Federico and Julian Love to Read Anything and Everything
Dad answers our questions about his sons’ reading program
As the book How To Teach Your Baby To Read approaches its 60th birthday we touch base with one of our fathers and learn about the reading program he and his wife are doing with their little boys at home.
Reading is a way of life… …in bed
We began our program when Federico was about 3 years old, and Julian was 12 months old. We started with single words. We began reading after finishing the How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence course three years ago. At the time we were living in an isolated place which gave us the opportunity to focus more. Simultaneously, we tried to incorporate bits, math, and physical excellence.
We included books in the program a year later with a very simple system. All that time we read regular books to them and listened to audio books. We also let them “read” (it certainly looked like reading) any book they chose.
…and in the car
We recently implemented the independent reading program, and we have created 8 books. They love fiction – especially with a mixture of made-up characters and real ones. They also love historical and universal literature. We made a version of the Wright brother’s first flight.
A mixture of cinema, audio books and homemade books has been great to spark their curiosity.
That triad we used last year with “Animal Farm” (G. Orwell). First, we play an audio book which narrates and explains the book in one hour (highly recommended), then we use a cartoon version – I believe it’s from the 1960’s. Finally, I introduced my own homemade version.
Animal Farm and the Three Little Pigs
“Captains Courageous”, is another book we’ve incorporated with different formats (all but cinema).
This multi-format presentation has been very productive and really has them engaged.
Now they are reading two books a week. Our homemade “publishing company” is working double time.
I think Federico has been reading independently for at least a year… Francesca and I, suspect it. And we both agreed not to press him. Julian… we don’t know yet. From an early age we’ve seen both “looking” at books in the car, in the yard – everywhere.
They do not have a tablet.
Advice for other parents?
Do not listen to “consensus advice”. I’ve read ridiculous statements from so called “experts” saying that children must not learn to read early. Why would we limit their capacity to excel?
Why would we deprive them of this privilege? Also it’s fun. Books offer so much.
Every family is unique, parents create a program that is just right for their children. At The Institutes it is one of our greatest satisfactions that our early reading program has traveled around the world for six decades. Millions of parents have taught their babies to read. Some of our Teach Your Baby to Read babies are now grandparents! There is no better way to bring parents and kids closer together and make our children more capable and confident.