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Native Reading: How To Teach Your Child To Read, Easily And Naturally, Before The Age Of Three Paperback – March 5, 2008
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About the Author
Timothy D. Kailing was an undergraduate at Earlham College, and received his graduate degree from Princeton University, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Based on his scientific studies, he developed the native-reading techniques while raising his two children, first in central Vermont, and now in southwest Michigan, where he also writes, teaches, and continues his research.
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One of the first things she did, months ago, was her obsession with the letter "O". I noticed she would always pull out the letter O during bath time. (bath letters) I thought it was cute and so I would ask her, "Where is the letter O?" and give her a big pile of bath letters. I liked to do this in front of people to see their jaws drop. I soon noticed that she did it with all her letters- fridge magnets, wooden blocks, any "O". This lasted about 2 weeks before she moved on to several other letters. I quit testing her so much but I know she knows quite a few letters now and some of the sounds they make.
The other day she carefully placed each and every bath letter on the tub wall. We have several sets scattered around the house. I had to take a picture of it. Most of the letters were right side up and facing the right way. There were 2 "E" letters both correct. She could have placed them in lots of different directions but they were both correct. 2 H's-correct, 2 C's-correct, P, F, 2 U's, all correct. There were 3 A's on the board and they were all placed at precisely the same angle upside down and cocked to the side a bit. The W and M were on their side and I think I know why. I couldn't for the life of me figure out which was which so I didn't use them much during play. I now know the fat one is M and the skinny one is W. Their were some wrong too, R and K and a few others but this is clearly text orientation just as the book said would happen as they are learning to read.
She loves books and was turning pages of her board books at 4 months old. We have over 150 board books and she is bored with most of them we have read them so much. Sometimes though she will make me read her the same book like 12 or more times in a row! It gets difficult to read the same 8 pages over and over again but I do it.
This is a wonderful book full of fun ideas to teach your child through play. I use the same philosophy to teach colors and I know she knows at least a few colors now. This is not a gimmick, it does NOT use flashcards or DVD's, and you don't need to buy anything extra except maybe some bath letters or fridge magnets.
UPDATE: 19 months old now- Last night I wrote dog on the bathtub wall and she started panting like a dog! Whenever she sees a "D" she will always say Daddy so I started telling her D was for Daddy, dog, and deer. I did not know she knew "dog" as a sight word and I didn't know she knew the lowercase "d". She knows Z is for her name and M is for Mommy. She can point to Daddy in a book. She is finding letters everywhere. Oh and she surprised me last night when I found out she knows all her colors. Smart baby!
However, his conclusion that most (if not all) children would naturally learn to read with these straight-forward suggestions doesn't really hold up. His only proof that his method works is that his 2 children learned to read using this method. He, therefore, assumes not that his children had any sort of predisposition to early reading (as some children clearly do) but that it should work for everyone. I did nearly all of these things naturally without reading his book (and I cannot image that I am the only one) and my 5 year-old never naturally learned to read. I honestly would not have been surprised if she had because she was very aware of written language from a young age and met all of his other "signs that it's working," but she never just naturally started reading. In the last year, she has started reading because of some very laid-back phonics instruction, but she is still not fluent.
Additionally, this whole book could have been easily shortened into one nice article without all the babbling and repeating in the book.
Bottom-line: I can't see any down-side to an early and consistent introduction to the written word but don't hold your breath waiting for your 2-year-old to start reading Shakespeare.