flash cards. I simply made sure their books were in their rooms and on the low shelf in our bookcase. Even as crawling babies, they loved to pull books off the shelf and look at them. Even as infants, we read to them. Now they both love books and love reading.

Now, my older boy studies karate and plays summer baseball. My younger one isn't interested in organized sports. I refuse to force either of them.

Read to them, read with them and talk to them like they're real people.

Missy said...

I figure that we (meaning myself and most people my age that I know of) grew up just fine without fancy, expensive baby classes and enrichment activities. I feel that I grew up to be an intelligent, creative person - our kids probably will do the same. My almost 4 year old is very interested in reading now - she will ask what words say, what sounds letters make, etc - I am confident she will be great!

Pinky said...

Hey Diva! Never been here before, but I like your joint. Clinging to the crumbs of your cool...that's funny. Me, too.
Ummm, the flash cards and stuff. Naaa, I say, let 'em learn as you read to him. Or, unless you truly enjoy the flash cards. If it's an effort, it's not worth it. All the classes and stuff? It's just busyness, mostly. Keeping it natural and real is best. Forced is phoney.

Oh, and I did the baby sign language thing with my first born. By the time she learned a few signs...she could say the words just fine! HA!
Nice to meet ya. :-)

Jaina said...

I'm sure Graham lacks for nothing. ;)

Barrie said...

Somehow I don't see you as a Slacker Mom. :)

But I'll be curious to see this reading method pans out.

womaninawindow said...

My kids have both picked reading up at their own pace, in their own way. Different methods. Different timings. They just get it when they want to. They are interested in the power of words and excited by the limitlessness of story, so I know it'll all fall into place...

Maureen said...

Oh crap, I NEVER put my daughter through any of those things. I read to her, we read together, then she read on her own. A strong foundation for each and every other skill she learned in school. And now that she's going into Grade 12 next year, I am proud to say she is constantly on the honor rolls... so don't fall for many of those money-making schemes.

Karen said...

I am the slackiest of the slacker moms. I've always waited until my kids told me they were ready for things. At age 2 my daughter asked me to write her name, the alphabet and numbers so she could trace them. My boys never did. I read to them but didn't force them to write. And you know what? The third child (that I had the least time with) is our little scholastic genius. You can't hurt them by letting them enjoy childhood. I believe that you can rob them of childhood by pushing your own agenda onto them, no matter how well intentioned.

End of personal rant.

kittenpie said...

Well, I'm with you on not packing in the activities - I think they need time to be kids, and that kids is good enough - who needs a toddler genius? As long as there is other stimulation, it all works out in the end. I have more fun things to do than sit with flashcards. That is not the stuff of wonderful memories, if you ask me.

ewe are here said...

I'm especially with you on the baby sign language. I mean, really, what's the point?

Susiewearsthepants said...

I hate to admit that my girls are not involved in extra curricular activities. I frankly cannot afford to have them doing all those activities. I feel very guilty about it, but I have to prioritize. Being a single mom makes for a busy lifestyle in itself, much less throwing in dance, ballet, and gymnastics. If comes down them having clothes to wear or food to eat or taking dance classes, personally I have to opt for the food and clothing. Thank you for this post.

Cheri said...

Slacker Mom? Everyone I know makes that an oxymoron. Kids not in activities makes for a slacker mom? People really think so? Whatever choices moms make for their kids, they work hard to make them meaningful and effective. Yeah huh! Great post!

Jobthingy said...

i must be slacker mom of the year because i have never enrolled Speedy in anything.