Q: What is the best age to start teaching my child to read?
A: It's never too early or too late to learn to read
With the growing understanding of how the brain works comes the understanding of how to increase brainpower. Scientists have concluded that babies are born with approximately 100 billion brain cells at birth. From birth, synaptic connections begin to take place with these cells that represent what the child is learning. Young children have a tremendous capacity to learn from the moment they are born. In fact research has proven that the first 3 to 5 years are crucial in the development of a child's brain! Unfortunately, children typically receive the least amount of attention from the educational world in these early years. Thus, it is up to the parent to ensure that information is available to them!
Teaching your young child to read not only opens up a whole new world for them, but it also enables their brain to make more connections earlier, thus increasing their capacity to learn in future years! The question therefore, that parents should be asking is not "Why should I teach my child to read at an early age?" but rather "Why would I NOT teach my child to read early?"
Q: Can my teenager still learn to read?
A: First of all, we all learn on an ongoing basis. Because a teenager has an understanding of many words already, they will be encouraged and tend to have more self confidence when they are attempting to learn more words within our program. The eReadingPro programs includes vocabulary that your teenager will be familiar with (names, foods, colors, environment, etc.), and this should make it easier to identify words with what they represent. A huge benefit will be that they will learn proper grammatical structure, in addition to improving reading skills and this should assist with both written and verbal skills.
Q: Which is better, the whole-word approach or the phonetic approach to reading?
A: There are many different beliefs of what the 'best' way of teaching a child to read is, and on-going debates persist regarding which method is more effective. eReadingPro reading programs are based solely on the whole-word approach. We appreciate that while phonetics is an extremely important aspect to learning how to read but that not all children grasp the skills involved in applying specific sounds to letters.
Small children are often visual learners, and can therefore typically learn to read easier using the whole language approach. Scientific studies have shown that children with learning difficulties such as dyslexia typically learn to read words as 'pictures' or whole units. In fact, most children with Down syndrome are visual learners, and therefore also read words as pictures. Some children have been shown words on flash cards from the time they are 6 months old and learn to read these words before they can actually speak them! In learning to read via the whole language approach, children begin to understand that a word represents a 'thing'. Thus, we suggest to use the whole-word approach to ease into phonics!
Q: How exactly does your program work?
A: When we speak to our young children and teach words orally, we speak clearly, precisely and repetitively. The concept behind our programs focus on teaching written words in this same clear, precise and repetitive manner. The program's core vocabulary consists of 130 individual words. These words represent your child’s ‘world’ (i.e. food, environment, belongings, etc.) Abstract words are presented on flash cards, and are shown separate from pictures in order to avoid visual distraction when the child is learning the written word. Flashcards are presented quickly, and enthusiastically, representing a ‘fun game’. Words are presented numerous times as single words, and then used in couplets, phrases, sentences and books. An easy to follow Presentation Schedule is included in each program to ensure you stay on track!
The complete eReadingPro kit comes with all of the sentences and artwork to build your child 9 books! All of the words in this kit have been part of the original core vocabulary, so there will be no new words that your child will not already have been previously introduced to. Also included in the kit is a full Instructional Guide, Presentation Schedules, all of the flashcards you will need for single words, couplets, phrases, sentences and books, markers, book rings and even an amazing rubber thumb! (This kit is also available in three sections as Book 1, 2 or 3.)
In developing the eReadingPro system we had busy parents in mind! Each kit has been well thought out, put to the task, and proven to be highly effective.
Q: Why would I want to teach my child before they enter school? What's the rush?
A: The main reason that it is important for you to teach your child to read before they start school is to "school-proof" your child. This is not meant to be a derogatory statement about school boards. However, it has been our experience that children can 'fall through the cracks' at school due to the general lack of funding for the support system in the boards. There are two points to consider here: First of all, the earlier your child is exposed to the written word, the greater their ease with vocabulary is, and the greater their desire to learn tends to be. Secondly, if your child does not grasp the phonetic approach to reading in school, you are ensuring that they will not be left behind in the classroom if a reading difficulty arises yet is not recognized by their teacher.
Q: Does this program work with children who have developmental delays?
A: Based on feedback thus far, and personal experience, this program works very well with children that are born with Down syndrome, and children with specific learning disabilities (ex. dyslexia). Children with Down syndrome tend to be visual learners, thus reading a word as a whole unit rather than phonemes connecting to make a word.
* As author Patricia Logan Oelwein states, in her book Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Teachers, "illustrations, symbols, pictures, and reading are powerful tools for learning. Unlike the spoken word that vanished so fast, the written word, pictures, drawings, and objects can remain for as long as a child needs them."
*Susan Buckley, Ph.D., University of Portsmouth, Department of Psychology and Gillian Bird of the Down Syndrome Educational Trust (2004) U.K. Teaching Children with Down Syndrome to Read confirms that teaching children to read using the flashcard method works extremely well with children with Down syndrome, and actually improves their verbal language at the same time!
Q: What makes this reading program better than other early reading programs on the market?
A: There are a couple of things that makes this program stand out:
First and foremost, it is designed for parents with busy schedules. A parent or educator can literally open the box, put the program together, and start it the same day! All of the thinking and planning has been done for you! We have provided the core vocabulary that is based on the average child's surroundings, packaged it with all of the tools needed to prepare your flashcards, AND provided you with an easy-to-follow presentation schedule to guide you through each day, to ensure that you know what cards you should use and when. It is as easy as 1, 2, 3…1: Pull off the label; 2. Stick label on to the back of a card; 3. Write the word(s) on the front of the cards and you are ready to begin!
Second, this program stands out because it encourages and allows you to be interactive with your child and treat learning as a fun game. You are your child's best teacher, as no-one knows your child better than you!
Third, it is the ONLY program available in North America that takes your child from reading single words, to couplets, phrases, and then sentences. As a result, it not only teaches proper grammatical structure, but shows them that words can be moved around and still have meaning. Your child will not get to the sentences in our kit without having seen each word over 20 times.
Q: How can I tell that my child is learning the words if they cannot speak yet?
A: FAITH. What you are doing is providing your child with information visually, just as you do verbally. Eventually, when they are able to speak, they begin to say the words aloud.
Q: How much time does it take each day to do this program?
A: Once you have prepared all of your flash cards (you should do this before you begin the program) the bulk of the work has been done. On a day-to-day basis, teaching your child to read, based on the presentation schedule that is provided, will take you approximately 60 seconds in total each day (you will present 3 sets of 5 cards three per day).
Note: If you have any questions that have not been addressed on this page, please e-mail your question to us and we will do our best to promptly respond. Frequently asked questions will be added to our list.