Just as all people must learn to crawl before they can walk, children must attain certain milestones before they can become part of the world of words. Parents can do much to help unlock the magical realm of reading. When your baby is even just days old, there are steps you an take to foster your little one's love for books. Here are some tips to help you introduce even the youngest child to words and help her develop important pre-reading skills.
"Reading is the most complex psychological process we deal with in our whole lives," says Donna Sullivan, director of Commonwealth Learning Center in Needham, Massachusetts. "It involves the auditory system—how we hear and understand; and the visual system—how we interpret letters. When these psychological processes are in place, a child is ready to read."
Not every child will learn to read at the same age. While some youngsters may start as young as four years old, most children become readers during first grade. But it is important to note that the process towards literacy begins long before a child enters a classroom.