Teach Your Baby To Read!

You can teach your baby to read right now - find out how.

Incredible as it may seem in this information age, increasing numbers of our young people are passing through the school system without having mastered the most basic of educational skills - the ability to read. Many that can read cannot do so at a level sufficient to make reading anything but a grinding chore. Of course, reading will open up the universe to a child and provide him with a wealth of adventure and opportunity. It is vital, then, that children learn how to read well and learn this as early as possible. And who is in a better position to impart this vital skill than you, the parent? You don't have to wait until your child enters the school system for others to teach him how to do it. After all, from birth your child is soaking up knowledge like a sponge. The experts, in fact, tell us that the pre-school years are the most ideal ones for learning. That is when the child's mind is the most open. It follows, then, that that is the best time to teach your child to read.

Begin at birth by constantly talking to your baby. Introduce as early as you can the tools that your baby will need to learn to read. Start with one or two brightly colored letters of the alphabet. Refer to them by name and more letters as time goes by. After a while your baby will be familiar with all of the letters of the alphabet, even though he may not yet be able to talk.

Start reading to your child, making sure that you follow each word with your finger, going from left to right. This way you will be training your child's eye to follow the left to right reading pattern. Next begin to build familiar words with the child's letters. Start with his name. Work with that word until he is able to recognize his name and can pick out the particular combination of letters needed to make it. Then gradually add other words. Make up large cards with the names of familiar objects and place them on that item (chair, table, etc). Leave the signs on the objects for several days. Now make up a game where he has to put the right sign on the right object.

You are now ready to introduce your child to the lowercase letters. Many alphabet books can be used here. The next step would be to review nursery rhymes with the child, allowing him to fill in the missing words. Get the child to understand that rhyming words sound the same, they just have different beginning letters. Introduce new words in the same rhyming pattern. For instance can, man fan, ran. Work only with this sound group until he can read any word in the "˜an' group. Then go to the "˜at' group and introduce words in this group like cat, bat, sat, etc. Then form short sentences using words from both groups. Once he has mastered the words, help him to understand that words represent ideas by asking questions about the sentence. Continue this pattern with "˜a' vowel words and then work through the other vowels as well.

By utilising this method many youngsters have been able to read well before going to school, often becoming quite fluent at four years of age. And this, of course, puts them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

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