Monday, 8 February 2010

From the beginning...

I initially started teaching Cosmo to read using the 'Your Baby Can Read' program that Dr Titzer produces (YBCR). In actual fact we bought it because as a first time mom I had no idea how to interact with my own child. I had been convinced it would be so natural and so intuitive, but when dealing with a post natal illness, this was just not the case.

We used the program fairly loosely, certainly not as often as they recommended, but by about 10 months old he was recognizing words and able to do relevant actions. Once he could speak his vocabulary quickly broadened and it became apparent that he could read many of the flash cards we had been showing him, but was unsure of how to respond without being able to speak yet.

By age two we introduced the alphabet and numbers (which he loves) but we are still fairly relaxed about it all. To be honest I hadn't really expected him to be able to read before school age, I was just looking for ways to interact with him.

We are now in what Dr Titzer calls the 'fast mapping' stage, which means he only needs to see a word once or twice to remember it next time he sees it (as opposed to seeing it 40-50 times like he did when he was first learning). It's pretty exciting, and he loves doing it. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to teach our next child in the same way.

There is no need to buy fancy flash cards and DVDs either. Cosmo responds equally well to hand written cards, or just bold type on a computer screen. The DVDs are really useful if you want to sit them in front of something whilst you make dinner or get some chores done, but are totally non-essential. That said, if you can find someone who has the set, the instructional DVD and booklet for parents is interesting, informative and incredibly helpful.  It's definitely worth borrowing if you can. Dr Titzer's YBCR System

I don't want to put the YBCR system down, it has been amazing, and if you can afford it you should buy it from them. They are really committed to educating your child in a healthy and fun way, I just don't want people to think that if they can't get hold of it their child is missing out. You can do all this stuff yourself with a little bit of effort.

Finally, we started memory verses recently. I was told that your child doesn't have to be able to repeat back for you to move on. At this age it's about getting them familiar with scripture, rather than memorizing it, and hopefully bits of it will come back to them when they need it. We are mostly working through proverbs at the moment. There's no signs that Cosmo remembers anything yet, but he is enjoying it and asks me to recite the weeks verse to him, so I think it's a positive start. I'll let you know how it goes.


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