Sunday, December 15, 2013

Early Reading: The Key To A Child's Future



Song:  Forgotten September (Extended Remix)

Group:  Two Steps From Hell



Alex has always loved reading.
His mother and I have always made it a central activity...
one which was done often...
an activity done together with him...
and one which was always filled with love and affection.

By mere association...
a child feels good when he reads...
of the warmth of his parent's embrace when he is read to...
and of the comforting effects of his parent's voice as he learns
pronunciation, annunciation, tone, inflection, pacing...
everything that will give him an advantage in learning how to speak and read...
as he grows.

Happy feelings are experienced whenever he sees a book.
With this internal positive reinforcement...
he will seek out books on his own.


(Alex at 3.5 years old...he would read aloud everything he could...
after taking out his pacifier.  He would read from newspapers...
and ask me the meaning of new words).

Alex has always been fascinated by reading.

His mother read to him as she cuddled him...
since birth...and throughout his young life...
many times throughout the day...
and every night at bedtime.

It was always a warm and loving experience for him.




Alex's home library in our old home in California.


Alex's mother always kept a wide and exciting stock of new...
and highly stimulating books for him to read.

Every book was a new adventure for him.

And when he could finally speak at 3.5 years old...
he would love to read aloud...
even books which were advanced (young adult books and newspapers)...
all with correct pronunciation 
(for the most part...with the occasional exception with new words).

As I have already said in an earlier article...
once when Alex was 3.5 years old (shortly after he began talking)...
his mother had taken him to his favorite place (a local bookstore).
His mother took him there often to allow him to pick out his favorite books.
He would walk around and pick out a book...and then begin to read it aloud
(he still used a pacifier at this time...he would take it out to read aloud
put it back in every so often...and then take it out again as he continued reading  :)

On this particular visit...
Alex had gone to the young adult section...
picked out a Star Wars novel...sat down at one of the tables...
and began reading aloud...very loudly :)

His correct and smooth pacing and pronunciation was that of a much older child...
so much so that High School aged children began to gather around him...
and they remarked at how such a young child could read in such a manner.

Although shortly afterwards...
Alex would be fully potty trained...
at this point...he was still in diapers...
and, of course...he still had his pacifier 
(which we had weaned him off at around 4 years old).


By his mother placing his finger on top of her's as she read to him many times every day...
Alex learned to associate that which was written...to that which was said...
and as a result...he learned to decode language at a very young age.

When he finally started speaking...
he was able to speak in full sentences...
and to be able to speak words which were written...
even when it was new vocabulary...
all without having to have been formally taught phonics.

Since he had been watching each word as they were spoken by his mother...
spelling and phonics came naturally.

Even though at age 1...
he could arrange the alphabet correctly using plastic letters...
and at the age of 2...he was typing basic sentences using a portable speller...
and he was spelling phrases of things he had seen on TV...
or from his books, from memory.

At preschool...
they used Alex to read books to the other children...
and he once, innocently, corrected one of the teachers there
on her incorrect usage of double negatives in her speech (in front of her class :0 ).

Both, the teacher, and Alex's mother were momentarily mortified...
but both realized that Alex had not been malicious.
He thought it was just an innocent mistake by his teacher.

At home, Alex's mother gently told him to not correct his teachers...
as she had come from a part of the country where many incorrectly
use double negatives as a matter of course.

On the first day of Kindergarten...
it was parent's day.

All of the parents and their children had gathered in the class where the 
children were to have a whole year of learning.

The parents got to meet the teacher...
and all of the other children and parents.

We sat around in a circle of tables
and the teacher handed out an informational sheet for the parents...
of expectations for the children, and some guidelines
for the parents to help their children learn.

As soon as we sat down...
Alex began correctly reading this sheet aloud.
He thought it was for the children to read  :)

The look of the parents when they heard Alex reading aloud...was amusing :)

Although I know that Alex is advanced in many of his capabilities...
being able to read by kindergarten is well within the capability of most children.

The key?

Alex's mother focused her full attention on Alex.

Everything she did was to further Alex in his education...
and in life...by guiding him to love learning.

Our whole focus was on positively reinforcing education...
making it fun and exciting through unlimited amounts of new material...
of close association of warmth and affection as he learned...
and copious amounts of special praise with each accomplishment.

All children are learning machines...
and they naturally wish to please.

They love to see and feel the positive expressions of 
love and affection from their parents.

They naturally love positive stimuli...
both, through the emotions (the heart)...
and through the mind (the intellect).

A large quantity of quality stimuli...
positively reinforced...
gives a child the hunger for more.

It is through this close association of 
positive stimulation of heart and mind
that forges in the child's heart...
his love of learning.

It is his love of learning which will provide the impetus...
the drive to always learn.

Through correct structuring of the child's life...
where he first does the necessary...
with plenty of encouragement throughout...
and then reaps special rewards afterwards...
is through which he will learn the value of deferred gratification.

It is through his love of learning that he will have the constant hunger
to explore and to apply.

It is through the process of deferred gratification that he knows that
greater rewards constantly lie before him in life.

He then becomes doubly motivated.

He has an inherent love of learning...
he gets immediate rewards from intellectual stimuli.

He knows that through his love of learning...
he will continue to progress...
and that by applying his efforts first...
and reaping his rewards later...
his happiness is magnified...
everything in life becomes wonderful...
he begins to look forward to everything in life.

It is through this mindset which will put him on a positive spiral in life.
It is by being on a positive spiral in life where he will
find great happiness throughout life.



Make early reading a special time for parent and child...
make it fun and filled with warmth and affection...


a natural result will be that your child will wish to read as much as possible.











Basic human nature...

the strongest drive is the pursuit of pleasure.

That which is the most pleasurable...
is that which we shall eventually do.

By making the love of learning extremely pleasurable...
by stimulating his heart and mind...
a child will develop an insatiable curiosity for everything in life.

It is this curiosity which will lead a child to always wish to learn...
to always seek out new knowledge and ways to apply it.
This shall eventually lead him to the many great things in life...
a life filled with passion, vision, and great fulfillment.

It all starts with early reading under his parent's guidance...
and in his parent's warm embrace as he is read to.

















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