Teaching Baby to Read
Teaching Baby Math
Baby's Physical Development
Teaching Other Subjects
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Why Teach Whole Language?
The advantage of teaching whole language is that it enables you to give your child exposure to the written word from as young as 3 or 4 months of age. By stimulating the reading pathways of your child's brain from babyhood, you can give him a head start in reading that will make him a more fluent reader for the rest of his life.
Robert Titzer, an infant researcher and the creator of the Your Baby Can Read (YBCR) series of books and DVDs, taught his daughters, Aleka and Keelin, to read dozens of words as babies. His video of Aleka gesturing to indicate the meanings of words at the age of 9 months is as amazing to watch today as it was when it first appeared in 1992.
Some people believe that it is harmful to teach babies and young children to read. For Aleka and Keelin though, the benefits have been clear - each maintained 4.0 GPA averages in school, skipping at least one grade in the process. Aleka is now in college, having begun her sophomore year at the age of 16.
Of course, a child who begins learning to read at age three, four or even five may still become a competent reader and a good student. However, the beauty of teaching reading in babyhood is that, at this age, learning to read is effortless. So effortless, in fact, that some experts - such as Native Reading author Timothy Kailing - believe the word "teaching" does not really apply.
Around 18 months I actually thought I would teach [Aleka] phonics, because she knew hundreds and hundreds of words. So I wrote down a "b" - and I had not taught her the alphabet yet - so when she saw the "b" she said "buh." Then I put down a "t" and she said "t," and then when I put down "tion" and she said "shun," then I knew that she'd actually figured out phonics.
This is not to say that you should not teach your child phonics. Teaching whole words is never meant to replace a phonics-based approach to reading. Your child will not necessarily need to be taught phonics, but in the next section, we'll find out just how important such lessons can be.
Why teach phonics?