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Learning to read plateau


macmacmoo
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Ds1 is three and a half. He mastered the letters and their more than a year ago. But I can't seem to be able to convey blending and reading has come to a stand still. Every six weeks or so I'll get a bee in my bonnet and I pull out ordinary parents and work on the first five lessons after the constant sounds over the course of a week. But he wiggles and squirms and no magical click. I tried letting him play the games on starfall but the little wii gamer that he is finds the games boring.

 

DH says not to worry about it. And while I'm not to concerned, I do get a little bored.

 

Any suggestions on some other things I should try to help with the blending? Or to help me not focus on the plateau?

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I just think he is not ready. He is still only 3.5. I would just relax and let it happen. You could play some word games. I absolutely love the Struggling Reader phonemic awareness games at that age. I have been doing those games with my 4yo. It has really prepared her to start reading. Their phonics games are also great, but kids really need to be able to read CVC words before starting with those games.

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I agree that he may not be ready yet. However, if you want to keep trying, we've found the methods used in 100 EZ Lessons and Funnix are good for teaching blending. Dd is up to lesson seventeen in the latter, and she can now read all kinds of words. It really works on phonemic awareness and blending.

 

If he doesn't seem interested, though, don't push.

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I agree, don't worry about OPGTR yet. My son and I, at that age, played a ton of made-up games with magnetic letters, alphabet lotto (you can get these easily in your dc's favorite characters), 1+1+1=1 games, and all sorts of other letter games. He's still learning, but it's much less focuses and pressured and "sit still" and way more fun for both of you!

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I strongly believe that the ability to blend is developmental. It is not the natural next step to learning letter sounds - it's dependent on maturation of some process or structure in the brain.

 

My daughter knew all her letters and letter sounds before she was two. We just assumed that she would be a very early reader. But at four years old, having known all the letter sounds for two years, she couldn't blend. Somewhere around 4 1/2, she suddenly could. We hadn't done anything different with her in the meantime - her brain just matured.

 

I strongly recommend that you put OPGTTR away. Instead, get stacks and stacks of really great picture books and read, read, read. Immerse your child in the sounds of language. Foster the love of books. Explore the world and then get books about the things he is curious about. That will do so much more to build a base for future reading than flash cards and lessons for a 3 1/2 year old will.

 

Also, please ask yourself why you want so much to teach your 3 1/2 year old to read. I know there are several WTMers whose kids were reading this early, but you must realize that this is very, very unusual. It is a rare three-year-old who is ready to read. Three-year-olds don't need to read. Research shows that reading lessons for preschoolers do not make any difference in elementary school achievement. (Kids who read naturally at three often stay ahead, but kids who are carefully taught to read do not.)

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:iagree: with the above... if you're interested in some more "fun" ways to introduce blending, without sitting down and making it a learning lesson, I would encourage you to get the Leap Frog videos. It's a little movie (which all my children have learned), and depending upon the video, it will take your child through counting, letters & sounds, blending, and reading simple words. My oldest was "stuck" on the blending, but after watching the video on blending (I think that one is Word Factory), he was on his way... without any formal lessons. I have had others who no matter how often they watched the blending video just needed a bit more maturation before they were reading.

 

Sometimes with development, a child will learn in bursts. They will quickly master letters and sounds, but then spend their "brain" energy mastering something else... and then eventually come back to "reading" -- tackling blending, and becoming an excellent reader in a very short time frame.

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Try readingbear.org. It's a free phonics website that focuses on blending. I started teaching both of my kids to read at 12 months. The first was reading phonetically before the age of 2. The second by 2 1/2. So, the blending isn't developmental. The important thing to know is that babies and toddlers can't be taught to read the same way older kids are taught.

 

If you have PowerPoint make some slides with words with a certain ending. For example, make a slide with at words (cat, mat, sat), another with ar words (car, star), etc. Put in pictures to hold his interest. You can also get something like Brillkids Little Reader. It's expensive but it's definitely worth it if you would like your child to be an early reader. You can also read Larry Sanger's essay How and Why I Taught My Toddler to Read for more ideas on how to teach.

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I strongly believe that the ability to blend is developmental. It is not the natural next step to learning letter sounds - it's dependent on maturation of some process or structure in the brain.

 

My daughter knew all her letters and letter sounds before she was two. We just assumed that she would be a very early reader. But at four years old, having known all the letter sounds for two years, she couldn't blend. Somewhere around 4 1/2, she suddenly could. We hadn't done anything different with her in the meantime - her brain just matured.

 

I strongly recommend that you put OPGTTR away. Instead, get stacks and stacks of really great picture books and read, read, read. Immerse your child in the sounds of language. Foster the love of books. Explore the world and then get books about the things he is curious about. That will do so much more to build a base for future reading than flash cards and lessons for a 3 1/2 year old will.

 

Also, please ask yourself why you want so much to teach your 3 1/2 year old to read. I know there are several WTMers whose kids were reading this early, but you must realize that this is very, very unusual. It is a rare three-year-old who is ready to read. Three-year-olds don't need to read. Research shows that reading lessons for preschoolers do not make any difference in elementary school achievement. (Kids who read naturally at three often stay ahead, but kids who are carefully taught to read do not.)

 

:iagree: COMPLETELY!

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my son learned to blend at 2.5 but really lost interest over the years. Once in a while I'd do a reading lesson but he didn't want to do it much. When he started kindy he was ready to go full speed ahead. Now again he's not interested. So I don't push at all.

 

 

 

I would leave them alone, let them play and explore. Present it every now and again, when they are ready, they will learn it at their own pace.

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My DD knew all her letter sounds at 18 months. Around 3 I started to teach her how to blend and I did not expect anything because I had also heard of this developmental issue with blending. So I did it for her - and she heard blending over and over and over all from me. I never expected an answer from her at all. I read the letter sounds to her even though she could do that herself and then I told her what it said and I did this solidly for two months at every opportunity that I had. After about a month I would leave a bit of a gap between the letter sounds and when I said the word. So c-a-t Cat became c-a-t ... cat and within two months she started filling the gap herself with the word and she knew how to blend. I think all the pressure of expecting a response when teaching blending can slow it down too. Just blend for your child - all the time even if it is not an easy phonics word as you are teaching them to put sounds together and it doesn't matter if it is not 1 of the 26 letter sounds. So say c-oa-t coat even though your child will not yet recognise long vowel combinations.

