how to stretch DD's 'sponge-like' mind

(15 Posts)
cory Tue 12-Feb-13 13:33:37

Basically, what I would say is, enjoy every stage as it comes, but don't stress over how things will be too late: it is never too late to learn!

The important thing is to have fun learning. If your dd manages to hang onto that she's got something that will stay with her all her life and probably (according to the latest research) help to stave off old age and dementia.

Your OP sounds like you're doing all the right things to make it fun.

very interesting cory thanks for that thanks

cory Tue 12-Feb-13 13:14:24

Otoh I speak French, which I was taught from the age of 13, quite competently and can read a novel without effort.

cory Tue 12-Feb-13 13:13:49

I spent a lot of my childhood playing in the house of a Finnish speaking family. I have a very good idea of what the language sounds like, the sounds and the intonation, but I can't speak it beyond the most basic numerals and greetings.

cory Tue 12-Feb-13 13:12:31

SarfEasticated Tue 12-Feb-13 13:02:50
"Thanks cory i remembered reading that children's brains are more able to learn languages when they are very young and they lose that capacity when they get older. "

Later studies have shown that this isn't entirely true; different types of language learning are easier at different stages.

Very young children find it easier to pick up pronunciation and intonation, so they will sound more native very quickly. But they won't necessarily become proficient speakers of a language just because they were exposed to it very young.

Older learners may actually be quicker at picking up grammatical concepts, because they can do it in a logical and reasoning way, so they may be able to say more or understand more, but sound less correct.

Though even sound can be improved past a certain age: my English intonation improved no end between the ages of 16 and 25. My db mainly learnt German as a teen and Modern Greek from scratch in his twenties; he writes for publication in both languages and is frequently mistaken for a native speaker in both.

One thing about older learners is that they can be more self conscious and less willing to take risks, which may hold them back with language learning. But that will depend on the individual. My mother learnt Czech and Russian as a pensioner: attitude counts for a lot!

I work (part time) in the Modern Languages department. Most of the teachers there were not bilingual as children: they have either learnt English or the languages they teach as teens or adults. But they are pretty damn good at them!

Thanks cory i remembered reading that children's brains are more able to learn languages when they are very young and they lose that capacity when they get older. I was a little worried that this was that period and that I may miss it!

sittinginthesun i am encouraging her to do more active things (swimming, socialising, dancing etc) as she is rather cautious physically and likes playing quietly on her own.

Obviously we love her the way she is and in no way want to modify her personality in the slightest.

cory Tue 12-Feb-13 12:49:10

It is one stage of her learning development- and very delightful it is too. Just carry on as you were.

As she gets older (maybe 11 or 12), you will find that she becomes more discerning about what she does; she may well decide to focus on one thing to the partial exclusion of others. She may tell you she finds some areas of learning boring.

This doesn't mean she has lost something beautiful and irretrievable; it just means she is moving onto the next stage and beginning to think like a grown-up. As grown-ups we know how much there is out there and this gives us a need to prioritise.

The amount of learning she does may well be equal, or greater, just slightly different.

sittinginthesun Tue 12-Feb-13 12:46:25

My DS1 is like this. It is lovely, but I actually find that I have to make sure he isn't over stimulated, as his brain simply can't handle it. He had terrible nightmares when he was younger.

We decided to completely avoid extra academic classes, and so encouraged sport, and eventually music, as and when DS wanted to do them. Instead, lots of chatting about everything, lots and lots of books, and some trips out to support school topics.

He's 9 years now, and still hugely enthusiatic about school and learning generally. Very good academically, but mainly because he just loves it.

I think you have to make it fun, not formal, and just keep talking about everything!

Excellent - so i don't have to sign her up for numerous after school classes - phew.

stormforce10 Tue 12-Feb-13 12:13:34

DD is the same. I find the best thing is to leave things around she can learn from, take her to the library and try to answer her endless questions. she's 7 now but at 5 she'd wake me in the night to ask me things like why are hedgehogs nocturnal? why does the moon change shape? and other such mind benders. Now she has learnt to refer to books and the internet thankfully grin

thesecretmusicteacher Tue 12-Feb-13 12:10:16

"I did buy a second hand copy of the Oxford Children's Encyclopaedia and tried to read through it with her. But all the illustrations are of people having their arms and legs ripped off. So that plan didn't last long"

ROFL

DeWe Tue 12-Feb-13 11:50:13

They are little sponges at that age. particularly if they overhear you saying something you'd rather that didn't grin

But they learn just as much about the world by playing houses with a friends as going round doing educational things with you.

learnandsay Tue 12-Feb-13 11:46:22

Sounds normal to me. I talk to mine lots. I did buy a second hand copy of the Oxford Children's Encyclopaedia and tried to read through it with her. But all the illustrations are of people having their arms and legs ripped off. So that plan didn't last long.

sausagesandwich34 Tue 12-Feb-13 11:36:33

carry on doing what you are doing and answer her questions as they arise

don't go down the road of going to extra classes etc as when you are 5 it's very easy for learning to stop being fun

Hi there, DD is 5 and in Reception. According to her teacher, she is like a little sponge and soaks up everything that is taught to her. It's made me panic a bit - how long does this last for? Is it a 5-year old developmental thing, or is it just her? She does a little French after school club, and we go to lots of museums, and do 'educational' things over the weekend, but I wonder if I have to capitalise on this phase (if it is one) before she grows out of it! What do you think? As a family we all really like words, working out how things work and discovering things, so we don't force anything... yet! smile

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