Recently a friend of mine did a post asking about the 'Your Baby Can Read' series. I'm sure you've seen the infomercial (if you have cable). Its a fun concept. I got the movies for Dominic when he was 1.5 and while they definitely opened my eyes to a new world for what children can do, and he watched them a few times a day...he didn't learn to read. Instead, I started making powerpoint presentations with words that he could associate with and showed them to him in the 'presentation mode' on the computer (full screen). He loved it and learned to read several sight words by the age of two. Mind you, this isn't READING at this point, its just the same as recognizing a picture...but you build on it. They eventually learn phonics and reading comprehension just as if you would have taught them traditionally. Dominic loved it. However, I was a single mom in school and I wasn't consistent enough to make it work past knowing 50 words or so. I stopped when he went home to see his Dad that summer for 3 weeks and didn't start it again the next semester because of my schedule.
Another venture started. Penny is starting to learn to read. Her vocabulary with speaking is such that I can write just about any word and she already has an association with it either by signing or by speaking it so I know that she understands that the word that she is looking at means ______ because she already knows what _____ means. We started last week and already she can recognize the words; water, Dominic, tickle and strawberry. She started this week being able to recognize one word and each day she has added a new word that she recognizes. I started a second list of 20 words with her today and will re-visit the old list frequently.
My point, little kids are very smart and ready to learn what we want to teach them (and stuff into their empty brains). Penny already can recognize several of her shapes (circle, diamond, heart, moon, star, square, oval, triangle, and rectangle) when I draw them for her. She thinks its a fun game and I love teaching it to her! Though I don't find it NECESSARY for a super young child to know how to read.....it can be done in a way that makes it very enjoyable for them. If you are interested in more information about it I'd be happy to share what I have learned so far with my 2 kids.
If you ARE interested I would suggest that you start with sign language as a baby so that they can communicate with you (stupid to teach them reading because they can't write the words back to you and let you know what they need)......then step into reading when your baby has a grasp on verbal and sign language. If your child is already older and has the ability to communicate in one form or another......start teaching them to sight read (using powerpoint....flashcards are too hard!) and see where the journey takes you!
Enjoy this video. Its not bragging rights that I want.....Penny loves it even in the short time we've been doing it and will come up to me and sign and say "words" wanting to come to the computer and read more words. Its a game...a game that is fun to play with her...and she's learning, and I didn't spend a dime on it. Why wouldn't I share that information with people right? So, anyways....enjoy: