I’ve always endeavored to promote early reading for Norton. Before he was even born, I started acquiring books for him. I did the same thing for his big brother Andy, too. With Andy, there was a lot of reading Dr. Seuss. With Norton, though, my focus on early reading took a back seat to working past his toddler language delay.
Now that he’s starting to catch up on his toddler language delay issues, I’m moving back into early reading. Honestly, though, renewed focus on promoting early reading comes from Norton using a toy to teach himself the alphabet.
Norton is doing some pretty impressive stuff these days. He recognizes his letters, and he’ll go around pointing them out to me. He’s spelled out “Joy” to the husband off of the spine of The Joy of Cooking in our dining room. He has pointed out letters to me on the TV and also in any of the Spot books we read. It’s pretty awesome.
So, now it’s time to move on to the next skill for promoting early reading with my smart toddler boy. I know that the next logical step from there is to start teaching phonics, but I’m not exactly certain where to go with that. I mean, it’s not like I exactly sat down and taught him the alphabet.
I know that I absolutely don’t want Your Baby Can Read. It teaches memorization, not phonics. Teaching phonics helps a child sound out a word to figure it out. It’s far more empowering and a better teaching method than rote memorization of certain words. (Yes, c-a-t spells “cat,” but why does it say “cat”?) Every teacher that I know that has reviewed the program hates it.
There are a couple of other options that I’ve been thinking of. One is the classic Hooked on Phonics program, but I wonder if Norton is a bit too young for it. The pre-kindergarten program is for three and up. He’s not even two and a half yet. And is it realistic or appropriate to attempt to teach him early reading anything before we’ve even gotten to potty training? Or before he’s completely licked his toddler language delay?
I don’t know. I just know that I have a smart toddler, and I don’t want to stifle him. I want to give him any edge that I can give him for his future in the challenging field of world domination academic success.
How did you promote early reading in your family?