How to start your child on reading (Intro)

Since the posting of Ethan’s reading video, I’ve been flooded with emails asking me to share tips on how to start young toddlers to read. I am all so happy to share my two cents worth as I believe in nothing but to make every child a reader. But, let me clarify with all the mommies and daddies out there that I am by no means an expert in this field and I should not be taken to court should you feel that my method is not on par as to what experts recommended. Everyone has their own unique way to teach, so here is mine.
I strongly recommend that you use the Whole Word Approach if your child is below the age of 3. The reason being is it is simple and not too complicated for a young child’s mind. Sometimes, using phonetic approach at a very young age might put the child off reading as he/she finds it too stressful to spell out each and every word. Remember, to get your child to love reading, he/she must first find it easy and not at all stressful. Only when they don’t realise that they are learning, do they actually truly start learning.
Trust me.
Many have thought that I must have spent a whole lot of time and effort on Ethan to get him to read. Actually, I only spend about 5-10 minutes, two times the most a day, 2-3 times a week. Before you get started, you must have a realistic goal. Say a child is able to learn a word a day. That does not equal to 7 words a week! You must give the child some space and not push them too far. Sometimes, I am even afraid to share as I wonder, will you have the patience and not be too greedy? Will you let your child chill and not stress them up? Most of all, will you teach with an open heart and not expect too much? Do not, I repeat, do not expect too much from your child.. and he/she will surprise YOU with spectacular results! Some days, your child will not even want to get NEAR you sensing that you are in a mission of teaching. That is okay. Let them be. Let them decide when is their best time to learn. Every child is different so I can’t really say when is the best time to teach. As for Ethan, he learns best when he is still fresh in the mornings during breakfast.
If you promise you will not use force to get your child to read, take things easy and do this with NO stress; only then you are suitable to follow this method.
1) Start with a word card. Strictly no pictures on the card as the pictures might distract the child from focusing on the word.
2) Show the card to the child and at the same time read the word out loud. Get the child to repeat the word.
That’s it. As simple as that. No spelling out words and all. Just read it out loud. Then leave the child to do his/her own stuffs. After 10 minutes, just show your child the card and wait for him/her to say out the word. If they are able to say out the word, you can be sure that they have recognise that particular word. If they cant, repeat Step 2 again, leaving at least 10 – 15 minutes gap before you get them to tell you the word. You know you have succeed if they can say out the word. Next time, repeat with different font.
Some child might not get it on the first try, or second or third. Here, perseverance plays a very important role. Do not give up and do contact me. We’ll discuss to see what went wrong if the child still can’t get it after the fifth try.
If you notice, in each video, Ethan is reading whilst playing something on the side. For a young toddler his age, that is my only way to keep him in position or he’ll be running all over the place!
Here are Ethan’s previous reading video:
Ethan reading @ 20 mths old
Ethan reading @ 16 mths old
We are ALL in the process of learning. I must first admit that I am not perfect. So I welcome all feed backs and please feel free to comment should you have better idea on how to perfect the reading method. Let’s all work towards a same goal; to make every child a reader!
Some have even asked me on what words should they start their child. Any word will do actually. It doesn’t matter how many letter word, as long as it is a word, it qualifies. But common sense will tell us not to start off with word such as ‘alligator’ as how often do you think your child will use that word in their everyday life? :P Watch this video to get some idea… ^_^

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About the Author: Merryn Tan

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    I totally agree with you!! My jaw dropped, eyes popped and I almost cried out of joy when I heard my LO vomiting out every word (includes 2-word phrase) on the flash cards (sight words & ready for school – over 200+ words) at 25 mo-old. Now, he is reading signposts, labels and everything that catch his attention. Early readers is not impossible :D

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MeHome is where MY heart is.
I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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