Driving to pre-school last year, I heard the same commercial every morning on the radio.
Parents espousing their ardent belief in some system called "My Baby Can Read," which made genius readers out of their toddlers.
I'll admit my kid isn't a genius (I know, I blaspheme), but a bit of old-fashioned sit on my you-know-what in her bed every night is working just fine for us.
She can look at a pile of letters, sound them out, and start putting together words.
And I didn't spend a cent.
If I sound like a broken record, my apologies. But if people are still spending $14.95 (plus free shipping!) on this schlock, I'm not getting it out there.
People, it's simple. Read to your toddlers.
If you think they "don't like books," you're not doing it enough. Big kids "don't like books." Toddlers love them.
And if you're truly boondoggled, find books ABOUT reading to get them doubly excited. These hit the sweet spot in our house:
1. How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills: A dog named Rocket loves having stories read to him, but when a bird tells him he can learn to read them himself, he's intrigued. Sound familiar? The illustrations by the author of Duck & Goose are adorable, but my daughter loved learning with Rocket -- especially the words split apart to allow them to practice phonetics.
2. Read to Tiger by S. J. Fore: A little boy can't possibly read quietly on the couch because there's a tiger making noise in the living room. So how do you quiet down a clamorous critter (or toddler)? Say it with me now: read to them!
Have you ever been tempted to call up one of these mail order reading programs?
Images via Amazon