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22 mo reading?!?!?!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I can't believe how ignorant I am: what is the definition of reading?

A couple of weeks ago my kid was standing in front of a store that had "thrift store" spelled out on the exterior wall. He pointed at each letter as he slowly sounded out S-T-O-R-E, letter my letter. Of course, when you sound out each letter you wind up saying the word. I thought, how cool he's really getting into the sounds now, as opposed to focusing mostly on singing the alphabet and pointing out letters. Didn't think a whole bunch more about it.

About a week ago a very similar thing happened with the word "Tug", which was written on the side of rocking thingamabob at the park.

Yesterday the same thing happened with a stop sign while we were on a walk.

Shortly after he finished saying "S-T-O-P, Stop" it hit me: Whoa, is he actually reading?!?! I wouldn't really be surprised to find out that he is, but up until that moment my dismissive thoughts were something along the lines of: "well, if you're sounding out the letters within each word then it's bound to sound like the word you're saying, pish posh pish posh." But, jeez, I guess that's what reading is, isn't it?

He's been saying the words in his books for months, and I've just been assuming that it was from memorization; most likely in fact. I can't think of any books with the words mentioned above, however.

What do you think?
post #2 of 24
That's about when dd1 started. She started sight-reading simple words at 23 months and could sound out a few on her own. She's 4 years and 3 months now, and reads at a second-grade level.

Sounds like your child has a natural affinity for early reading.
post #3 of 24
It'll be fun to see what happens.

Nothing scientific and I could be totally off base, but my observation is that most early readers don't tend to sound out letters a lot. It seems like many of them sort of figure out phonics along the way but start early in large part because they have a good visual memory and start to recognize whole words.
post #4 of 24
Cool! Neither of my kids read particularly early. Well, let me say that a different way. Ds (6.5 years old) didn't read too terribly early, but he reads like a superstar now. Like, can read everything. I don't keep track of grade levels because that information isn't especially informative. And my daughter, who will be three on Monday, isn't reading yet. Not that I'd expect it. But, she does cry on a regular basis-- and I kid you not-- "Mommy, you need to teach me to read real words!" And she cries and cries because she wants so badly to know how to read. I think for her, it's this mysterious thing that everyone else in our family can do, but she can't. Since she knows the letters and sounds, I did try to "teach" her some phonics stuff with word families, and I realized that despite her desire, she clearly isn't ready yet. She does have 3-4 sight words (her name included) but that's it. Enjoy as your baby continues to develop this skill!!
post #5 of 24
Neither of my girls were reading that early either and I don't know that I ever mentioned letter sounds to them before they were about 4, so I don't know that it would have occurred to them to sound anything out. The only info that I have is that both of my kids started reading a little shortly before they were 4, but it seems very individual as to whether that early start indicates an explosion about to happen or not. With my older one, she just took off and was reading very well by the time she started school. By 1st grade, she could pretty much read anything she wanted to -- the newspaper, books, whatever.

I expected that my younger one would do the same since she was starting to read at around the same age as had her sister, but she really hasn't. She's 6.5 and in 1st grade now. She reads well for a first grader, apparently, but there hasn't been that huge explosion and I really don't consider her to be a completely fluent reader yet -- at least of anything beyond fairly early chapter books.
post #6 of 24
It kinda snuck up on us, too. I'm sure she was actually able to read long before we realized it. I'd say he's on his way (but that's just a parent's opinion - I'm not a teacher or psychologist or anything).
post #7 of 24
My dd1 started with some sight words at that age, too. Then, she stopped doing it for a quite a while. I thought that she had lost interest and didn't really think about it. Then, just after her third birthday, I was reading a new magazine (that she had never seen before) to her and, when I paused to take a breath, she just kept going. Apparently, she hadn't lost interest, she was just processing.
post #8 of 24
Very cool! My now almost 8 year old did this at around this age. My 5 year old DD did not do this, but now she is interested and she practically is teaching herself how to write first and then read... She is an excellent speller.

