Julian Krinsky, Tennis Icon, Gives Back To Jewish Community

Julian Krinsky, Tennis Icon, Gives Back To Jewish Community

Non-Profit Camp Seeks to Reinforce Jewish Teens’ Identity

Julian Krinsky Yesh Shabbat

Julian Krinsky Yesh Shabbat

Julian Krinsky’s Yesh Shabbat (www.yeshshabbat.com), is a highly acclaimed, premiere pre-college summer camp attracting tweens and teens from all over the U.S. and abroad. The motivation behind this program is the desire of Julian Krinsky, the founder, to give back to his community.

“When I learned about my lineage and the impact my ancestors made in the Jewish world it made me realize my responsibility to the Jewish people,” says Julian Krinsky. “I started Yesh Shabbat and established it as a non-profit organization to give Jewish students a sense of Jewish identity and the same opportunities afforded to other teens in sports and summer programming.”

Originally from South Africa, Krinsky is a former international tennis player and an acclaimed tennis coach. He was ranked no. 7 in his home country and played at Wimbledon, the French Open and the Italian Open, as well as at the Maccabi Games in Israel.

 Though Krinsky personally became a renowned tennis player, there was something inside him pushing him to give back; he was inspired to create Yesh Shabbat camp. After learning of the outstanding love of Judaism of his great, great grandfather, Rabbi Yehoshua Yitzhak Shapira or widely known as Eizel Charif, he wanted to create a camp for young Jews so they too would love their Jewish heritage.

Eizel Charif, born in Lithuania in 1801, was a child prodigy. He learned the entire Talmud by the time he was just nine and knew the entire treatise of Jewish law by heart. Reb Eizel became one of the most important rabbinical authorities of his time and authored numerous works on Jewish law and texts, including one of the most important commentaries on the Jerusalem Talmud ever written, Noam Yerushalmi. And despite the hours he devoted to studying and writing, Reb Eizel was renowned for the communal and charitable activities he undertook in whatever community he was living in. The deep respect and honor of having a legacy as such, propelled Krinsky to create a camp to give back, like his great, great grandfather.

“After attending Yesh, I feel a strong connection to Judaism that lasts me throughout the year,” said Arianna Breslauer of London, England. “Shabbat is a beautiful experience and my friends from Yesh all relate to my enhanced Jewish identity.”

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Yesh Shabbat’s program for summer 2014 includes over 30 courses in sports, arts and academic courses, all of which are taught by professional teachers and instructors within a shomer shabbos and glatt kosher environment. (http://www.jkjewishsummercamps.com/program-specifics/)

In addition to classes, the program recently added an Internship program for high school students.  Students are placed in professional offices or businesses conveniently located in Greater Philadelphia.  They get an inside advantage – working 9 to 5 – as they build a network of contacts and develop their resume for the future.  They might be interning with a lawyer, developing marketing campaigns, shadowing a doctor, assisting a vet, or involved with high-profile mentors. (http://www.jkjewishsummercamps.com/high-school-internships/)

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Providing world-class educators and courses within a positive Jewish framework are the two pillars of Yesh Shabbat.  Through teaching children to value both their rich religious heritage and the importance of contributing to modern society, Yesh Shabbat hopes to foster another generation of Jewish children who will contribute to the world around them while maintaining their religious identity.

Embracing ‘Otherhood’

In Their Forties, and Accepting the Possibility of Childlessness

By Melanie Notkin

 

 

‘Would you date a non-Jewish guy?” Sarah asked over dinner a few weeks ago. She’d started dating non-Jewish men in her late 30s.

“No,” I said. “I want to marry a Jewish man.”

“I understand,” Sarah said. “I always thought I would, too. But I’m 41 and I just want to give it everything I’ve got. I can’t imagine not having kids.”

I understand that, too. I had always expected to marry and be a mother. From the time I was a little girl, I imagined my own family Sabbath dinners, a daughter to recite the four questions at our Passover Seders and a son to light his own handmade menorah. For me, marriage, children and a Jewish home were intertwined.

