And How YOU Can Raise A Genius Too
One day, as a small child, Thomas Edison came home from school and gave a paper to his mother. He said to her “Mom, my teacher gave this paper to me and told me only you are to read it. What does it say?”
Her eyes welled with tears as she read the letter out loud to her child…
“Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have good enough teachers to train him. Please teach him yourself.”
We all know that reading has numerous benefits. Reading helps increase your vocabulary; it is the key exercise that serves to increase your reading comprehension abilities; and reading also helps increase your knowledge. But can reading really make you smarter? Will reading have a beneficial effect on one's IQ development such that it supports the growth and development of their cognitive abilities? This is, in fact, true. Reading not only makes you smarter, but it also helps to "compensate for modest levels of cognitive ability by building their vocabulary and general knowledge" (Cunningham, Stanovich - What Reading Does for the Mind).
Reading helps to improve the cognitive abilities of everyone.
The human race has produced some extremely brilliant minds and thinkers throughout history, and many of these highly intelligent individuals had learned to read at an early age - many as young as 2 or 3 years old. The proverbial chicken and egg question you might ask is are they smart because they learned to read early, or were they able to read early because they were exceptionally smart? So which is it?
To that I have no answer, and I bet they don't have the answer either. However, while there's no definitive answer to the aforementioned chicken and egg question, I can say with complete certainty that "give me any NORMAL young child, with no learning disabilities, and I can teach that child to read, even if he or she was just 2 or 3 years old." The premise of my argument is that while I can't claim whether learning to read early will produce exceptionally bright minds, but I can say with a high level of certainty that it does NOT require a child genius to learn to read at a young age! That's a fact.
So, you want to teach your child to read, but before a child can learn to read, he or she must first learn at least some of the letters in the alphabet, their names, and the sounds that they represent. To be able to read, a child must be able to recognize the letters, know the sound of the letters, and be able to recognize the letters quickly and say the sound without hesitation.
Letter names and letter sounds should be taught TOGETHER, as this helps children learn the letter to sound relation. A child should learn the name and the sound of the alphabet letters where letters with names that contain the relevant sound helps to enhance the letter-sound learning.