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    #173132 - 10/30/13 07:04 AM Re: How to Hothouse Your Kid [Re: KathrynH]
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    So is it houthousing if a parent buys their child some alphabet books or BOB books or leapfrog toys and talks about letter sounds with their preschooler, or puts them on Starfall (assuming the kid is interested and willing)? Or is that just good parenting? What about math? Is it hothousing to ask questions like "If you have 3 cookies and I give you 3 more, then how many do you have?" Where is the line between providing some enrichment according to the child's abilities and hothousing?

    We have some friends who are here on a work visa from India and they comment on how apathetic parents here seem to be about academics. They think the whole sports culture with parents dragging their kids from sport to sport is ridiculous. In kindergarten and first grade (and probably before) the mom made her daughter do math workbooks and by the time she was in first grade she was doing long division. I do also think that child was gifted (or close to it) and ready to learn the material. So is that hothousing? Obviously it's also a cultural thing but kids in Asian cultures do much better in math, so maybe it's not all bad. Is it hothousing to push a kid a little bit if they are clearly ready to learn advanced material?

    My own DS in first grade is very lazy but we also have IQ results showing the 141 non-verbal IQ and he can clearly learn things quickly. So if I have him do math at the right level after school (since he gets no differentiated work in school), and he's not asking me for this, is that hothousing? He doesn't fight me on anything but doesn't ask for it either.

    Just curious.

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    #173135 - 10/30/13 07:13 AM Re: How to Hothouse Your Kid [Re: KathrynH]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Originally Posted By: KathrynH
    "Can you seriously hothouse a toddler into reading?"


    No. Not unless/until they happen to be developmentally ready.

    What is true is that it's good to have an intellectually stimulating environment so that as they play and explore the world they can learn what their minds are ready for.

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    #173138 - 10/30/13 07:28 AM Re: How to Hothouse Your Kid [Re: blackcat]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Originally Posted By: blackcat
    Where is the line between providing some enrichment according to the child's abilities and hothousing?


    Blackcat, you seem really anxious about this.

    I think a great deal has to do with the family's choice of how they want to live: it's personal and not one-size-fits-all.

    Our choice has been to provide a stimulating environment (as 22B notes). There are a ton of books in our house and no cable TV, because that's what we prefer. We are actively math-friendly-- when we bake, we talk about fractions, and so forth-- but we do not give our kids extra schoolwork outside of school. Again, that's a matter of taste and family style.

    We want our kids to have a balanced childhood with time for fun, music, and physical activity. If other families want different for their kids, that's OK with me.

    My own kids happen to adore academic learning (in certain subjects, not across the board), so they casually pick up knowledge; I don't think I could stop them, so hothousing isn't a major issue for us.

    I'd just say: do what seems right for your child's overall well being, whatever that looks like.

    DeeDee

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    #173140 - 10/30/13 07:33 AM Re: How to Hothouse Your Kid [Re: KathrynH]
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    I'm not anxious about it and don't care what anyone thinks about me personally, I'm just confused. If people think I'm "hothousing" my lazy, gifted DS and use it as a negative term, that kind of bothers me, though.

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    #173141 - 10/30/13 07:36 AM Re: How to Hothouse Your Kid [Re: blackcat]
    Kai Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/17/09
    Posts: 603
    Originally Posted By: blackcat
    So is it houthousing if a parent buys their child some alphabet books or BOB books or leapfrog toys and talks about letter sounds with their preschooler, or puts them on Starfall (assuming the kid is interested and willing)? Or is that just good parenting? What about math? Is it hothousing to ask questions like "If you have 3 cookies and I give you 3 more, then how many do you have?" Where is the line between providing some enrichment according to the child's abilities and hothousing?


    My opinion is that it is hothousing when the child stops enjoying it or it substantially gets in the way of other activities.

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    #173142 - 10/30/13 07:41 AM Re: How to Hothouse Your Kid [Re: KathrynH]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3423
    I agree with Kai, I think. But I think it can be a gray area.

    Let me emphasize that we KNOW that part of why upper-middle class children of educated parents succeed in school is because their parents have been talking to them about letters, phonics, math, etc since babyhood. I don't think there is any call to get hysterical about worrying that this is a bad idea. It is helpful to children, and more parents should be doing it. We just don't want to get totally out of control with it and push it so much that kids don't also play outside, do art, get muddy, have pretend tea parties, etc. In fact, I don't think many parents really create a hyperactive hothousey environment. It's too much work! I think the real concern is excess screentime, which may or may not be "educational."

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    #173143 - 10/30/13 07:42 AM Re: How to Hothouse Your Kid [Re: KathrynH]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    My definition of hothousing would be:

    - When the child is spending so much time on academic enrichment that it's crowding out play.

    - When the child is given no choice to spend time on academic enrichment by a parent or guardian.

    When both of those conditions are met, it's hothousing, because there's nothing wrong with compelling your child to work in short bursts, and there's nothing wrong with occasionally losing out on play time. It's when they're both part of the daily pattern that it's a problem.

    And when you have a toddler with a passion for books, reading aloud to them IS play.

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    #173145 - 10/30/13 07:44 AM Re: How to Hothouse Your Kid [Re: Kai]
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    Originally Posted By: Kai
    Originally Posted By: blackcat
    So is it houthousing if a parent buys their child some alphabet books or BOB books or leapfrog toys and talks about letter sounds with their preschooler, or puts them on Starfall (assuming the kid is interested and willing)? Or is that just good parenting? What about math? Is it hothousing to ask questions like "If you have 3 cookies and I give you 3 more, then how many do you have?" Where is the line between providing some enrichment according to the child's abilities and hothousing?


    My opinion is that it is hothousing when the child stops enjoying it or it substantially gets in the way of other activities.


    I can agree with this. But on the other hand, I continually get lectures from people about not working with DS enough in terms of his delays (he is 2e). I am supposed to be doing vision exercises, writing exercises, motor activities, etc. But I'm not, not on a regular basis at least. Because I'd have to fight him and it's unpleasant. So if I did do it, in one sense it would be hothousing (because DS doesn't want to do it and it takes time away from other things), but in another sense it would be good parenting. I guess I'm in the middle somewhere...I'm not going to let my kids totally slack off but I'm not going to get into a big battle either. I'm taking DS to OT and PT and swimming which is the compromise and that will have to be enough.

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    #173146 - 10/30/13 07:47 AM Re: How to Hothouse Your Kid [Re: KathrynH]
    KADmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/11/13
    Posts: 690
    My ds11 refused, absolutely refused to do anything academically he didn't want to do. My older son (also gifted) wanted to do extra things when he was young but not my youngest.

    For ds11, our style is very much like Deedee's. We're all a reading family, no cable TV, travel when we can, learn on the fly, etc. There's lots of room for play and dreaming because ds11 needs that time.


    Edited by KADmom (10/30/13 07:55 AM)

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    #173148 - 10/30/13 07:50 AM Re: How to Hothouse Your Kid [Re: KathrynH]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    I think it is also a question of effort and return. If it takes ten times more effort to teach/train a concept at one age than it would at a later age maybe that is hothousing. Like if you spend two hours a day for two weeks to teach a kid the letter A.

    On that principle, I wonder that kindergarten isn't functionally hothousing for a significant portion of kids attending.

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