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Old 01-22-2007, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:18 PM
 
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Welcome to MDC. Wow, are you going to get some responses...

I'll be brief and blunt. I would never put my 1 year old down in front of a television set in order to learn how to read. She will read when she's ready, and she will spend much of her time on my lap being read to (by me) in the meantime.

You might want to check out the book, "The Plug-in Drug."
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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Believe me; I speak from experience ... "when they are ready" to learn based on their own curiosity and questions is early enough -- and sometimes too early still. With my first I thought her early spontaneous reading was a gift that would give her an advantage in learning. But then I had a 4-year-old ask me "mommy, what does genocide mean?" after reading the newspaper. I've also had to work very hard to nurture her creative side, as from such an early age she was preferentially an information hoover thanks to her early reading.

Very early reading comes at a cost. I also believe there are huge costs to early reliance on electronic media.

Miranda

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Old 01-22-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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But then I had a 4-year-old ask me "mommy, what does genocide mean?" after reading the newspaper.
Seriously. I don't want my baby to read. I don't want my toddler to read. I am not at all bothered about when they learn to read, because when they do learn, they will take off with it. There's nothing like having a small child in the sounding-out stage saying, "F...f....uh....f....uh...fuh...." while you are at a red-light with obscene graffiti nearby. That happened to my sister. We giggled about it, at the thought of her being stuck at the ridiculously long red light while her son optimistically sounded out this graffiti. But can you imagine?? It's funny but I wouldn't want to be in that situation. I'm not in any hurry to accelerate reading. They don't need to read right now because they have parents who read to them. When they are ready for it, as I've said, they will just take off. We're watching this happen with my older son right now. It's amazing.
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:06 PM
 
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What a not-so-subtle advert to drum up business for yourself ...

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Old 01-22-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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Did no one notice the not so subtle reference to her ebay auctions selling it at a discounted price??

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:21 PM
 
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:25 PM
 
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Well, I haven't had experience with this product, so I can't speak of that - but I can speak of my experience without this product.

My child didn't learn to read till he was almost seven. He was just happily playing and using his imagination up till then - and, quite frankly, the only reason I introduced reading to him at that age was because he was about to enter 1st grade in a little alternative school where all the incoming 1st graders already knew how to read three letter words. It took only a few weeks to introduce the letters and get him started reading. He was able to read the little Mac & Tab books by the time school started (like the Bob books). That year of school, though, drove us to homeschooling.

Anyway, he's always had an active imagination and sense of curiosity, has always been a voracious reader since plunging in at age 12, and is now thriving in college, where he has a merit scholarship based partly on his high SAT scores. Do I think anything would have been better if he'd read as a baby or even as a young child? Absolutely not - to the contrary. And what might have been of any importance for him to read at an early age? He loved being read to, and he began to read on his own when there was something he wanted more information from. Here's a whole page of information I put together on preschool/kindergarten, with links to a number of articles, and links beneath those to websites with age-appropriate activities. One of the articles is an interview with one of the authors of Einstein Never Used Flashcards: Einstein Never Used Flashcards and Thoughts on The Mozart Effect. Lillian
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
:Believe me; I speak from experience ... "when they are ready" to learn based on their own curiosity and questions is early enough -- and sometimes too early still. With my first I thought her early spontaneous reading was a gift that would give her an advantage in learning. But then I had a 4-year-old ask me "mommy, what does genocide mean?" after reading the newspaper. I've also had to work very hard to nurture her creative side, as from such an early age she was preferentially an information hoover thanks to her early reading.

Very early reading comes at a cost. I also believe there are huge costs to early reliance on electronic media.
Wow, Miranda - I've never heard of this aspect before. I must say it startled me to see this brought up after all the online discussions I've seen over the years in which nothing like this was mentioned. Who'da thought? I guess it's that lots of people who have early spontaneous readers feel so pleased to see it happen that they don't even think about the whole picture that much. Not that anyone would/could/should try to slow down a young child from a personal drive like that, but just that it's good to be aware of all the considerations. Thanks! - Lillian
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:47 PM
 
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What I notice is that my dds really *see* color and pictures and perspective in books and the real world. I read at age 2 and read a lot now. I honestly just don't see the things they do until they point them out.

