The journey to teaching my twins to read is well on the way. I am happy to report that Shiloh and Zarah are now proud readers. This achievement might not seem like a big deal for some, but for me, it is very significant. Literacy and education are of paramount importance to my family, and yes, I get it that every child learns at their own pace. Not every child will go on the path of education, but reading and comprehension are the most basic rung on the education ladder.

Recognizing Individuality

Speaking of every child learning at their own pace, I struggled with this for a while. You see, my mom started teaching my eldest to read at an early age. He was always the type to sit and listen; there was absolutely no trouble with him, so when he started school at about age 4, he was already reading. My eldest daughter was next up on the line, and she too quickly read because she was always in competition with her older brother. She learned to read quickly to prove to him she, too, was capable. Competition between siblings is sometimes a good thing; at least in this case, it was because they were both reading at an early age.

I started with the twins at an early age, but they were not interested. A friend of mine, after closely observing them, remarked that they are more play-based learners, so the structure that worked for my two older children would not necessarily work on them. I tried making their reading sessions more fun and more playful, but at the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but think they should be further along. But the reality is they are not their siblings, and teaching two of them to read at the same time required more patience and time and patience.

Consistency Is Key

When teaching a child or even yourself a new skill, consistency goes a long way. You will need to commit a small chunk of time daily and dedicate it to the task. After the pandemic hit and I was beyond burnt out, I stopped being consistent with my efforts, and as a result, the girls’ literacy journey was pushed back further. My mom guilt went into overdrive. Then, to add to everything, we moved countries. They were now in a completely new setting, and the stress of moving was taking precedence, and once again, their reading was postponed.

From Struggle To Success

In April 2023, everything came to a head. I accepted responsibility for where Shiloh and Zarah were in their literacy journey and decided to switch things up. It was time to move from struggle to success. I got them a tutor who assisted during the day, and then I reinforced in the evenings. I committed to being consistent and worked on making reading a fun activity with lots of rewards instead of frustration. The positive change in me produced terrific results in them. In less than a year, I was able to turn things around and welcome them to the readers club.

teaching my twins to read
teaching my twins to read

7 Steps Used In Teaching My Twins To Read

My advice to parents who may be on this journey can be broken down into seven steps:

  • Meet children where they are by observing them in their natural surroundings and try to tailor reading attempts to suit
  • Every child is different, even twins, and will learn at their own pace. Do not compare; therein lies frustration
  • Have a reward system like stickers and celebrate every stage
  • Never underestimate the compound effect. A consistent 15 to 20 minutes daily will snowball into results
  • Make reading to them a part of your daily routine. This will significantly improve their vocabulary.
  • As soon as they are able, let them read to you. Start with one word or one sentence at a time.
  • Be their biggest cheerleader and make the process fun.

The girls are now spelling sentences instead of speaking them; for example, if they need a cup of water, they will say, “m-o-m m-a-y I h-a-v-e a c-u-p o-f w-a-t-e-r?” It’s fun to witness, and I am so happy that we are here. I cannot wait to continue to see them blossom. Literacy is critical and cannot be stressed enough; it is the cornerstone of learning.

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