MILESTONES are important to track with your children, ensuring that they keep up with what’s expected of them at each age to meet with expected development.
American professor Robert Titzer and infant researcher, Dr. Robert Titzer, revealed the skills your child needs to be able to communicate written language to their full potential.
Although Dr Robert does admit to having “fairly high standards”, if you want your child to excel, then you’ve got to aim high.
He advises parents, “if you want your child to do his or her best then you have to have high expectations.”
From birth to age two
Dr Robert recognises that if you want your child to grow up to be a genius, learning needs to happen from birth.
He said: “In infancy you need to teach language skills, logic patterns, maths words.
“First, babies need to learn that individual words exist and that they have meanings.
To do this, babies need to learn where words start and end (or word segmentation).
“There are many ways of teaching this – say individual words, then use the key word in sentences, since babies are also learning syntax in the first year of life.
“Another way of teaching babies where words begin and end is to allow them to see the words as they hear them.
“This uses a principle called Intersensory Redundant Information which has been repeatedly shown to help babies learn a variety of different skills more efficiently compared to learning through only one sensory system.
“While we have a long tradition of teaching language skills only by talking, infants who are allowed to see and hear language are able to use this intersensory redundant information which could help them differentiate words faster and speed up the initial learning of the words.
“You should be teaching languages simultaneously from birth – the child will not be able to say the words early in infancy, but this is when you should be teaching them.
“From very early on babies can learn shapes, if you teach them shapes early on they will learn the shape bias which speeds up their vocabulary learning.
“In infancy they need to learn patterns and maths words.”
Dr Robert suggests that by age two, children should be able to speak in full sentences, have a good maths understanding and should be able to understand words in different languages.
He said: “They should be speaking in complete sentences.
“They should have an enormous vocabulary.
“They should understand the meaning of many maths words.
“If you started teaching multiple languages simultaneously from birth, then they should be able to understand words and sentences in those languages.”
By the age of three, Dr Robert says that children should have good reading and maths skills.
He said: “By age 3 they should be able to read phonetically and at least two languages.
“They should by age 3 have an understanding of maths concepts such as common fractions, i.e one half, one third etc, and many different mathematical concepts.
“They should be able to add and subtract small numbers from other numbers.
“They should be able to count by 10s.
“They should understand many topics if they are reading because they will be able to learn a lot while reading.”
By just four-years old, Dr Robert argues that children should be able to read independently on a range of different topics.
He said: “At age 4 they should be reading independently on many different topics if you started teaching actual reading skills during infancy instead of teaching the alphabet or other ‘pre-reading’ skills.
“At age 4 there are such a wide range of children’s abilities, we have children at age 4 who can speak 3-7 languages, can read in multiple languages, they can do precoding and coding and some have started robotics.
“Then you have most 4 year olds who can’t read and only know one language and some of them don’t know it very well, so what they will be able to do is based mostly on what you teach your child in the earliest years when most of brain development is occurring.
“There is such a wide range primarily based on the wide range of environments they’ve had from birth.”
If you were fascinated by Dr Robert’s child milestones, he’s speaking at The Baby Show which returns to Olympia London 22nd – 24th October.
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