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Teaching Kids To Read

I am totally convinced that teaching kids to read must start from home. Before having a child of my own, if you were to tell me that a 2 year-old can read, I was likely to raise my eyebrows, astonished and quipped 'Really?'. Yep, I sounded skeptical. But today, I change my mind. I can tell you a whole lot from my personal experience. Through my eyes and my ears, I saw and I heard words in books jumped out from the mouth of a 25 month-old child!
Teaching toddlers to read is not something impossible. There are parents that start reading to kids as early as infancy. Nurturing the habit of early reading is great because the child learns to like books. Eventually he tends to be curious, to find how to read the words exactly like his parents do.

Our Approach: How to teach your child to read

Books are our favorite thing. So, we are hoping that Austin is going to love reading, like us. We started reading to Austin when he was still in my womb, after 20 weeks of my pregnancy. 'I love you always and forever' by Jonathan Emmet, this was the only story. We repeated it every night before saying good night to each other until every line has planted in our brain. After Austin turned 1 month old, we brought in a couple clothes books for Austin. Flipping and reading to him, we also got him to feel and touch the books. At times, hanging on his cribs, he enjoyed kicking them, as well as caught him to watch closely as he fiddled with these clothes books during his tummy time.
Around 3-6 month-old, we played flashing game with him. Holding 10 to 20 cards with one to two-word, we read out aloud as we flashed. Briefly, 1 to 2 sessions in a day, each session about 5 minutes. Blending flash cards with words alternating some with word and image variety, we only introduced a full word or a whole word such as apple, bug, car. No alphabet or letter e.g. a, b, c. And we sang lots of lullabies e.g. Somewhere over the rainbow, Twinkle twinkle little stars.

And if you're to ask me how was his response to reading, then let me tell you an incident when he was just a few months old when we took him to see pediatrician. Austin was a spirited baby, so we had to hold him most of the time or entertained him. To our surprise, a notice board outside the doctor's office that was full of words can calm him. He stopped fussing, stared at the notes as if he was reading, but not when we turned to a poster with plenty pictures!

Teaching babies to read

The Three Little Pig, Cowboy and The Enormous Turnip were the first three hard cover books that we invested after Austin was born. Sounds ambitious, classical stories are somehow the best because they have been playing in our mind before. As Austin learned how to sit, we continued to read simple stories for him as he watched the words and pictures. I like to point the word to him whenever I read the words. As the little fingers learned to fiddle, we unpacked 2 dozens of board books and set up a mini library, getting him to explore numbers, counting and short stories. Tiny in size, easy to handle, these little books are great for our little man. 

Being parent that enjoyed reading Peter and Jane series, we didn't miss out that too. Around 6-12 months old, Austin continued to be pampered with more hard cover books, lullaby/song books. If you walk into our house, you'd see wall, door, table, chair, painting, gate and some stuff are tagged however without price :). Handwritten words, these labels ease our effort in introducing things at home, around us to Austin.

If you're an expecting mother, I guess this post is good enough for now. Do come back soon to find out what we did in teaching toddlers to read after Austin turned one.