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Learning how to read

If you'd completed Psychology 101, you'd agree with me that the ability to learn is a result of experience. Yes, some children were born with talents thus that help them to expedite and push forward beyond excellence. And even if English-is-native chromosome is required (to substantiate the claim of genetic plays a role in early readers, for which I doubt), I want to reassure you that this doesn't make us stand less advantage to teach our child to read in English as early as 1, 2 or 3 years old for non-native speakers.
It had never came across our mind that Austin can read at 21 months old while we were struggling to read in English at 6 years old. Impressive for his age is perhaps a superlative. The fact is beyond our expectation, thus it gives us a sense of accomplishment. That's said, every child reads at different rate. Reading or literacy is not the only survival skill. We don't deny that Austin is behind in other areas of childhood development e.g. self-feeding. To us, every milestone is equally crucial. If yours doesn't read or show interest in reading now, he might impress you 6 months or a year later. Stick to the rule of holistic and fun principle in learning, I have faith you're on the right track.

Learning how to read for kids is never simple and brief. It takes time and plenty of effort. Getting suitable, adequate teaching aids certainly help. So, I'm humbled to present you our props, the earliest collection. And you'd agree the investment doesn't cost a bomb if you can source from discounted stores or eBay.

  • Cloth books - My First Mother Goose Rhymes & Twinkle Twinkle Elmo by Softplay. Purchased both from Ross, each cost around US$4.
  • Board Books - First Sesame Street & Counting. Less than US$10, also from Ross.
  • Flash Cards - Ready for School by Flash Kids, Animals of All Kinds by School zone, Sight Words of Brighter Child. Bought from various places including H.E.B., Barns & Nobles, Toy R Us and Amazon. Each cost less than US$3. We bought a few more sets however these are the ones I found useful.
  • Hard cover books
    I Love You Always And Forever by Jonathan Emmett Both, US$1 from Half Price Books.
    Hush, Little One by Anita Reith Stons, US$1 from Half Price Books.
    The Enormous Turnip, Ladybird Books.
    Cow Boy Superhero Phonic Readers, Ladybird Books.
    The Three Little Pigs, Ladybird Books.
    The Magic Porridge Pot, Ladybird Books.
    Key words with Peter & Jane – 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, Ladybird Books.
    Each of Ladybird cost RM9.90 (<US$4) from Borders.
  • Educational DVDs
    Your Baby Can Read DVD - this is a gift.
    Word World DVDs – Lots of Letters & Christmas, each cost about US$6 to12.

Learning How To Read Books

We have to admit, nothing is perfect. At this stage, we're aware that Austin needs help, mainly in words of 3-syllable and above. When Austin calls out 'rectangle', he tends to swallow the 'tan'. He is also struggling to pronounce yellow precisely. Most of the time, it sounds 'nano' to me rather than 'yellow'. However, this is better than 'nana' at the beginning. Shorten from banana, that's exactly yellow when ripes. The consolation then, at least he is not color blind :). So, we keep feeding him the accurate pronunciation whenever we can.
To find out our experience from the beginning and teaching toddlers to read, start with this post - Teaching Kids To Read.