For months I’ve been whispering to my boss, an educator, that I thought watching TV was helping my son become an even better reader than he already is. (I say that I was “whispering” because my boss has a much stricter TV policy than I do, so I was kind of embarrassed to suggest that my four year old watching the boob tube was a good thing.) I told her how he is obsessed with turning on the closed captioning on everything he watches, including the news. She finally conceded that I was probably right about it being helpful.

Last week my boss handed me a tiny article from First magazine that mentioned research from renowned University of Pennsylvania  professor, Deborah L. Linebarger, Ph.D. that supported “my” theory.  The article said something about word recognition and reading comprehension being improved upon when small kids watch TV with the captions on.  It makes total sense if you think about it.  If whatever you said to your kid was spelled out on your chest as you said it my guess is that our kids would pick up reading quickly.

Too bad I can’t take of the credit for turning on my boy’s closed captioning.  He messed with the remote a few times, found a button that put words on the screen, and he’s been hooked ever since.  I do hope his word fetish continues throughout life because everything you ever wanted to know about anything can be found in the written word.  It’s safe to say that he’s off to a good start; so good in fact we can’t even spell around him anymore.  Over this past weekend I asked my wife if she was ready to give Devin his g-i-f-t.  Devin thought about what I had just said and responded “G-I-F-T spells gift… Gift?  What gift?  A gift for meeeeeeee?!”  The boy is good.