I think theirs is a healthier way to view the world, more balanced, certainly more filled with beauty and possibility.

I can't imagine how much worse this oversight of mine would be if I had learned using flashcards. (I was just a really geeky kid from birth.) It's been a thing of wonder to have my sights expanded looking through their eyes.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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What I notice is that my dds really *see* color and pictures and perspective in books and the real world. I read at age 2 and read a lot now. I honestly just don't see the things they do until they point them out.

I think theirs is a healthier way to view the world, more balanced, certainly more filled with beauty and possibility.

I can't imagine how much worse this oversight of mine would be if I had learned using flashcards. (I was just a really geeky kid from birth.) It's been a thing of wonder to have my sights expanded looking through their eyes.
Oh, this is fascinating! I've had discussions with friends about the way we relate to magazines and books, and I was surprised to find that our perceptions are entirely different. When I used to sub to Home Education Magazine, I would always browse through the whole thing first, just looking at the pictures and some of the titles first. The pictures were so much of the message for me. But a friend who happens to be a geek (and whose children, interestingly enough, taught themselves to read as toddlers) said that she literally wasn't even aware there were pictures in it - she always sat down with it as soon as it arrived and read all the text. I was absolutely amazed - the pictures were so much of it for me. That was in the earlier editions, especially, when they used a lot of woodcut prints - but even after they went to all photos. Same with Mothering, which I was reading back when I was pregnant - it was always the pictures I looked at first. - Lillian
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:48 PM
 
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What I notice is that my dds really *see* color and pictures and perspective in books and the real world. I read at age 2 and read a lot now. I honestly just don't see the things they do until they point them out.
This is a wonderful point. Literacy really does change the way we can and do see the world. That short time period before reading is such a treasure. It is so much about pictures and textures and colors and feelings and just a different way of being in the world. For some children, their brains are just wired in such a way that they are going to figure out words and text no matter what you do to avoid it, but I would never force it or push it on any child. You never know what other amazing perspective you may be shortchanging.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:57 PM
 
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Literacy really does change the way we can and do see the world. That short time period before reading is such a treasure. It is so much about pictures and textures and colors and feelings and just a different way of being in the world.
I really liked the way you put that. Here's another of Vivian Gussin Paley's articles (one of the ones linked to from that preschool page I keep pointing to ) - has some juicy thoughts in that:

Story and Play - The Original Learning Tools

- Lillian
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:07 PM
 
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Great article!


I love to read, always have but not at the expense of other creative outlets.

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Old 01-22-2007, 11:18 PM
 
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I see the original post was deleted, so can't read that, but have so enjoyed the discussion in this thread! My focus in homeschooling has not been to have early readers, but kids who love to read. Thanks, everyone, for sharing!
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:29 PM
 
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I know a little boy who ran read books that 7 year olds struggle with (he just turned 4) but he doesn't enjoy many other things. He is a great kid but he is missing so much. His parents are pleased as punch and don't find art/music to be beneficial at all. It makes me sad. :
And I knew a lovely boy who was like that right into his teens - would be walking through the house with my son, talking, and would suddenly pick up a book in mid stride, stick his nose into it and be gone... He just couldn't help it. But his mom was not at all pleased; so his passion and personality was regarded with disdain, whereas his siblings' more mainstream ones were highly regarded. And that made me sad... - Lillian
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:43 PM
 
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I totally support a parent supporting their child and allowing their child to totally become immersed in reading. I just wonder if his parents encouraged him to try other things, if he would?

I hear what you are saying Lillian. Point taken...I was being judgemental.

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Old 01-22-2007, 11:51 PM
 
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Great article!