 

There is another thing I have read about blending that can also be got around. And that is that they say children who cannot remember a sequnce of 3-7 numbers (depending on how long the word they are trying to blend is) will not be able to blend. The way to get around this is to show them only the first two letters c-a says ca and then ca-t says cat. Basically you blend by uncovering one letter at a time and saying the sound you see. e-l-e-ph-a-n-t would be said el-ele-eleph-ellpha-elephan-elephant so they do not have to remember a while string of sounds and put them together.

 

Give it time - your child will get it.

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All 3 of mine knew their letter sounds at 2yo. All 3 of mine have learned to blend at different points. Even after learning to blend, there is level of maturity that must be reached before reading becomes fluent. 3 kids, same household, same mother-teacher, same materials....HUGE difference in timing.

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Do not get bored! There are so many wonderful things to do and share with a child this age (and as you know, it won't last long)! There will be plenty of time for reading lessons too. Others have already shared so many great ideas and blogs.

 

~Read stacks and stacks of books to your son and enjoy looking at the pictures together.

 

~Memorize beautiful poetry together (you'd be amazed at how quickly little ones can memorize).

 

~Teach him to play Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Operation...

 

~Teach him the planets and constellations (and show them to him at night).

 

~Show him pictures of important monuments and structures around the world. (I have fun memories of my toddler excitedly pointing out the Chrysler Building or Eiffel Tower on pictures while out shopping.)

 

~Let him sort rocks or seashells by likeness.

 

~Begin showing him how to draw the letters he has learned in the sand or with sidewalk chalk.

 

~Just take him out to explore the world with you...anything and everything...let him see, touch, taste, feel, smell, experience...etc., etc. And take lots of pictures along the way.

 

This is his introduction to the world and you get to be the one to do it. Everything is a "first" at that age, every outing a "field trip" (be it a park, museum, or grocery store). Savor every moment. Above all, do not get bored. There is always something else to do, you just have to stop sometimes and try to see the world through his eyes (and you may find you enjoy the world even more when you do ;)).

Edited by Amie
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My oldest knew his letter sounds by 2.5, could chunk a word into it's sounds by 3.5, and he couldn't blend until 4.5. His reading took off from there though. He learned when I stopped trying to teach him. ;)

 

My middle son could blend at just turned 4, but didn't know all his letters at that point. A year later, he's still working at learning to read. He can sound out a word, but he doesn't remember the next time that it was that word.

 

Be patient. Most kids aren't developmentally ready to read by 3.5, even many gifted kids.

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All 3 of mine knew their letter sounds at 2yo. All 3 of mine have learned to blend at different points. Even after learning to blend, there is level of maturity that must be reached before reading becomes fluent. 3 kids, same household, same mother-teacher, same materials....HUGE difference in timing.

 

:iagree:There are so many individual developmental factors at play in blending.

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That age, 3.5, is not too young to learn how to blend. Some people here actually do have experience teaching kids this young to read. I doubt that the people who say (or imply) that it's not possible have such experience. Over on BrillKids.com you'll find a lot of parents who have demonstrated that a child can blend at 3.5 years old. Mine blended his first words at age 22 months. I don't mean to say it's easy to learn--it definitely isn't. Blending is definitely one of the most difficult parts of learning to read. But if you use certain techniques, you'll probably get the result you want.

 

Tanikit has a good idea: an effective way to teach a little kid to blend is to do it for him. You sound out the word slowly, then a little faster. Then you ask the child to say the word (i.e., blend it). If the child still can't or doesn't want to say the word, then blend it yourself, but very slowly. Then say, "Now you say it!" (Be sure to distinguish sounding out and blending. The point is that you sound it out, and the child then blends it.) If you do that often enough, they'll be able to from you sounding out the world to them blending it. The next step is for them to blend it (preferably, in their head--if they just come out with the whole blended word, don't insist that they sound it out).

 

As ekfk says, ReadingBear.org can help a lot for drilling just this way. I'm sure I'm not biased when I say that!

 

It's also very important to do this (1) systematically, starting with the very simplest CVC words and always working on the same phonics rules until mastered, before going onto a new one, and (2) when your child is fully alert and interested in tackling the task, and also (3) to keep a positive attitude yourself. If you make it fun for your child, they'll be much more likely to get over the hump.

Edited by LarrySanger
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That age, 3.5, is not too young to learn how to blend. Some people here actually do have experience teaching kids this young to read. I doubt that the people who say (or imply) that it's not possible have such experience. Over on BrillKids.com you'll find a lot of parents who have demonstrated that a child can blend at 3.5 years old. Mine blended his first words at age 22 months. I don't mean to say it's easy to learn--it definitely isn't. Blending is definitely one of the most difficult parts of learning to read. But if you use certain techniques, you'll probably get the result you want.

 

Tanikit has a good idea: an effective way to teach a little kid to blend is to do it for him. You sound out the word slowly, then a little faster. Then you ask the child to blend. If the child still can't or doesn't want to blend, then blend it yourself, very slowly. Then say, "Now you say it!" If you do that often enough, they'll be able to from you sounding out the world to them blending it. The next step is for them to blend it (preferably, in their head--if they just come out with the whole blended word, don't insist that they sound it out).

 

As ekfk says, ReadingBear.org can help a lot for drilling just this way. I'm sure I'm not biased when I say that!

 

It's also very important to do this (1) systematically, starting with the very simplest CVC words, and (2) when your child is fully alert and interested in tackling the task, and also (3) to keep a positive attitude yourself. If you make it fun for your child, they'll be much more likely to get over the hump.

 

First of all, I am NO expert in early childhood development. I did teach my oldest how to read at an early age. He was sounding out words at 2yo (not sight words). However, he showed readiness and...um self motivation(?)... from a very young age. My younger son isn't following in those exact footsteps. Even if it is possible to get any and all 3yo's to read, it sounds like it could be challenging and time consuming for some. So I guess I'm wondering, why? It's a big world out there with so many things to do and share with a 3yo...couldn't you find a more productive way to spend all that time and energy for another six months or so? (Genuine question)

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No one here is saying that 3.5 is too young to blend. My dd started blending a bit before 3, but knew her sounds at 18m. Blending, I believe, is a developmental step and you never quite know when things will click.

 

As for Brillkids...not my favorite program. It's way too sight word intensive, but I suppose some people love it.

