Author Topic: Early Learning Products  (Read 282 times)

tmw89

Early Learning Products
« on: October 24, 2017, 06:20:11 PM »
Would anyone on TTF -- especially those with home school experience -- happen to know much about "Froebel gifts"?  Some folks I know recently had their first child, and were talking about "Froebel gifts" and "Montessori materials,"among other things.  The extent of my knowledge on these topics is purely via websites, they are objects produced for children to facilitate early learning.  But what is the Trad take:  are they useful aids, or Communist subversion?  :confused:
 

TKGS

Re: Early Learning Products
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2017, 07:29:17 PM »
I have completed homeschooling four children and my last child is a high school junior.  The eldest is a religious nun and number two is a religious brother.  The third will finish an Associate's Degree in December and the fourth in the the first year of college.

I've never heard of "Froebel gifts" before now.  From what I saw on the internet, it appears that they are probably just high-priced toddler toys.  Lincoln logs, Legos, and shape toys are probably just as good and they won't come with the psycho-babble the "Froebel gifts" come with.

As for "Montessori materials", I know a lot of people who swear by the Montessori method of education, but I have no idea what the "materials" are that they are talking about.  I do know that people involved in Montessori say that it's best to start practically from birth.  Frankly, I haven't been overly impressed with the children who go through a Montessori education; not that they aren't smart.  Whatever it is they are doing, they seem to do well academically and many have gone to higher education and are doing pretty well in the world; but so are a lot of people who don't go through a Montessori education.  The materials say that a Montessori education is, by it's nature, a Catholic education; but there also seems to be a lot of non-Catholic Montessori schools out there so I don't really know.

In any event, all these things are probably just as useful as not sitting the kids in front of the TV all day during their formative years and/or having the daycare raise the kids.  I doubt that either is Communist subversion, but all of it is probably just expensive toys.

But neither of them are going to have any lasting effects if they put the child in daycare or public school.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 07:31:09 PM by TKGS »
 
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Mithrandylan

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Re: Early Learning Products
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2017, 10:19:45 PM »
Maybe take a look at Usborne?  The Missus consults for them occasionally. Have some decent books for all ages (including newborns and infants) and are fairly priced.

Agree with TKGS. Millennial parents are more or less being extorted by the baby/child goods industries. Lots of fear-mongering-- get the right lid for your child's first sippy cup or they'll never learn how to talk and they'll wet the bed until they're 19. It's mainly a racket.

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EricH

Re: Early Learning Products
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 08:00:36 AM »
My mother was an elementary school teacher and has a master's in early childhood education.  She says that the best thing for young children's development is personal engagement with an older person who speaks with the child and teaches him things, and of course reads books to him.  There is no substitute, high-tech or otherwise.

I don't think there is any extra benefit to "expertly designed" toys as compared with ordinary blocks, balls, scrabble letters, puzzles, etc.  There is plenty of room for creativity using ordinary toys.

One special thing that parents can do for their little ones (under age 6) is to teach them absolute pitch.  This is a tremendous help to a musician and is next to impossible to acquire at an older age.  See http://www.escom.org/proceedings/ICMPC2000/poster2/Sakakiba.htm
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 09:00:07 AM by EricH »
 

Kayla_veronica

Re: Early Learning Products
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 08:21:50 AM »

I don't think there is any extra benefit to "expertly designed" toys as compared with ordinary blocks, balls, scrabble letters, puzzles, etc.  There is plenty of room for creativity using ordinary toys.


Toys that allow the use of imagination are supposedly much better than those high-tech toys that only serve one purpose. A rectangular block can be a car, a phone, a stick, etc. I have noticed my daughter tends to get more use out of these kinds of toys, and he's bored easily with those that are only meant to be one things.

I've been advised by other homeschool mothers not to start any kind of formal learning until preschool age, and just let the toddler learn through play, plus reading and going outside.

I really haven't looked into Montessori that much, although I did hear the person who started it was at least nominally Catholic.
 
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Mithrandylan

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Re: Early Learning Products
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 10:23:27 AM »
Yes, the little one is far more interested in pots, pans, silverware, brooms, mops, shoes, towels, and the like-- than she is in any of the electronic toys we have for her (which are few-- maybe three or four).
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Mithrandylan

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Re: Early Learning Products
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 10:26:19 AM »
I was trained as an educator so I should know more about Montessori, but I don't.  I made something of an effort to forget most of what I learned at university.

