Your Baby Can Read? Maybe Not.

A mother reading a yellow book with her baby boy.Nearly a week ago I came upon an online news posted at USNEWS.com under their HealthDay News titled “Despite Media Companies’ Claims, Your Baby Can’t Learn to Read: Study”.

The news title immediately caught my attention. After all, I did buy an expensive baby reading program when Kaden was a baby and I thought that program would teach him to read. I went through the program with him for 4 months starting when he was 9 months old.

I stopped the program when I saw no signs of word recognitions from him. Maybe I should have prolonged the program usage and he might eventually learn something. But I put the program aside thinking maybe I would try again later when he’s older. But so far I didn’t.

I now quote from the online news article:

In the new study, published March 6 in the Journal of Educational Psychology, researchers randomly assigned 61 of 117 infants to a program called Your Baby Can Read, which included DVDs, flashcards and word books, for seven months. The babies were 9 to 18 months old. The other 56 infants didn’t do anything special.

When the researchers followed up, no differences between the two groups were apparent. As the study put it: “Results indicated that babies did not learn to read using baby media, despite some parents displaying great confidence in the program’s effectiveness.”

Hmm… The program I bought wasn’t Your Baby Can Read, but a program called BrillKids LIttle Reader. Similar to Your Baby Can Read program, BrillKids also involves using the Flashcard and Multisensory teaching methods…

Back then, I gave myself some reasons as to my why baby wasn’t reading. Maybe I didn’t follow through the program long enough. Maybe my son was too young and wasn’t ready. Or perhaps… my child just wasn’t a quick learner as I’ve read many testimonials of parents proudly claiming the program has taught their babies to read.

In the news report, Susan Neuman, the study’s lead author, suggests that parents talk to their babies, sing to them and read to them. They can also play games such as puzzle and shape games.

These were also the simple activities I did with Kaden after I stopped the BrillKids Little Reader program. While my baby was having his meals sitting at the high chair, I would point out to daily objects and name them to him. I read to him from babies’ fabric and board books. I tried my best to have conversations with him even though I was the only one talking with him responding with occasional baby noises.

I sang and sang the ABC song and a handful of nursery rhymes over and over to him.  I showed him how to slot shape cubes into the shape sorter. I poured out large puzzle pieces onto the floor and pieced them together, showing him the steps to putting together a puzzle. Over time as he grew, he picked up these things too.

I did eventually start to teach Kaden to read at home when he was 2 years and 3 months old with a reading program designed for children aged 2-7. So he learned to read, not as a baby but as a toddler. No computer, no flashcards, no multisensory method this time.

What about you, did your child try the Your Baby Can Read or the BrillKids Little Reader program? How well did your infant reading program work for your baby?

Source: USNEWS.com – Despite Media Companies’ Claims, Your Baby Can’t Learn to Read: Study

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