How to Teach Your Baby to Read
How to Teach Your Baby to Read – Teaching your baby to read is becoming a high priority for parents now as it becomes clear that learning to read at a young age offers numerous advantages for the child once he or she begins school. Studies have consistently found that teaching a baby to read and helping children develop phonemic awareness well before entering school can significantly improve their development in reading and spelling.
There are two main teaching methods, the whole language method, and the phonics and phonemic awareness method (the phonetic approach) which is the preferred method. With the Look-say approach of whole language learning, a child begins with memorizing sight words and then taught various strategies of figuring out the text from various clues.
The whole language method produces inaccurate and poor readers compared to students of the phonetic approach. Whole-language advocates argue that teaching a baby to read using phonics breaks up the words into letters and syllables, which have no actual meaning, yet they fail to acknowledge the fact that once the child is able to decode the word, he or she is able to actually READ that entire word, pronounce it, and understand its meaning. So in practicality, it’s a very weak argument.
If your baby can speak, then you can begin to teach your baby to read. Most parents are probably aware of a very popular “reading” program, which is a whole word approach. Using this method, your baby simply learns to memorize the words without actually reading the words. There are large numbers of studies which have consistently stated that teaching children to reading using phonemic awareness is a highly effective method.
In fact, while his wife was pregnant with their first child, Jim began doing extensive research on the subject on how to teach his new baby to read. Like most parents he also came across the popular whole word teaching approach being heavily marketed. Seeing the TV infomercials with babies “reading” got him quite excited. But after trying it out, it occurred to him that their baby wasn’t actually “reading”, but actually “memorizing”, and he wondered how his children were supposed to read newer, and more complicated words as they grew older without an appropriate method of decoding those words? This is where his long and extensive research into phonics and phonemic awareness began.
After many hours of research and learning as much as he could, he felt comfortable enough with their simple phonemic awareness teaching method and he began giving brief 3 to 5-minute lessons to our daughter, aged 2 years and 8 months. Within just a few short weeks, her reading ability, the actual reading ability, not memorization) was astounding. Friends and family alike were simply flabbergasted at what their daughter was capable of reading 3 months later. Just think of the tens and hundreds of words a young child would have to memorize!
Their son is fast approaching the age where he will soon be able to speak, and he will be taught to read using the same simple step-by-step method.