But now, like Sarah, in my 40s, I know that my life has turned out much differently than I had expected. Frankly, it’s turned out differently that just about anyone expected for me.

Jewish women not only carry the Jewish babies, but also the Jewish guilt for ensuring that those babies have two Jewish parents. But today, so many Jewish women remain single and childless as our fertile years wane.

Some assume we have eschewed marriage and children for our careers, or because we are too picky or too naive about our fertility. And yet, the desire among Americans to be married and have children has not changed in a generation. A 2013 Gallup survey reports that 90% of all American adults under 40 are parents or want and expect to be parents. Of those, 50% actually are parents and 40% expect to be.

Those of us among that 40% who are now in our 30s and 40s, who expected to have the social, economic and political equality our mothers didn’t have and the husband and children they did and yet remain single and childless, are what I’ve called the Otherhood.

This rising trend is the most overlooked and underappreciated social issue of our time. And among Jews, the trend is even greater.

Like most college-educated women — and Jewish women are likely to have a four-year college degree — we are more likely to marry later and have children later, but not necessarily by choice. Our singlehood and childlessness is a not a badge of feminist honor. While women of the Otherhood are more likely to be in the top third of income earners, based on a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the idea that we are so-called “career women” who choose work over love, as if we have the choice not to work, is a myth. Even Betty Friedan, the (Jewish) mother of the modern feminist movement, the author of “The Feminine Mystique,” wanted women to ask for more than marriage and motherhood, not to eschew them altogether.

Our desire not to settle for a lesser love is sometimes taken as not understanding what really matters in a relationship. “There’s no such thing as Prince Charming” some admonish, as if well-educated, sophisticated women are waiting for men in tights. And some believe our involuntary singlehood is somehow proof of a lack of desire to be mothers: “Don’t you want children? You’d better hurry up!” they warn, as if we can control when we find love.

And so every Sabbath dinner for one, every Passover Seder as single women, every Hanukkah lighting the menorah without our children by our side is a painful reminder of circumstances beyond our control. Our circumstantial infertility, the grief we feel over of our inability to have children because we want to have children with the man we love, is unacknowledged. It’s as if only married couples who are coping with the pain of infertility have the right to grieve over their childlessness.

Perhaps like my friend Sarah, some Jewish women are doing their best to find a Jewish man with whom they want to share their life — and who is ready, willing and able to be married while she is still at her most fertile. But then, before the window closes on her fertility, he chooses to marry a non-Jew he loves in order to have kids.

This may be a growing trend. When I asked Liga Plaveniece at the Pew Research Center for the ratio of intermarriage from women to men, I had expected many more men to be intermarried, as it was reported in the 2000–2001 National Jewish Population Survey. But Plaveniece told me that the opposite was true: “Jewish women are slightly more likely to be intermarried than Jewish men. Among married Jewish women, 47% are married to a non-Jewish spouse. Among married Jewish men, 41% are married to a non-Jewish spouse.”

Some Jewish women make the choice to date and marry non-Jewish men at late fertile age to find love — with a Jew or non-Jew — in order to move forward toward motherhood. And while some women decide to have a child on their own, through sperm donation before the end of fertility, or through adoption, they are still among a small minority — a minority I champion in my recent book. Still, most Jewish women of the Otherhood hedge their bets waiting for love before motherhood. It’s not always a bet they will win.

While I never expected to remain single and childless in my 40s, I do find myself to be remarkably happy with a glorious life of other things. It’s not the life I expected, nor is it the life that was expected of me or for me. However, there is one thing I know for sure: Love is ahead of me. And for that very reason, I will never look back.

Melanie Notkin is the author of “Otherhood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness” (Seal Press).

Is encouragement or praise better for your kids?

By Julie Nelson– Familyshare

Which is better, encouragement or praise, to build a child’s self worth? Both are valuable and make distinctive contributions. An analysis of external (praise) and internal (encouragement) feedback

 

 Which is better, encouragement or praise, when helping children build self-worth? That’s like asking who is a better parent: mom or dad? (Don’t answer that!). Both are valuable and make distinctive contributions.