I know a little boy who ran read books that 7 year olds struggle with (he just turned 4) but he doesn't enjoy many other things. He is a great kid but he is missing so much. His parents are pleased as punch and don't find art/music to be beneficial at all. It makes me sad. :

I love to read, always have but not at the expense of other creative outlets.
Um, my kid reads at a second grade level, and she just turned four three weeks ago. She doesn't miss anything at all -- she does tons of other stuff, just like any other kid her age.

Neither reading early nor reading late is optimal. Nothing is optimal. Each kid is an individual. Just because they're advanced for their age in one area doesn't mean they're missing out on anything else. However, for the sake of argument, even if all a kid the age of 4 wanted to do is read all day long....what on earth is wrong with that (as long as it's the child's desire, not the parent's)?
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:55 PM
 
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I totally support a parent supporting their child and allowing their child to totally become immersed in reading. I just wonder if his parents encouraged him to try other things, if he would?

I hear what you are saying Lillian. Point taken...I was being judgemental.
So what if the kid didn't want to try anything else at that point in time? Why not let a kid be into reading read for as long as they please?

i'm not trying to be confrontational. I just look at my own kid -- who loves to read and is so proud of it, and I don't understand how reading early (for the kid who wants to and enjoys it) could possibly be a bad thing.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:59 PM
 
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there is nothing wrong with reading all day. I edited my original post...I know what I said didn't come out right at all.

I apologize- I didn't mean to interrupt the thread. It was going along so nicely. sorry!

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Old 01-23-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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So what if the kid didn't want to try anything else at that point in time? Why not let a kid be into reading read for as long as they please?

i'm not trying to be confrontational. I just look at my own kid -- who loves to read and is so proud of it, and I don't understand how reading early (for the kid who wants to and enjoys it) could possibly be a bad thing.
To me, there is nothing wrong with it in and of itself. I think the point of contention with many is the *forcing* of the child to read early, if you will. I was an eary reader (4 years old) and have never stopped since I first learned. My parents didn't try to teach me - it came naturally. My ds#1 is 5 1/2 and probably *could* read if he truly tried, but he doesn't want to and isn't ready to, so we let it be. He will read when he wants. I have a feeling ds#2 might read earlier than ds#1 (when compared by age of beginning). Again, if it happens it will be of his own accord. Each child is an individual and they will learn when given the freedom to learn (and, imo, a strong background of a love for reading - a lot of lap time being read to).

Also, what I have taken from this thread is that there are unforeseen issues that can arise from a young child being gifted in reading ... the ability to read words/concepts/ideas at an age where they are not ready to understand. The example given above regarding the word "genocide" is a prime example. But, just because a young child can read at a bigger age/grade level doesn't mean that he/she should be discouraged from reading if that is what they want to do. It just means that parents need to be aware that there can be a downfall to early reading ... IMO, a 4 or 5 year old who is capable of reading at a 2nd, 3rd, 4th ... grade level isn't ready to deal with the concepts and knowledge that is often presented for those age groups.

Hopefully this makes sense ... I've been interupted a few times by discussions of earth worms, show-and-tell of earth worms, and a request to buy two cans of earth worms for ds#1 and ds#2!

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Old 01-23-2007, 12:11 AM
 
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I hear what you are saying Lillian. Point taken...I was being judgemental.
Oh, no, no...that wasn't what I was saying. I was just saying that... Well, I guess I'm not sure what I was trying to say, but not that you were being judgemental.

I guess what I was saying was that it can get crazy either way - one parent may be overly excited about a child reading early while another can get overly intense about getting a child to learn it early and another might be upset about a child not learning early. And it's all just such a fuss over nothing... They're all so individual and unique - and, unless there's a rare problem, they'll all be reading by the time there's anything important for them to read for themselves... Lillian

- Lillian

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Old 01-23-2007, 12:16 AM
 
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Lillian- Thanks. I was feeling so bad...

I am truely fascinated by how each child learns. My dd just turned 5 and she is writing and beginning to show interest in chapter books. She loves to read but isn't reading on her own yet. I know she will do it when she is ready. I don't push her, we just read when she wants to and she rides by herself all the time.

