Many people may think that teaching a child to read before school is unnecessary and even counter-productive, but Glenn Doman author of How To Teach Your Baby To Read argues differently. With a background in rehabilitating brain-injured children the author has studied infant children for years and says that studies indicate that it is harder for children to learn to read at age six.
It is a well-known fact that children who are exposed to languages at a young age pick them up quickly and adeptly because studies have shown at that from birth to age five every child has a near miraculous ability to learn language and communication. Doman argues that this is the reason our children should learn to read at this stage when it is easiest for children to acquire language.
Read To Your Child
A good place to start is to read to your child. Nearly every writer on the topic of literacy advocates that children should be read to everyday from birth. It does not matter what is read to newborns, whether you invest in a set of black and white board books or read passages of Shakespeare, the most important thing for a newborn is that they hear your voice and begin to recognize the patterns of speech and communication. As children grow older they may seem more interested in chewing books, tearing pages, and other destructive activities but this is an important part of their development. They are learning about the book as a physical object, how to use it and manipulate it.
Try to find age appropriate books for your child on topics that interest them. Try to engage your child in the reading process through fun activities or questions.
Jim and Elena at their blog Children Learning Reading stresses the importance of teaching your toddler to start reading at a young age to encourage vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Expose Your Child To Words
Another thing that many advocates of early literacy mention is creating a print rich environment. Children naturally begin to recognize words from signs as they drive in the car. Children learn from the environment around them. I can look around my house and see plenty of pictures on the wall, but no letters. I think it is time to change that. Discover ways to make your child’s world a text rich environment. Put the word “family” in big cut out letters above family pictures on the wall. Put the alphabet up. The Doman method is just an aggressive form of exposing your child to words as he advocates teaching children to memorize words with big red flashcards.
Make The Learning Fun
Whether you decide to follow the Doman program that urges parents to teach their kids to read with flashcards or a more traditional approach remember that the happiness of your child is the most important thing to achieve. Engage them in activities that help them recognize letters and words. Bake cookies in the shape of letters. Do alphabet crafts. Sing songs. Visit they library, but remember if your child is not enjoying the process of learning then something is wrong. Most detractors from teaching toddlers to read often fear that encouraging a child to read too early will make them lose their love for learning. This is something that as parents we should try to avoid. There are many resources, books, blogs, and people that can help us provide learning opportunities that our children enjoy and are interested in, especially in the topics of literacy.
Parents, click here for a free presentation to easily teach your toddler to read.