Toddlers Reading Early
How to Teach a Toddler to Read At a Young Age?
If fascinates me to see that some individuals think that there are disadvantages of teaching a toddler to read early on. I mean, what could possibly cause someone to think that helping children learn to read early will be harmful? After all, so much research has been done and confirmed the fact that early reading has wonderful benefits for later on in life. For example, a 3 year old toddler's vocabulary predicts his or her reading success in first grade,  and that vocabulary and reading ability in grade one strongly predicts outcomes in grade 11.  It's pure silliness to think that reading early will lead to disadvantages or even cause harmful effects in toddlers. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Learning to read early will stimulate a toddler's intellectual development and help them become smarter - after all, reading does make you smarter.
Kids are extremely creative, imaginative, and capable human beings - far more than we adults give them credit for! Most adults believe that toddlers have very short attention spans, but if we dig deeper and really analyze things, you'll see that children LOVE to learn! They crave for learning, and learning is the absolute most enjoyable thing for them. In fact, to them, learning probably is playing!
Most of the toys we give to kids are really probably just to keep them out of our way so that adults can continue on with whatever it is that they deem important that must be done. Give a child some toy blocks, or a toy cars, a rattle, or stuffed animals - after about a minute or two, they're already bored of it, and throws it aside. To the adult, this simply reaffirms our predisposed belief that children have short attention spans. But really, what is happening?
Let's analyze it a bit further.
Give toddlers a toy they've never seen before, what do they do? They pick it up, they look at it and study it; they turn it and flip it around in all directions; they feel it and shake it; they might even smell it and try to lick it to taste it. Why? Because these are the 5 pathways we humans learn - touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste. So what is the toddler doing? The toddler is trying to LEARN everything he or she can about that new toy they've never see before. But after a few minutes of being occupied by the new toy, they toss it aside. Why? Because there's nothing else left to learn! Kids love to learn! As long as there's something left to learn, the child will keep playing with it.
We have 3 kids ourselves, and have countless examples to share. For example, with our 2nd child Ethan, (if I remember the time correctly) when he was a one year old toddler, he was enthralled with buckles, especially those of his car seat. He was so preoccupied by it that he would spend upwards of over 30 minutes trying to clip the buckle and then unclip it. How's that for attention span? Why did he spend so much time on it? Because it was a REAL challenge for him. As his motor skills were still developing, it was a real challenge for him to aim the two parts of the buckle and then push it together to clip it. Because of that challenge, it kept him busy for long periods of time. Not long after, as he got better and better with his hand and eye coordination, clipping the buckles no longer posed a challenge, and he pays no more attention to it. We have many these types of example, but I think that is enough for our purposes here.
Teach Toddlers to Read at Home
What was the point of all that rambling above? To drive home the point that children love to learn, and that learning is fun for toddlers. Because of this, teaching abc to toddlers and teaching them to read at an early age is not only beneficial, but FUN for them. When you teach a toddler to read at a young age, there is no resistance to learning, because it's something they love. At the same time, it's challenging and engaging for them.
Why should you teach your toddler to read at home?
The answer is simple: because YOU will be the BEST teacher for your child. Even on your worst days, you will still be better than anyone else in this world at teaching your own child. You know your child, and when the teacher knows the student, good things will come of it. That's just the way it is. Teaching your child to read yourself is not difficult either. It's actually a rather simple process that requires about 10 to 15 minutes of your time each day, along with regular read aloud sessions on a daily basis.
The major issue faced by most parents when it comes to teaching their kids to read is most are unsure of how to go about the entire process of teaching their children to read. Do you start with ABC, do you start with the child's name, do you start with sight words, or do you start with letter sounds? If you want to teach your toddler to read at an early age, what you need is a simple and effective reading program that takes you through the entire process step-by-step. We taught all of our children to read before they turned 3 years old using an extreme simple and effective program. The teaching process in our step-by-step system works exceptionally well at teaching young children to read.
1. Vocabulary Development and Instruction: A Prerequisite for School Learning
Andrew Biemiller, University of Toronto
2. Early reading acquisition and its relation to reading experience and ability 10 years later.
Cunningham AE, Stanovich KE.