As most of you will know, I was a primary school teacher until July of this year. Having had George and then returning to work, I realised that no matter how much I loved my job, George was more important and I just didn't have the time with him that I wanted. So, I took the opportunity to hand in my notice and be a mum. Although I don't teach at the moment, I still like to research different aspects of education; partly for my own knowledge to stay up-to-date and partly wanting to know where George is heading next.
As I am now on to having our second baby(!) I have found myself looking at all the milestones each week through pregnancy. This reminded me to have a look for George's milestones as I haven't looked for a while. One thing I came across was reading milestones. There were three milestones on the page I found: Birth - 6 months; 6 - 12 months and 12 - 18 months. All very interesting to read and I suppose obvious when you think about a baby's development in those ages.
Birth - 6 months spoke about how a baby will love to pick up a book to chew. I guess that is why cloth books are the most popular at this age! They will look at the pictures and the colours without a care in the world for what the story or rhyme is about but they will love hearing the sound of your voice.
6 - 12 months moved on in an obvious way; they become less interested in eating the books and more interested in the story. They are picking up on words they recognise and storing these in their little brains ready to surprise you with later. It is also suggested that this is the time to help your baby become bilingual by sharing a range of books in a different language. This is the time they will be soaking up the words and meanings, beginning to link it to the pictures. I would love for George to be bilingual but I also know it is hard to read a book in a different language when you don't know the language yourself!
12 - 18 months talks about how they love to share a book with someone else. They will turn the pages. They will recognise the pictures and point to what you are talking about. They may even be able to tell you what certain objects are. As toddlers of this age are also quite tactile, books like the 'That's not my...' series become fascinating reads, with different things to touch and scratch.
But what happens after 18 months? Milestones appear to stop at 18 months on most websites and in most books. I did find one source online which talked about the 18-36 month milestone and that was simply to learn to love books. Within this website, they talk about how ' Toddlers love adults to read stories aloud, and they especially like to hear the same stories repeatedly. By listening to stories over and over again, your toddler learns about the way stories are built, which will help him as he gets closer to being a reader and writer.'
George is currently driving us nuts with the exact same two books for bedtime every night. This has only recently become a thing but ties in with the age milestone. We are finding he is copying actions and starting to say more words, generally linked to songs we sing or books we read. We look for words and phrases everywhere...on signs, on buses etc. We talk a lot about real things happening around us. For example, looking out the window whilst we eat breakfast, talking about the birds flying around and the planes in the sky. George is now picking up on some of that language and trying to say the words.
It is certainly an exciting stage to be moving through. I'm looking forward to George starting to tell me the stories!
Links to information discussed above:
George's recommended read
This blogs book has to be one of the books George is making us read every night before bed. It only has 4 pages so makes it a perfect length and is very simple. But perhaps that is all he needs to start the journey of learning to read himself.