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Author Topic: Teaching your child to read - SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE!  (Read 18027 times)
The Architect
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« on: May 29, 2008, 04:16:47 PM »

It would be great for all of us to share our experiences in teaching our young one(s) to read. (We can also start separate threads about teaching them other things.)

I suppose I'll start!

We started Felicity (our first child) with Glenn Doman flash cards when she was around 4 months old.  We did it fairly regularly, on average maybe about twice a day, most days of the week, but each session was quite short, no more than 2-3 minutes each time.

In the meantime, we would be regularly reading to her, especially using Dr Seuss books. (Actually, we started reading Dr. Seuss when she was still in the womb!)  Sometimes we would point the words to her as we read, but most of the time we just read to her as bedtime reading.

Then when she was around 9 months old, we stumbled across the Your Baby Can Read during a Baby Fair/Exhibition.  I was in total awe when I first saw that video of Dr. Titzer's daughter Aleka! (actually, still am! smile).  They actually sold out the books, but thankfully Dr. Titzer (who was there) saw how enthusiastic I was and procured a set for me.  I bought the complete set of videos and books, and started Felicity on the program immediately.

Until then, we could never tell whether Felicity got anything from the Glenn Doman flashcards, as they don't teach the child the meaning of the words, hence there's no way Felicity could have indicated to us whether she retained anything.  One great thing about the YBCR materials is that they incorporate the teaching of the meaning.  Felicity loved the videos and the books.  I think after a month or so, she demonstrated for the first time she was remembering the words when she clapped at the word 'clap.'

Wanting to give more personalization to the words and pictures shown to her, and to give her a wider range of words, I started to construct our own printouts.  As for pictures, since we didn't have a color printer, I would use my digital camera to take pictures of the objects I wanted from books, or even directly off the computer screen! And then I would take them to a photo shop and print them all out - cost me an arm and a leg, with the number of pictures I printed.  I ended up making more than 10 books, and Felicity devoured them! (though sometimes literally... Wink).  She just would not stop!!  After like 4 books in a row, I had to stop her in fear that it was getting a bit too much!

I then started also doing powerpoint slides for her, and later on, found someone to do a very simple computer program for me, which would become the genesis of Little Reader as you see it today.  I'm happy to say that Little Reader has gotten, um, slightly more powerful than that first version that was made 2 years ago.  Wink Still, it served its purpose.

When she was 11 months old, she started to recognize many words already, and we finally caught it on video shortly after her first birthday.

Since then, she has continued to love to read.  Every night, she would insist that we read a book to her, though nowadays she would sometimes prefer to read some of it herself.

So that's our story.  What's yours?



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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2008, 04:01:46 PM »

Thanks for sharing that!

I wish I had started my first child earlier.  We only started it when he was about 3 years old, by which time he was used to doing other things and it was hard to get him to sit still for the flash cards.  He liked the YBCR videos more, and he did manage to pick up many words from that.  I just started him on Little Reader, and he really likes it - maybe he just likes computers more!

I'll report on my progress again in a month's time! smile

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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2008, 04:16:35 PM »

My toddler is 19 months now and I could never get him to sit still for a read... fortunately, these last couple of weeks, I have been seeing him pick up books by himself and calmly sitting to "read". Sooooo cute!  LOL
I never did flashcards with him, mostly because I've heard mixed opinions about it, but I started playing a game with him that he loves. I print 2 equal sets of pictures (15 pictures, 5X5 cm size) of objects he's familiar with. I glue both prints, each to a piece of cardboard and one of them, I cut out all the pictures. So I get one board with pics and all the "puzzle" pieces from the second print. So the game is to match the pictures and I repeat with him what each is. Sometimes we play just with the board and I ask him where's this and where's that.
I started making "letters" boards now. So we'll see how it goes!
Wish me luck!  smile

Chris Yau
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2008, 04:47:35 AM »

My girl is 16 months old.  I read book with her when she was 6 months and I also used the flashcards plus sign with her when she was 8 months.  She was picking up the sign quite fast when she was getting to one.

