First words and signs at nine months, and our son was reading before age two!
We're here to share what we did with others.
It started with searching for educational videos for some loved ones with babies. That's how we became aware of resources like Baby Signing Time!, Your Baby Can Read! (which has since been re-named Your Baby Can Learn!) and a select few Baby Einstein videos that are particularly educational (not just entertaining). After learning we were having our own baby, we knew we were going to show these videos to him, but also engage interactively to help him learn. We watched them ourselves to practice the signs and used them at every opportunity. I also continued seeking more tools, which led to educational books like Priddy Board Books, DK My First Touch and Feel Picture Cards, ASL learning mats, Baby Sign Language flashcards, Genius Baby photo album, educational videos on Youtube, reading books to him while signing ASL, homemade flashcards, and more (see Resources, and Posts). I'll share all about that here for you.
When you tell your hearing family that you are teaching ASL to your baby, you might be told inaccurate things like, "That's a bad idea, it will delay his talking because why would he learn to talk when he can just sign?" Well, why would he learn to walk when Momma can just carry him, or push him in a stroller? He WILL want to learn to talk! You don't just sign, you also speak the words at the same time, allowing baby to learn both the spoken word AND a hand sign that baby can use to communicate. Using ASL at the same time creates a "bridge"—a connection of understanding. Foreign language teachers sometimes use it for this same reason.
Learning ASL first not only opens up pathways for communication that otherwise wouldn't exist prior to speech development, but also builds a huge vocabulary and comprehension that's already established for when he does start speaking. Plus, increased confidence from already having a form of communication, and elimination of (or at least, decreased) terrible twos! And when the signs are taught in combination with written words (including showing the direction the word is read, sounding out syllables, teaching phonics, and distinguishing sight words from phonetic words), then baby will learn to READ, too!
Despite unfounded concerns that ASL would delay speech, to the contrary—our son began talking at nine months (momma, dadda, nana), and about six months later, thanks to an already large vocabulary, his speech took off fast! He was speaking clearly in no time, and was even READING before age two! Not memorization, but actual reading of new words he's never seen, such as product labels at stores, street signs, business names, and employee name tags. Kids are amazing sponges for learning. Don't let anyone hinder your kid with a limiting belief system. Babies CAN learn much faster than many people believe.
We were very lucky to learn that babies are capable of reading (and much more) far earlier than we are led to believe. But we didn't always know this, and likewise, many parents are not aware.
In fact, many early education teachers are not aware of it, either. On different occasions, elementary teachers have approached us after witnessing Kai reading things in public, stopped to observe him, then commented that our toddler reads and speaks better than some of their 1st and 3rd graders. During one of these encounters, the teacher asked us how we taught him early reading, and took notes. That was the day I decided to start a free website to help share this information with others.
Early reading may also be responsible for our son's increasingly social nature. Shyness can become a thing of the past when early reading skills bring forth new encounters, conversations, and friendships that might otherwise not have happened, and the boosted confidence that follows.
I want to reach out to parents who seek earlier opportunities for their kids—who desire to help their baby communicate successfully prior to talking, to talk sooner and clearer, and even learn to read long before school age—and let you know that it IS possible! Many kids today are also not potty training successfully until age 3, 4, or even 5. We were lucky to discover that babies can begin potty training right away (common in other countries where diapers are a luxury) for earlier success; talk legibly and read before age two; and go on at age two to read big words like probiotics, trapezoid, and pachycephalosaurus; count to 100; and even do math and so much more! And we want to share that with you, too. This is also the best time to teach other languages.
Babies can learn at amazing rates, if given the right tools and interactive guidance (you need to be actively involved) with love, encouragement, and positive reinforcement—that is, get overly excited about every achievement! And never, ever get upset about "failures." All "failures" are just learning opportunities, which are good experiences to have. It is, after all, how we all learn. Especially with babies, there are NO failures, only learning opportunities. You must keep it positive and loving. ♥
With that said, I'll be sharing what baby education/toddler education we have done, and continue to do, in "POSTS" (in the Menu bar at the top of this page). Check out "RESOURCES/TOOLS" for all the products we've used, as well as links to free tools I've found online. "INSTANT-WATCH VIDEOS" has links to all the most helpful videos we've used that are currently available free online, especially helpful to preview videos before you purchase (if your library doesn't already have them for loan). There's a "CONTACT" page if you'd like to send questions or comments to me, as well as a "SUBSCRIBE" option if you'd like to be notified as I add more posts—there will be a lot more coming soon, I have much to share.
Best wishes to you on your learning journey!
Disclaimer: I'm just a regular parent who was lucky enough to learn that babies can be taught immediately in life to help them achieve early speech, reading, counting, potty training, and more. I am not a licensed expert or professional—just a mom who cares, and wants to help other parents and children by sharing what worked for us. This is just what worked for us, and may not apply to all situations, since every child (and parent) is different, and nobody learns the same way, same speed, nor even has the same interests and experiences.
This site contains affiliate links, but many of the books and videos I discuss can be found free at libraries; many videos on YouTube, Netflix and Amazon; and free games, videos, and printouts like worksheets and flashcards from other educational websites. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases (though I haven't yet, as of 2/2/2023, I pay $200/year for this site, but haven't earned anything from it). This does not affect you in any way should you purchase from a link, and may only provide a small supplement for my family. The original purpose of this site is, and always will be, to share educational information.
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