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Kayla’s brother Jac, who’s three, is autistic and barely puts two words together. Kayla, who just turned five last month, had a 100-word vocabulary by the time she was one. At eighteen months she was speaking in sentences… lots of them … and knew her alphabet. Not my fault. I didn’t grill her on it or anything; she just learned herself.
Soon after Kayla’s chatter turned incessant. Still is. Around three is when she started to learn to read. My husband insisted on teaching her as she was clearly demonstrating potential. We bought her Hooked on Phonics for IPad, and she really took off. Then we bought her Bob books, which are helpful because they start your child reading right away with real basic stuff.
Kayla finished five or six sets of the Bob books when she was four, and by then I decided she was ready for real books. I began homeschooling her when she turned three and a half, which was really just me doing textbooks and workbooks with her thirty minutes to an hour, three days a week.
But it’s not my fault. At least, not entirely. You see, after reading the list of Kayla’s early childhood accomplishments, you might think I’m one of those parents: type A personality, perfectionist, who always has a clean house, and has sky-high expectations of their kids. Umm, yeah, anyone who knows me can debunk that. I have shown perfectionist-type traits in regards to music, writing, and maybe design. But overall I tend to maintain a “no worries; it’ll be okay in the end” attitude.
Okay, so what AM I teaching Kayla? I started off with some basic preschool stuff, this book to help her learn how to write, this book with general preschool activities, and something similar to this to help her cut and paste. For kindergarten I used this textbook: What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know. I supplemented with this math book and this spelling book. I also had her use a general kindergarten workbook similar to this, which is so huge she’s not done with it yet. For first grade I gave her Spectrum Math, Spectrum Sight Words, and Science and Geography.
I’m definitely not pushing my kid. She LOVES to read. As you can see, she keeps tons of books with her in bed so she can fall asleep reading and wake up reading. Some people are just like that. I happen to love reading also. And while I’m pretty thrilled that she’s so fond of it as well, her unusual skill at it is mostly, well, it’s her fault.