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Old 01-23-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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I am truely fascinated by how each child learns. My dd just turned 5 and she is writing and beginning to show interest in chapter books. She loves to read but isn't reading on her own yet. I know she will do it when she is ready. I don't push her, we just read when she wants to and she rides by herself all the time.
When mine was 5, he was not even particularly conscious of the fact that he'd be reading on his own one day - he just loved being read to. He didn't know the letters or anything, but knew a lot about a lot of other things. I felt awful about hustling him through fast lessons in reading to get him ready for that stupid school he was about to go into for 1st grade. Not the way I would have wanted to do it at all...

And there are also those with children who don't seem to be developmentally ready yet but are frustrated with themselves and their moms because they can't read yet. : So many different kinds of learners... - Lillian
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:40 AM
 
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To me, there is nothing wrong with it in and of itself. I think the point of contention with many is the *forcing* of the child to read early, if you will. I was an eary reader (4 years old) and have never stopped since I first learned. My parents didn't try to teach me - it came naturally. My ds#1 is 5 1/2 and probably *could* read if he truly tried, but he doesn't want to and isn't ready to, so we let it be. He will read when he wants. I have a feeling ds#2 might read earlier than ds#1 (when compared by age of beginning). Again, if it happens it will be of his own accord. Each child is an individual and they will learn when given the freedom to learn (and, imo, a strong background of a love for reading - a lot of lap time being read to).

Also, what I have taken from this thread is that there are unforeseen issues that can arise from a young child being gifted in reading ... the ability to read words/concepts/ideas at an age where they are not ready to understand. The example given above regarding the word "genocide" is a prime example. But, just because a young child can read at a bigger age/grade level doesn't mean that he/she should be discouraged from reading if that is what they want to do. It just means that parents need to be aware that there can be a downfall to early reading ... IMO, a 4 or 5 year old who is capable of reading at a 2nd, 3rd, 4th ... grade level isn't ready to deal with the concepts and knowledge that is often presented for those age groups.

Hopefully this makes sense ... I've been interupted a few times by discussions of earth worms, show-and-tell of earth worms, and a request to buy two cans of earth worms for ds#1 and ds#2!
Gotcha, and ITA.
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:45 AM
 
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And there are also those with children who don't seem to be developmentally ready yet but are frustrated with themselves and their moms because they can't read yet. : So many different kinds of learners... - Lillian
And as we know from my posts, that would be my dd1. But I think her abilities to see beauty and color are as valuable as my ability to read at 2. Fortunately, I'm a life long learner, so I can learn this new way of seeing from her.
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:28 AM
 
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Since this thread has taken a different turn...

If both my kids read at 2, I would totally support that. I don't wish that they had read at 2, but if that's what their developmental timetable looked like, I would be happy for them. But they didn't and that's fine too. I, personally, have no feelings either way. But I see people absolutely tripping over themselves trying to get their kids to read ASAP and I just don't understand the rush. It's almost like people think that if the kid reads earlier, they have the long-term advantage and that's just not true. Why is everyone in such a big rush to turn their little ones into readers? There are so many people that feel this way that there's a very lucrative industry profiting from it...Leapfrog and such. I just sincerely don't understand the desire to speed everything up. Sometimes a kid points to a letter and correctly says, "B" and that's all that is. Why do people seek out formal programs to hurry up and turn that into reading? I am not judging. I just don't understand it. I don't care when my kids read. If it's early, great. If it's typical, great. If it's late, great. All I really care about is that they love books and have good comprehension.

I actually did know someone who had disdain for her son's early reading. It conflicted with her Waldorf beliefs and she frequently made disparaging remarks about reading in front of her son. She had told me that she would make him leave his books to go outside in the yard, because "that's what kids are supposed to do at this age." You would have had to hear her tone to hear her disdain and discomfort. That was sad. I felt badly for her son.

