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Books for Specific Age-Groups > VERY Early literacy?

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message 1: by Vicki (new)

Vicki (mattsmama) My son is 2 1/2 years old and he LOVES his books. It amazes me how much he loves books. He has a huge collection of books ranging from baby books to books for kids up to age 8. I usually pick books that involve a topic or character that he likes, regardless of the "age".

I am curious how young a kid might be able to start to learn reading.

When I read to him, I point to the words as I read them. I just started doing this a few weeks ago.

Now he picks up books and "reads" them himself, pointing at the words and making up the story from the pictures and what he remembers.

Lately, he'll point to the words and ask, "What sound does this make?" (His way of saying "what does this say?".) He actually recognizes "Spider-Man" and "Spongebob" when he sees the words without the pictures. (Much to my suprise)

I am just curious... is it possible for him to really start learning some reading? Has anyone seen it happen this young?

I do have some of the simplest books with short three word sentences.

Based on his behaviour, I think he is very interested in reading. I want to encourage him, but don't want it to backfire if it would be way too incredibly frustrating at this age.


message 2: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 4307 comments Mod
Yes, absolutely! If he is definitely interested then that is the best time for him to be learning--it will mean more to him now, when he already has that spark, than if he waits until the "usual age" with his peers. I was reading (if very basic) that young--surrounded by books and a mom who read to me every day. I, too, had a fascination with books and words. I think that if you just continue to let him "discover" reading on his own (even if you carefully "plant" the books for him to discover!) and encourage the methods he is already employing, that you will have much more success than if you try to "teach" him to read and make it structured or set up the possibility of "failure."


message 3: by Vicki (new)

Vicki (mattsmama) Thanks. I wasn't sure if I was fooling myself, but I also don't want to miss opportunities to help him succeed. He actually has a very large vocabulary for his age and he does know the alphabet.

He is very interested in seeing his name written and will frequently ask me to write his name. Most of the time, he does know the difference between his name and a different word.

While I want to encourage him to at least try to do whatever he sets his mind to do (within reason of course), I don't want to have it backfire.

Perhaps for now, the best thing is to keep pointing while reading and waiting for him to ask "What sound does this make?" rather than trying to sit down and "teach" phonics or anything. :-)

I am just so utterly amazed at his interest in his books. He's got a bookshelf full of them in his room and he "reads" his books more often than he plays with his toys.

We've also made it a habit to read at least two books to him every day since we brought him home from the hostpital.


message 4: by Lauren (new)

Lauren i totally second what everyone else has said. the best time for kids (especially boys) to learn to read is when they are ready and showing interest. sounds like there's a great foundation for literacy already laid in your home and he's ready for the next step.
a couple of early literacy suggestions to try... take some really repetative books (like brown bear or something like that) and have him point to the words (with you at first) while you read them. pretty soon he'll be "reading" it entirely on his own. also, have him write repetative book. for instance, he could tell you all his favorite foods and you could write the different pages... "SON likes cereal. SON likes cookies" etc. then he can illustrate it and you have even more, very personal books that he can read.
happy reading!


message 5: by Arctic (new)

Arctic I have a young daughter who loves to "read" as well. her favorites are the brown bear books and Hop on Pop.


message 6: by Pam (new)

Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee (pam_t) | 41 comments Vicki,

Do check out Starfall.com and The Bob Books. Both are great resources for children interested in reading and books. And as for phonics, I don't know of any better teacher than the Leapfrog videos. They are cheap -- at about 10bucks per-- and they REALLY help kids to get down the basics painlessly.


message 7: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Radisavljevic (barbrad) I taught myself to read when I was three years old. Mom read to me all the time and I wanted to be able to read without her. I learned just the way your son is learning. One book that might help him along is one I discovered last week: Maybe A Bear Ate It!The words are large and sentences are short and the character is adorable.


message 8: by Vicki (last edited Feb 08, 2009 07:58PM) (new)

Vicki (mattsmama) Thanks for the suggestions! That bear book looks like something he'd like. And all his books are his favorites. That reminds me, I'd better go up and get the books out of his bed. He insists on taking several to bed every night. Even after we read like 6 books before bed. Now he's pointing at the words as he makes up his own story. It's so funny & cute.

And i have saved that starfall site too.

He surprised me today by quickly being able to point to his name on his new Build-A-Bear birth certificate.


message 9: by Lynn (new)

Lynn I used to sleep with books around me all the time! haha. In fact I still do.


message 10: by Flinkybits (new)

Flinkybits Denise Fleming has so many WONDERFUL books for two's and three's. And, her art is all done with paper pulp. You can see it at her website.

I also love the book, "Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum" by Lisa Wheeler. You can never go wrong with Spot books by Eric Hill. The Kathi Appelt books about bats...Bat Parade and the counting one...are fun!

