What a wonderful case study of baby/toddler reading! I have quite a few posts on baby/toddler reading and in summary, babies/toddlers seem to have special capacities for learning to read between about nine months and age three or four. Given the right experiences (joyful interactions with caregivers and literacy) and their special capacities for pattern recognition, they seem to intuit phonics much like they intuit the patterns and rules of grammar. That is to say, very young children like your daughter seem to begin by recognizing words but they pick up on the patterns of English and crack the code. You wisely point out that the way baby/toddlers learn to read differs from conventional instruction beginning in kindergarten but we have very little research on this large population of early readers. There is some evidence that they go through the same early phases as conventional readers. You introduced high frequency multi-letter phonograms at exactly the right time based on her sophisticated questions. Kudos to you for being an excellent reading teacher and mom. Thanks for sharing your daughter’s delightful experience.

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