Inspired by Terence's Aunty Nancy who taught her daughters to read--not by teaching the alphabets first--but by showing them words and using phonics, I bought the book "How to teach your baby to read" when Kai was one month old. I'd read it when I was breastfeeding him.
It is a very easy book to read. But chapter after chapter, it justifies why children have an amazing ability to learn, how children below the age of five have a tremendous ability to absorb things etc. Now, if all these were kept to just two chapters, it'd be fine. But evidence backing the authors' method went on and on and on... *Yawn*
I threw that book aside.
Then when I was in ELC, Paragon, I chanced upon a set of five books called "Your baby can read!". Reason is that the teaching method is similar to what's advocated in "How to teach your baby to read". I paid S$50+ for them. *Faint*
Some sensible folks reading this blog might scream but they're just "lift-the flap" word books, each containing 13 words printed in bold. Flip the word over and you'll have a corresponding picture. You're suppose to point just below the words as you say it, moving your fingers left to right. Warning: Don't block your child's view of the word (ah but then!).
I used the books when he was 2.5 months old. (Do I hear mothers screaming?) I gave up when he was about 3.5 months. The reason was a mix between "because I'm busy" and that I wasn't sure if it's interesting for him to be staring at words. I just read him picture books from then on.
Then he became "Mr Octopus". Hands are everwhere. No objects is safe from his grasp and the wet, inviting salivating mouth. If it's a book, he'll grab the page, crumpling it as a result and attempt to put it into his mouth. That's how he gets his fibre intake everyday.
This morning, I don't know what possessed me but I dug out the set of lift-the-flap books. He was acting up a little, getting bored with the set of toys put out for him. But once I started reading the books, he actually quietened down and looked at the words. What's best was that there was none of the grabbing and I-wanna-eat-you stuff going on. To test his patience, I read the set of 13 words twice. His attention wandered off a little here and there (like a normal baby would), but he sat there and listened.
Is that an indication of interest? I don't know but it's certainly inspired me to finish the first book. Flipped through to find out where the actual method of teaching babies to read starts--Chapter 7. (There are a total of 10 chapters in the book. Fancy that!) And after reading the contents page, I found that only two chapters are actually useful:
1. Chapter 7--How to teach your baby to read
2. Chapter 8--The perfect age to begin
Am I 'hot housing' Kai? Well, mothers show flashcards to their babies sometime or another. Some would spell out the words before pronouncing them, some would just show the alphabets etc. I'm just making my flashcard sessions more productive.
Well, we'll see how it goes. I need to find time to read the two chapters first, then make the flashcards, then find time to show it to him...
Deadline: Author says we should try to do it before babies turn five.
I think I should have plenty of time.