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How I Teach My Baby To Read
I did not enrol in any baby reading program for my child's early learning education.
I taught my child reading through reading flashcards, sight reading flash cards, phonics reading, books, and frequent communication. In this article, I will share with you when and how I teach my baby/toddler to read.
I started reading storybooks to my child from the age of two months old. I do the reading a few times a day and every night without fail.
The purpose of the reading to my baby is for better bonding, communications, fun storytelling, visual and auditory stimulations, and building vocabulary. I do not expect my baby to read at this young age.
To me, it is not important how early my baby is able to read out words. The ability to communicate, understand, able to be creative, tell stories, and having fun is more important.
At the same time, to increase my child's vocabulary, I show picture/words flashcards and talk to my baby a lot. For example, I would tell my baby that I will be bathing her, change her, or is time to breastfeed her. And when I am getting ready I would tell my baby where we would be going, e.g. buying groceries for the house, etc. Everything I do is logical, as a person won’t you like to be told what is happening? With this in mind, I always talk to my baby. The kind of talk is like a usual talk to any adult. I don’t do "baby talk" that is because research shows that it is beneficial doing that. Some parent does baby talk to their babies only to confuse their baby. For example, when seeing a dog, they will teach their baby that is a “woof woof” or a cat “meow meow”. I would say that it is a cat.
My choice of 1st baby reading books is not "one-sentence" books or children picture books but complete children storybooks. Not too long stories. I am setting a routine nightly, and I believe by setting interest in my baby, she will be keen on books. I read to her nightly not using a monotonous voice but with great enthusiasm. Later, when she is bigger, I sometimes act it out or describe it further. Is a joyous activity that I do. Do bear in mind always observe your child and look for their interest. Children can develop their interests based on the kind of exposure they are given. Some children love trucks, spaceships, dinosaurs, etc., When you select and buy books for your baby or toddler, follow their interest and what excites them.
These are her 1st Baby Books I read.
I would just read to her as babies love to hear their mother’s voice. I believe it is important to set a routine and interest and a love for books.
Today when it comes to buying books for babies and toddlers, there is plenty of options and so much to explore. Here are some creative style books that babies/toddlers would love.
I love this creative book where you can flip the lower part page, and a new story can be told. Creative Storytelling.
Interesting and Creative Books
Explore books that can flip, pop-up, to show what happens next or more explanation/detail of the pictures.
Meanwhile, other than reading, to improve my child's vocabulary and general knowledge, I incorporated flashcards and started my child's 1st Shichida class at 4 months old.
When I sent my child for the first time to the class, I was shocked to see how fast the Shichida teacher (sensei) flash the cards, despite that she was attentive. She loves the class very much. I also made some friends with the other Shichida mothers (my daughter's classmates' moms).
Although I read nightly to my baby, I notice she wasn’t keen on words but more interested in the stories, and she loves the books I bought.
Here is what I noticed with my daughter's classmates in Shichida class. They could read at the age of 18 months, but my daughter still could not read despite my daily flashing of cards and reading. From my understanding, her classmates did sight-reading, which is memorizing the pronunciation of words through sight and sound.
Throughout her baby/toddler stage, I would continue to use books during her bath time.
And carries little cardboard books in the stroller whenever we are out.
I love these cardboard book sets. It shows quantity something like the random flashcards in Shichida classes. My child always carries a book with her, or I have them tucked in the car.
"I have rules to my baby that always respect books. Handle with care no scribbling tearing, or folds. So none of her books has puppies' ears on the page corners."
I did bring her when she is a toddler to the library, but I find having her own books and calling her own things/property” is vital to any child. She will always bring her books everywhere she goes and read them.
Her 1st reaction to the library. Wah! So many books. I brought her to the children's books section, and she hurriedly took out a book and was amazed to see such a place of a library exists. I shared with her that these books do not belong to her and that she will have to return them. We have a library bag where when she is done, she will place it there, and it will be returned to the library. As a mom observe what your child chooses, initially you will be selecting the book for them, but eventually they will choose for themselves.
On numbers, I started with this book, Awareness of numbers around us.
