Love is the modus operandi.
The moment we speak to our babies, the moment we start encouraging their little noises and eliciting verbal responses from them with our encouragement, we are showing them how to speak. Most of us would not refer to this as teaching our child to speak. In the normal course of events, we’re modelling and encouraging. That’s it. Naturally there are situations where learning to speak is inhibited in some way, but for the majority of babies, modelling and encouraging is all that learning to speak requires.
We don’t require a curriculum. We could use one, I suppose, if we wanted to or felt more confident using one, but it comes so naturally to teach a child to speak that it is unnecessary. So it is with reading. And the whole wide world of education, for the most part. Especially with small children.
Teaching to read, passively, really just overlaps the process of modelling and encouraging speaking. As we read, we point out letters in the same way we point out the cow…”oh look! A cow! Moooo”….we can trace the C, “C for Cow!”
Some children LOVE this, and some merely tolerate it. So of course it is important not be belabour the process. Sometimes once per story book is enough. Sometimes once per page or so. Once they know the basic letter sounds, then we can point out combinations, or aberrations. “Oh, this silly word is one of the words that doesn’t follow the rules.”
Somewhere between the ages of three and seven, they usually pick it up like breathing. It stands to reason, of course, that in the environment of The Lap, which is really just an extension of the womb or the breast or the arms of mama…here learning must blossom.
The curriculum of love.