SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. — Brianna Wilkins knows how to say shapes, colors and fruit. She knows that a cow says “moo” and a duck goes “quack, quack.” She moves her little fingers when a flash card reads fingers. And touches her shoes when a card reads toes. She’s a pro at reading and she only 20-months-old.
“At first i couldn’t believe it,” said mother Markesha Baker who recently moved with her daughter from West Michigan to Illinois. “I’m just like me as a mom this is my first child. So it’s like, wow.”
Baker said she still marvels at her daughter’s advance reading skills. She started using flashcards with Brianna when she was just three months old. She jotted down simple preschool words like apple and elephant on a sheet of paper or index card. She held them up and Brianna within seconds recited what she saw. They practiced daily. Sometimes twice a day. Within a year, Brianna could read them on her own.
“She was 14 months, she’ll open the book and she’ll point to the word and say what it is,” said Baker. “I was like ‘What did you say?!’ It was like a shock. I just couldn’t believe it.”
Baker posted a video on Facebook of Brianna reading with the biggest smile on her face and within a day received over 2,5000 views and had 150 shares. Immediately, she said mothers began flooding her inbox asking the same question: how do you do it?
“Its just a lot of time, involvement,” said Baker matter-of-factly. “I work 8 hours a day and she goes to school while I’m at work and come home and the learning continues. It’s nothing that is forced. This is something that she wants to do.”
Even at daycare Brianna is excelling, Baker said. She was initially enrolled in the 1-year-old class but in a short time the school’s director called Baker and told her Brianna was moving up to the next level.
“It was just like a shock because its like ‘Wow you really want to move her to the 2-year-old room now and she’s only 1?" said Baker recalling her conversation with the director over the phone. "‘You know she have a little time before she turns 2.’ And they was like ‘Yes, she’s just too smart.'”
Baker said to help Brianna with her reading she also watches the Your Baby Can Read! book and DVD series. She contacted the company and told them about Brianna’s brilliance and they’re interested in meeting her soon.
Baker said she wants all parents to know that teaching your child to read is hard work but doable. Consistency is the key.
“This is a dream come true to just let the world meet my baby," said Baker. "Everyone can do it basically. It’s not hard to teach your baby.”