Sunday, February 19, 2012

Learning about natural learning

Let [babies] hear you speak, and find opportunities for them to hear others speak. Although there are justifications and theories about what babies like and respond to (high voices and sing-songy voices seem to appeal to babies), don't revert to a whole babytalk language with them. Some is fine, but talk to them about real things, too. Tell them what you're doing with them, and what they're seeing, when they're out and about. Don't quiz them, just talk. It's fine if they can't understand you for months and months. They'll be learning your tone and your moods and the speech patterns of the language even before they have vocabulary. You will be building a relationship that is not based on the meaning of the words, but on the sharing of the time and attention. You're paying attention to what the baby sees and touches and hears. The baby is paying attention to you.

If you can keep that up for eighteen years, you've got unschooling!
photo by Sandra Dodd, up into a little tree I sat under, in a gully;
not in New Mexico


  1. A great note by e-mail:

    Love it!

    Reminds me of when I was on a train with Adam. He was maybe 8 or 9 months old and was in his sling. I heard one of the people in our carriage say to her friend,
    “Listen to ‘er, she’s talkin’ to that baby like it’s a real person!”


  2. Yes! I did this, I talked to all of my babies like real people :)

  3. I am so glad I did this. It was as if she could understand everything I said. And she would reply...with giggles, gurgles and other wonderful little sounds. We got each other laughing so hard at times. Wonderful communication with my baby that I will always cherish.

  4. Thank you for these sweet comments!


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