Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sight Reading and Communication

Announcing: Ellie Bear is a SUPER ROCKSTAR!

This isn't exactly a post about teaching your children to read, but rather a post about having the highest of expectations for your children, extra genetic material or not.

I remember reading Gretchen's post on Julian's Journey about her little man sight reading starting at 20-months of age.  I was amazed!  Just amazed.  She walks you through step-by-step on how to teach your child to sight read.  I also remember with great pride watching a video of Becca's Little Miss on The Bate's Motel reading a Biscuit book.  Yes, of course I went out and bought a few Biscuit books!

For my fellow friends, I was very amazed and impressed (and perhaps a bit envious), but I felt like Ellie just was not there yet.  I believed Ellie and I had so many other areas of development that needed to be mastered.  Plus, however ever would I find time to teach her to site read?  For starters, Ellie would have to sit.  There are flashcards involved.  Ellie eats flashcards.  I was really working on protecting Ellie from breaking her neck or cracking her head open during one of her climbing stunts.  Much of our free time is spent at playscapes and parks to help her receive good motor sensory input.  I was also spending a fair amount of time presenting her opportunities for language development--either sound production or signs.  Ellie and I were using puzzles and the iPad to help hone in on those fine motor skills needed to sign.  There was no time for site reading.

Of course, there was Signing Time every. single. day.  Rachel Coleman is like crack and I truly felt Ellie was learning to communicate via sign language thanks to these videos.   Ellie would actually SIT or stand while engaging in play with blocks or her beloved kitchen utensils.  Even though Hopkins, Alex, and Leah were not receiving her undivided attention, Ellie really was absorbing.

Guess what The Bear is watching?

Andrew has our TV running off of Linux.  Do not ask me what that means.  It involves coding and >;
Back to the topic at hand.  The Signing Time episodes are located in a folder and the screen will look like this (picture a blue background):

Eating Time
Box of Crayons
My School
Happy Birthday
Once Upon a Time

Those are all episode titles.

Last month, as each Signing Time episode was highlighted on the TV screen, Ellie signed

Once Upon A Time (yeah, I know. . . I didn't know that sign either)

She was reading the screen.  No pictures.  Just words.

I started to write short, important words on the little blackboard easel.  If she would say "mama", I would point to "Mama".  If she said "Dada Daddy", I would point to "Dada".  I would just do this throughout the day if I happened to be near the blackboard.  Two seconds, that is all it took which is good given that Ellie's attention span is 3 seconds.

This morning, the Princess Bear sauntered out of her room like the royal queen, pointed to the chalkboard engraving of "Dada" and said "da dada da".

Again, she is a genius.

I had figured that there would be no sight reading yet because I wasn't working on it with her.  I was wrong.  I underestimated my daughter's capabilities.  Ellie is a rockstar and as she learns to communicate, I am learning just how much my little girl knows. . . and it is a lot.



  1. My son also started reading at 2 due to Signing Time. It is an awesome program. We like it so much I just signed up to become an instructor.

    Never underestimate what your kids can achieve! Now my little guy is 4 and he has a lot of words that we can't always understand. Thankfully we again have Signing Time to thank for bridging that gap.
    Way to go Ellie. Keep it up. Oh, and for even more word exposure, trying playing the subtitles along with each episode.

  2. Awesome!!!! Our kids are *serious* sponges. For the longest time, I couldn't figure out how Samantha knew which Max & Ruby episodes on the DVR were which. I'd say one of the ones on the list, and she would say "no! The (*insert random episode here*) one" and point to it on the screen. I was flabbergasted, never for one second thinking she actually was reading it (or reading enough of it to know what it was), thinking only that she knew what order they were in. But I suspect strongly that I was wrong. SO much exposure to the words and the episodes each and every day (yeah, we're TV junkies) eventually went in, and she began to recognize the words for what they were. This is where it all beings, Anna! Ellie is heading in the perfect direction!! Find what engages her, incorporate words in some way. Even if it's labeling all of her usual play items in Sharpie or with stickers or *something.* The more she sees them, the more it'll all continue to be absorbed by her. :-)

  3. This makes me so happy!!! I am so excited for Ellie. Reading is the best.

  4. So cool! What a smarty pants! I was thinking of buying Stella the signing time DVD's for Christmas. She signs, and loves looking at the signing time App that I have, but now I am sold and will definitely be buyin her the DVD's!

  5. Impressive! I've been turning on the subtitles when we watch ST and we have the Orange County program... which we should be doing more of but this is really encouraging.

  6. Yay Ellie!! You are a rockstar..way to go...


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