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My DD knew all her letter sounds at 18 months. Around 3 I started to teach her how to blend and I did not expect anything because I had also heard of this developmental issue with blending. So I did it for her - and she heard blending over and over and over all from me. I never expected an answer from her at all. I read the letter sounds to her even though she could do that herself and then I told her what it said and I did this solidly for two months at every opportunity that I had. After about a month I would leave a bit of a gap between the letter sounds and when I said the word. So c-a-t Cat became c-a-t ... cat and within two months she started filling the gap herself with the word and she knew how to blend. I think all the pressure of expecting a response when teaching blending can slow it down too. Just blend for your child - all the time even if it is not an easy phonics word as you are teaching them to put sounds together and it doesn't matter if it is not 1 of the 26 letter sounds. So say c-oa-t coat even though your child will not yet recognise long vowel combinations.

 

There is another thing I have read about blending that can also be got around. And that is that they say children who cannot remember a sequnce of 3-7 numbers (depending on how long the word they are trying to blend is) will not be able to blend. The way to get around this is to show them only the first two letters c-a says ca and then ca-t says cat. Basically you blend by uncovering one letter at a time and saying the sound you see. e-l-e-ph-a-n-t would be said el-ele-eleph-ellpha-elephan-elephant so they do not have to remember a while string of sounds and put them together.

 

Give it time - your child will get it.

 

What Tanikat said. We were at a plateau with dd and I kept expecting her to blend on her own. Finally, I started saying the word really slow, dragging out each letter sound. I would say this three times, then say the final word. After multiple lessons, she started blending on her own. The child's brain has to latch onto the idea that the distinct letter sounds will create a word sound. The child hears "C," "A," and "T" and "cat" as separate and different sounds. Give him time and keep working with him.

 

Also, I love OPGTR as a parent and teacher. The lessons are thorough and logical,..... but my dd would not and still will not read the sentences from the page. I write the words on a small whiteboard and then teach the lesson. She gets to check off, erase, or draw a line through each word as she reads them. We don't read the sentences in OPGTR; I pull out a phonics reader for her to read, either BOB or NIR!. Over several lessons, each book is read until she has fluency (usually 4 times), and it goes into her "free reading" bin. In the short vowel sounds, she only read one reader. Now that we're in the long vowel sounds, she reads three in a lesson.

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That age, 3.5, is not too young to learn how to blend. Some people here actually do have experience teaching kids this young to read. I doubt that the people who say (or imply) that it's not possible have such experience. Over on BrillKids.com you'll find a lot of parents who have demonstrated that a child can blend at 3.5 years old. Mine blended his first words at age 22 months. I don't mean to say it's easy to learn--it definitely isn't. Blending is definitely one of the most difficult parts of learning to read. But if you use certain techniques, you'll probably get the result you want.

 

I didn't say it was impossible for a 3-year-old to read. Obviously it isn't - I was reading at three, and so are a number of WTM kids. Very bright kids can be very early readers.

 

To me the question is not "is it impossible for a 3-year-old to learn to blend," but "should you expend a lot of effort trying to teach a 3-year-old to blend?" Here we have a very little boy who has no interest in learning to read. Why teach him? Why use special techniques and persistent effort to coax him through a process that will probably be much, much easier when he is five?

 

The existence of three-year-old readers doesn't make reading normative, desirable, or even possible for all three-year-olds. I don't see the point of pushing acceleration on a child that shows no interest or special aptitude. Research into "academic" preschool education shows literally no benefits that persist after first grade.

 

There are so many awesome things about three-year-olds. There are so many awesome things they can learn about their world in a developmentally appropriate way. Why try to make them into tiny kindergarteners? Where is the advantage?

 

...And seriously, I say that as someone whose three-year-old can identify all 50 states by shape and has most of the state capitals memorized. I am not a Waldorf-y anti-intellectual. The key difference is that I didn't try to teach him that stuff.

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First of all, I am NO expert in early childhood development. I did teach my oldest how to read at an early age. He was sounding out words at 2yo (not sight words). However, he showed readiness and...um self motivation(?)... from a very young age. My younger son isn't following in those exact footsteps. Even if it is possible to get any and all 3yo's to read, it sounds like it could be challenging and time consuming for some. So I guess I'm wondering, why? It's a big world out there with so many things to do and share with a 3yo...couldn't you find a more productive way to spend all that time and energy for another six months or so? (Genuine question)

 

We used a flashcard approach (my flashcards are available, free, here). It occupied, on average, 5-10 minutes of mealtime per day. We also watched "Your Baby Can Read" for (average) 15 minutes a day. We also read a whole bunch of books--but this is something I'd recommend to everyone regardless of whether they're trying to teach their children to read early. The point is that the specific things one has to do to teach a very young child to read does not involve a lot of time spent teaching the child. Other programs, like BrillKids.com and the Doman approach, do not require a big time commitment either. So the advantage from my point of view is that we had the task of teaching him to read out of the way several years in advance, and he could (and did) greatly benefit in those intervening years by being able to read to himself, or understand better what I read to him. Yes, we could have spent the time doing other things, but I regard this as time extremely well spent. It's hardly as if the time we spent learning to read diminished his time to play or our time to go out and do things as a family.

Edited by LarrySanger
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WOW! Thanks for all the replies. Keep the suggestions coming.

 

Like I said I'll get a bee in my bonnet and try to force things. The bee normal arrives shortly after a long conversation with my mom. She is a hair dresser and the constant so and so kid can do this wears down on me.

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I spent about 15 to 20 minutes a day on early reading broken up into a few teaching sessions. My 1st grader now has 6th grade reading skills. There is no danger now of poor reading skills holding her back academically. Some people have kids that learn to read easily. But many kids really struggle to learn to read and that can lead to long term academic problems. By actively teaching reading in the early years a child will likely be a skilled reader by k to 1st grade. It's better to have to help a child overcome reading difficulties at 3 1/2 when there is no real pressure to learn than at 7 when there is.

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I didn't say it was impossible for a 3-year-old to read. Obviously it isn't - I was reading at three, and so are a number of WTM kids. Very bright kids can be very early readers.

 

Thanks for acknowledging that much. But it's not just bright kids. Glenn Doman and his organization have many examples of children with brain defects who were taught to read very early, too.

 

To me the question is not "is it impossible for a 3-year-old to learn to blend," but "should you expend a lot of effort trying to teach a 3-year-old to blend?"

 

See my earlier answer, to Amie. Let me add a little more here. On BrillKids.com, there are a number of parents who discovered techniques of early education only after having a few children. They've observed to us that teaching their babies to read was a lot easier than teaching their older children. In our case, it took some commitment and planning on my part, but it was fun, and it was not hard.

 

Here we have a very little boy who has no interest in learning to read. Why teach him? Why use special techniques and persistent effort to coax him through a process that will probably be much, much easier when he is five?

