Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reading at an early age

So I decided early on that I wanted my children to read before they entered kindergarten for various reasons. One- because I believed that they were perfectly capable. Two- because I wanted them to have a head start and not fall behind in school work. School can be overwhelming to students who don't even know their abc's. Three-I wanted to instill a love for reading at an early age. Four- well there are many more reasons but I am going to stop here.

Now I have to admit I was an over-zealous mom with a lot of ambition and hopes for my first child. I went a little over board to say the least. At age 16 mo. old she knew her alphabet, colors, numbers, shapes, letter sounds and talked like a miniature adult. One of my friend's daughter- who was 15 mo. old when she had learned all of that- inspired me. I thought to myself, "If she can do that, so can my little girl." So I did the flash cards, and read a million stories, did object lessons, etc. Seriously I think I must've been crazy looking back. At age 4 I started reading Dick and Jane books with #1. I also bought the book, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" by Engelmann, Haddox, and Bruner. After that book she was reading beautifully but let me just say (those lessons weren't always easy for the parent and there were literally 100 of them). With #2 things were a little different. First of all he didn't even talk until he was 2 years old. I actually had someone approach me about having him be tested for learning disabilities. I let that one blow off my shoulders but I was worried because he was so "far" behind #1. Well let me just say that he is now 4 years old and reading at a higher level than my #1 child did at his age. When he did start to speak, he spoke in sentences. I still read to him everyday and started the Dick and Jane books early on but I have to give a shout out to Waterford's upstart program. He has been in their online preschool since September and it has done wonders. It just goes to show that every child is different and can learn in new and challenging ways and you don't have to be a crazy mom to get them to reach their potential.

So my point of this post is to read, read, read to your children every day. They will catch on and be interested in books if you do this from an early age. In college I took many child development classes and graduated with a degree in Family Consumer Sciences/Nutrition and have seen first hand how powerful books can be.

Check out these websites to find out the research on why early literacy is so important.

Check out this great website for your kids

So go turn off the computer/t.v. and read to your little one.....right now....go on.....go.

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