Very different approaches. Also, early reading ability makes me realize the struggles of my oldest very dyslexic daughter better...
post #9 of 24
My dd started doing that right after her second birthday. Although for us, it was slow going from there. In her perfectionist ways, she wasn't happy with not being able to actually "read" what she wanted to, and didn't take it any further than that until closer to age 5. It was so wonderful when it all clicked for her and she was able to move from sounding things out and recognizing sight words to actually "reading" without much effort.
post #10 of 24
post #11 of 24
That;s very cool, and definitely sounds like reading to me Apparently that's how I started reading as well, but I think I was 3.5.
post #12 of 24
Sounds great! My daughter did this at that age, but waited a little longer (till just after 3) to easily read level 1's and 2's. I'm not sure this will be looked well upon from all the other moms, but to backteach my daughter some phonics (she was reading well long before she was able to understand the why of how she was reading) we used the Leapfrog phonics DVD's. If your son really enjoys his new alphabet and early reading interests then you may want to get a few of their videos. My kids love them including my 2yo.
post #13 of 24
Sara, I remember realizing with a start that DS had been really reading for a while when he was 2 and a half. Until then, I brushed it off as memorization too.
I agree with Roar, the early readers I have known (including myself and DS) have jumped in with a whole word approach rather than phonics first. Good luck with your precocious reader... and remember, you should hide stuff you don't want her to read & repeat and spelling things in conversation will soon be O-U-T for you
post #14 of 24
Originally Posted by lckrause View Post
He used to make up fake words and pronounce them "correctly" so it was definitely not all memorized sight reading for him.
Henry does this ALL THE TIME (he's 3.25 but has probably been doing some variation on it since he was 2-2.5ish) and he otherwise reads very well. It only occurred to me recently that by doing this he was teaching himself phonics. I swear he knows more about the English language than I do ...
post #15 of 24
DD's K teacher talked about this, as well, when she was encouraging us to have her tested. She said she had had early readers before, but K's fluency and comprehension was something she'd never seen before - it was just natural. She never did really sound words out, at least not that we heard. The teacher said she'd never had a K student stop her and tell her she'd skipped a word when she was reading a book to the class before. K was doing that in preschool, too.
post #16 of 24
DD will "spell out" words (and sometimes say them after spelling) but she hasn't really shown any interest in the "phonics" of the word. So I think she's using a whole word approach...especially since she can read a book she's never seen/heard if it contains "familiar" words (and explain what is going on in the story...so comprehension, not just recitation). And she'll read familiar words off signs or posters but she wont "sound out" new words (just spell them ).

DD just turned two (today! huzzah! ) and we thought we'd introduce phonics soon-ish...

Sounds like your little one is reading, and very cool that he's going with a self-taught phonics approach!
post #17 of 24
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
It'll be fun to see what happens.

Nothing scientific and I could be totally off base, but my observation is that most early readers don't tend to sound out letters a lot. It seems like many of them sort of figure out phonics along the way but start early in large part because they have a good visual memory and start to recognize whole words.
Our oldest DD started with the whole word approach too, and then like others wanted desperatly to be able to sit down and read (which as many of you know is somewhat self defeating for a 3 year old). With our oldest we had done some letter phonics by request when she was 2; "M, MMMMM, for mama. What sound does a K make?". In hindsight I think this added to her frustration because at 3 she would have read the word 'store' and read it 'story'. I recall at that age she read the word 'life' and pronounced it 'life-E' and we had a big debate when I corrected her. It hit me then while I was sitting in a cafe with her explaining to her the silent-e rule. Which also took us straight to starfall.com fwiw.

I think only parents will know if their children are truly reading or not. For us it doesn't matter when that happens with our children or not, because we are confident they won't be illiterate. Our biggest issue with anything as been how to help our children deal with the frustration that comes with asynchronous learning while still fostering their interests and following their lead. Personally I feel a whole word approach at a younger age can be beneficial in those regards.
post #18 of 24
Yes- ours did this about this time. We were also quite taken aback once we realized what was going on. Just last week, my ds, 2.5 yrs, saw a truck and said "Dat truck says 'Albertsons'!" Yup. It did. I don't think he was phonetically putting together each sound, but using the whole word as a symbol (which is one aspect of reading- in general, you don't sound out every letter when you read, your eyes and brain start grouping them). He spells them out, too, like you were describing. He entertained the whole line outside the voting booth with "V-O-T-E-H-E-R-E" said in little toddler accent and a chubby finger pointing to each letter . He recognizes other words (sight reading) and knows the whole alphabet. Lately, his favorite game is ____ begings with (letter)! because he now knows the sounds ("Helicpoter begins with H!"). At 26 months he wrote his name....

Shocking when they come out with this stuff, huh? Your going about your day, half listening to toddler ramblings, then BANG! Um... did my toddler in diapers just use a 5 syllable word?
post #19 of 24
These are fun for me to read. My six year old, who was NOT an early reader but is verbally gifted, just read a sentence last night with the words "distinctively" and "technically" and never missed a beat...It's just amazing how the reading development goes.

My three year old cries every day (literally, cries), "I just want you to teach me how to read real books." She is learning the word families in a phonetic way but is not ready for anything more yet, and my heart breaks for her. When she starts, I know she will soar.
post #20 of 24
Yup, that's definatly reading! Very cool! None of mine could do that at 22 months!
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