Anyway, I'm just repeating myself at this point. I have neutral feelings on when my kids learn to read. But I do not understand the desire to turn a 2 or 3 year old into a reader. I do not understand the sense of urgency to expedite development.
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Old 01-23-2007, 02:29 AM
 
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"I actually did know someone who had disdain for her son's early reading. It conflicted with her Waldorf beliefs and she frequently made disparaging remarks about reading in front of her son. She had told me that she would make him leave his books to go outside in the yard, because "that's what kids are supposed to do at this age." You would have had to hear her tone to hear her disdain and discomfort. That was sad. I felt badly for her son."

I had a neighbor who had been a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher before her dd was born. When her 4 year old showed an interest in reading, she removed all books and magazines from her home.

It seemed pretty over the top to me.

4 years later she felt bad about it....
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:28 AM
 
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Is there a psychological advantage to reading early? I don't know -- maybe. I'm responding to Lillian's post above. For my daughter, I am very happy she's reading early...because she has this insatiable desire to learn everything, and this is a way she can do some of it on her own. She can now pick up a book of her choosing on a topic of her choice and read it. Which makes her very happy and proud, and gives her the opportunity to learn things totally on her own (as opposed to my reading something of interest to her). We still do tons of things together of course -- but this new independence gives me a slight break (which is nice) and gives her a boost in her developing self-confidence.

I have a younger daughter (22 months) who "reads" next to her sister, because she sees her sister reading and wants to do everything that she does. I have taken to going over some phonics with her every day. What does that mean? That once or twice a day I'll show her a big foam letter and make the appropriate sound in a silly way. She loves this and we do it together. Am I pushing her to read? I don't think so. Am I giving her tools to do eventually be able to do what her sister does? Yes. Do we have great fun going "AHHH" together loudly and ferociously while crawling around like an alligator, and then attacking the foam letter A? Yes, we sure do.

Will I care if she reads at 2 or 6? If her developmental process takes longer than her sister's, then so be it. Am I a pushy mom for going over phonics with her in a VERY play-based fashion? I dont' think so. I think what woud make me pushy is if she didn't find it interesting and I made her try to do it anyway...which is against my philosophy.

All this rambling is to say that I think it's great if parents introduce phonics/reading early to a child -- if the child finds the process fun and readily takes to it. If the child doesn't want to do it, that's a different thing entirely. So if my younger daughter doesn't want to play around with me as described above one day, then we'll stop.

Okay, I need some coffee. I hope some of this made sense!
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:34 PM
 
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Redwine...dd1 has a different way of going about it. She also has an insatiable desire to learn. She sees patterns and colors. She hears music. Really hears it. (I'm a singer, so I do get that one.) She sets up a sort of "unit studies" approach for herself. She knows the children's librarians and uses their skills to find books on subjects that interest her. She asks me to get materials to support what she's learning.

She doesn't read fluently, but that sure doesn't slow her down.

I didn't learn phonics to learn to read. My experience was that I was holding a hymnal and suddenly realized that I could read the words. I didn't learn to "sound out" words until it was required at school. I just read. It was magic as far as I know.

My parents read to me, but I'm the second oldest of 6 children born in 8 years, so trust me, there weren't foam letter games, etc.

Some kids just read earlier. Some, even profoundly gifted kids to use the lingo, learn in other ways. I feel like my job at ages 6 and 2 is to provide a range of materials and pay attention to the cues my kids are giving me.

I'll be surprised if my 2 year old makes it to three without reading. She insists on a couple of *hours* a day reading. She sits and stares at books. She can also hop on one foot already and has admirable fine motor skills. She started talking at 10 months, but is barely understandable.

But reading will come for both of them. Learning is not dependent on being able to read unless you don't have someone to read to you. Here, we'll pretty much drop anything to read or do a project. I honestly have no need for them to develop independence before they want it. dd2 is very interested in independence. dd1 not so much.

I have learned so very much just letting them lead, noticing them, talking to them, seeing what they see. If I had done flashcards or tried "instructing" them as toddlers, I really think we would have gone a very different road. My perspective from here is that they will have reading skills *and* this wonderful creative artist's eye on the world as well.
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