At its core, encouragement builds intrinsic worth and the opportunity to use positive self-talk. It turns an incident into a teaching opportunity where the child can evaluate his or her own effort. It offers more open-ended conversation between the child and parent. Educator Kittie Butcher from Michigan State Universityfurther asserts, “Encouragement also contains more information for the child than the easy, but empty phrases like, “That’s great!”

Praise, on the other hand, is externally driven, with the parent doing the evaluating and talking. It is more frequently a closed-ended conversation, with the “good job” punctuating the interaction and not much following. However, it is a feel-good moment between the parent and child.

I’ll share a recent example that contrasts praise and encouragement. My son recently sang a solo for the first time and looked a little troubled afterward. I might have wanted to reassure him and build his confidence by praising him, “Daniel, that was super singing. Good job.”

Encouragement requires that I go deeper. It involves validation and empathetic listening. Instead, our conversation went something like this:

“Daniel, what did you think about your song?”

” I don’t know.”

“Did you feel good or bad about it?”

“I don’t think it was very good.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t like singing in front of people.”

“Oh. That makes you uncomfortable?”

“Yes. I’d rather just sing with the choir.”

“I see. That’s something good to know for the future. But how do you feel you sang the song? Did you get the words and notes right? Do you think the audience appreciated it?”

“Ya, I got it right and they liked it. Lots of people told me so.”

“Oh, you had lots of people come up afterward and tell you they thought you sang well?”

“Yes.”

“So aside from feeling uncomfortable, how do you feel you sang?”

“I guess pretty well.”

“You have a good voice?”

“Ya, I do.”


In this second example, I was able to help my son do a lot more mature reflection on his own. I became his guide toward self-discovery as he processed and verbalized his own feelings. I took the time to help him develop esteem rather than telling him what to think and feel.

So is praise bad? No. I use it quite often! It is especially useful with babies, toddlers and preschoolers as we shape understanding of themselves and set behavioral boundaries. If the task doesn’t require a child to evaluate her effort, a quick, “Thank you so much. Well done,” does the job. It takes little effort, but gives a child plenty of verbal “high fives” throughout the day.

With that being said, praise can become a parent’s default button because it is so easy to use. “Super job.” “I’m so proud of you.” “Way to go.” Too much praise and too little encouragement can feed a parent’s ego instead of a child feeding her own. It can create a “praise junkie” in an older child.

Dr Carol Dweck, Ph.D., a professor at Columbia University, conducted a study on the effects of praise. She found children who defined their abilities by the approval of their parents felt less worthy when others didn’t judge them as “best” or didn’t slather on the praise.

Children who only hear what their parents think of them and don’t create their own mental and emotional narratives will more often look to their parents for approval. The dangers of having a child seek approval from outside sources, including peers, are alarming.


Here are four pro-encouragement points to consider:

1. Be child focused rather than parent focused.

Kids are usually hungry for approval. Don’t exploit their dependence on us and an emotional reward. We are stealing an opportunity for the child to take delight in her own efforts. Rather than “How did I do, dad?” “Do you like my picture?” It is better to hear, “Hey, dad. I did this!”


Kids are usually hungry for approval. Don’t exploit their dependence on us and an emotional reward. We are stealing an opportunity for the child to take delight in her own efforts. Rather than “How did I do, dad?” “Do you like my picture?” It is better to hear, “Hey, dad. I did this!”

Parent-focused praise=value judgment

i.e. “You got such good grades. I’m so proud of you!”

Child-focused encouragement=internal motivation

i.e. “Look at your grades! Which one are you most proud of? How hard did you study in math? Is there any place you could do better?”

Yes, you can add, “And I’m so happy for you! You did so well. I know how hard you studied for that test!” High fives all around.

2. Be process oriented rather than outcome oriented.

While a child is working on a project or developing a skill, it takes a caring, conscientious parent to build the child’s self-awareness along the way.

Only one person can win the race. There is only one class president. There is only one blue ribbon. Does that mean all the rest are losers? Not if both parent and child take time to notice the learning process rather than just the product, or outcome.

