Sunday, November 25, 2007

"hu hu hoo-ked on pa pa pawn-icks wurk-ed for meh"

Have you guys seen the commercial for the new Hooked on Phonics product that's supposed to make preschoolers learn read? If you haven't, here it is. Watch closely and then we will discuss. (Honestly, I have no idea why someone took the time to put this commercial on youtube, but I'm glad they did so I could show you exactly what I'm talking about.)

First of all, what is with the mom?! Could she be any more smug? What's with the "I'm better than all ya all" attitude she has? Just because her "just turned 4" year old can read makes her think she's mother of the year? Did you see how they portrayed her? And how all the other mothers in the commercial were told to act like they felt inadequate because their little morons weren't even close to reading? What ever happened to preschool just being about finger painting and learning to play nice with other kids? Now our kids have to learn to read by the time they are 4 too?!

Seriously, it's products and commercials like this that irritate the bad words out of me. It's great if your kid is interested in reading and learning but what on earth is the rush? If they are truly ready to learn to read, they won't need some $129 product to help them out. And what is going to happen to your hooked on phonics prodigy when they are in 1st grade and bored out of their skull because they aren't learning with the rest of the class? They are going to learn to hate school and then start to get into trouble because they aren't being challenged. Sure, they might be able to go to a different class for reading, but that isn't always the best option, either. Besides that, for every 4 year old that can read, that is one more expectation on a 4 year old who can't read, and one more label for the "stupid" kid, who is really learning right where he should be, but no one will see that because he isn't on the same level as the "smart" kid.

Plus, that's one more expectation on parents who are already overwhelmed and stressed out with all of the burdens of everyday life. The last thing they have time or patience for is to try to force their THREE YEAR OLD to learn to read. I can see it now... W is going to get to kindergarten and I'm going to be standing next to a couple of moms as we are waiting to pick our kids up and the conversation is going to go like this:

"Aw, look at my sweet little Ava. Isn't she perfect? You know, she's been reading since she was 18 months old and she speaks 4 languages."

"Yeah, well my little Jack has been doing long division since he was 2 and he can recite the Periodic Table of the Elements."

((Heads turn and look at me))
"Oh. See that kid over there eating mud? Yeah, he's mine."

I'm sorry but there's no way in heck that I'm going to deprive my kid the joys of being a kid and doing kid stuff just so I can feel better about myself as a mother. I have never understood this "my kids have to be the first and best at everything" mentality. It just makes me nuts and I feel bad for the kids involved.

Part of me is really curious to see how this product really works though. I'm wondering if it actually teaches the kids to read, or if they just end up memorizing the exercises from all of the repetition so it looks like the can read.

BTW, for those of you wondering what is up with the title of this entry, do yourselves a favor and ask Santa to put Brian Regan Live in your stocking this year. You will laugh until you have to change your pants.


kidletsmum said...

My girl will be there along with W eating mud. She'll probably call it mud in English and in Turkish, but she'll be eating it all the same. And smearing it on her shirt.

It occurs to me that if you've not yet embarked on teaching W to read you may also be neglecting to develop his appreciation of Shakespeare. We read the Kidlet one play a week. She has several monologue memorized. You might want to get on that... poor, neglected, mud-munching W!

clanelder said...

Sounds like Phear phor Phantastic Child's Phuture of Phame and Phortune is driving the overachieving Mum to Phatalistic Phantasies. Hope she is saving not only for the Prodigy's University education (at age 10, perhaps?) but also for (I mean Phor...I'm hooked on...) Shrink Sessions when the pseudo-genius child has to work through never having had Phun or the opportunity to eat mud.

Having spent the holiday- with W and CB I testify that #1- you are a PHANTASTIC Mom and #2- REAL childhood is absolutely beautiful!

audreys_mama said...

So maybe these are more your speed? LOL

JoAnna said...

For shizzle! ;)

(fairy) Godmother said...

JoJo, what are you doing with all your spare time? I thought W would be halfway through War and Peace... get off your duff or CB is going to fall behind too! LMAO

Stefanie said...

I saw this on tv and was like, "All of them wants to be in first place." Shouldn't it be all of them WANT to be in first place, not "wants" I know I must be crazy but I am pretty sure the grammar is totally wrong. And I don't like the little "My kid can read 1st grader book at 4." Well gee whiz stick that kid in 1st grade. Some people's children!?