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Thread: Early Readers

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    Early Readers



    This is an interesting blog and opinions on very early readers. They're talking three and four year olds. Apparently, it's usually girls. That doesn't surprise me given that women tend to have the better verbal capacity.

    That observation sparked a debate as to whether this supports the "whole" word approach to reading or the "phonetic" approach.

    I don't know that the experience of really early readers is very helpful, necessarily. I was one of them, reading Italian before I was four, but I actually don't remember it happening as a "learning" experience. In my memory I just always knew how to do it. It had to start with my father reading to me, but they didn't really have "children's" books to facilitate reading, so it must have been newspapers or the stories he read to me. I do know he said he never actually "taught" me, other than perhaps running his finger along the line.

    I do wonder, if they did studies, they would find that it's much easier with really phonetic based systems like Italian. I have a hunch that's the case. From what I've seen the phonetic approach is best. After that, especially in languages like English, "whole" word recognition, which is basically shape recognition, can supplement the rest.

    Writing is different, because it requires better motor skills than a four year old possesses.

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2019/...early-reading/


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    My parents say I knew the letters before being two years old, and being two years old, I already knew how to read words. I think they never taught me, apart from following the finger on the letters.

    I am interested in this topic, because I would like to help my child.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farstar View Post
    My parents say I knew the letters before being two years old, and being two years old, I already knew how to read words. I think they never taught me, apart from following the finger on the letters.

    I am interested in this topic, because I would like to help my child.
    Like a lot of other traits, I think this has a big genetic component, so probably your children will have a relatively easy time with reading, but for what it's worth, I do think reading to kids really helps, especially if you do run your finger under the line as you read. I always varied the books as well, so they weren't just memorizing the book.

    With Italian, as I said, it's easy to interject little snippets about the sounds of the letters as you're doing it. It's harder with English since so much of it isn't phonetic, but you can still do it. The exceptions they have to capture with their visual processing skills.

    Most important is to make it fun. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Like a lot of other traits, I think this has a big genetic component, so probably your children will have a relatively easy time with reading, but for what it's worth, I do think reading to kids really helps, especially if you do run your finger under the line as you read. I always varied the books as well, so they weren't just memorizing the book.

    With Italian, as I said, it's easy to interject little snippets about the sounds of the letters as you're doing it. It's harder with English since so much of it isn't phonetic, but you can still do it. The exceptions they have to capture with their visual processing skills.

    Most important is to make it fun. :)
    Yes, the most important is to make it fun. For example, if I catch my son and I sing the songs (even though I do not know the lyrics, I mumble), he is really enjoying it. Only the music, without the "person component", he is not that interested.

    My wife has never been interested in reading (he is a wonderful person, not a criticism at all, just a fact) and I always have enjoyed reading a lot. I recall a post here (I think it was yours, Angela) stating that for these traits, it was more important mum than dad. I would like to understand if this is true, or if the inheritance is more an average of both (which probably it would be ideal).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post

    I don't know that the experience of really early readers is very helpful, necessarily. I was one of them, reading Italian before I was four, but I actually don't remember it happening as a "learning" experience. In my memory I just always knew how to do it. It had to start with my father reading to me, but they didn't really have "children's" books to facilitate reading, so it must have been newspapers or the stories he read to me. I do know he said he never actually "taught" me, other than perhaps running his finger along the line.
    That's the kind of materials I want to read to my children. I want them to learn about the classics, philosophy and higher-order literature from a very young age. I also don't want to speak to them like they're babies, but more like adults.

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    2 out of 3 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Farstar View Post
    Yes, the most important is to make it fun. For example, if I catch my son and I sing the songs (even though I do not know the lyrics, I mumble), he is really enjoying it. Only the music, without the "person component", he is not that interested.

    My wife has never been interested in reading (he is a wonderful person, not a criticism at all, just a fact) and I always have enjoyed reading a lot. I recall a post here (I think it was yours, Angela) stating that for these traits, it was more important mum than dad. I would like to understand if this is true, or if the inheritance is more an average of both (which probably it would be ideal).
    My mother wasn't as much of a reader as my father. She wasn't the one who read to me, for example, and she wasn't a novel reader at all, whereas my father loved them. I distinctly remember my father reading "The Count of Monte Cristo" to me when I was young, although not three. :) It was one of his favorites, and is still one of mine. He read me "The Call of the Wild" when I was very young.

    I think that's partly responsible for my dislike of "girlish" pursuits when I was young. I most definitely didn't want to "play house", and fiddle around with baby dolls for too long. Playing pirates, or Amelia Earhardt, or going on an archaeological expedition was much more in my "zone". :) I did love my Barbies, however, as if a love of fashion was sort of ingrained.

    Yet, I came to adore babies, real ones, and was and am a very demonstrative and affectionate mother. I suppose hormones "rule" when all that estrogen shoots into your system, and the more of it you have the greater the effect. To this day, if I'm around a baby I get "baby fever". :)

    As to my mother, as I've said elsewhere, when we came to America my mother was in her twenties, much younger than my father, and didn't speak a word of English. There were no classes then, at least not where we were, so she taught herself to read by watching tv and reading newspapers, with a little assist where necessary from me. To the end of her life she would read the entire newspaper every day, front to back, and she was one of those people who has cable news on all day long.