Off the top of my head.


message 11: by Pam (last edited Feb 28, 2009 02:46PM) (new)

Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee (pam_t) | 41 comments Chandra wrote: "I know a lot of children who have 'taught themselves' to read by 3 so yes, I think it's entirely possible that he could be reading independently very soon. Some great early readers that we have en..."

Seuss is awesome. (We have the FootBook and many more) And my sister and I swear by LeapFrog's videos. They lay such a solid foundation for reading. Got all of our kids off to a good start.





message 12: by Jane (new)

Jane G Meyer (janegmeyer) | 12 comments Hi Everyone,
Just thought I'd jump into this conversation since I've had some varied experiences. My oldest son, who is now 14 was book-crazed as a baby. He still is. His favorite activity was to read, and he and I spent many hours every day reading stories of all kinds, non-fiction books, too... I have many photos of him just sitting in his room, books piled all around him as he paged through one, then the other.
He didn't show any interest in the actual words, however, he liked the stories and the thoughts that swirled around the stories. He liked venturing to new places in his mind. When it came time to actually learn the skill of reading it was a rough road. We had a horrible two months in first grade where he had to remove his mind from the story and actually look at the words and do the work of reading them himself. The two months was grueling, and he remembers it vividly, but thank goodness we got through it and he was able to hate books only for a short amount of time! All these years later, you should see his room. More bookshelves than anything...

My daughter, on the other hand, who was the second child, wanted to be a reader like my son, but for other reasons. She did show lots of curiosity regarding words, and writing her name, and sounds, etc... She was read to quite a lot, too. When she was just nearing four, I finally decided to teach her at home instead of waiting until school. Because the English language is so odd, and because I noticed that we weren't really making much progress just by using the little phonic books (like Seuss, etc...) that we had in the house, I purchased something recommended by homeschool moms called Disstar. (It might not have two S's) We did just a tiny bit in the book every day, maybe 15 mintues, and in two months she was reading. It allowed her the independence she wanted--to sit side by side with her brother, paging through stories.

However children learn, what a gift!


message 13: by Vicki (new)

Vicki (mattsmama) Interesting insight. I guess it is entirely possible that my son could be like yours Jane. It's a little early to tell. He does have his books piled all around him sometimes. And he loves to make up stories about the pictures. Either way, I think it's awesome and totally cute. :-)


message 14: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 21 comments I've got a 5 year old who asked to be taught to read when she was three, and is now reading at 1st/2nd grade level. I've also got a 20 month old who's absolute favorite thing is books - she can even be distracted from a crying jag by asking her to go pick a book for me to read for her, now that is something I love!

Anyways, for those with preschooler book-lovers, I highly recommend the Leap Frog DVDs (someone else already mentioned them), and the alphabet toys that go with them. The first one is Fridge Phonics, it uses the same exact sounds/voices from the DVD, so it is great reinforcement. The second one is the Word Whammer, and if you make sure to get either both the new or both the old versions, all the letters are compatible, which means that you double the amount of letters available for making words in the Word Whammer.

You may get a little sick of the alphabet song, but I highly recommend them! It's also something your little one can play with in the kitchen while you are busy with other things.

For books, I highly recommend all the Eric Carle books, and especially the ones he did with Bill Martin Jr.. I also love Sandra Boynton's books - they are wonderful!

Have fun reading!


message 15: by Vicki (last edited May 14, 2009 10:39AM) (new)

Vicki (vicki507) I have been reading to my son since he was a week old. I remember sitting with him in the park, and reading Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It was his first book. He is 5 years old now and loves reading. We started a summer reading program at our local library 2 years ago. Each summer we make a list of books. When he was 3, we read around 50 books. Last year he read the most books out of all the children involved in the program... 102 books. He is very excited about the program this year, which will begin June 22nd. One of the most important things you can share with your children is the love for reading and a love of learning. I am a born reader and I hope that my son continues his love of books and reading for the rest of his life.


message 16: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 17 comments As a former children's librarian, I loved reading your post. it gives me hope. Not only did you highlight the importance of reading to your children but you celebrated the library and the summer reading program. Dedicated children's librarians put a lot of time and effort into developing summer reading programs. The greatest reward is when the public takes advantage of all they have to offer. In these tough economic times where else can you find great programs and events for free? Plus, you encourage reading! Thank you so much for the commercial. Children's Librarians everywhere are doing the happy dance:)


message 17: by Vicki (new)

Vicki (vicki507) Thanks Lynn. I think that when you have a passion for something you always try to pass that same love onto your children. I am also a Middle School Social Studies teacher, and a lot of my passion stems from my students. It breaks my heart when they come into the 6th or 7th grade and they are reading on the second grade level. As parents we have to start when they are young..especially with boys. Well I thank you and librarians everywhere for making it easier for moms in the summer to have a safe, nice, cool place to bring the children. Our local library is super children friendly and is a great place to be:)


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