“What did you do well at soccer practice today? Where do you think is the greatest area of improvement?” Great coaches use both praise (immediate, short-term reward) and encouragement (lasting inspiration). So should parents.

3. Recognize character rather than rewards. 

We would never want our child to win first place if that meant they cheated. They don’t learn much about effort if they get an “A” on a paper they procrastinated to write until the night before it was due. It seems more expedient to recognize a child as they are putting in the effort to show that we value honest work over results.

“Look at the effort you put into making that airplane model. You sure are a determined young man. You never gave up even when it broke apart.”

“I’ve noticed all the friends you have made on the track team. Your running times have improved, but you are also so friendly and positive. You always stayed after and cheered everyone up after a hard run.”

Encouragement and praise are both good. Praise is easy to do and most parents (hopefully) praise children instinctively and liberally. Encouragement takes more time and effort. It adds another dimension to motivate children and gives them life’s real lessons as material for building self-esteem. It takes a conscientious parent. You can do it. Way to go!

Julie K. Nelson is the author of “Parenting With Spiritual Power.” She writes articles on the joys, challenges and power of parenting.

Got Kids? TabTale’s got it their apps

Launched in 2010 with a single storybook app, Tel Aviv-based TabTale has rocketed to the top 10 list of global publishers of mobile games. By Abigail Klein Leichman

 

Screen shot from the Dr. X Med School game.Screen shot from the Dr. X Med School game.

File this one under “strange but true”: Santa’s Rescue Saga, the No. 1 free Christmas iOS application in 2013, comes from the Israeli team at TabTale.

And here is another unusual fact about this fast-growing Tel Aviv-based startup: Among 25 million monthly active users of TabTale apps are many young fans in Saudi Arabia.

Far from a one-hit wonder, four-year-old TabTale recently reached a milestone 300 million downloads and offers more than 250 different games and apps for children, including lullabies, digital books and educational experiences. It’s a top 10 global publisher of mobile games by download volume.

The company releases one or two new titles every week, and aims to release 16 per month by the end of 2014, according to cofounder and CEO Sagi Schliesser, the father of eight- and 12-year-old daughters.

“To keep kids interested, you need to evolve all the time,” Schliesser tells ISRAEL21c. “They always want something new, and we want to give them the ability to choose.”

Paint Sparkles, billed as a child’s first coloring book, is the most popular individual TabTale game so far, with 10 million downloads. The Baby series – with titles such as Baby Dream House, Baby Doctor and Baby Fashion Designer – has gotten 40 million downloads.

No wonder TabTale – launched in 2010 with a single storybook app – has raised $13.5 million, led by a $12 million expansion investment by Magma Venture Partners and Qualcomm Venture Partners last October. In January, the Israeli headquarters moved into new digs housing 100 employees in Tel Aviv. Satellite offices and studios have opened in Macedonia, Ukraine and Bulgaria, and US West Coast.

TabTale founders, from left, CTO Nir Bejerano, President Oran Kushnir and CEO Sagi Schliesser.

TabTale founders, from left, CTO Nir Bejerano, President Oran Kushnir and CEO Sagi Schliesser.

Storybook beginnings

Underlying the feverish pace of development is a proprietary platform devised by TabTale’s founders, who also include Vice President Oran Kushnir and Chief Technology Officer Nir Bejerano. Schliesser explains that many other app-makers base their products on diverse fragments of code, making changes difficult.

“We are updating everything in our portfolio and providing new titles all on the existing platform. We’ve integrated the platform with the whole lifecycle of the app, from development and design to marketing and analytics, so we can easily fine-tune the template. It’s very unique.”

The founding trio is not a fresh-out-of-university phenomenon. Each is over 35 and came to TabTale from successful careers in high-tech companies such as Tecnomatix, Sapiens and Radware.

“Oran and I were looking into innovating research on breakthrough reading technologies,” says Schliesser. “We knew the ebook market, and Oran had designed games for Israeli carriers, so we understood the challenge of creating a mobile gaming platform — a smooth platform that would allow for a big portfolio. We decided to go after this vision with interactive books, and we knew it would evolve.”

