“What then of children who come from homes where no-one hears Mother Goose, where no-one is encouraged to read signs, write scribbly letters, or play with books of any kind?….What happens to them as they enter kindergarten has serious consequences for the rest of their lives – for them and for all of us.”
Though they may not be able to read by the age of five (and we should have no expectation of this) there is no reason for not sitting a child on your lap and reading to them. Let them see the words and the pictures as you read them. They may, or may not, develop at their own pace as they link the symbols of the word with the symbol of the picture. Just remember, if they don’t they just may not yet be ready so let them be children.
Spending this quality time with your toddler is crucial to early childhood development. Andre Biemiller, a Canadian psychologist, studied the consequences of lower vocabulary levels in young children. The results of his studies indicated that children entering kindergarten in the bottom 25% of vocabulary generally remained behind the other children. By year six they were approximately three years behind their peers in vocabulary, reading and comprehension.