When it comes to literacy programs for kids, one of the more remarkable offerings is "Reading Head Start" from Sarah Shepard. Sarah is an English Teacher of 14 years who found a new method to teach kids to read. Her method was so out of the box and innovative
that even 2 year olds were reading and pronouncing words.
You might wonder if that is possible since most children do not start to read till about 4 or 5 years old, but according to Sarah, thousands of kids have already been taught by her methods with universally positive results. As experts know, infants know all of the sounds of a language in their first year but the phonological form of language takes much longer to acquire, so that indicates why the Shepard method is so unusual.
There is no doubt that in today's environment that many parents want to give their children a competitive advantage in school and at earlier and earlier ages. Increasingly, parents also want to have a hand in giving them that advantage. They recognize that early literacy can be a huge factor in that goal.
To learn about Reading Head Start here is a link to the program.
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Reading readiness has been defined as the point at which a person is ready to learn and the time during which they transition from being a non-reader into a reader. Some other terms for reading readiness include "early literacy" and "emergent reading"
Children begin to learn pre-reading skills at birth while they listern to the speech around them. In order to learn to read, a child must have knowledge of the oral language. According to experts the aquisition of language is natural, but the process of reading is not as reading needs to be taught. This belief contradicts basic language philosophy, which states that children learn to read while they learn to speak. Government studies proclaim that reading is the foundation for success, and that those children who struggle with reading in grades one to three are at a disadvantage in terms of academic success, compared to those children who are not struggling.
Because a child's early experience with literacy-related activities is highly correlated to the child's success with reading, It is important to consider a child's developmental level when choosing appropriate activities and goals. Early and enjoyable pre-reading experiences set the stage for children's desire to learn. By partipating in
developmentally-appropriate activities (activities that are fun and challenging, but not frustrating), children gain knowledge that will serve as the foundation for further learning as they enter the school system.
Reading readiness is highly individualistic and there is no "one size fits all" solution to teaching a child to read. A parent or educator may need to employ several techniques before finding the most appropriate method for an individual child. According to Vygotsky's
Zone of Proximal Development a child can, through the help of an adult or more capable child, perform at a higher level than he or she can independently. The process of learning to read should thus be supported by caring and supportive individuals.