 

Well, if he has no interest in learning to read, that could mean any number of things. Most of all, it probably means that nobody has ever shown him how in a way that is appropriate and appealing to a child of his age. Of course if you try to use "100 Lessons" on a 3-year-old, it might be hard. But if you use something simpler, more visual, with big letters, and you use short sessions and make sure the child is interested whenever you do teach him--that's a lot of "ifs," you'll observe--then it "magically" becomes both appealing and much easier to teach the child.

 

I suspect you have a picture in your mind of what it is like to teach a 3-year-old (or younger--my 16-month-old can read most of the words that he can say) to read. It probably involves the parent sitting down with the child and saying, "Now Jack, look here at this page. Let's begin with #1. You recognize that first letter, right? What sound does that make? [etc.] Now, can you sound that out?" Well, if that's the picture you have in mind, I think you need to understand that there are other ways to do it, which are much more effective (and, of course, fun!).

 

The existence of three-year-old readers doesn't make reading normative, desirable, or even possible for all three-year-olds. I don't see the point of pushing acceleration on a child that shows no interest or special aptitude.

 

I agree with that much, as far as it goes. I also think it's a bad idea to push acceleration on a child that has no interest or aptitude. If you have to push learning on a child, you're doing something wrong. But you'll find, if you learn more about Doman's method and various others, that it's possible to make learning a joyful, engaging, interesting activity for a child. It's more like a game than like school. As soon as the child loses interest, you stop, period. In fact, as Doman says, it's better to stop before they lose interest, to give them a thirst for what you're teaching.

 

Research into "academic" preschool education shows literally no benefits that persist after first grade.

 

Oh? Whoever told you that was incorrect. I have actually looked into the modest amount of research on the question of whether precocious readers (that's the term used in the literature) retain their early advantage. I've actually spent time at the library and read the papers (and a few books) on the subject. For your convenience I summarized it, here.

 

Suffice it to say that the literature that exists supports the proposition that precocious readers retain their advantage through the third grade, and at least one study says through the sixth grade. There aren't any longitudinal studies that go past that age, that I know of, and there aren't any studies--I didn't find a single one, anyway--that indicates that ordinary-age readers catch up with precocious readers.

 

There are so many awesome things about three-year-olds.

 

I agree! And one of them is that they're capable of learning a whole lot more than we have been giving them credit for!

 

There are so many awesome things they can learn about their world in a developmentally appropriate way. Why try to make them into tiny kindergarteners? Where is the advantage?

 

Ouch..."developmentally appropriate." I've written quite a bit about that, too.

 

I don't propose to make them into tiny kindergartners. Depending on the child, there are a good number of things that younger children really can't do, which kindergartners can do. It's just that, for probably most children, learning to decode written language is not one of them. That's really not more difficult for them than learning to speak.

 

...And seriously, I say that as someone whose three-year-old can identify all 50 states by shape and has most of the state capitals memorized. I am not a Waldorf-y anti-intellectual. The key difference is that I didn't try to teach him that stuff.

 

I mean no disrespect, but...nonsense! How did he learn? You put the materials there, someone had to tell him what the capitals are, etc. If you (or his teacher) weren't working with him in a way appropriate to his age, he wouldn't have learned that stuff, and you wouldn't know that he knew it if he did. It sounds to me like we might actually have a subtle sort of semantic dispute on our hands. I have no compunctions about saying that I tried to teach my son to read, and that I tried to teach him many other things. I simply say that "teaching" a child who is that young looks very different from teaching a first grader in a classroom.

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We used a flashcard approach (my flashcards are available, free, here). It occupied, on average, 5-10 minutes of mealtime per day. We also watched "Your Baby Can Read" for (average) 15 minutes a day. We also read a whole bunch of books--but this is something I'd recommend to everyone regardless of whether they're trying to teach their children to read early. The point is that the specific things one has to do to teach a very young child to read does not involve a lot of time spent teaching the child. Other programs, like BrillKids.com and the Doman approach, do not require a big time commitment either. So the advantage from my point of view is that we had the task of teaching him to read out of the way several years in advance, and he could (and did) greatly benefit in those intervening years by being able to read to himself, or understand better what I read to him. Yes, we could have spent the time doing other things, but I regard this as time extremely well spent. It's hardly as if the time we spent learning to read diminished his time to play or our time to go out and do things as a family.

Thank you for answering me. We naturally incorporate a lot of "languagey" (for lack of a better word) activities into our daily lives, but I guess what gets me wondering is the fact that not much of this has changed between my two children. We read all the time. I have the same flashcards, the same letter magnets, the same videos, etc., etc. My oldest ran with it; my youngest, while showing brightness in completely different ways, hasn't yet.

I COMPLETELY agree with you on the advantages of having an early reader. The fact that my son is capable of reading the King James Bible, if he wishes, before my state requires he even begin Kindergarten means we can now put our focus on so many other things in his education. Not to mention the sheer quantity of material he has learned and memorized on his own because he was able to read (maps, globes, Bible, encyclopedia...). However, as I observe my younger son, I wonder if I could really force him to follow exactly in his brother's footsteps. As it stands, I would have to devote a lot more time and energy to it if I want him to "catch up". And I'm just not sure if that is time best spent. I still hope to have him reading as soon as he can...but...?

 

P.S. I realize, too, that we may be approaching this from different angles with phonics vs. whole word (or somewhere in between). I know of some children who do well with either. I also know some families who have taught chidren lots of words with flashcards long before their second birthday. The difference I've seen in some of these kids and my own son is that my son's phonics quickly translated over into reading SO much more (before I officially "taught" it) while these children can ONLY read the words they memorized on their flashcards.

 

ETA: I posted this before I was able to see/read your most recent post. I will have to look through that now...

Edited by Amie
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Like I said I'll get a bee in my bonnet and try to force things. The bee normal arrives shortly after a long conversation with my mom. She is a hair dresser and the constant so and so kid can do this wears down on me.

 

I think rather than pushing your kid to do things he isn't ready for or doesn't want to do, you should learn to accept that there will always be kids that can do more than your own child, and that doesn't make your child any less of a person. Your child could have an IQ of 160, but there's always children that have an even higher IQ. That IQ number doesn't say what kind of person the child is or will be or how their life will turn out.

 

Rather than base your son's progress on other people's children (when they're bragging about their children in a way that may not always even be reality ;) ), look at the developmental norms and see where your son falls there. Is he doing everything he should be doing? Is he happy and healthy? Great. Keep plugging along. Go at HIS pace. Do what HE needs. If someone else's kid is reading War and Peace at age 3, you say, "That's nice!" and feel happy for them (or rather, feel happy that you're not them, because I really don't want my 3 year old reading THAT well :lol:).