But as Eric says, there is simply no substitute-- at all-- for an interpersonal learning experience.  One of the (very few) things that modern educational theory has right is the need for smaller classrooms (i.e., for a better student:teacher ratio).  I have volunteered in schools and served as a teacher's assistant, and the modern public school (among all of its other faults) is little more than a dumping ground daycare.  It is highly impersonal.

I wear it for a memorable honor,
For I am Welsh, you know, good countryman.
 

TKGS

Re: Early Learning Products
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 12:53:32 PM »
My mother was an elementary school teacher and has a master's in early childhood education. 

My daughter is in her first semester of community college for a two-year degree in early childhood education.  She's already decided that she will not pursue a four-year year degree because the class visited the local university which has a highly rated education degree program and she learned what kind of things will be taught in the Bachelor's Degree program. 

Education has changed greatly since your mother earned her Master's Degree, I am sure.  There was a time when the purpose of Schools of Education was to explore the most effective methods for teaching children basic skills, knowledge of history and arts, and give a child a well-rounded education so that that he will be better prepared to live in the world.

Today, the purpose of Schools of Education, not just one purpose of many, but the only purpose of education is:  "diversity".  Now, what exactly that means is debatable, but my daughter clearly heard the message that, to the university professors, diversity means anything but Christian.  The ironic part of all this is that her motivation for looking into a teaching degree was her reading of a book, The Manual of Christian Pedagogy, that was written in the 1890s by a Catholic teaching order of brothers.
 

EricH

Re: Early Learning Products
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2017, 02:38:28 PM »
My mother was an elementary school teacher and has a master's in early childhood education. 

My daughter is in her first semester of community college for a two-year degree in early childhood education.  She's already decided that she will not pursue a four-year year degree because the class visited the local university which has a highly rated education degree program and she learned what kind of things will be taught in the Bachelor's Degree program. 

Education has changed greatly since your mother earned her Master's Degree, I am sure.  There was a time when the purpose of Schools of Education was to explore the most effective methods for teaching children basic skills, knowledge of history and arts, and give a child a well-rounded education so that that he will be better prepared to live in the world.

Today, the purpose of Schools of Education, not just one purpose of many, but the only purpose of education is:  "diversity".  Now, what exactly that means is debatable, but my daughter clearly heard the message that, to the university professors, diversity means anything but Christian.  The ironic part of all this is that her motivation for looking into a teaching degree was her reading of a book, The Manual of Christian Pedagogy, that was written in the 1890s by a Catholic teaching order of brothers.

Good for your daughter.  I wish her success and happiness in her work.

Teaching children year in and year out is a work of self-sacrificing love.  It's not for the faint of heart.  The pedagogical nuts and bolts are important but they aren't rocket science.  The "schools of education" IMO mainly exist for their own profit and aggrandizement, and to propagate socialism, naturalism, and perversion.  It's outrageous the money they charge and the debts they saddle their students with.  As you say, things were much better before the wheels came off in the 1960s-70s.

A professor of education at Illinois Univ., Rochelle Gutierrez, is in the news recently for saying that mathematics is a tool of white privilege.  Riiiiiight.  :crossarms:  How exactly does she propose to fix that?

I have been a math tutor for nearly 10 years, and things have gone way downhill in that time.  About 4 years ago the local public schools mostly stopped having math books because of a partisan budget dispute -- the state didn't provide the local district with the usual funds for books, so the local district stuck it to them by refusing to buy books with its own money.  Great idea!  Yet they waste a ton of money on technology, and they never have enough.  Apparently they can't grasp the idea of working within a budget.  Oh well, just do another bond issue.

Most high school students could not pass a moderately difficult test of arithmetic.  Their high school math classes are designed to require no real mastery of the material.  It's all a huge waste of time and money.  There's a slice of the population that actually learns math even in these schools, but they have to be self-motivated.

There is a lot of inspiring and informative material for teachers in the Catholic Educational Review, free online at Google books.  Scroll down to Other Editions on this page: https://books.google.com/books?id=ZvoBAAAAYAAJ
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 02:50:39 PM by EricH »
 

TKGS

Re: Early Learning Products
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2017, 04:55:07 PM »
Thank you for the link.  I saved it to pdf and I'll put it on a thumb drive for my daughter.  She'll be interested in this.  In part of one of her papers in Education 101 she had to explain why she wants to be a teacher.  She wrote about teaching children to know, love, and serve God so that they can save their souls and be saved and not be condemned to hell for eternity.  It's interesting that she received 105 out of 100 on that paper (students could receive 5 points extra credit if they submit the paper through the automated system that checks for plagiarism).  I was surprised.  She's being quite up front about her faith in the class. 

As for the education professors comments, I guess non-whites don't need math as long as their EBT cards work.
 
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