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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2008, 03:27:53 PM »

Hi there,  I started my son on Dr. Titzer's YBCR DVD's about 9 months . Now he is 15 months old and I can't say he loves them but he watches them grudgingly if he knows that he already had his dose of Sesame Street for the day. We also tried doing the YBCR flash cards but the lettering was black and the print was too small for him even now. My son is a very active kid  and the only time he really looks at any flashcards are on the computer. Before I discovered this program I was creating my own powerpoint presentations which were arduous and time consuming.  I am sooooo grateful to this program. He is actually looking at the words AND the pictures. Yipppeee. He is an avid talker at 15 months and can identify about 10 body parts however, he has not read a card yet so I will press on and give you guys and update in the coming weeks. Do you have any suggestions about how to make flashcards off the computer more fun for a kid who is very active? Or perhaps a time of day that might be best for learning?

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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2008, 04:05:51 PM »

At that age, toddlers love to keep things in special places, so I made him smaller cards and put them in a fitting metal box that he can open himself and carry around easily if he wants to. I'm not sure what time of the day is best to work with a child, because it depends on his temperament... my toddler is very active too, so mornings seem easier to handle. His mind is "fresher"  and he's less prone to lose his patience.  smile   

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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2008, 06:20:32 AM »

Hi, I am Angie. I just joined this forum and I would like to share my experience.

I started using GD and YBCR method when my son was 2 years old. And since then, I have seen amazing results which really inspired me that the babies can actually read at the very young age. I have retired YBCR DVDs after a while as my son found them boring as they keep repeating the same words. I am still using GD method until now though every now and then, I am changing the way of learning. I put in a lot of efforts to spice up the learning to keep him attended. For example, if he is bored of flashing cards, you can put the flash card together to make a sentence. If he is bored of the sentences, try some silly sentence to make his day. Example, when you show the sentence "the elephant is dancing", you can ask your child how does the elephant dance. Does it shake his backside? Let his imagination runs wild and he will laugh when he sees all these silly sentences again.  LOL

I speak both Mandarin and English at home. My son is able to communicate in both the languages. He is also able to read in both languages. I think it is important that at this age, the right brain is the still expanding and we should stimulate the brains. Besides languages, he has piano, swimming and abacus class. Although we are the one that sign up the classes for him, as time goes by, he sees the interest in it. Remember to compliment your kids when they did well, or when they have tried their best.

I know some parents might disagree with me that we should not teach our children to read at such a young age. To me, age does not matter, as long as the learning experience is fun. If they are not willing to learn, don't try to push your kids. Stop and think of other innovative ways to get their attention. Remember, kids have very short attention span. Hence, you need to make the whole learning as fun as you can.

One thing to take note is, if you can randomize the words and pictures just like we do using the flash card. That will help. Ultimately, we want the kids to learn the words and not the sequence. Also, according to GD, the background of the picture flash card should be plain so the object will look more prominent. If the background has other objects, it will distract the kids and they might be looking at the wrong things.

I believe that parents are the best teacher in the world. Let's make learning fun and interesting.


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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2008, 03:45:04 PM »

Dear Forsythia,

I was wondering what mixed opinions you heard about flashcards?


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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2008, 08:51:39 PM »

My sister had come across Glenn Doman books, and she taught her son how to read when he was 3 years old.  She passed the books on to me, and I started teaching my baby how to read when she was about 18 months old, with flash cards.  I would show her the cards during the day, but she didn't read them for me at first.  A few weeks later, when her daddy came home, she grabbed her cards, and took them to him and read her first word, baby.  After that she'd read for her daddy, kinda to show off I guess.  She started to read for me to, but she wasn't always interested, so I put them away and didn't want to push her.  After awhile, she started loving them.  She'd ask me to read to her.  I found the YBCR DVD's and purchased them.  Kinda pricey to buy them all at once, but it was a good investment.  She loves those videos.  She would beg me to play them for her.  I am constantly amazed at how many words she knows... She often learns words that I missed, or didn't notice in the video, and when I'd make up a new flash card, she'd already know it.  She can now read aproximately 100 words.  And she knows the meaning of them, because she either learned from the YBCR DVD's, or this program... or even you tube has some flash cards with the words, that I've played for her.

