Sister Susan recounts, "I enjoy watching YouTube videos and recently, I came across a video of an 11-month-old boy snowboarding with his father in China. It was incredible to see an 11-month-old boy balancing himself on the board, knees bent, and his body slightly forward. He was a delight to watch.
Seeing him brought back memories of another amazing almost 3-year-old boy I met years ago. I was working in the NICU at that time, and this little marvel’s sibling was a patient of ours, waiting to gain weight so he could go home with his older brother. During one of these visits, Mum brought him along. We didn't allow children in the NICU, so he was left to entertain himself in an adjacent room outside.
When I went to check on him, he was reading aloud from a book. I was astounded by his ability to pronounce, spell and understand “big” words on the pages he was reading. He had no problem spelling words like automobile, fire engine, and fire extinguisher. Isn’t that incredible? I myself only learned those words when I attended primary school.
I told the mum that she had a genius on her hands, but she dismissed that, informing me that his IQ is only normal. The reason why he had an incredible command of the language for a 3-year-old was due to how she taught him to read. From 3 months old, she would read to him and show him the pages as she read. She would point out words she wanted him to understand while also spelling them out. His gaze would be drawn to her fingers. She claimed she learned this technique from a book she read in the Netherlands. Well, whatever the book taught turned out to be effective because the little boy certainly can read, understand what he is reading, and spell difficult words! He was simply amazing, like a little professor, and this was about 20 years ago."
Studies have shown that children who were read to as newborns have a larger vocabulary and more advanced mathematical skills than other kids their age.
From 0 to 3 months, your baby will begin focusing his or her eyes on simple patterns. Reading picture books to him/her and exposing him/her to a variety of shapes, letters, and colors will help him/her recognize them as the months pass.