    Fwiw, my brother and I are mirror images of one another, with me being more verbal and he more mathematical. Even our SAT scores were exact mirror images of one another. I would probably not have done well at MIT, and he wouldn't have done as well in my chosen fields. On the other hand, I've learned a lot of statistics as I've gotten older, and he developed a love of reading as he got older, to the point where he started a Great Books club at his lab. With him, he says he thinks part of it is that in the American culture it's not really regarded as all that "manly" for young boys to sit and read, which is a great pity. I don't think it's quite that way in continental Europe.

    I really do think that a big, big chunk of this is genetic. There are lots of engineers in my mother's family, for example, and a lot of doctors and teachers and lawyer's in my father's.

    @Jovialis,

    I think it's really important to expose children to as much as possible: books, music, art, philosophy. The less time with electronics the better. Lots of joint outdoor activities are very important too.

    They may not like the things you do, or shine at everything to which you've exposed them, but you'll have done your job.

    Imo, the really essential thing is spending lots and lots of time with them, being "available" to them, in modern parlance, and also setting the limits. They're your children, not your friends.

    The less exposure to the noxious parts of modern society, the better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    My mother wasn't as much of a reader as my father. She wasn't the one who read to me, for example, and she wasn't a novel reader at all, whereas my father loved them. I distinctly remember my father reading "The Count of Monte Cristo" to me when I was young, although not three. :) It was one of his favorites, and is still one of mine. He read me "The Call of the Wild" when I was very young.

    I think that's partly responsible for my dislike of "girlish" pursuits when I was young. I most definitely didn't want to "play house", and fiddle around with baby dolls for too long. Playing pirates, or Amelia Earhardt, or going on an archaeological expedition was much more in my "zone". :) I did love my Barbies, however, as if a love of fashion was sort of ingrained.

    Yet, I came to adore babies, real ones, and was and am a very demonstrative and affectionate mother. I suppose hormones "rule" when all that estrogen shoots into your system, and the more of it you have the greater the effect. To this day, if I'm around a baby I get "baby fever". :)

    As to my mother, as I've said elsewhere, when we came to America my mother was in her twenties, much younger than my father, and didn't speak a word of English. There were no classes then, at least not where we were, so she taught herself to read by watching tv and reading newspapers, with a little assist where necessary from me. To the end of her life she would read the entire newspaper every day, front to back, and she was one of those people who has cable news on all day long.

    Fwiw, my brother and I are mirror images of one another, with me being more verbal and he more mathematical. Even our SAT scores were exact mirror images of one another. I would probably not have done well at MIT, and he wouldn't have done as well in my chosen fields. On the other hand, I've learned a lot of statistics as I've gotten older, and he developed a love of reading as he got older, to the point where he started a Great Books club at his lab. With him, he says he thinks part of it is that in the American culture it's not really regarded as all that "manly" for young boys to sit and read, which is a great pity. I don't think it's quite that way in continental Europe.

    I really do think that a big, big chunk of this is genetic. There are lots of engineers in my mother's family, for example, and a lot of doctors and teachers and lawyer's in my father's.

    @Jovialis,

    I think it's really important to expose children to as much as possible: books, music, art, philosophy. The less time with electronics the better. Lots of joint outdoor activities are very important too.

    They may not like the things you do, or shine at everything to which you've exposed them, but you'll have done your job.

    Imo, the really essential thing is spending lots and lots of time with them, being "available" to them, in modern parlance, and also setting the limits. They're your children, not your friends.

    The less exposure to the noxious parts of modern society, the better.
    Indeed, I especially want to limit, and supervise their exposure to the internet, and control the content they can have access to until they're old enough. I also want to make sure their peers are decent people. I think the saying is true, that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.

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    2 out of 3 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Indeed, I especially want to limit, and supervise their exposure to the internet, and control the content they can have access to until they're old enough. I also want to make sure their peers are decent people. I think the saying is true, that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.
    More and more research shows that the major causative factor is genetics and after that it’s not home and family but influences outside the home. That’s rather different from what everyone is told.
    If it’s true it’s even more important imo that exposure to the noxious impact of the media be minimized. Their friends are also very important. Kid’s attitudes and opinions are formed by the tv they watch, the music lyrics they listen to, and yes, the books they read, as well as what their friends tell them..

    No friend I ever had was as important to me as my parents, so their impact was limited.Television and even music were less toxic in my day. It’s much more difficult today.

    In terms of materials for reading to children I really liked things like Aesop’s Fables and Fairy Tales. A lot of the Grimm’s ones are problematical in my opinion, not for idiotic “women’s issues” things but for the violence, at least for some children. I turned to Italo Calvino’s collection of Italian fairy tales. I thought “old” books like “ Little Women”, Treasure Island, and eventually, yes, Dumas were good choices. Nothing wrong with the Disney movies either, Imo. What I wanted to keep away from them were situation comedies, with their entitled, spoiled, disrespectful brats.

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