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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!
I decided to shelve the teaching for a while and seek out another teaching method, when my copy of "Native Reading" finally arrived. I gobbled up the book in three or four nights, and found it so fascinating that I re-read it again while taking notes so as to absorb even more of the tips. It's a shame that this book is not more well-known because it's something every parent should read from day one. It's a quick read, with plenty of simple, easy-to-implement techniques to help your child become a native reader. A native reader learns to read naturally, from exposure by the parent to a variety of activities which help link spoken language to written language. The focus is on keeping things interesting, engaging and fun for your child - which is something other reading programs advertise, but in all honesty, don't do well.
Native reading techniques are so fun, natural and unobtrusive for children that they don't even know they are learning. That is the beauty of the tips that Timothy Kailing shares. I simply need to use my son's natural desire to spend time with and play with me to guide him to notice the connections between written and spoken language. Yes, it requires effort on the parent's part, and it needs some patience because results may not be apparent immediately. But the other teaching methods I've tried require even more effort (preparation, planning, allowing time for completing the activities) and patience (fighting my son to sit still, pleading with him to co-operate, bribing him to participate). "Native Reading" will show you how you can incorporate the techniques easily and naturally into your day.
Indeed, native reading has been working for us so far. After implementing the techniques for only one week, we have already achieved a breakthrough! Connor has always loved books, but the text would always seem to be invisible to him. Many kids his age will also point out words when out and about, but Connor never did - never. Just a few days ago, he started pointing to lines of text in the books I was reading to him and asked me what they said. Even more to my surprise, the next day, he saw a fire emergency sign on an elevator and asked me what it said! I've also been using the techniques with my 14-month old son, and will report back later with an update on how he is progressing.
This is an excellent book, at a great price, and it will give your child a multitude of priceless gifts - your time and attention, the ability to read and become literate, confidence - the list goes on.