Babies: 6 - 9 Months

'Your Baby Can Read' - Scam?

Have you seen those 'Your Baby Can Read' infomercials on TV? I found some less than favorable reviews of the product online, but was wondering if any of you use it or plan to use it. Clearly, the baby is just memorizing the words (at least early on), but might there some cognitive benefit in the introduction of those flashcards? Perhaps. WDYT?

I'm thinking of just making some large flashcards myself and showing it to DD and narrating the words.

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Re: 'Your Baby Can Read' - Scam?

  • DH and I both learned to read at 3.  I think we benefited from learning without flash cards, which I hate anyway.
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  • it's rote memorizing, which is a totally different skill than phonics and reading. 
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  • Once Xander is old enough to talk back and understand we will start on a phonics program. Go over the alphabet letters and the sounds they make give examples in words. Ie "A" makes "Ah" like Apple or "Ae" like "Ape" "B" makes "Buh" like "boy" etc. Then we'll work on combining the sounds with each sound on a card. A+dd= Add A+t=At c+a+t= cat b+a+t= bat b+a+d=bad etc.

    I am very pro-phonics and think the whole word approach doesn't work. You simply can't memorize every word in the english language and even at  my age I need to be able to sound things out like "Chelicerata"

  • DH is an elementary school teacher, and he said recent studies have shown that it's actually not a good thing to force kids to learn to read before they are developmentally ready, which is closer to age 5 or 6. They end up not learning as quickly in the long run.


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  • I believe it is a scam. I was a nanny for 2 years where I was instructed to do the "Your Baby Can Read" religiously 2x a day. Books, flashcards, and DVD's. And let me tell you that it DID NOT work!!! I think it's a complete waste of money and a lot of it. Just read books to your children.
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  • imagemelpatbat:
    imagedarmca:

    I am very pro-phonics and think the whole word approach doesn't work. You simply can't memorize every word in the english language and even at  my age I need to be able to sound things out like "Chelicerata"

    I disagree.  English is a messed up language based on many different languages, phonics works but you need to balance it with whole language.  There are many words in the English languge that are not phonetic and if you go too far in one direction and only rely on phonics you are no better off than if you were trying to do all whole language.

    Any good phonics program recognizes "sight words" that cannot be sounded out phonetically.  Whole language is a failing program all around.


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  • Kids learn to read by reading books not by watching TV.
  • imageSirSleepsALot:
    Kids learn to read by reading books not by watching TV.

     Yes!!  

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  • As a child development major and former preschool/elementary teacher I can tell you that "Your Baby Can Read" and ANY other flashcard program for babies is not only a detestable marketing scam and a complete waste of time, but they can actually be harmful to babies' cognitive development.  

     Why?  Because the skills your baby is learning even when you leave him totally alone with nothing but a paper bag to play with (what does this feel like when I pick it up?  What will this do when I touch it?  How can I reach that thing over there?)  are miles beyond the rote memorization you are teaching him with your flashcards.

    You should know that when you show a baby the same picture over and over and associate it with a word, all he knows is that particular picture is that word.  So if your "dog" on the flashcard is a golden retriever, he'll parrot "dog" when he sees the picture, but you'll be disappointed to find that he doesn't apply this knowledge to the golden retriever across the street.  He has no way to know that pictures represent real things and that you're not telling him "this card with this picture on it is called a dog."  

    And he's not learning phonics either.  Replace the D with an F and see if he says "fog."  He won't.  The only thing he's learning is how to perform like a trained seal so that parents, friends, and family can ooh and ahh at how brilliant the baby is.

    Sorry to come off so strongly.  I really hate this garbage, and it's not parents' faults.  We all want to give our babies the best advantage possible, and it's disgusting the way these companies will take advantage of that to make a dime.

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