3 Year Old Girl Reads At First Grade Level

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KALAMAZOO, Mich– Camdyn Sterling is your typical 3-year-old, even if she can read at the same level as a child twice her age.

“Their whole concept is while your child is developing their language skills, you teach them the blob on the couch is called the cat,” Heidi Sterling, Camdyn mom said. “You teach them how to spell the word cat at the same time.”

It’s all due to a program called, Your Baby Can Read. Heidi Sterling is Camdyn mother. She said she started using that program with her daughter when she was only a couple months old.  The program works by associating a picture with a word, and also teaching the child how to spell the word at the same time.

“You see a picture of a cat, and you say ‘cat’, you point to a picture of a dog and say ‘dog’,” Heidi said. “The video does that exact same thing, but it makes you a lot easier for you, because by the end of the program they have taught their child 280 words.”

The program is designed for children as young at 2 months. It takes a year to complete. Heidi says there are some people out there who say the program doesn’t work, but that’s usually because they start too late.

“Some parents rush their kids through the system and the kids don’t have time to really absorb the words,” Heidi said.

Heidi says it’s hard for people to believe that her 3-year-old daughter is reading at such a high level.

“When you first say it, someone who doesn’t know your child very well, they think you’re bragging,” Heidi said. “But when they actually see her reading, they realizing she’s not just memorizing the book.”

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    • Heidi

      Yes unfortunately many parents began the program too late or did not use it correctly. They didn’t see the results that they wanted, blamed the maker of the program, sued him and caused him to go brankrupt. This program does work. It works best when started at 2 1/3 or 3 months old. It works best when you follow the recommended viewing guide. Don’t RUSH your child through the system. They need time to absorb the information.

  • MMartens

    I use the program for my children. It is a great program. It is not a scam. It really works. My three yr old can read quite a few words. He is not at the level of this girl. I think some kids take to it better than others. My 18 month old baby girl is more interested in reading the words than he was. She is already reading more words than he did at that age and she has Down syndrome!

  • Deby

    Bravo! I also taught my child to read at that age. She is now in kindergarten and can read a whole book by herself even Dr. Suess ones.

  • Halina

    The program is not a scam. I also used it for my child, he is 2.5 years old and he can also read. He read "God's Playground, a History of Poland" from one of our grown up book covers on the bookshelf today. It is amazing ! Best thing I ever bought.

  • Lana

    My daughter is also 3 yrs old and reading at this level thanks to this program and our hard work with her. She reads the books to her classmates at preschool.

  • shutterbelle

    We started YBCR at 2 months, and my son was able to point to words correctly – and be correct all the time – at only 4 months old. By 2.5 years, I had to take him out of preschool because he was so advanced in language and reading. His teacher was bringing in 3rd grade flash cards and he already knew ALL of them! He can read in chapter books and understand quite a bit of what he reads when you ask questions about the paragraphs he just read. He even likes reading from the Bible itself.
    The program is not a scam – but it still requires effort and work from the parents, the program just makes it easier for the parents to teach the reading so young. I don't think my son learned to read just because of the program – but it gave us a good place to start. LeapFrog videos helped us teach alphabet and sounds, vowels and punctuations …. it's making only educational things available to your child until they master those basics rather than just entertainment that would make them less inclined to be interested in educational things. My son just happened to be a sponge. He's almost 3 and a half, and knows way more than most kindergarteners and first graders. It's all him.

    • Heidi

      Hi this is Heidi Sterling…the mother of Camdyn. Her comprehension is very good. There are videos of her reading on you tube from 12 months (reading words) to 24 months (reading whole books) to 39 months (reading fluently) to 54 months (CHAPTER BOOKS!) Cami entered kidergarten this past year with TONS of confidence. This head start gave her a love for learning and has helped in all areas of school. While other kids her age are struggling to learn to read at a later age…she learned it effortlessly as a baby through lots of fun words games and interactive bondin time with mom. She can read instructions on her math papers. When she is bored she looks around the classroom and reads all the posters and charts. She came home telling me that corn is both a vegetable and a grain. I asked her if they are learning about the food groups at school and she said, “No I just read it on the Food Pyramid Chart.” She has an amazing memory and is extremely interested in non-fiction books. Her favorite books right now are a book about various predatory Animals, one about bugs and another one about undersea creatures. She loves reading all kids of interesting facts about animals. She absorbs the information like a sponge. This head start in life will continue to benefit her for many years to come!

