All babies are linguistic geniuses. They are born unable to speak and within 2 or 3 years, they can speak almost perfectly. This alone is amazing when you consider that whatever language your baby is learning is a foreign language to them.
Adults that attempt to learn a foreign language do not master that language with as much ease and precision as a baby does. That is because the absolute best time to learn language is during the first 5 years of life. It is during this period of time that the brain learns language most easily.
Babies Can Learn to Read and Speak Simultaneously
Language development takes place in different forms. Traditionally babies learn to speak by being spoken to and years later they learn to read. There is no good reason for this order except that this is usually how it is done. Many people are not aware that babies can learn to read and speak simultaneously or they can learn to read even before they are able to speak. The reason is that the brain is designed to learn language during this period of time and it is not selective as to how it learns language. What this means is that babies learn to speak from being spoken to and they can learn to read from being read to.
Babies are not limited to learning only one language as is evident in babies that are born in bilingual homes. Children are able to speak any number of languages, as long as they have regular interactions with that language. This is the same way that babies learn to read. Through regular interaction with written language, babies can learn to read. Parents can introduce reading to their babies as early as 3 months old. The reason that they cannot learn to read sooner than 3 months is because it is during these first months of life that the visual pathway is developing from fuzzy, unclear vision to being able to see clearly and sharply.
The Earliest Age Parents Can Begin a Baby Reading Program
It is important to determine if your baby is able to visually track an object before teaching them to read. This is done by holding an object between 8-10 inches away from the babies face and moving it from left to right and vice versa. Once a baby is capable of visually tracking an object, a reading program may be introduced.
Now that we have determined the earliest age parents can begin a reading program let’s look at what is the best age to start. This varies from baby to baby. The baby’s spirit must always be considered because babies that are very fussy and colicky may not make the best students. Also, parents might not have been aware that teaching their baby to read was even possible until their baby is one or two years old.
A reading program should only be introduced as a fun and joyous activity for parents and babies to enjoy together. This can occur anytime from 3 months through the baby’s 3rd birthday. Many parents enjoy teaching their babies to read when their babies are just a few months old. This is a perfect time for parents to interact with their babies -- when babies are not doing much physically. Since a reading session can take as little as 30 seconds, the only challenge for parents is finding a moment of contentment to present words to their baby.
The Best Time To Start a Baby Reading Program is Now
When working with babies that are 18 months and older the results may be more apparent since the child is able to communicate more than an infant. However, the best time to start a baby reading program is now. This precious period of time is fleeting so do take advantage of it. Visit www.monkisee.com to see our Starter Reading Kit that has everything you need to begin a baby reading program.