When she first started reading, I started telling everyone, I was so excited.  My family all are thrilled.  My in laws think she is a genius, even though my husband keeps telling them that all babies can learn if they are given the opportunity.  Soon, I learned that not everyone was thrilled when I'd share my story.  Not everyone wanted to hear about how well my daughter was doing! (duh!) I assumed that people would like to hear, because maybe they didn't know about the programs out there, and that it only takes a few minutes a day.  (I wish I would've realized that I could have started earlier.)  Some of our friends were annoyed when we'd mention our daughter can read.  When I talked it over with my sister she said people were the same with her also when she'd tell them her son was reading.  So, now I don't share with just anyone.  If I bring it up, I try to be more sensitive, I talk about the programs out there, and the fact that babies can read to see if they are interested.  If they are I'll share my information, if not I'll let it go.  I'm proud of my daughter, but I guess I'll take my bragging to my family and my scrapbooks.  smile

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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2008, 04:29:00 PM »

yeah raindrop lila, sometimes people are just too jealous I guess  confused You can brag all you want here though, we are all interested smile It's wonderful how your daughter has acheived so much !! =)

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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2008, 09:35:32 AM »

Hi all,
I've finished reading most of GD books last month. I'm so excited that I've found those books while reading one of the blog on the net. Oh, I must say that it's not easy for me to read 4 thick books in a row, especially when English is my 2nd language *hehe*. I feel so lucky to find YBCR DVD in my local store (accidentally). It's a big help, no doubt, as preparing for flashcards is definitely time consuming for a full time working mom like me. I just started YBCR DVD for about 2 weeks, so far my 6mths old baby boy loves it especially when it comes to sing-along part. However, sometimes he looks quite bored 'coz the Starter DVD keeps on repeating the same words again and again. Well, hopefully joining the forum will keep me motivated to bring out the best of my baby. big grin

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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2008, 12:18:27 PM »

I've been mainly sticking with the old fashioned way of teaching my daughter to read. I read to her every day and point out the words as I'm reading. We do have flashcards, but we haven't used them yet. Not sure how much of that we'll do yet. She seems to be picking up on things rather quickly, though. While she doesn't actually "read" the words, she is starting to recognize some of them because she's memorized them. I really want to start focusing on teaching her the sounds of the letters now that she pretty much knows all of the letters in the alphabet. Once she knows the sounds each letter makes, it will be much easier for her to learn to read.


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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2008, 07:58:09 AM »

Hello Everyone!

Just started my word-only flashcard session with my 22-month old son a few days ago (less than a week).  Just showed him 1 set (5 words) for 3x/day. He has a very very short attention span. He cannot sit still. He is always on the go. I am not quite sure if he has seen all the 5 words. He seldom look at the flashcard. I think he saw it in less than 1 second per word. Maybe because there's no picture. That's why I thought he's not interested.  I didn't introduce new sets of words on the 2nd and 3rd day because I'm not sure if got it. I just used the first set (5 words).  Amazingly, on the 3rd day, when I showed him the first word, he just look at it in a second or less, he said 'face'. And he was correct.  My cousin witnessed that. And was very shocked.  I was also shocked because I experienced it myself.  smile

So, I just continue the lesson eventhough it seems he's not interested.  But I noticed that he pays attention to the flashcards when he's beginning to retire to bed.  When he's no longer active doing his work ('play').

I've regrets for starting this flashcard method too late.  I've known this idea since I first saw this website, sometime in December 2007. But I didn't put into practice.   Sad

That's all for now.

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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2008, 07:32:09 PM »

My daughter is only a year old. I have been reading to her since she was born, but it took until she was about 8 months old before she showed any interest (and that was mainly to eat the books and later to try turning the pages) A week ago in church she took the books off her toddler friends, sat down on the floor and started "reading" them turning the pages well. She is also listening to a full story at night now before bed which is quite an achievement considering a few weeks back we would manage only a page or two at a time.

I also read her bath books while she is bathing and ask her to point to something on the pages while I read them to her. Today when I read about a character laughing, we "discussed" laughing and she laughed with me, so she's definitely starting to understand that a book has a story.

I have made her some flashcards, but am not too sure how to use them with a child who cannot yet say the words. I taught her "mummy" and the next day "dog" and then placed the two words side by side and asked her to point to "mummy" at which stage she put her finger on my knee. When asked to point to the dog she wandered off to try to find the dog... not too sure she gets the print idea though. She is still young so I am not too bothered and am just telling her what the words say again with only one word up at a time, but would love to hear if anyone has any ideas of where I should go from here or if I should continue with teh flashcards without knowing what she is taking in - how do you know how fast to go then?

Sorry to ask questions on a post about our experiences.


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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2008, 10:36:30 AM »

Hey tanikit smile

I would say in addition to the books, go full force with the flashcards and use little reader ... see when she is most interested and show her 2 or 3 categories, she'll learn fast !! check other threads to see how others do it, to get an idea Wink

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