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.
Graham loves his books, really loves them. The bottom shelf of our bookcase is all his and he loves to empty it and sit on the floor for ages thumbing through his favorite stories. He is read to every night before bedtime and usually at least once during the day. He’s been filling in sentences and pointing out details on the pages since he was two.
When My First Slide-Out Book of Colors arrived in the mail my first thought was that it was too young, too babyish for Graham: after all, he can already identify most of his colors. I read it to him once, carefully, thinking I would probably offer it as a give-away for someone with a younger child.
But Graham had other ideas.
When time came for his bedtime stories that night, he snatched up the book and insisted I read it to him again. And again. We read it six times and about halfway through the fifth, I realized the book was already too gummed up, and too valuable, to give away.
What I like about the book (which has been a favorite for four nights running now) is that each page provides ideas for asking questions about the objects pictured. What Graham likes about the book is that each page has a tab that pulls out, adding colors to the pictures. His fascination with pulling the tabs allows me to linger on each page and question him about the colors, the pictures and the letters each pictured object starts with.
And he is answering, which is wonderful. With only a little prompting he told me last night that green starts with g and so does grass and so does his name. He also confirmed that the banana was yellow, that banana starts with b and so does bath (where, incidentally, we were headed after we finished the book).
It’s really gratifying to see Graham respond so well to the book and I appreciate that the learning feels organic, as opposed to being the result of me quizzing him: I feel strongly that I never want to be the kind of mom who is constantly trying to drill and grill her child into intellectual superiority.
Even if that does make me a slacker mom.
You can find out more about the Early Start Active Reading Method by visiting www.earlystartchild.com. It is a new company and the books are just becoming available now but I expect they will be everywhere before long. Shoot them an e-mail through the web site to enquire about ordering books and when and where they will be available in stores