A friend the other day frowned at the idea of me wanting to teach my son French and music (among a million other things). She says what everyone often says, not to “force” children to do something they don’t like.
You know what else children don’t like? Math & literacy. Yet it is a requirement in any school around the world. I’m sure children generally prefer to have all day recesses with their buddies and have unlimited access to ice cream and chips. But we don’t, because we know this is a critical time in human development to learn. (having fun is important too, but not 24/7 obviously)
Why can’t parents go above and beyond the expectations of the basic school curriculum to teach their children valuable skills?
We teach children to recognize shapes, colours and their names. We teach children the names of tastes (salty, sweet), how something feels (hot, cold, soft, hard), but for some reason, when it comes to our hearing senses, it is pushed to the side. We don’t teach babies the sound of pitches and their names. This is sad because music and sound is the most powerful of the senses. Once you are three and haven’t learned the pitches, your brain will permanently shut off its ability to learn (unless you are blessed with rare perfect pitch genetics).
Why not give your child the gift of being able to read any sheet music and hear it in their minds as music? Why not give your child the gift of being able to write music on paper accurately as they hear it in their minds without the aid of instruments? Or giving your child the ability to express themselves through singing?
Just because we teach kids music doesn’t mean we want them to sign on to a big label or win music competitions. We should teach kids music the same reason we teach them grammar, spelling and art which is to give them another medium to express themselves in.
This is why I bought an app called Nuryl, which is a playlist of “high information” music curated by a man who has a son with a level of perfect pitch I have never seen in my life. (see video below). I am also playing music often everyday and have plenty of fun activities planned ahead!
French (and other “useless” languages)
English is pretty much the language of Earth right now, and Spanish & Mandarin are up there. So when I told my friend that I will be teaching (talking to) my son in French (and some Farsi), she was like, “why not Spanish?”.
“Yes that too!” (I live in a very hispanic part of the country).
Why can’t I give my son all the knowledge I know and more in languages? We all know that its next to impossible to learn a new language at the native speaker level as adults, so why not give him as much of these abilities as possible? Being able to speak another language (especially at the native speaker level) means more opportunities for jobs, travelling and meeting interesting people. You also learn another culture and another way of thinking. Again, much like music, language mastery at the native level is a skill you can only learn as a baby.
So yea, I dropped like $500 in French books and memorized a lot of songs to sing to my son.
So teaching your kid music and french among other skills is not about “forcing” your kid to “achieve” something. This is about giving your children “options” so they are “empowered” to do “whatever THEY want”.
Very happy to be married to a man who shares my values especially when it comes to learning! And it doesn’t hurt that he is extremely knowledgeable too in so many things I don’t know! Oh and he supports me wanting to homeschool our son because we all know how much school can waste time and is not up to date among other problems! This will be talked about in another post!