 

Don't get into some senseless competition with people you'll never even meet! Follow your kid's lead and have him do the best HE can do. The last thing you want to do is burn your kid out before he even gets to K. Many here don't do anything academic with their 3 or 4 year olds and hardly anything at 5 and sometimes 6, yet those kids are doing AP Calculus in 10th grade and other such things. Pushing your kid super duper early isn't necessarily going to make things better. You might just end up with a kid that hates school and struggles with learning for the rest of his life. Get the Playdoh out, put on Leap Frog videos, read a lot of good picture books (hit the library WEEKLY), go outside and talk about the nature around you. Who cares what someone else's kid is doing? Why do you need to compete with clients at a salon? :confused:

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If it makes you feel any better, my oldest was blending and reading fairly well at 3.5. And then she lost interest. And I shelved it. And she forgot a lot of it. And it was HARD WORK getting her to the point where she was reading a lot of early readers fluently. And then, when she was 4.5, we started again with phonics (after she asked) and she FLEW through it. Within two or three months she was reading fluently and at a late first, early second grade level.

 

At such young ages, it is so much more pleasant to just wait until it is almost too easy. Then it's not frustrating for the child, or as annoying for you. (Because, let's be honest, there is a point in reading instruction where they are SOUNDING OUT EVERY WORD that is bang-your-head-on-the-desk annoying. It can be difficult to not roll your eyes when they are sounding out "this" for the eighth time in a three sentence spread.)

 

So, the stance I take is that blending is very appropriately developmental. And you can work to help your child develop it, or you can enjoy your child and read great books and play awesome games and have fun and wait for their brains to develop it on their own. I choose the latter route.

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Try playing "say it slow/say it fast". That really helped my DD4 bridge the gap between knowing sounds and actually blending them. If you're not familiar with this, just say a word, like "sun". First say it slow (sss uuuu nnnn) and see if he can guess what the word is. Then you can say it fast and have him say it slow, one sound at a time. DD4 thought this was really fun and we would just play it randomly during the day.

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Thanks for acknowledging that much. But it's not just bright kids. Glenn Doman and his organization have many examples of children with brain defects who were taught to read very early, too.

 

Oh gosh, Glen Doman.

 

Doman's claimed successes in working with children with neurological disorders have never been replicated in controlled studies by independent scientists. There have been multiple failures to replicate. The only evidence of his techniques' effectiveness is "studies" he did with disabled children which didn't involve a proper control group, blinded raters, or neutral measures, which he then published them himself. I'm not sure he's even done that much to evaluate his program for well children.

 

I suspect you have a picture in your mind of what it is like to teach a 3-year-old (or younger--my 16-month-old can read most of the words that he can say) to read. [...] Well, if that's the picture you have in mind, I think you need to understand that there are other ways to do it, which are much more effective (and, of course, fun!).
I'm not picturing you as a slavedriver with a whip, if that's what you're fearing. I'm sure that your sessions are full of attention and praise and that your kids enjoy that stuff. From what I know of Doman's method, I think you're basically using classical conditioning procedures. I think they're mostly harmless.

 

Oh? Whoever told you that was incorrect. I have actually looked into the modest amount of research on the question of whether precocious readers (that's the term used in the literature) retain their early advantage. I've actually spent time at the library and read the papers (and a few books) on the subject. For your convenience I summarized it, here.

 

Suffice it to say that the literature that exists supports the proposition that precocious readers retain their advantage through the third grade, and at least one study says through the sixth grade. There aren't any longitudinal studies that go past that age, that I know of, and there aren't any studies--I didn't find a single one, anyway--that indicates that ordinary-age readers catch up with precocious readers.

"Whoever told me that" was my own synthesis of the primary literature. I have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and have taken cognitive development courses at the graduate level. I did read your summary, and while your enthusiasm and intelligence shine through, it's also obvious that you don't have social science training.

 

The studies you found showed that precocious natural readers retain their advantage over time. I would agree; I think it's a myth that "it all evens out by third grade." Some children who are intellectually gifted read early, and because they are intellectually gifted they continue to excel at intellectual tasks. You assume that because academic success follows early reading, early reading causes academic success. But correlation does not prove causation. The data better fit the interpretation that intelligence predicts both early reading and academic success.

 

(Of course, not all intellectually gifted children are early readers.)

 

The real question is not whether children who are naturally gifted enough to learn to read with little effort at age 3 are going to stay smart or stay good readers. Barring some kind of brain injury, of course they are. The real question is whether that effect can be artificially produced by education and/or drill. Hirsh-Pasek's academic vs. play-based preschool studies are a better model for answering that question than studies following early natural readers.

 

Comparing groups of children with similar backgrounds, home lives, and IQs, Hirsh-Pasek found that at the end of preschool, children who attended "academic" preschools which taught math and reading scored higher on math and reading tests. But that effect faded away quickly. The only ultimate difference between the groups was that the kids from the academic schools liked learning less.

 

You don't have any studies where children were randomly assigned to receive Doman training or not. You don't even have any studies that match children who receive Doman training to children of similar backgrounds who don't. Hirsh-Pasek does have controlled data, and her results don't show what you would predict. Why not?

 

I mean no disrespect, but...nonsense! How did he learn? You put the materials there, someone had to tell him what the capitals are, etc. If you (or his teacher) weren't working with him in a way appropriate to his age, he wouldn't have learned that stuff, and you wouldn't know that he knew it if he did.
His older sister has a game with cute cartoon pictures of the states, and we answer his questions when he asks. That's pretty much the whole story. When I say that I didn't "try to teach him," I'm aware that he didn't somehow abstract the information from thin air. But the impetus did not come from me. I did not decide that I wanted him to learn the states and their capitals. (I actually find it quite tedious to talk about the states as much as he wants to.) I don't see any value in him having this information. When I try to teach him something (like using the potty, or counting objects, or writing his name), it looks very different.

 

I'm also under no illusions that he understands what he knows. He doesn't understand what a "state" is. He doesn't understand how we can live in a neighborhood called Mount Washington and a city called Baltimore and a state called Maryland. He sometimes asks, for example, if Oregon is "still alive." So while it's adorable to hear this tiny kid shout out "The capital of Missouri is Jefferson City!", I don't have the illusion that he has somehow become smarter thereby.

