Raising a Superior Child: Steps to Early Learning & Reading

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Raising a Superior Child: Steps to Early Learning & Reading

Post  Printessa / Admin on Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:01 pm

Raising a Superior Child: Steps to Early Learning & Reading
A friend of mine forwarded me this article she had found quite a while back....

My three year old can read, he has known his alphabet since he was two, and he will easily carry on a conversation composed of complete sentences. He knows his shapes, colors, numbers; heck, just yesterday he told me that Jupiter is the biggest planet. Though I’m proud of my son, my intent is not to brag, but to merely illustrate a point. Young children are like sponges, and they absorb more than we even realize. As parents, we are responsible for sharing our knowledge with our children, and in the process we may be amazed at how quickly they can learn. That has been our experience with our son and his reading.

The best move we have made so far was to encourage our son’s love for books; he has been read to consistently since he was a baby and has always had his own collection of books. He looks at his books twice a day (I say looks because he obviously couldn’t always read), once before naptime and again in the evening. We read a book aloud together every night. We’ve taught him to respect his books- that ripping pages, bending books, and so on, is unacceptable and that books are to be treated carefully. As a result, books are special to him, and he will read for an hour or more contently. We have set him on a path that will hopefully foster a lifetime love of reading.

Along with books, the most invaluable learning tool we have used thus far has been flash cards. These are very inexpensive and can help to introduce everything from the alphabet to opposites. We have about a dozen packs on the shelf, and our son loves them. We began with a set of alphabet cards that had a letter on one side and a corresponding brightly illustrated image on the other. We first used the upper-case letters, and began with just A through E or so. After those were mastered, cards were added a few at a time. The two keys here were consistency and also letting my son explore the cards for himself. We practiced daily with the same cards, in the same place. Once he named the letters, I would let him go through the whole deck, familiarizing himself with the letters and the pictures. Once he had the upper-case letters down, I began to match them up with the lower-case cards so he could see the relationship. We then went through the process of learning those. At the same time, I also used flashcards to teach numbers, colors, and shapes. Coupled with coloring books and worksheets, as well as educational books, they were a great tool and he picked up on the concepts very quickly. The final sets of cards were made up of simple words without any images. These have by far been the biggest, as well as the most surprising, help. My strategy was to teach him to read words that were not easily illustrated, more conceptual and abstract words. That way, when we picked up a book, he would know the small words and could pick up on objects, names, etc. from the illustrations. So, we began with the words “it,” “is” and “in,” and went from there. As with the alphabet cards, I added a new one each time he had mastered the deck. Once he knew 50+ cards, we moved on to books.

We’ve invested in a number of the first-readers type books, and during our “school time” I let my son pick a book he would like to read aloud to me. We work a page at a time, and I point to the words with a pointer while he reads them. After he finishes each page, I read it back to him so he can hear and understand the content and associate it with the illustrations. This helps him remember what he read and has proven to be a particularly useful tactic with him. We’re making progress quickly and he will now read through two or three books with little to no aid. He’s three and a half.

As I said, the key to our reading success has been consistency. Make reading fun, but make it a habit. The effort is going to have to be made on your part, but a mere 20 minutes a day dedicated to your child’s education should not be too much to ask. There is no reason to wait for someone else to teach your child to read when he enters the first grade; start early, and give your child a head start- make him superior. alien alien
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Printessa / Admin
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