It tells where in real life you see numbers. Like in the lift, the price tag at grocery stores, then only the books on counting 1-10, counting 1-100, the concept of sorting, etc…
Later I bought some CDs on math equation songs, following Shichida classes.
During the 2nd year in Shichida, I notice there is not much improvement compared to other toddlers, so I spoke to some senior Shichida moms. Honestly, it is better to observe what they do than hear what they say because not all mums share sincerely.
So this is where I begin to explore more in-depth the right brain method. I read books on Right Brain Education. My daughter was good at certain activities in Shichida classes. One of them is Linking Memory. She could recite the whole stories in order (50, 100, 150, and eventually 200). So I begin to think about how I did it. I made flashcards out of it and start flashing flash fast as she recited more quickly than I could flash.
Later I discovered the RightBrainEducationLibrary.Com while I was looking for more Shichida flashcards. This library has more than 15,000 flashcards for me to teach my daughter reading, math, encyclopedic knowledge, and memory exercises. I begin to explore the speed flashcards which help in the development of photographic memory. Which is part of activating the right brain. I am very happy to have found this website.
The book collection grew as she grew, we explored books like
Usborne books, Milly & Molly, books from Scholastic like Magic School Bus, etc
This "Magic School Bus" storybook is one of our favourites because it is mostly about science. The stories are very creative. For example, the magic school shrink and takes a trip going through your "digestive system".
Here are more reading books. I purchased the Oxford series. These early learning reading books are not only easy for my daughter to learn to read but also cover real-life daily activities. For example, it shows a family lifestyle, and things that are the same in her own environment e.g. furniture, people, places, etc.
Oxford Reading Tree books are really organized, and they have different levels. The 1st level is just pictured with not a single word on the book. And after that is a single short sentence. I read to her, and this lasted till the age of 3 plus. I also made flashcards of the Oxford characters.
I also bought Jolly phonic books to introduce dictionary usage.
Young Scientist was introduced to her when she started pre-school. We subscribe to them. These are the little things she will look forward to in the mailbox as it was addressed in her name.
Although my child was not able to read well, she could speak and understand. She can read, but she could not read words that she hasn’t come across before.
Then one day I ask her would you like to be able to read like mummy?
She immediately said, yes. We had to wait for a few months to enrol her in her Montessori Phonics lesson as she was underage. She started her phonics class, where she learns how to bland the word, at the age of 4. Their phonic program was two years, but she completed it faster than most kids as her foundation was strong, so the teacher works on the harder words for her individually. From then on all the chapter books she read on her own. She could read words that she hasn’t come across before. And understood the meaning as she remembers those sounds but has never seen the word. The phonics reading program works out great!
Oxford chapter book grows more interesting. It takes you to another time event like a time machine; only this is a magic key. There is where the adventure begins.
I added some serious books. The Horrible Science series. I like this series because it makes learning fun.
When do you introduce encyclopedia books, before they enter kindergarten? Yes.
We like this encyclopedia book because it is short and factual. Fascinating topics.
Do I recommend reading comic books (some call them graphic novels)?
Yes, most definitely. She reads them when she has to wait for me. I call it "light-reading".
Note: From the age of 0 to 4 years old there no TV or animated cartoons, why? Is the love for books 1st. But when it comes to flashing cards is fine, I do use the iPad or screen. Which only takes less than 5 minutes a day. She likes the RightBrainEducationLibrary.Com flashcards very much.
Her Favourite book when she turns 6 was Skulduggery Pleasant Books
Now at 8 years old, my daughter always gets a perfect score for spelling. She also learns new words and knowledge very quickly. I guess all the Shichida & Heguru and the reading books she went through helps a lot.
All those years of showing flash cards and reading books, learning is a breeze for her in primary school. So schooling is fun for her.
The benefits of the right brain education spill over to her later years where she has developed a very good "photographic memory" and she is also able to speed read. Most importantly, the love for books.
Over the years, I did not bother to test my daughter. As mentioned by the Shichida Method, you should not test your child (also mentioned by Glenn Doman).
I would recommend parents to start teaching their baby or toddler to read as early as possible. I hope my sharing of how I teach my baby inspires you to teach your baby or toddler. Learning will be fun and easier for your child.
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