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Signing With Babies And Children: How to teach your baby to read!

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Monday, February 9, 2009

How to teach your baby to read!

Many people have asked me how I taught Fireese to read at such an early age. They are amazed to see her at two and a half reading. See this video of her reading. It was really quite easy and I will share with you the steps I took to teach her. When she was a baby I used to sing and sign the ABCs to her. She loved looking at my hands moved and always tried to sign it with me. Have a look at this video of her singing and (trying) to sign her ABCs when she was just 17 months old. Once she could sing the alphabet I then moved on to teaching her how to recognize the individual ASL hand shape letters. I would hold an ‘a’ and say, “what is this?” Once she could identify it as an ‘a’ I would then add a ‘b’ and switch back and forth between the two. Then I would add a ‘c’ and so on until she could recognize all the letters. I would then ask her what the letters were out of order to see if she knew the hand shapes of each letter or simply the order they fell in. Once she could identify each letter on it’s own I then started adding the sounds of each letter. Instead of saying this is an ‘f’ I would say the ‘f’ says ‘ffff’. Again, once she knew the sounds of each letter I moved on to putting short words together. For the word CAT, I would hold up a ‘c’ and Fireese would make the sound for ‘c’, I’d then hold up an ‘a’, she’d make the ‘a’ sound and then finally a ‘t’. I would then move my hands a little faster so she could put the letters together in a word. She loves playing this game. It is great for restaurants when we are waiting for our food and need a quiet distraction. This only works with words that can be sounded out phonetically. I encourage parents to always teach a combination of whole language and phonics; there is really a place for both! Here is a song I made to help teach the sounds of the letters. (There is also a Canadian version that teaches the 'zed' instead of 'zee') It is the same tune as the alphabet song I had mentioned in my last post but it now teaches the sounds.

1 comment:

SignShine said...

As always I love Fireese's videos. We are all looking for more. I am showing my little kids the video of the letter sounds - it is amazing! I was looking for a long time for a video with the phonics and the ASL! Thank you!