 

If the OP's son were clamoring to learn to read the way my son clamored to learn the states, I would think she should go ahead and teach him. But he isn't. She's trying to push this out of anxiety based on social comparison, and she needn't. It serves no purpose.

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I strongly believe that the ability to blend is developmental. It is not the natural next step to learning letter sounds - it's dependent on maturation of some process or structure in the brain.

 

My daughter knew all her letters and letter sounds before she was two. We just assumed that she would be a very early reader. But at four years old, having known all the letter sounds for two years, she couldn't blend. Somewhere around 4 1/2, she suddenly could. We hadn't done anything different with her in the meantime - her brain just matured.

 

I strongly recommend that you put OPGTTR away. Instead, get stacks and stacks of really great picture books and read, read, read. Immerse your child in the sounds of language. Foster the love of books. Explore the world and then get books about the things he is curious about. That will do so much more to build a base for future reading than flash cards and lessons for a 3 1/2 year old will.

 

Also, please ask yourself why you want so much to teach your 3 1/2 year old to read. I know there are several WTMers whose kids were reading this early, but you must realize that this is very, very unusual. It is a rare three-year-old who is ready to read. Three-year-olds don't need to read. Research shows that reading lessons for preschoolers do not make any difference in elementary school achievement. (Kids who read naturally at three often stay ahead, but kids who are carefully taught to read do not.)

:iagree:

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I strongly believe that the ability to blend is developmental. It is not the natural next step to learning letter sounds - it's dependent on maturation of some process or structure in the brain.

 

....

 

Also, please ask yourself why you want so much to teach your 3 1/2 year old to read. I know there are several WTMers whose kids were reading this early, but you must realize that this is very, very unusual. It is a rare three-year-old who is ready to read. Three-year-olds don't need to read. Research shows that reading lessons for preschoolers do not make any difference in elementary school achievement. (Kids who read naturally at three often stay ahead, but kids who are carefully taught to read do not.)

 

:iagree: The neuroscience here is pretty clear. Yes, a rare few will naturally learn blending on their own before 4yo. And YES you can teach a neurotypical child to read and blend that early, BUT (and this is a big but) it forces the child to reassign part of the brain to do this that wasn't supposed to. That comes at a cost. I think of it like you're planning to build a guest room next year but your guests insist on arriving NOW, so you have to clear out the office and put them there.

 

SO just because you CAN push a child to learn blending does't mean you SHOULD.

 

Now, my older 2 I taught letters and sounds when they were 2, we played with 100EL but blending was a sticking point as was the maturity to stick with it. So I shelved it, and just lightly revisited over time. Around her 5th b'day (over 2 yrs later, and I'm not going to lie and say it didn't at times drive me crazy that she just wasn't ready) my oldest just got blending and over the course of 4 months went from not reading to chapter books. Her younger sister was closer to 5.5. Both are strong readers now, several grade levels ahead -- which is only important in that it means their learning is not limited by their ability to read.

 

Now their brother taught himself his letters and sounds by 22 mo. [ETA: and by "taught himself" I mean that I had pulled out a letter puzzle for his then 5yo sister to practice with and he just started picking up the letters, saying their names and sounds. Clearly he'd been listening while I taught his sister, even though he was playing several feet away from us.] He's now a little over 3yo and reads CVC with smooth blending. I had no intention of teaching him to read this early and to be honest it's more of a PITA than the girls since I never know from day to day whether he's going to pester me to do lessons all day or be completely disinterested. I just try to go along. I'm using 4 different phonics programs to try to slow him down and keep it fun. If tomorrow he decides he doesn't want to do any more for a year, so be it. I just want to provide the opportunity to meet him where he is.

 

Remember, it's not about you or your boredom. Your dc might be ready for blending in a month or in 3 years. You just don't know. YES, you can push him to force his learning on your time table. But why?

Edited by ChandlerMom
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Around her 5th b'day (over 2 yrs later, and I'm not going to lie and say it didn't at times drive me crazy that she just wasn't ready) my oldest just got blending and over the course of 4 months went from not reading to chapter books. Her younger sister was closer to 5.5. Both are strong readers now, several grade levels ahead -- which is only important in that it means their learning is not limited by their ability to read.

 

:iagree:My daughter who started to blend at 4 1/2 was reading at a first grade level around her fifth birthday. By her sixth birthday, she was at a 5th or 6th grade level - reading with comprehension and expression, not just decoding. I'm sure that if I had "taught her to read" with flashcards when she was three I would have credited my method for her advanced ability, but instead I'll just say that a lot of kids move very quickly once they've cracked the code. You have in no way lost hope of having an advanced reader if your child isn't reading fluently at 4 or 5. Or 6. Or 8.

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Interesting discussion. I often wish I taught dd earlier to start reading. She having a hard time gaining fluency and I trying some things with her to help her but I don't think an earlier start would of been a bad thing.

 

I am starting a little earlier introducing concepts to my younger two. My ds is 3.5 and is ahead of where dd was but I don't think he has enough phonemic awareness to start reading and blending yet so I am going to work on that with him first. I got a book that addresses phonemic awareness. He knows his letters and sounds but he can't pronounce a lot of sounds and he can't rhyme and still needs work on beginning and ending sounds. I do let him watch reading bear presentations.

 

I have been debating whether or not to work on things with my youngest. On one hand I wonder if it will actually be easier since she is a language sponge right now so maybe reading will come easy. On the other hand it seems like it would be a lot of work especially with a child with only a handful of words. All my kids were late bloomers with speech. They are following after my dh and I think they will be late bloomers all around so right now they are pretty average in intelligence.

 

I think reading bear is pretty cool so I thank you for that. I can't wait until more presentations come out.

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I fear this post has gone off topic and that in replying now I will take it even more off topic. My advice for the OP is to blend for your child and it remains so no matter what else gets discussed here.

 

Firstly there was talk of a "reading plateau" in the topic line - all children of this age plateau in certain milestones - my second DD took her first steps about a month ago and then for two weeks did not walk again. She is now starting to take more steps and is gaining in confidence - stopping walking altogether felt like she was going backwards and was certainly a plateau, but people seldom worry about this when it comes to physical milestones because we know children eventually learn to walk.

 

Do children however eventually learn to read - I think the answer to this SHOULD be yes... except we know it isn't because there are endless six graders and above who cannot read. So why do we all learn to walk but we do not all learn to read. I think the answer is that walking is modelled for us in a way that is appropriate for a baby whereas reading is not. I could be wrong of course - how many people grow up though never having walking modelled for them so there is no way to study this - and Tarzan is fictional for anyone who wants to use this as a counter argument though I have wondered about other "wild children" who do learn to walk.