  • Tbone

    Why are parents rushing to have their young children learn so quickly and at such a young age? She will be so ahead of her classmates that they will think she thinks she's better than the rest of them and it will be hard for them to relate to her. I have heard of this happening multiple times. A child learns at such a higher pace than those she is the same age as and gets bored in class and gets moved to the level up and just never feels like she fits in because she's younger than the rest of her classmates and so much more intelligent.

    • dennis casey

      The rush is because the brain is wiring or developing to what the child is exposed to at a young age (between 0-3 1/2 years old. this is the best opportunity to help your child.

    • Alyson

      Are you seriously arguing that you should delay your children from learning so they can "fit in" with kids who aren't as smart? What kind of example are you setting for your children? "Don't try to be smarter than anyone because then people won't like you"

    • Heidi

      It’s EASIER and more natural to learn earlier and saves a child from a lot of potential struggling later. Right now 80% of 8 year olds in the country can not read independently. Many who can do so at low levels. They struggled in every area of school. They can’t read the instructions on their math assignments. Reading a segment in their history books is a challenge. Their confidence and self-esteem can suffer. My child will never have to worry about any of that!

    • Alyson

      The program involves a 20 min video, flash cards, and books. It's not just sitting your kid infront of the televesion and walking away. You have no idea what you're talking about.

    • Heidi

      Your baby can read has been thoughtful enough to provide a TOOL for parents who want to stimulate their baby’s mind. It is one of many things I did to help keep my daughter exited about learning. It was a bonding opportunity…something that we both enjoyed doing together. The video is only one peice of that. It is like a video board book. I read lots of books to my daughter. Point to the word dog and then point to the picture of the word dog. The video does the exact same thing. It builds your child’s vocabulary by showin the word dog and then a picture of a dog. But the video does this in a much more efficient way. The 5 video series teaches your child 280 words. You would need to collect a lot of board books to do that yourself! Once my daughter was reading words well I began playing sentence games with her. This helped to build on what she already knew and ensured the development of comprehension as well. I would type up lots of sentences, print them out, cut them into strips and lay them all over the floor or coffee table. I would then ask her to find one for me. She had fun looking around to find the right one and then bring it to me.
      We liked to take turns to. She would look at the sentences, (read) and tell me what one to find an bring to her! I made the sentences have some words in common so she was just not looking for keywords. For example, “My sister plays violin in an orchestra.” My sister plays softball.” I have my own violin.” “I have two cats.” I like to eat strawberries” “I like having picnics.” “My dress has strawberries on it.” When it first occured to me that my daughter was reading in her head I started typing up sentences with simple commands. I would ask her to look at the sentence but don’t say it. Just do it. I would make sentences that said, “give your baby brother a kiss. “Jump up and down three times.” Open the fridge and bring Mommy an apple. ” she had LOTS of fun with this game and would ask to play it often!!!

  • Dennis Casey

    We started our daughter on the YBCR program at 8 months old and all I can say is at 5 years old she can read ANYTHING you can read. We also used Leap Frog videos to learn alphabet sounds and phonics when we realized she was sight reading words. She can now sound out just about any word and be very close to the correct pronunciation. We bought her an electronic dictionary to help with understanding (she uses this all by herself. She is now learning math, addition, subtraction, fractions. Her memory is very, very good, TOP NOTCH. Her comprehension level I do not know, but she can answer a lot of questions concerning books she reads. She reads chapter books from beginning to end (no pictures). She has thousands of books and can recall things she read, and in which book and where in the book she read it. I believe after watching documentaries on the human mind that you have to start things like your YBCR at a young age when the brain is still developing to make the brain good at memorization. If you could remember all that you have been exposed to during your life YOU would be a genius.

  • TamsynSpackman

    I didn't get YBCR until my oldest was 3.5, but it still worked great. My now 2-year-old reads on a 2nd grade level. YES, it works!