Though casual games overtook books as the company’s initial focus, TabTale remains one of the world’s main players in informal education apps with its catalogue of classic children’s stories and interactive learning experiences for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. In January, TabTale started rereleasing book apps for ages 2-6 with the help of a dedicated studio in Bulgaria.

Offerings for older kids

Schliesser says the founders are all fathers. “Part of what made building our business so much fun was having our kids participate in reviewing the apps. Their tips in some cases led to the success of some apps, so we are grateful for the very good beta testing we get at home.”

TabTale apps are mainly in English and can support Western Europe languages, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese and Hebrew, with more to come.

Apps for older users are another significant direction for 2014, says Schliesser. Some already available in this category include the Doctor X series and the Crazy Chef series, and a bunch of new mobile content for users aged 13 and older will be released under the Crazy Labs publishing brand.

The company began turning a profit at the end of 2012. “We built it as a sustainable business,” says Schliesser. “We have a fine economic bottom line and plan on keeping that so we can build a big business, or maybe someone will buy it. Right now, we are looking to build.”

Considering this is a business he bootstrapped by selling his house, TabTale has succeeded beyond Schliesser’s modest dreams.

“You always hope for the best and prepare for the worst, and this exceeded our best expectations,” he says. “The results speak for themselves.”

For more information, see www.tabtale.com.

 

8 tips to help you love your least lovable child

By Gary And Joy Lundberg -Family Share

 

 It’s so easy to love a lovable child. When she or he comes to you with open arms and says “I love you, Daddy,” your heart melts. When this child does his chores without repeated urging, you can’t help but love him. When she does her homework without you holding a metaphorical stick over her head, you can’t help but love her. It’s so easy to have loving, tender feelings toward a child who simply seems to do what obedient children do.

Even these lovable children make mistakes, but because they do so many other things that please you, it’s so easy to forgive them. But what about the child who wears your nerves to the bone because he’s so … so … stubborn, uncooperative and unlovable. Day after day. What then?

A PLAN OF ACTION

Parents are human and have their own limitations. Sometimes their children can push them right to the edge, even over the edge, of these limitations. If you don’t have a plan of action for when you are over-the-top frustrated with a child, you can be pushed into actions you may regret. We are going to share a few ideas to help you in your desire to love and guide your less-lovable child effectively. Keep in mind that since kids are uniquely different, what works for one may not work as well for another. Their individuality must be taken into consideration. That old saying “one size fits all” does not always apply to how you treat your children. That being said, here are a few ideas that apply to most.

1. Pray for your child, by name. Humbly ask G0D to guide you in knowing how to help and guide (give your child’s name.) Be specific in your prayers. Let him know what is frustrating you most. Thank him for this child and ask for his guidance in knowing how to help him in the best possible way. Remember, he is G0D’s child, too. He cares deeply and will help you because you are also his child. Hold that comforting thought in your heart and move forward with faith that you will be guided.

2. Listen to your child. Too often parents are so agitated by the actions of a disruptive child that they fail to listen fully to his explanation of what happened. So bite your tongue and give her a chance to tell her side. Put yourself in her shoes and you may be quite surprised at how justified she may have been, though justification does not make an action right. Still, it opens your heart to feel a little of what she is feeling. That always leads to a more loving outcome.

3. Set boundaries in a kind yet firm way. Kindness and follow-through are key factors in creating obedient, happy children. When you set a boundary, get down on your child’s eye level, look into his eyes, and calmly explain the boundary. If you need to take his cheeks gently into your hands to be sure you have his full attention, then do it. Ask him to repeat it back to you so you can be sure he got what you meant. Be patient.

Follow up with equal kindness to make sure the boundary is kept. If it’s broken, then kindly explain it again. Over and over, patiently, kindly, until he gets it. If you think a punishment needs to be given, do it with kindness and respect. Not with anger and meanness.

4. Be your child’s example. James Baldwin, an author who experienced hard times in his youth, said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” That’s it! That’s the secret. Parents need to be an example of what they want their child to be. If you want a calm child, be calm. If you want your child to stop yelling make sure you are not yelling at him or others. If you want an honest child he needs to watch you being honest with others. Let him see in you what you want to see in him.

