These are 2 general approaches to boost speech and vocabulary: whole words and phonics. What I’m doing is combining the two when reading to B, supplementing with flash cards and picture books, using some of the tips for tots below (go here for more great reading material and tips!):
1. Your attitude and approach
– joyous and enthusiastic, approach it like a game or adventure
– teach at a time of day when both you and your baby are happy
– best duration for reading sessions is 30 seconds or less
– introduce new material when your child is ready for it – follow his lead
– be consistent with doing your program
– start as early as possible – the younger the child, the easier it is for him to learn
– go here for fun ideas on reading out loud to your kid
2. Size and orderliness of reading matter
– the younger the baby, the bigger print should be used!
– size of the print is crucial to your success – very young children have immature visual pathways
– if the print is too small they get frustrated because they have to work so hard to see the type
– make a gradual transition from large to small print and from words to couplets to short sentences to longer sentences one change at a time
3. Read with mom (or primary caregivers like dad or grandparents)
– Doman believes that parents are the best teachers
– their love and confidence in their children provide the best inspiration, regardless if they are with the child the whole day or working and able to spend just a few hours a day
4. Always stop before your baby wants to stop
– one of the most important rules: the child should be begging for more
– if your child gets tired after 5 slides, show just 4, but leave him hungry for more
– don’t bore your child!
5. Keep it fun, fresh yet consistent
– introduce new material often, show it quickly
– if no interest, show it even faster, update even more often (or use sound effects!)
– show less words more often and consistently than more words occasionally
– kids learn by repetition as long as you update your material often enough
– Doman believes testing is a sign of distrust, the opposite of fun. Though … there are games/tricks that can keep your spirits up by showing that your child is actually learning, and can be even more fun for him!
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