Babies can easily learn how to read. It is just a game we play with them in their infancy, which reaps wonderful results. By their third birthdays, they are usually independent readers with a third grade reading level or higher. It is not hard to do, but these four steps should be avoided in order to assure your success.
Don’t expect immediate results. Depending on the age of your baby, you may want to see proof immediately that your baby is learning to read. This happens more frequently when parents of toddler age children begin a reading program. Because the babies are able to speak, parents are constantly wondering what they have learned. Parents that begin a program during infancy, realize they are just going on blind faith. It will be many months before they are able to determine what their child has learned. It is critical that parents freely give to their babies without expecting immediate results. After a period of time, your baby will amaze you with all that they learned, just don’t rush them.
Don’t show your baby small words. Because a baby’s visual pathway isn’t fully developed, parents must present fairly large words. Do not expect to pick up flash cards that were made for preschoolers and think that your baby will be able to easily read the words. When in doubt, go bigger. You can show bigger words by writing on a dry erase board or a piece of copy paper. Make the words as large as the paper can hold while allowing for some white space around the word.
Don’t ask your baby to read for you. It is hard for parents to contain their excitement when they realize that little babies can learn to read. They may get stuck into a testing mindset, continually asking their babies, “What does this say?”
If you want to gently see what your baby has learned, offer two words and ask your baby to find a particular one. This is not testing your baby and if baby answers incorrectly, just nonchalantly show your baby the word you were looking for. Babies don’t like to be tested.
Don’t turn teaching time into a drill. Babies learn to read when they think it is a game. This is accomplished by the parent’s attitude. It is important that you are joyful when showing your baby words. If your baby is not having fun, stop immediately. Never aim to show your baby words unless they are in good spirits.