Last April 2011, the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood filed a FTC complaint against a company called “Your Baby Can” and its founder Robert Titzer. The company had reported 185 million in gross sales since 2008 before their doors were forced shut for false advertising. The product in question was “Your Baby Can Read”- a series of flash cards and videos retailing for as much as $200. The CEO of the company agreed to settle the FTC’s charges for $185 million – equal to the company’s gross sales.
With all the excellent research now available to us – there is little disagreement that babies learn best eye ball-to-eye ball, face-to-face. Relationships, not screens are the conduits for learning and language development. We also know the connections in the brain for the FOUNDATION for reading need the first 4 to 5 years to organize and strengthen — at least for most children. Besides, what is the rush to read? When we send our children to kindergarten:
- knowing their letter names;
- some letter sounds;
- phonologically strong; and
- able to print most of the letters in their names-
they have the essential tools to learn to read. But more importantly, if we have been reading to them all their little lives, they will learn to love to read too. For more information on the Federal Trade Commission’s ruling see: http://www.commercialfreechilhood.org.