“Most children begin recognizing some letters between the ages of 2 and 3 and can identify most letters between 4 and 5. This means that you can start teaching your child the alphabet when he’s around 2 — but don’t expect full mastery for some time…”
I think I had my mind blown tonight. Vivian, not quite 21 months old, read to me. All by herself.
Of course it was only one letter at a time, but still. She hardly has a vocabulary of twenty words, so reading sentences is still a bit beyond her reach. And she’s known her letters for some time. A couple months ago she began going over to her pile of letters and pull out the correct one when we asked, and recently she began saying their names herself. But I had no idea she’d put together that those black squiggly things in her beloved books were actually composed of individual letters.
We popped by a local diner on the way home from the farmer’s market today, just the two of us. I gave her a menu to keep her occupied while I figured out what I wanted. I’d not even got through the egg section when I hear her saying, “Aitch. You. Dee! Dee!” I sat my menu down and gave her my attention. She moved her finger from letter to letter, in order (I have no idea where she figured the left-to-right thing out), reciting as she went. “… Oh. You. Essssss. Eeeee!”
I waived the waitress off as Vivian opened her menu. She pointed at the omlette picture. “Numm numm!” Then she started right back into the words. Starting at the top left. “Bee. Arrrr. Eeee! Ay. Kay. Effff. Ay. Esssssss tee!” And on she went. And not just the headlines, and not even just the words. She moved her finger over a tiny ® — “Arrrr!”
I thought for sure we had at least a couple years before we had to think about home schooling or other options. I guess not…