Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thing I Wish I'd Started Doing Sooner

"Read it again, mommy, so I can see the words!" --Kiddo, tonight during reading time

For a long time, I resisted running my fingers under the words I was reading aloud. I read somewhere that you should start that habit no later than 18 months old, but I just didn't want to. I'm really lazy and it was like, so hard man, to lift my finger all the way up and across the page.

But then we got stuck in a reading rut, and I read this article about baby reading, which referenced a book called Native Reading and the author made the really good point that point with your finger is the most straightforward way to show your kids that spoken language is the chained to written language. Mommy isn't just holding a book open and turning pages and talking, she is lifting the little black scribbles out of the book and turning them into recognizable words and sounds.

"To read natively you must gain a lower-level, almost instinctive association of the written word with the spoken word, and for this you need to point consistently and in a way that is not can be pretty annoying for a parent at first...but by sticking with it, not only will text pointing become second nature for you, but it will deeply enrich your child's speaking environment with an obvious correlation of reading and speaking."

Anyway, the point-while-reading thing isn't a magic bullet for anything, but I do feel like it's powerful and I regret not starting it sooner.