ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Elementary, Middle School & High School

Can your baby really read?

Updated on July 28, 2016

We have all seen the infomercials and heard the radio ads. They promise that if we are willing to pay their price they will put a reading program in your hands which will empower you to teach your infant or toddler to read!

Parents and grandparents everywhere are excited about the prospect and rush to make this purchase. They want to be the first in their neighborhood to have an infant who can read. It sounds wonderful and makes us all warm and fuzzy inside to think that our prescious babies will be able to read before they can walk.

But, is there any truth to it? Is your baby really reading? Or is something else happening? Well, in one sense, yes, your baby can read and in another sense, no, yourbaby cannot read!


Looks like a picture to me....

What?

The ability to read involves an element of comprehension which goes beyond recognizing an isolated word. The testimonials show children responding to individual words. This is wonderful, but it does not constitute the fullness of reading.

The child is recognizing shapes and combinations of shapes but they have no concept that they are seeing a "word." As far as they are concerned, the letters they see are just another picture.

As experienced readers, we also read based on the shape of the letter combinations. The difference is we differientiate letters from pictures and associate sound with each letter or combination of letters.

Additionally, we anticipate words based on their length, and their beginning and ending lettters. Unless we are especially challenged by the difficulty of a word, we don't see the middle portion of words.

You don't believe me? Alright, can you read this?

“i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. Letter odrer is not imoprtant to the expienrced redaer."

"I could not believe that icould actually understand what I was reading. Word order is not importantto the experienced reader"

Conversely, the new learner must learn letter shape, order and sound as well as definition if they are to be considered as "reading".


Word Recognition

By definition, "read" or the infinitive "to read" means:

  • to look at carefully so as to understand the meaning of (something written, printed, etc.):
  • to utter aloud or render in speech (something written, printed, etc.):
  • to have such knowledge of (a language) as to be able to understand things written in it
  • to apprehend the meaning of (signs, characters, etc.)

This is not what your baby is doing.What your baby is doing is parroting or calling words.

This behavior has deceived many a parent into thinking their child is acutually reading.

When a child does this, the parent thinks, "Oh my, my brilliant son or daughter can read! They call grandparents,excited to insinuate that their choice of husband or wife was OK even though mother didn't think so. They call their neighbors and brag unashamedly suggesting that their child is smarter than every other child of that age. They thrust out their chest and hold high their head. That is until their child enters first grade and comes home with a substandard evaluation in.... what else, reading!

Now the parents are shocked, dismayed and ready to blame the teacher, when the problem all along is simply a misunderstanding or whether or not the child was reading in the first place.

Face it mom, dad, your baby is not reading in the strictest sense of the word....your baby is "calling words". This is a good thing, but we don't want to mistake it for reading. One thing these "reading" programs are good for is teaching language, stimulating the brain and building vocabulary. But they do not solidify comprehension or teach children to decode words in context.


5 Components of Reading

The five components of reading include:

  • Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words.
  • Phonics is the relationships between the letters (graphemes) of written language and the individual sounds (phonemes) of spoken language. Phonics instruction teaches learners to use these relationships to use and write words.
  • Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately and quickly. When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically. They group words quickly to help them gain meaning from what they read. They read aloud effortlessly and with expression. Fluency is important because it provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension.
  • Vocabulary refers to the words we must know to communicate effectively. Vocabulary is also very important to reading comprehension. Readers cannot understand what they are reading without knowing what most of the words mean. Learning to read more advanced texts means readers must learn the meaning of new words that are not part of their oral vocabulary.
  • Comprehension is the reason for reading. If readers can read the words but do not understand what they are reading, they are not really reading. Good readers are both purposeful (they have a reason to read) and active (they think to make sense of what they read).

Save Your Money

You would do better putting your money in a trust fund for your babies future. If you want your child to have an academic advantage there are several things you can do. First take advantage of all the freebies available from Reading is Fundamental. Second understand that you are the most important element in ensuring your child's academic future. Research tells us that parent involvement, daily reading with and to your child is the best way to jump start his or her learning. Lastly, love them, enjoy them and get to know them.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • LeslieAdrienne profile image
      Author

      Leslie A. Shields 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you again PK2010,

      Reading with comprehension is truly fundamental and we don't have to be anxious about our children being "the first". It really is more important that a child "get it" thoroughly than that they "get it" quickly.

      Bless you

    • PK2010 profile image

      Anthea Kwaw 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great hub, very educative and full of information. Goes to show what able readers take for granted and how much actually goes into qualifying anyone as a comprehensive and fluent reader. Really enjoyed reading your hub. Voted interesting.

    • LeslieAdrienne profile image
      Author

      Leslie A. Shields 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you Jessieexue

      Be Blessed...

    • jessiexue profile image

      Jessie 6 years ago from Hong Kong

      This article is really great. And parents are always delighted to see the first reading of their kids. And the analysis about the 5 parts of reading is detailed and informative.

    • LeslieAdrienne profile image
      Author

      Leslie A. Shields 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Bette,

      I know...you can sell anything if you put a kid or a dog in the ad

    • BetteMachete profile image

      BetteMachete 7 years ago

      Those infomercials are just hard for people to resist! Kudos for this interesting topic.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)