— This is a story we’ve told friends and family who know Sam and have seen her actually reading, so I thought it would be best to include it as part of Mommyology. For all intents and purposes, it was an “experiment”, and I’d have to say, a good one at that! See for yourself. —
One night two years ago, my husband was zapping through channels and he caught the infomercial of Your Baby Can Read, an early language development system for children under 5. He was quite skeptical about it in the beginning, but somehow decided that it was something Sam and I could do during the day while he was at school.
We began the program when she was 3 or 4 months old, and continued everyday, twice a day. The first results were seen when she was 10 months old; I would write a word down, and she could point to what it was, or act it out (ie, clap). It started out as 4 or 5 words, and then as the months passed, her vocabulary and word recognition grew exponentially.
This is Sam at 18 months, reading random words that I type, some of which are Filipino in origin.
Today at 2 years of age, I am quite proud to say she can read simple books with about 50-100 words in them. And they are not just singular words, they can be whole sentences and full phrases too. She loves books and we read all the time. Even when we’re in the car, she reads street signs and restaurant signages, just out of the blue. I sometimes wonder if she has just memorized the words completely, but even words she’d never seen before, she can somehow make out and read out loud.
Okay. As I said it was a successful experiment. Looking back, we would have never gotten to where she is now if it wasn’t for several things rolled into one: a patient, continuous, sole exposure to the Your Baby Can Read program, at an early age. It was the only TV she knew, and she watched it constantly. This was supplemented by the books and the cards, so we could turn it into a game; or, if she wasn’t in the mood for TV, she still had the books with the words and pictures in them. On top of which, I did not leave her alone to figure it out by herself. I personally sat there, each time, and coached her through it. It was an intrinsic part of our daily routine. Definitely a labor of love, and again a whole gamut of patience and perseverance! I’d have to tell you though, that once she started to show signs of progress, it was beyond fulfilling! How many people can say that their children can read at 2 years of age?
Now. How it will work out with Jamie? Give me a year and I’ll get back to you. 🙂