Sunday, January 22, 2012

Top 10 Reasons NOT to teach your toddler to read

10.  He will insist on reading every. single. street sign you see on the road.  And house number.  And store name.  


Our car rides go something like this:


"NUMBER 32 HOUSE!  NUMBER 34 HOUSE!  NUMBER 36 HOUSE!!!  ONWY ONWY ONWY!  GIANT!  CVS!"  Etc.  It gets old fast.


9.  He will refuse to eat his dinner because he's too busy reading the placement.


Thinking it would be fun and would protect the table, Andrew got John Paul a solar system place mat.  Problem is, he pushes his food away so the mat isn't blocked, and spends mealtimes reading about how many moons Mars has.


8.  You will no longer be able to skip significant portions of books just because you don't feel like reading the entire thing.


If I skip, he knows.  Not because he has memorized it, because he's reading along so that he can learn how to read every single new word.  I've taken to hiding books that are too long or banning them from the bedroom because I can no longer skip several paragraphs or pages at a time.


7.  You will no longer be able to spell forbidden words to avoid saying them.


"Should we give the kids any B-R-O --"  "Brownies?  I LOVE brownies!" My 3-year-old sister exclaimed.


6.  You will have to hide every book that has any adult language.


Some friends gave us this book last summer with John Paul's other birthday presents.
We had a chuckle and put it away on an adult bookshelf for several months.  John Paul found it AFTER he learned how to read.  And sounded out the words.  Needless to say, it has been hidden where even I can't find it.

5.  You will have to hide any book that has even a remotely objectionable title.

Andrew was a European History major in college.  John Paul has pulled many books off the bookshelf and read the titles to himself, some of which consisted of juxtapositions of the words death, Holocaust, Nazis, Jews, Hitler, etc...  It's not *bad* but it leads to some awkward moments during play dates...  "What did he just say???"

4.  He will broadcast to the world what size top you are wearing at all times.

He's obsessed with clothing tags right now.  Thankfully I'm fairly petite, but I can imagine how annoying this will be whenever we have the next baby and I'm still wearing maternity tops for several months afterwards... "Mom is wearing...  Maternity XS!"

3.  He will come up with his own obnoxious pronunciations that he KNOWS are wrong, and you will have to agree to prevent a temper tantrum.


I blame my mom for this one - she was reading a book to him about a knight and a castle and teaching him how you don't say the silent letters.  Now he demands that we read about the "Ka-ny-guh-huh-t" and the "cas-TUHl."  And we can't say good night anymore.  Nope, it's "Good ny-guh-huh-t."


He whines about something and I sympathize saying, "I know, John Paul."  Immediately he's up in arms.  "I KA-NOW!"


2.  He will be more annoying than ANY other child his age at Mass.


We finally got him to start staying in the pew for all of Mass about 90% of the time (aside from a potty break during the Homily).  Problem is, as soon as we get there he immediately gets the laminated card for the Principal Parts of the Mass and starts reading them VERY loudly to everyone.  At the wrong times.  Saying the priest's part, too.  And we ask him to whisper and he starts yelling, "SAY DE ACT OF PENITENCE???  I CON-fess to awMIGHTY God and TO you my bwuthers and sisters that I have GWEATWY SINNED!"


It was cute the first couple of weeks.  It has gotten old.


1.  No more napping.


John Paul's nap frequency has decreased in direct negative correlation with his reading skill.  It used to be he would look at pictures in a couple of books and then get bored and decide to go to sleep.  No longer.  Normally I find him with a few books in bed that he read for a couple of hours while he should have been napping.  I have found him with as many as TWENTY SEVEN books in bed.  He just lies in bed at reads.  For HOURS.  And he's perfectly happy, but the lack of sleep has really been taking its toll on his behavior.


If only we could go back to the days of blissful ignorance before he decided it was absolutely necessary to learn how to read...

7 comments :

  1. The clothing tag fascination sounds cute, and #10 sounds cute, too, but if I know anything about how annoying it is to have every. single. truck. on the road pointed out to me, I can understand why you would be frazzled, too. :) And #3 just sounds like a beast! Why do they insist on things even when they know they're wrong?!

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  2. Haha yeah the major problem with #10 is that I'm expected to respond to every single thing he reads, or else he just repeats it more emphatically until I finally respond!

    And he's learning with #3 - he's started responding to himself the way he knows I'll respond. "I know, John Paul." "I KA-now! Sure John Paul." I pick my battles :P

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    1. A little girl (fifteen mos, I think - and about 28 lbs!) saw her grandmother singing in the choir (though the choir is up in the sanctuary and the leetle girl is 'way at the back), escaped from her parents (apparently she is also slick) and barreled up the aisle shouting "Nanny!" and Cookies" in irregular alternation.... I heard the voice, not the words; but someone kindly translated for me.

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    2. A little girl (fifteen mos, I think - and about 28 lbs!) saw her grandmother singing in the choir (though the choir is up in the sanctuary and the leetle girl is 'way at the back), escaped from her parents (apparently she is also slick) and barreled up the aisle shouting "Nanny!" and Cookies" in irregular alternation.... I heard the voice, not the words; but someone kindly translated for me.

      Delete
  3. It is all my fault for teaching him about silent letters rather than letting him be a whole-word reader. Yes. Because nobody else would ever have explained that to him. ;-)

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  4. I didn't listen!!! I read this a few months ago, and yet now I have a 21 month old who knows most of his letter sounds so wants to make them all when he sees letters! Mind you he can't even talk yet! Is it bad to sometimes wish my child were a little less smart???

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    Replies
    1. Ha! I so frequently wish this... Particularly when we're doing longer read-alouds and he loudly corrects me if I get a word wrong or mix up the order...

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