5. Be forgiving. Children are very good at forgiving. Parents need to be a little more like them in this regard. When your child has done something wrong to you or someone else, help her know you do not harbor any ill will. Be willing to allow yourself and your child to start over.


6. Talk to other parents. When you are frustrated about your child, talk to your friends who are also parents. You can bet they have gone through similar feelings as you. Just knowing that can help you cope better. Ask what they did. Glean ideas from them. It doesn’t mean you will use their ideas, but it may lead you to something that will work for you and your child. Even consider talking to a professional family counselor, especially if things are feeling hopeless.

7. Spend one-on-one fun time with your child. Some children misbehave in an effort to get their parent’s attention. Give it to her without her having to demand it through disruptive behavior. Go have some fun with this child. No preaching or reprimanding, just some honest-to-goodness fun together. Doing it just once won’t do the job. Fit this child into the fun part of your life. Bring her some joy. Do this and she’ll most likely want to be more obedient.

8. Love your child, regardless. Love for children must be unconditional, not based on their behavior. Most of your children will likely be a little unlovable at times, some more often than others. Still they all deserve your love, no matter what. Writer and mother, Kate Samperi said, “Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have seven children and one theory: love them, especially when they least deserve to be loved.”

Love can change a child’s heart. No one can resist consistent love.

Gary Lundberg is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Joy is a writer and lyricist. Together they present seminars and author books on relationships.

How to ruin a perfectly good kid in 10 simple steps

By Becky Rickman

Here is a primer for all parents who want to ruin their perfectly good children. Do these things and watch them become a bain not only to your existence, but also to society at large

 

 Almost anyone raise a well-adjusted child. But, to truly screw up a child, you must have a cheat sheet. Take a perfectly good kid, practice these 10 behaviors and watch them grow into completely ineffective adults.

1. Speak in superlatives. Always tell them they are the prettiest, the handsomest, the smartest, the most athletic, the most artistic, the most talented. This way when they grow up and discover they are mediocre and have to actually work at something, they can blame you in their very expensive therapy sessions.

2. Let them interrupt. No matter who you may be having a conversation with, no matter how important or time-sensitive, always, always, when your child tugs on your shirt-sleeve and says repeatedly, “Scuse me. Scuse me. Scuse me.” Make certain you stop mid-sentence and admire her for her politeness and give her your full attention. After all, nothing you have going on could possibly be as critical as your child needing to say something.

3. Always take his side of the story. If a teacher discloses in a conference that your child is failing, it must be the teacher’s fault. If the coach tells you that your child will warm the bench, he must have been remiss in his coaching duties. If all evidence points to the fact that your kid stole those CDs, but your child denies it, then all evidence must be circumstantial. Always believe your child and ignore the good intentions of those who proclaim to care about him.

4. Never let them fail or look bad. Finish up that Pinewood Derby car, that science project, that speech, that term paper. After all, it would be harmful to their little psyches to allow them to fail or be embarrassed.

5. Keep him up with the Jones’. Make certain your child has everything his friends do. Get him upgrades as soon as they come out. Keep him the envy of all his peers. Never let him be ashamed that he doesn’t have the latest and greatest.

6. Protect him from all harm and pain. Run interference for him if you see trouble coming his way. Keep him in knee pads, helmets and training wheels. Forbid climbing in trees, on monkey bars and, for heaven’s sake, no high dives at the pool. Use antibiotic everything. Keep the temperature at an even 70 degrees. Never, under any circumstances, let him play in the dirt.

 

7. Make a life plan now. Figure out what you think she should be when she grows up and stick to that, no matter what. Direct all his energy and free time into being the best at that vocation. If he cries or resists, just keep telling him it is for his own good. After all, you know best.

8. Be critical. Criticize the adults in their lives at the dinner table. Tell them what a lame job their teachers, counselors, coaches and other authority figures are doing. Teach them to be critical about everyone, as well. Just don’t be surprised if the criticism turns out to be about you.

