Best Method to Teach Your Baby To Read
Teaching your baby to read is becoming more and more high priority for parents now as it becomes clear that learning to read at a young age offers numerous advantages for the child once he or she begins school.
Studies have consistently found that teaching a baby to read and helping children develop phonemic awareness well before entering school can significantly improve their development in reading and spelling. However, when it comes to teaching babies to read, there are two main teaching methods.
Two main methods to teaching your baby to read
These two main methods of teaching a baby or child to read are the whole language method, and the phonics and phonemic awareness method (the phonetic approach), which should be the preferred teaching method in helping children learn to read.
Some prefer the whole language method, while others use the phonics approach, and there are also educator that use a mix of different approaches. With the Look-say approach of whole language learning, a child begins with memorizing sight words, and then taught various strategies of figuring out the text from various clues.
The whole language method produces inaccurate and poor readers compared to students of the phonetic approach. Using the whole word approach, English is being taught as an ideographic language such as Chinese.
One of the biggest arguments from whole-language advocates is that teaching a baby to read using phonics breaks up the words into letters and syllables, which have no actual meaning, yet they fail to acknowledge the fact that once the child is able to decode the word, they are able to actually READ that entire word, pronounce it, and understand its meaning. So in practicality, it's a very weak argument.
English is an alphabetic system, and unlike Chinese, it is not an ideograph like Chinese characters, and should not be taught using an ideographic approach.
learn to speak before you read
I always say that if your baby can speak, then you can begin to teach your baby to read. I won't mention any names here, but I think most parents are probably aware of one very popular "reading" program, which is a whole word approach. Using this method, your baby simply learns to memorize the words without actually reading the words. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that teaching your baby to read using the whole word approach is an effective method. In fact, there are large numbers of studies which have consistently stated that teaching children to reading using phonemic awareness is a highly effective method.
Teaching phonemic awareness to children significantly improves their reading more than instruction that lacks any attention to phonemic awareness. - statement made by the National Reading Panel 
I do think that the debate on the effectiveness of teaching a baby to read using either the whole language or phonics method is settled by the statements made by the National Reading Panel. They reviewed over 1,960 different studies to make their conclusions.
In fact, while my wife was pregnant with our first child, I began doing extensive research on the subject on how to teach my baby to read - after birth, of course. Like most parents I also came across the popular whole word teaching approach being heavily marketed.
Seeing the infomercials got me quite excited actually, seeing the babies on TV "reading". But after trying it out, it occurred to me that the our baby wasn't actually "reading", but actually "memorizing", and I thought to myself, how are my children supposed to read newer, and more complicated words as they grow older without an appropriate method of decoding those words? This is where my long and extensive research into phonics and phonemic awareness began.
After many hours of research and learning as much as I could, I felt comfortable enough with our simple phonemic awareness teaching method, that my wife and I began giving brief 3 to 5 minute lessons to our daughter, aged 2 years and 8 months.
Within just a few short weeks, her reading ability (and I mean actual reading ability, not memorization) was astounding, even for me as the parent who gave the reading instructions.
Friends and family alike, were simply flabbergasted at what our daughter was capable of reading at just 2 years and 11 months. Please watch the video above, composed of clips of her reading randomly created sentences for reading fun.
I simply can't imagine this kind of progress possible with the whole word approach - just think of the tens and hundreds of words a young child would have to memorize!
Our son is fast approaching the age where he will soon be able to speak, and we will be using the same simple step-by-step method to teach him to read. If you'd like to learn more about our simple, effective, step-by-step program, please signup for our newsletter below. We also send out new articles, updates, tips, and guides on teaching a baby to read.
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Child-Loving Reading Lamp
Whilst there are many night lights on the market the one which we can recommend and suggest which meets the guidelines above is the Baby Mood Lamp. The reasons for this recommendation are as follows:
-Ability to produce Red Light – This lamp not produces Red Light but it also produces 6 other colorful lights that can be used during other times during the day.
-Ability to vary the levels of brightness – 3 levels of brightness are possible with this lamp thus enabling you to just the lighting to suit your needs.
-Ability to stream audio books – A Bluetooth speaker located on the top of the lamp enables audio books to be streamed from Bluetooth enabled devices such as your mobile phone or laptop thus enabling your child to listen to audio books whilst relaxing in bed.
This night light can also be used to stream some of your favourite music if you so wish thus allowing adults to enjoy the night lamp as well. If you have your hands with a babe-in-arms then this night light will serve as a hands free speaker for your phone as well! Bonus!
-Portable and super light in weight (approx. 1lb) in weight and using a detachable USB cable to charge the light in under 4 hours means that this light is very portable and can be carried easily with one hand to anywhere in the house.
So portable is this night light that you can pack it in your suitcase and use on your holidays!
-Easy to use – Incredibly easy to use the lamp has only one button which can be used by one finger to switch on/off/enable Bluetooth mode (press 2 times in quick succession) and then the touch sensitive speaker located on the top of the night light can be tapped to change from white light to red light (hold finger on top of light for 2 seconds) and vice-versa.
- Durable - Given our darling children love to play with anything they can get their hands on, the material of this lamp is made of ABS material which is not only harmless but extremely strong to withstand any knocks it may receive at the hands of our darlings.
We hope you have found this article of use to you and that the night light we recommend is of not only joy but also reduces the stress that easily can be found during the night times for your child.
About Baby Mood Lamp
Most parents understand the importance of having a lamp that provides an ambience during the night for their baby. Being able to light up your child's room is the perfect way to provide an ambience when darkness falls through the various lighting modes or simply streaming calm music via the lamps bluetooth speaker.
Parents can also enjoy this lamp as it has three levels of lighting intensity which allows low level lighting for relaxation or brightest lighting for reading. Additionally, the lamp has the ability to play music via the lamp's bluetooth speaker.
Simple in functionality and easy to carry, this lamp is an absolute joy to use whether at home or on holiday (and yes we have packed it into our suitcase for us to enjoy on holiday).
Our sole purpose is to provide multi-functional lighting that can be enjoyed by all the family.