By Dr. Bob Titzer
Many babies and toddlers reach a series of milestones when learning to read, from seeing their first words to independent reading. I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned from more than 22 years of experience teaching, interacting with, and testing babies, toddlers, and preschoolers who were learning to read using the Your Baby Can Read (YBCR) multi-sensory system.
Almost all babies go from understanding no language to understanding thousands of words in just a few years. Parents have used milestones for spoken and receptive language for many decades to assess their children’s development. The following milestones for written language (introduced in 2008) may be the first milestones for babies and toddlers who are learning to read.
Just like other language milestones, environmental factors—like how much language the child sees and hears, the age when the child begins learning written words, and how the caregivers interact with the child—are at work. So, babies reach these milestones at various ages. And some babies may reach milestones in a different order.
Let’s take a closer look at the first milestone, Learning to Recognize the First Written Word. I’ll also share some activities and strategies that you can use now to help your baby or toddler learn to read.