Teaching My Baby To Read

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Once a teacher, always a teacher!

My mom always told me that “Home was for teaching, school was for practice.” This if a funny motto to keep close at heart, considering I became a teacher. I taught K/1, 3/4 and 3rd grade for six years in California. For the past five years I’ve stayed at home to raise my five year old son, Bruce, and 19 month old daughter, Jenna. They are my newest, and most beloved students.

My son Bruce is in Kindergarten and reading third and fourth grade chapter books, on his own in one or two sittings. His independent Guided Reading level is “P/Q”. Some of his favorite books to read by himself are “Harry Potter”, “Geronimo Stilton”, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, and “Wayside School”.

I feel badly that Bruce is only five years old and such a Reader-Beader, when so many of his friends are still trying to learn basic words. Yes, he is gifted, but part of his early reading success is due to the fact that I’m a teacher, and I use to teach kids to read for a living.  It’s really not that hard, and I wish that more parents had the tools to do this.

I’m a firm believer in Maria Montessori’s theory that there is a window of opportunity for children when it is very easy for them to learn to read.  If you wait until your child is 5, it’s going to be a lot more difficult.  I started teaching Bruce at 18 months, and now I’m teaching his Jenna the same way.   

As a teacher, if I could send out one message to the world at large it would be “Teach your kids to read before they enter Kindergarten!”  This blog will show you how, and perhaps teach me if my methods will work on other children as well as on my own.


  1. Cindy says:

    I’m going to enjoy following your blog. M knows the ABC song and we are working on identifying letters. The flashcards I ordered just arrived this weekend. Still have some work to do! Right now, whenever she sees words on a book or magazine she sits down and sings the ABC song – that is her version of reading it. Pretty cute.

    • jenbrdsly says:

      That’s great! When you bring out the flashcards, try laying them on the ground three at a time. Ask her to “Touch H” etc. Give her three times each time. By the third miss, just hand it it her, and still say “Yeah!”. This is a A-B-A method, of teaching kids with flashcards.

  2. jengod says:

    I seriously adore you. I went to Stanford (’99) too, and in retrospect I wish I’d done SLE, but oh well. I’m about to quit working to stay home with my 14-mo boy and I’ve been trying to work out a “preschooling”/”afterschooling” program that will give him a great foundation in basic skills, and here I find you’ve done it for me. (Someone linked to your “get started” guide from the WTM forums. God I love that hive mind.) Anyway, I just ordered Rusty and Rosie (shh…don’t tell my husband), I have about 30 tabs open now, and I will be avidly following all of your future posts as well. Thank you for all of this wonderful information!

    • jenbrdsly says:

      You are too kind! SLE was really amazing, so it’s interesting to read about all of the interest in a Classical Education on the Well Trained Mind Message Board.

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