I thought I would start a bit of a series on teaching a baby to read and cover off each week some of the ways I have been using with both of my children to teach them to read. Each week I will go through 1 way in detail and you can post questions or comments.
This Week I will cover "How to get started in teaching your baby to read"
1. Where do I start? It is very overwhelming and exciting when you first think you can teach your child to read there is so much information on how to do it and so many ways, you can give up before you have started. So here is a list of questions you need to ask yourself before you start to help you narrow down what is the best way for you and your child.
When I start this program will I be working outside the home? This is a very important question to ask if you are going to use a ready made program or DIY it. A reading program must be delivered in a fun stress free way and if you are working you need to make it easy on yourself. Sometimes it is really good to just press play and watch a DVD or computer program and sit down and enjoy the program with your child and join in with them. You can also buy many programs that come with Flashcards already made and a set of instructions for you to follow and its as easy as 1,2,3. You can still DIY it if you want to but it is time consuming to make your own flashcards. I have made my own and it is time consuming but rewarding to see your work.
How comfortable am I using a computer program/DVD Program? There is a lot of 'research' out in the market today that TV for an under to is a no no. Personally I agree 'normal children's programming' probably should be avoided it is crap with alot of the TV shows set up with characters who do not speak properly or programs that are touted as educational but actually teach nothing. Educational DVDs from my own anecdotal evidence do teach.My eldest DD learnt to read from Your Baby Can Read program and learned to sign over 400 hundred signs from a program called signing time. Please be aware that children do learn from television programs.
Do I want to make my own Flashcards? Time consuming but can be very rewarding.
How much time am I willing to devote to making my own cards? Making your own flashcards is time consuming and you will need at least 200 to get you started and you will be amazed at how quickly you go through them. It is very rewarding to put all that love and effort in and see your child enjoy them. You will need to devote at least a couple of hours every night to making flashcards. The words will need to be large and clear. You will need approx 100 nouns, 50-75 verbs and 25-50 adjectives to get started.
Do I have any other commitments other than my child/ren that could possibly interrupt the reading process? (You may volunteer during the day? or have sick parents you are taking care of. You are studying and that needs all of your attention? Anything that could interrupt the consistency on a regular basis or make you forget? Like anything consistency is king if you wish to master something. If you want to teach your child to read you will need to be committed. Just like doing a reader every night when they are in school. If you have something in your life right now which is putting you under alot of stress now is not the time to start a reading program, it is better to wait and get over what ever is happening in your life so you can give your time and energy to it.
Another thing that is important and often over looked is how you deliver the reading process. Your tone of voice, your own happiness, or even if you are tired and don't really want to do it or even if you are bored because you don't think your child is learning all of this teaches your child what to think about reading. Remember how you deliver the reading program is just as important as what you deliver.
Now you have answered those questions the next question is....
When do I start? ASAP or if your are pregnant or have a newborn and you are reading this it's as soon as the baby can track with their eyes. So if the baby spots you from across the room and follows you with their eyes or you hold your finger up and your baby follows it. You can start a reading program with them.
I hope this is helpful.
Next week I will cover some of the pros and cons with teaching a baby to read and how to overcome them.
Remember my Little Reader Give Away click here to enter http://intellikidsdownunder.blogspot.com/2011/09/little-reader-review-with-little-reader.html