 

Sorry, back to the topic. I think if reading is CORRECTLY modelled then all children would learn to read. Modelling though does not mean just allowing your children to see you read - that is not enough - they must see written language and hear it read at the same time and the words must be big enough for them to see (babies need bigger written words than adults) If you want your child to blend early (or even late) then you should stop trying to test the child constantly and just blend for them - the more they here and see it done the more likely it is to become natural later (and the earlier you start doing this the earlier they are likely to blend)

 

Now we come to second and third children and so on. Children are individuals - just like they learn to walk at different ages so they will learn to read and blend at different ages. Just like some children take steps with ease and move to running soon after others are more cautious and take longer to gain confidence. The same is true for reading with some differences - second children can learn some from what you do with older children and also their parents usually have less time to devote to them individually. I can no longer remember everything I did with my first child so while I will probably follow a similar train with the second it will by necessity be different. My second actually loves books more than my first did, loves seeing my eldests phonics cards I have been using with her and wants her own and yet she hears fewer beginning story books (board etc books) than her sister did as I have less time but she hears more longer stories than my first did as she listens in on everything I read to the elder.

 

Why do early readers do better? I think it is because they have so much more time to read things before the rest of the population starts reading and habits started very early are more likely to stick (which is partly why we teach our children to brush their teeth so young even though their temporaries fall out)

 

There has been a lot of talk on this thread about why children should not be pushed into reading or made to blend at young ages. I actually do not think anyone can judge either way - if one parent chooses to teach (or even heaven forbid push) their child to read and another doesn't it is actually nobody's business. We push our children to do a lot of things that no one hassles about - like brushing teeth, getting dressed, eating healthily and with a knife and fork, learning to count, recognising cars or birds or flowers (or whatever takes the parents fancy), playing on an ipad, using a computer keyboard and mouse, running, playing a sport etc etc. I think people need to know the consequences of their actions - so if they teach reading early what are the likely consequences depending on the method they use - if your child hates it and you force it then they are likely to keep hating it, if you do it in a way that the child loves then they are likely to keep loving it and believe it or not you can also do it in a manner that is neutral where your child neither hates nor loves it and it is just something they do. (of course this is possible - how do you think teeth brushing works?) If you do NOT teach your child to read at a young age then what are the possible consequences of that - well they will hopefully learn at school or at a later date and they will either hate or love it depending probably on the teachers they get - do you want to leave your child to someone else's influence?

 

My advice for any parent is: decide what you want and then try out a method that you think might work. Your child does not get to choose for themself at this age - sure they might be upset with you later (they will be - they are children) but as long as you are doing what you believe to be in their best interest then great. And ask people what their opinions are, but remember they are just opinions and treat them as such - use what you can and discard the rest. You never know you may get an essay from an over enthusiastic bored woman whose children are both asleep :)

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Larry, hi. So much of your argument style fell into place for me when I realized that you are also a Reed graduate. (We overlapped by a year, but I doubt we ever met each other.) It does make me feel a crazy sort of nostalgic affection for your particular brand of arrogance. ;)

 

Nonetheless, I doubt that much more back-and-forth on this topic will be useful to the rest of the Hive. This will be my final response in this thread, and then I'll leave the floor to you.

 

You're referring to the "Doman-Delcato" method, which is a physical therapy. The "multiple failures to replicate" Doman's results regarding that method have nothing to do with what I said. What I said was that parents following Doman's advice on teaching children to read had caused many of them to start decoding by age 3. This is a matter of observation. My point is that, given the many counterexamples available, advanced intelligence is clearly not necessary to be an early reader.

 

My point, which I should perhaps have phrased less delicately than I did, is that Doman is a quack and that scientists do not respect his self-published claims of success.

 

You must know, since you have studied his work so deeply, that he claimed his physical therapy method had substantial neurological and cognitive effects - such as curing mental retardation. He's the one that made the wild leap between his weird physical therapy and increased intelligence and academic ability, not me. And you're the one who brought up his supposed successes with "brain injured" children as evidence.

 

Oh, please. You obviously know nothing about it. I spent years, day in day out, observing precisely what my child did and did not learn, and how he learned it. We did not follow Doman's method strictly, and we did a whole variety of things, many of which I'm sure you'd approve of. The idea that what Doman kids achieve, let alone what we achieved, can be explained by no more than classical conditioning is a complete non-starter. [...]

The best "model" for studying the simple question whether children can be taught to read at very early age would be, of course, to study children whose parents claim they have been able to read since they were babies.

 

You persist in arguing as if I have said that your children can't actually read. I haven't said that. I'm sure they can read. I'm sure that you have frequently encountered the argument that they are "not really reading," and that you naturally have a great deal of arguments of your own to counter that. But there's no need to bring those arguments out against me.

 

My argument is not that teaching reading to babies and toddlers is impossible - it's that it is ultimately pointless. I understand that you disagree.

 

I am delighted to hear that there are more studies underway to test the efficacy of early academic teaching. I hope that they will be longitudinal randomized controlled trials following educational attainment across the elementary years, rather than mere demonstrations of differences in the preschool years, because, again, that is where you and I differ in our expectations.

 

Let's have this discussion again when these in-progress studies have been published, preferably in peer-reviewed journals in which the methods and results are open to my examination.

 

I assume that these children couldn't read very well at the end of their academic preschooling. So it proves nothing about children who, like mine, were decoding at the third grade level when they are three.

 

I read your recent blog post about your son's progress with interest. He seems like a lovely, bright, eager learner, and I'm sure that you must be extremely proud of him. It's clear from your blog that you really love working with him and put a lot into his education.

 

He was "decoding at the third grade level" when he was three, which is an impressive accomplishment. I find it interesting to compare that with your list of chapter books that he's reading now - Secrets of Droon (3rd grade level), Flat Stanley and The Mouse and the Motorcycle (4th grade level), Harry Potter (5.9, or let's say, 6th grade level). This is clearly quite advanced reading for a mid-kindergarten-age child.

 

Here's the thing: my daughter, who, as I've said, began to be able to blend at 4.5 and was reading simple first-grade readers at 5, had approximately the same reading list as your son by the end of kindergarten. (I'm requiring her to hold off on Harry Potter, but she was reading D'Aulaire's Greek Myths and 101 Dalmatians, which are at a similar level. And, being a girl, she preferred Ramona to Ralph Mouse.) Let's say that your son is a half-year ahead of her in reading ability by age, given that on her sixth birthday she was reading what he reads at 5 1/2. Impressive of him! But not nearly the kind of lead that you might imagine when you consider that he started reading nearly three years earlier than she did.

