Raising A Bookworm

One of my goals as a mom is to instill a love of reading for my 18 month old Baby Bear. For me, this is important because I believe that once she can read well, she can be good in other subject matters or extracurriculars. This is also particularly good for my little introvert. Introverts want to be always well-prepared so that they can be confident in doing their activities.

The first step is to focus on learning the letters – their sounds and phonics. This is just the easy part. After perfecting the letters of the alphabet, you have to work on actually teaching babies to read. There are actually 2 schools of thought on this matter. It’s Reading vs. Phonics. In reading, it’s basically memorization. You are teaching the kids to “memorize” how a certain letter or words are read. IMHO, Phonics is the way to go. Teach them to sound out the letters to form words, so that they can be empowered to know that they can read even if they encounter a new word, or whenever you are not beside them to teach them how that word is pronounced. Of course, there are some words, that you cannot teach them to read. These word exceptions are called SIGHT WORDS. Examples of sight words are one, two, you, etc. Yes, yes, nerd alert. I actually researched all this. I still get confused sometimes but i think i am getting the hang of it.

In order to do this, I have set up a routine that she has to do every week. All you need is at least 15 minutes a day of exposing your baby and after a year, this should do wonders for your baby.

Here are some examples of my reading program for Baby Bear:

1.) Reading to Baby Bear every day – Find the books that your baby loves in order to encourage. My baby loves touchy-feely books. They are a tad bit more expensive but I buy them because it makes me feel good when my baby is the one who insists on reading. You can see samples of the books I got her here. Also, buy books with pages that have just the word and the picture per page to set up clearly the direct relationship between the two.  Should you move on to books with couplets or phrases, make sure that the words are simple and the pictures are clear. Other good books would be those that are “fun” to read. Examples of these are puppet books, peek-a-boo books, pop-up books, etc.

2.) Supplement the books with toys or other educational materials. — I have discovered with my baby that she loves the “show-and-tell” type of learning activities. Examples:

– We read Eric Carle‘s book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and we supplement with animal toys. I ask her to get the corresponding animal that’s shown on the book.

– When we are learning about the alphabet, I bring out her Melissa and Doug Letter Puzzle and she has to get the letter that we are talking about. It is better to expose her more to the lowercase letters since she encounters this more when reading vs. the uppercase letters which you only see at the start of the sentence or for Proper Nouns.

pic from Amazon.com Melissa and Doug

3.) They say you shouldn’t expose your kids to TV before the age of 2. — I don’t follow this rule. I’ve exposed my baby to TV as early as 6 months but to select shows only. Educational and those that focus on language development such as the ever-famous Your Baby Can Read, and Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD. (Sample clip below) 

Again, I also supplement these videos with books or toys related to the shows. My baby actually scampers to get the toys the very instant I put these shows on.

Your Baby Can Read (YBCR) already has flash cards and books related to the DVD that you are watching.

– The Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD also has a toy, the Leap Frog Letter Factory Phonics which btw, my baby super loves.

 

Other sample videos and toys for learning all about Letters and Phonics:

– Video: Barney’s ABC; Toy: I actually have the same wooden blocks that were used on the video, which is just the Melissa and Doug Classic ABC Block Cart

 

No toy? No problem! 🙂 You can always simply use your imagination — you can do actions! Check out this video that teaches phonics. Baby Bear has been watching this video even before she learned this in school.

– Video: Apple, Apple, Aaa Aaa Aaa

 

Of course, these are all just my personal learnings and what worked for my Baby Bear. You can try them, mix and match, and see what works well for you and your babies. I would also love to hear from you guys, too. I bet you all have your own methods. Do share, so we can all learn together. Mommies unite! 🙂

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Memory Keeper 5

This will probably be one of the last few posts showing Baby Bears’ face in the pictures. She is looking more like the person she is now so we have to go back to posting anonymous pictures 😦 I hope I was able to get a lot since I didn’t think I’d be blogging way back when I took pictures of her before. I have tremendously enjoyed posting this Memory Keeper series. It gave me a chance to fix my albums, print ’em pictures, fix my physical albums and look at them over fondly with the hubby and baby. Nice bonding moment for the Bear family.

Don’t forget to print your pictures, too. I know we live in a digital age these days but I still love the feel of every page turn in a book and every flip of the photo album. Call me old fashioned but this is my way of reminiscing fond memories 🙂

celebrating monthsaries

celebrating monthsaries

mommy baked this moist chocolate upside down cake with cream frosting

mommy baked this moist chocolate upside down cake with cream frosting – whatta mouthful!

matching outfits with my doggie

matching outfits with my doggie

my all-natural teething aid :)

my all-natural teething aid 🙂

first taste of real food

first taste of real food

turning japanese

turning japanese

last time i fit into this basin

last time i fit into this basin

the baby looks like a lady here... don't grow up too fast lil' one :)

the baby looks like a lady here… don’t grow up too fast lil’ one 🙂

Memory Keeper 4

Looking at Baby Bears’ pics always, always, always makes me feel very nostalgic. After posting this, I will be on my way to the mall to have these printed. These memories are definitely for keeps! 🙂

attempting to sit

attempting to sit

horsey daddy :)

horsey daddy 🙂

look at my middle finger! gasp!!! :P

look at my middle finger! gasp!!! 😛

mama's weird way of playing with me

mama’s weird way of playing with me

ear pierce! i cried for a long time, but i think mama cried longer!

ear pierce! i cried for a long time, but i think mama cried longer!

tummy time giggles

tummy time giggles

YOLO!!!

YOLO!!!

in mah crib! TGIF y'all!

in mah crib! TGIF y’all!

 

Love Letter to Baby Bear

love letter

love letter

 

Dearest Baby Bear,

As I’m writing you this love letter, you are now in school. You love your school very much (I think?) 🙂 United Nations Day is coming up. It’s your very first big school activity so I went all-out with support. (Read: Stage Mommy) 😛 I have donated room decor already, prepared food and drinks you were allocated to bring… I’ve been running around the different malls looking for your costume. (South American costumes are so hard to find) 😦 I haven’t found the perfect costume yet, but I will… even if I need to go to how many more malls. This is our first of many school events and I promise to give as much support every time. We will always do whatever we can for you… never forget that baby girl. We love you very much… to the stars and back!

Xoxo,

Dada and Mama