My 3 Year Old Can Read

Yes, he IS reading the newspaper. 
I figured I should get this post out to you before Valley Stream Son turns 4 next week.  The story may not be such a big deal by then.

I discovered that Valley Stream Son knew his letters one morning shortly after turning 2 as he hopped up and down on his alphabet and number floor puzzle in his bedroom.  He jumped from A to D, then from X to T reciting them as he moved along.  We had no idea.  I was pretty impressed and a little taken aback by this.  I mean, we read to both of our children from the first day they were brought home from the hospital and continue to do so today.
ABC Foam Mat

As our oldest sat at the computer playing computer games and learning words and sounds on Starfall, he would pull his chair over, line it up while touching her chair, and sit down to watch her play.  He didn't say anything.  He just watched.  Everyday.  Then one evening during story time right before bed listening intently, we learned that he followed every word we read with his eyes.  He began to ask, "Daddy, where is that word you just said?" We then pointed it out to him and continued with the story.

As we are driving along, he began reading the street signs.  He began reading the words on the television.  He even read the news crawl at the bottom of the screen as we watched CNN or the evening news.  We would ask, totally amazed, "Can he read?"  Then we would say, "My baby can read."

Caught them in the act.  This is the sweetest picture so far.
We were concerned just the year before that he wasn't speaking as much as he should have at 2 years old.  I immediately began to think of speech delays and the possibility of Autism.  I wanted to make an appointment with our pediatrician, but my mother-in-law reassured me that he was fine. Valley Stream Dad, spoke a little late as well and then went on to his elementary school's Gifted & Talented Program , was accepted into The Thacher School, Amherst College, and then Columbia Law School. There was still hope for him.  My son understand every command we gave him and completed the tasks we gave him.  I think that was the only thing that kept me from testing him.

As time went on, his vocabulary increased.  It has increased to the point that he now reads EVERYTHING every chance he gets.  At 3 years and 3 months, one of the youngest in his class, he read his Religion paper to his nursery school class.  He has impressed everyone including his teacher and everyone he meets.  His teacher just told me that he has been a great asset to the class and helps her read the class story at times.  He uses words that shouldn't be coming from the mouth of a 3 year old.  But then again, we have never spoken to our children using baby talk.  I think it confuses kids especially when they look at you like YOU'RE crazy.

We enrolled him in a reading class at Hofstra University only to learn that he was too advanced for the class.  I'm a little concerned that he will get bored in Kindergarten, but we'll worry about that later. He reads my daughter's assignments with ease.  She too is a good reader and is in the advanced reading group.

Reading a Stinky Kids book given by and personally autographed by author Britt Menzies
I did research the various reading programs on the market and was too cheap to buy them.  We frequented our local library for story time.  Now, he would rather play on the computer at the library.  That doesn't sit well with me but he always chooses reading games so I guess it's okay.   We read to our children every night.  We're at the point now where they read to us.  We ask them questions about the story they're reading while reading it.

This summer, I will have Valley Stream Kid, as my daughter likes to refer to herself,  read a few books on her own and then write a book report on it in addition to a few other assignments.  As a parent, we need to stay ahead of the curve so our children won't have such a difficult time during the school year.

How to encourage literacy skills in children the way we did it:

*Read to them everyday from birth
*Visit your local library for story time
*Enroll them in reading programs
*Find online reading programs such as

If your child is reading at a higher level, bring it to the attention of the school teacher.  He/she should give your child books matching their reading level.

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