For months I’ve been whispering to my boss, an educator, that I thought watching TV was helping my son become an even better reader than he already is. (I say that I was “whispering” because my boss has a much stricter TV policy than I do, so I was kind of embarrassed to suggest that my four year old watching the boob tube was a good thing.) I told her how he is obsessed with turning on the closed captioning on everything he watches, including the news. She finally conceded that I was probably right about it being helpful.
Last week my boss handed me a tiny article from First magazine that mentioned research from renowned University of PennsylvaniaÂ professor, Deborah L. Linebarger, Ph.D. that supported “my” theory.Â The article said something about word recognition and reading comprehension being improved upon when small kids watch TV with the captions on.Â It makes total sense if you think about it.Â If whatever you said to your kid was spelled out on your chest as you said it my guess is that our kids would pick up reading quickly.
Too bad I can’t take of the credit for turning on my boy’s closed captioning.Â He messed with the remote a few times, found a button that put words on the screen, and he’s been hooked ever since.Â I do hope his word fetish continues throughout life because everything you ever wanted to know about anything can be found in the written word.Â It’s safe to say that he’s off to a good start; so good in fact we can’t even spell around him anymore.Â Over this past weekend I asked my wife if she was ready to give Devin his g-i-f-t.Â Devin thought about what I had just said and responded “G-I-F-T spells gift… Gift?Â What gift?Â A gift for meeeeeeee?!”Â The boy is good.
He’s a boy genius 🙂 I LOVE it!
Ha! I love that reaction!
Good thing you weren’t spelling anything more… mature.
Kids are funny. I do believe they all come here with different gifts, abiliities, and interests.
But all of those things are subject to change as they age.
I loved watched “Reading Rainbow” when my boy was a preschooler, but I could never get him hooked on the show. He wasn’t into reading then, but he did show an early interest in shapes and numbers. His favorite show before he started Kindergarten was “Cyber Chase” which deals with math. Ever since kindergarten he’s been placed in his school’s “gifted” math program.
Your boy may be headed down the same path as far as reading is concerned. Of course, just as soon as you think you know them, they change. These days now my 10 year old appears more interested in reading about dragons than solving Algebra problems. The best we can do is pay attention and encourage. Well, a little prayer never hurts either (smile.)
That’s probably a really good idea. TV really can’t do much of anything for them, so if they can associate written words with the spoken ones… that’s cool.
we’re all for “moderation in all things”, including TV. Last week the school had ‘No TV week’ and we just ignored it. My kid likes his 1 or 2 shows a day (never more) and he’s reading and doing math like crazy too, and playing outside, and playing inside and doing all sorts of stuff.
Fact. My neighbor who’s against TV on principle and has two little kids who never get to see anything, begged to come over to my house last week so he could watch the Warriors whip the Mavs!!
Hear you on that, Tom. We skipped that group opt-out as well.
Dad: Believe that Devin knows how to find what he needs, and you are the guide, and only sometimes the navigator.
Big Bird and Brother Levar helped my wunderkind as well, who, at 2 1/2, read my Avon bag (placed upside down on the floor) as NOVA. I bugged out, and started placing wooden cubes with letters on them around the house.
Pulled over to a corner one day, when he was four, the kid asked us what pro-hi-BIT-ed was, and we couldn’t figure out what he was talking about, so asked why. He pointed to the “parking prohibited between the hours…” sign, and then we knew the ride had begun.