 

I run a book club for homeschooled kids. This summer, one of my rising first graders in book club was very proud to read his first chapter book ever: one of the Magic Tree House books, written at an early 2nd grade level. In the fall, he sat down and read -and understood - the original, unabridged Alice in Wonderland. He caught up to your son's reading level in even less time than my daughter did.

 

That's where I'm coming from when I say "pointless." Not that your son isn't reading, not that your son isn't bright, not that your son isn't obviously poised for academic success in life given all the advantages you have given him. Simply that he will not retain his educational lead over similarly bright and advantaged children.

 

If you think about it, if she believes that she's trying to do the best for her child, then saying "She's trying to push this out of anxiety based on social comparison" is quite an offensive and condescending way to dismiss her motivations.

 

Did you see the follow-up post in which she reported feeling pressure when her mother reports what "so-and-so's kid" who comes to the mother's hair salon has accomplished? That's where I'm coming from when I say that she is motivated by social comparison. (Although I have to wonder who on earth tells their hairdresser about their kid's academic accomplishments. Somehow, with mine, the subject has never come up.)

 

But at this point, I think we should probably leave the OP and her child out of our discussion, given that we've strayed so far afield.

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My bottom line is that you are reflecting the "party line" of many psychologists and educationists. But precious few of such alleged experts have the slightest bit of experience with the methods I've described or with babies being deliberately (but joyfully!) taught to read. The problem is that the very existence of deliberately-taught precocious readers threatens several assumptions that the "experts" hold dear. It also threatens common practices in preschool and early elementary education. But that shouldn't stop those of us who are not burdened by those assumptions and who are homeschooling!
It seems a bit rich for someone advocating methods for which he cannot produce anything other than anecdotal evidence (self-selected at that!) to talk about "party" lines as if this faceless and monolithic force holding is all that's preventing wider acceptance or recognition.
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@Rivka--a fellow Reedie! Well, that explains a lot. :tongue_smilie:

 

Doman certainly has a lot of weird ideas, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a lot of good ones, too. And being a quack is very different from his entire organization's being a pack of liars--because that's what they'd have to be, when they say over and over again that kids with Down syndrome, for example, are learning to decode by age 3. Admittedly, they could be lying, or they could be greatly exaggerating what success they've had, but I don't think so.

 

The studies under way are not longitudinal, as far as I know--much to my disappointment.

 

If I sometimes defend the proposition that very small children can read, it's because it seemed to that you sometimes implied or made arguments that imply that they can't.

 

Well done on teaching your daughter early--I'm sure she greatly benefited from many early education experiences that you gave her, whether calling them "teaching" or "education" makes you uncomfortable or not. Also, I'm sure you have considered the proposition that, if your child had started to read a few years earlier than she did, she might be even farther along. Do you actually have a reason to think this is not the case? I doubt it. Similarly, the fact that our children were reading at about the same level at about the same age, yet mine started earlier, does not mean that mine did not experience advantages from reading earlier. It's possible that he would be much less advanced than he is now. In fact, considering his development, that seems to be just plain obvious. Of course, I don't have any way to test my claim, but it seems to me that if I did not use any early reading program with my son, he would not now be reading at the level that he is now. For what it's worth, I, personally, was definitely not reading chapter books when I was five, and neither was my wife. But because we undertook to teach him--and of course to read a lot to him and otherwise foster his thirst for knowledge--he is years ahead where both my wife and I were at his age.

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It seems a bit rich for someone advocating methods for which he cannot produce anything other than anecdotal evidence (self-selected at that!) to talk about "party" lines as if this faceless and monolithic force holding is all that's preventing wider acceptance or recognition.

 

I don't expect experts to accept early reading as a practice without evidence. I do expect them to withhold judgment of what they are so plainly ignorant of.

 

The phenomenon of children being taught to read at a very early age is so remarkable, and so much in tension with the dogmas of developmental psychology and early education, that I am surprised that virtually no case studies, much less careful surveys or longitudinal studies, have been of it. A researcher could make his or her reputation as a maverick--or as a great debunker--simply by taking on this very rich topic.

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He was "decoding at the third grade level" when he was three, which is an impressive accomplishment. I find it interesting to compare that with your list of chapter books that he's reading now - Secrets of Droon (3rd grade level), Flat Stanley and The Mouse and the Motorcycle (4th grade level), Harry Potter (5.9, or let's say, 6th grade level). This is clearly quite advanced reading for a mid-kindergarten-age child.

 

Here's the thing: my daughter, who, as I've said, began to be able to blend at 4.5 and was reading simple first-grade readers at 5, had approximately the same reading list as your son by the end of kindergarten. (I'm requiring her to hold off on Harry Potter, but she was reading D'Aulaire's Greek Myths and 101 Dalmatians, which are at a similar level. And, being a girl, she preferred Ramona to Ralph Mouse.) Let's say that your son is a half-year ahead of her in reading ability by age, given that on her sixth birthday she was reading what he reads at 5 1/2. Impressive of him! But not nearly the kind of lead that you might imagine when you consider that he started reading nearly three years earlier than she did

My eldest learned to read at about 2.5 (self-taught) and by 4 was reading Lang's coloured Fairy Books. She's been able to read anything she likes since about the age of 6 or 7. My youngest hadn't nailed letter sounds by about 5.5 (she wasn't interested and I didn't push) and took about a year getting fluently past CVC words, but was reading at about a 4th or 5th grade level by 7.5 and is still making noticeable progress. I could have drilled her and coaxed her, made up games about bunnies nibbling at letters, or whatever. I suspect she just wouldn't have been ready. Sanger may counter that I don't know this. But neither does he know how his child would have developed without his imposed systematic instruction.
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I only scanned the signatures to see if the lady who does this blog, Teaching My Baby To Read, posted and I don't think she did.

 

I got the LeapFrog Word Builder because of this blog for my 2 yo who learned his letter names and phonetic sounds (at age 27 months,) mostly just by watching big brother play Starfall.com. Ds5 likes it, too. Thanks to just playing with that and Starfall, and nothing on my part to actively teach, ds-turns-3-in-March is reading over 25 words, and sounding out c-v-c words. We'll be getting the LeapFrog Talking Words Factory dvd for his birthday.

 

Your kid can learn without thinking it's anything more than play.

 

I hope that helps.

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