Friday, August 21, 2009

It's been too long, but your baby CAN read!

I have been busy spending my time with the kids as usual, and I got the "Your baby can read" program as well. It's actually a fantastic program! The boys love the videos, books and cards. We are strictly only playing with the stuff for the program right now, while I try to decide what is the best time of day to set aside time to actually work on it a little. Despite that it has only been play, within one week, Zander has learned to read and recognize 2 of the words from the starter set and Mason varies. He can do at least "hi", "clap" and "eyes" from the starter set, as well as the words he already knows. Sometimes, he can remember a few more, and occasionally, isn't interested in reading at all. That is typical, toddlers are like the weathe rin New England, unpredictable.

So, Since not everyone wants to pay the somewhat extravagant price for books and cards and dvds to teach a toddler to read, I will make some suggestions.

Flashcards with the word on the front, and the picture on the back. Bring them out instead of watching tv, when your little one is settled down, not running amok and burning off energy. I find my boys do great before bedtime, but not every kid is the same. Make it a game. I know I will hit a brick wall in progress when I attempt to set aside a specific learning time, but I am determined. Unless you are on some deadline, don't copy me on that. I am not going to force my kids to learn, and neither should you. Because you cannot, it doesn't work. But make it fun- I am not beyond bribing Mason a little to give a little extra effort, though I keep the bribes sort of relevant. We have a book that has a word, and then you slide it to the side to see the picture. If he gets the word, he gets to slide it. If not, I slide it, and make it seem liek the most fun thing I have EVER done, lol.

You can make cards liek this, first cut out the flash cards. Then, cut out paper that is twice the size, and tape it over the card to create a sleeve. Write the word on the sleeve, and put a picture (keep it basic so to avoid confusion) on the card inside. When your kid tries really hard, or even gets it, let them slide the sleeve off. When they lose focus, get distracted, or doesn't get it....slide it off yourself and make it look like so much fun!

Some good words to start with are words that are common and easily illustrated, such as cat and dog, wors that they can do the action if they forget how to say it, such as jump or wave, and words that they use often, such as food, mommy, and play. If you feel super creative, you can print pictures of daily life and use those to illustrate the words, for example, for the word hi, have a friend waving hello for a picture, and point out that they are saying hi. Use pictures of their favorite food and make fluffy the cat be your model so it's even easier to recognize the cat. You could even cut pictures from magazines, but rememebr that the more there is in the picture, the harder it is for a tot to decipher.

So, I am writing while my 3 under 3 sleep, and I think it's time for me to join them in dreamland. Have fun helping your little one read, I will be back very very soon with some games to play. Feel free to ask questions, too..I will be here much more often now.