Babies reading? Like many people, your initial reaction may be one of skepticism. But not only is it possible to teach your baby to read, it's also easy to do (easier than if you wait until your child is five or six years old). More importantly, your baby will love it!
If you've never encountered babies reading before, you probably have some questions or doubts about whether this is something you'd like to do with your baby. We hope to have answered most of your questions here. If there's anything you'd like to ask or discuss, we'd love to hear from you in the BrillKids Forum.
"I don't believe it!"
If the idea of babies reading seems far-fetched to you, check out the Baby Reading Videos page. There, you can see dozens of reading babies, including Felicity (daughter of the BrillKids founder) and Naimah (daughter of the BrillBaby editor), reading at 12 and 16 months respectively.
Why teach babies to read?
If you think babies are too young to learn to read, or wonder why anyone would teach a baby to read, you might be interested in the article Why Teach Reading Early? Although teaching babies to read is fun, that isn't the only reason for doing it. Children who learn to read in their first few years of life experience long-term gains in reading ability as well as other spheres of life.
Shouldn't I teach the alphabet first?
Babies can learn to read whole words without knowing the letters of the alphabet. However, children need to learn phonics in order to progress to phonetic reading (sounding out words). Some people think that children shouldn't learn to read whole words. We believe that it is beneficial to learn to read as young as possible, and that so long as children learn phonics before they start school, they will be fluent readers. For more on this debate, go to Whole Language Vs Phonics.
What if my baby doesn't enjoy reading?
Step back, and look at what you're doing. The cardinal rule of teaching babies reading - or anything else, for that matter - is to make it fun. The point of teaching is not to achieve certain targets, but rather to give your baby the opportunity to learn to read at the age when it is easiest for her to do so. Most likely, one of the methods of learning to read will appeal to your child and naturally become integrated into your daily routine. When that happens, the learning process will be fun and effortless, as well as a great chance for parent-child bonding.
What are the learning methods for babies?
Your baby will not learn to read simply by you reading books to him. You need to start more simply - with single words, and frequent lessons of short duration. How you present them is up to you. Some techniques to consider are the flash method, multisensory method and Native Reading method. You can get an overview of various mediums of reading instruction in Learning Tools as well as the Teaching Babies Survival Kit.
We hope you enjoy this exciting learning journey with your child. If you have a reading video to share with us, email the team . Your submission could end up on the BrillBaby site!