9. Disclosure. Give your kids full disclosure into all the intimate details of your life. Tell them all the stupid and dangerous things you did as a kid. Then tell them about how rocky your marriage is. Ask them for advice. Tell them if you’re worried about losing your job. Share with them your fear of not having enough money. Don’t forget any detail. Have a nice, open relationship.

10. Cover your bases. Tell him what to do and what not to do, but cover your bases for when he disobeys. Tell him not to drink, but when he does, to call you. Tell her not to take drugs, but when she does, to let you know. Tell her to abstain from intimate relations, but give the protection just in case. Mixed messages like that are a great way to keep him guessing about his own choices.

There you have it. A comprehensive list of ways to take a perfectly normal and emotionally healthy child and turn him into a lifetime project.

mh- new york jewish parenting guide

Les bébés peuvent-ils apprendre à lire ?

Article paru dans ” Maxisciences”

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Les très jeunes enfants ne peuvent pas commencer la lecture Les méthodes d’apprentissage de la lecture pour les moins de 18 mois sont inefficaces, affirme une étude américaine. Divers supports pédagogiques à cet effet ont connu un fort succès outre-Atlantique, avant de faire l’objet de poursuites judiciaires. Dès que l’éducation de tout-petits est en jeu, certains parents veulent aller plus vite que la musique.

Divers livres, DVDs et jeux de carte éducatifs visent les moins de 18 mois afin de les familiariser avec la lecture. L’intention est bonne, mais une étude publiée dans le Journal of Educational Psychology montre que cela n’a aucun effet sur les plus jeunes enfants.

“Même si nous ne pouvons pas dire avec la plus totale des assurances que les enfants de cet âge ne peuvent pas apprendre de mots imprimés, affirme Susan Neuman, professeur au département d’enseignement et d’apprentissage à l’université de New-York, nos résultats montrent clairement qu’ils n’en ont appris aucun avec les produits pour bébés que nous avons testé. Il est clair que les parents font confiance à ces produits, mais ce sentiment est faux”. Des examens en laboratoire Pour en arriver à cette conclusion, 117 enfants, âgés d’entre neuf et dix-huit mois, ont été étudiés. Ils ont été répartis au hasard en deux groupes : un qui recevait le matériel de préapprentissage de la lecture, l’autre qui servait de groupe de contrôle. L’équipement comprenait des DVDs ainsi que des cartes et des livres cartonnés.

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Au total, les chercheurs ont passé sept mois à surveiller la situation au cours d’une visite à domicile, de quatre visites en laboratoire et d’évaluations mensuelles sur le développement du langage. Les tests en laboratoire se sont focalisés sur la reconnaissance du nom des lettres, de leur son, du vocabulaire, de la reconnaissance visuelle des mots et leur compréhension. Pour cela, un système de suivi du mouvement des yeux a été utilisé afin d’observer comment les enfants géraient leur attention et réagissaient à certains mots ou phrases. Un vaste marché Une fois les résultats compilés, les chercheurs ont constaté qu’il n’y avait aucune différence entre les deux groupes d’enfants au niveau de leur capacité de pré-lecture.

La seule différence était au niveau des parents : ceux du groupe qui disposait du matériel pédagogique pensaient que leur enfant apprenait de nouveaux mots. Ce n’était pourtant pas le cas. La compagnie Your baby can read, “votre bébé peut lire”, a connu un fort succès aux Etats-Unis avant de fermer ses portes en 2012. L’entreprise vendait le même type de supports pédagogiques que ceux utilisés dans l’étude New-Yorkaise, mais a dû faire face à une série de poursuites judiciaires de la part de parents mécontents de l’absence de résultats. Plus d’un million de familles ont utilisé cette méthode contestée. Pour autant, les spécialistes ne recommandent pas de renoncer à tous les livres pour petits, au contraire. Des ouvrages adaptés, avec des images, et lus avec les parents peuvent être d’une grande utilité. Même s’il ne parle pas encore, montrer et lire le livre à haute voix permet à l’enfant de se familiariser avec la langue orale.

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mh -new york jewish parenting guide.com