- General

Adapted Glenn Doman’s Method to Teach Your Baby How to Read

Adapted learning method

Teaching Even Younger Babies How to Read: The New Experience.

In the experience I have developed with my three children, I created an Adapted

learning method based on Glenn Doman’s described first four steps:

– The visual differentiation (how to prepare the material);

– The proper vocabulary (cards which reflected the daily reality of the baby);

– The vocabulary of the family environment (which reflected the objects which the

baby came in contact with at home, for his daily interactions), and

– The vocabulary to build sentence’s structures (articles, prepositions, and


Sentences were not introduced as the Doman method suggests for the 5th step. The

other steps, including the 5th, were suppressed in our experience, due to our

circumstances, since the babies’ own preferences suggested that these steps would

be skipped, indicating what the brain needed or not to experience. When the babies

completed reading the whole vocabulary, also knew the alphabet and already read

elementary school books, traffic signals, and billboards in the streets.

However, the reading assimilation process was global, since steps 5, 6, and 7 of

Doman’s method were introduced simultaneously to steps 1, 2, 3, and 4. To explain

it better, while I played with the babies the game of the cards, the whole family

showed them reading as an object and how reading presented itself circumstantially

in a community context (in the TV, the media, and the traffic signs).

The brain itself created mechanisms to find similarities and dissimilarities between

some letters and others and some words and others.

As the process of stimulation in a family environment followed its course, the

assimilation by the babies of the words which reflected their accommodation of

contents ended up resulting in connections of objects and the objects’

representations, in such an impressive velocity that when the babies were two years

of age, they already could read and demonstrated a passion for the game of

reading. The babies also demonstrated that they were ready for writing. By the same

pleasurable process, which they felt while playing with an object until they tired of

it, the babies played with words. However, the difference became that words were

part of a very vast grouping, which led the babies to combine them, discover them,

and the game kept extending itself until the babies demonstrated that they could

integrate it.

We realize that this game of learning will never come to an end, since it started as

early as with a baby, the human being will tend to try to manage it for his whole


This leads us then to say that teaching the child to read only at 6 years of age is to

take away from him/her the opportunity of discovering the learning game of

reading at the stage at which it could be best experienced – at the earliest age,

when the brain elaborates its first mental schemes, and in which the mental

activities still were not restricted in their development within the natural and

potential perspectives.

It is very easy to establish the systematic of the method of how to teach a baby how

to read and to wait for each phase of development to occur exactly as we expect. It

is known that only the intention of the parents to teach their children how to read

early on, can already result in facts that would better distinguish their children of

those who did not try it. Even the most disorganized attempt will yield observable

results, which are the most positive and encouraging results, it is worth

highlighting! The procedure adopted needs to be very disastrous or complicated not

to yield results. From the simplicity of this initiative, it is already possible to obtain

better results than if one would start to teach the child only at 6 years of age. At six,

it is already too late! The curiosity and motivational potentialities of the brain would

already by then be deactivated. The later you start, the harder it is the task to teach

to teach the child how to read.

Glenn Doman, in his book “How to Teach your Baby to Read”, affirms that the child

prior to 5 years of age is able to absorb a tremendous amount of information and

can accept information at an incredible rate. He says that the more information a

child receives before completing 5 years of age, the most he/she retains; and that

the child has tremendous quantities of energy for such. Besides that, the child at

this age group has a great desire to learn. He/she can learn how to read and wants

to learn how to read.

In my experience, I realized that the most important factor while initiating the

process is to be certain that the parent(s) will have the proper attitude and adequate

approach, or better, that the enthusiasm should be kept; and that the parent should

not pressure or retard the steps in presenting information to the baby. The other

factor is to be attentive to the size, format, and order of presentation of the material

to be read by the baby.

Also of importance is the observation of when to start each reading session and

when to end it. To start the session, the most adequate time is every moment in

which the baby is in a good mood. Do not take him/her to read while cranky, crying,

or dissatisfied. The activity of playing must be happy and playful both for the baby

and the parent.

The time to end the activity of playing – which is the main motivation of the method,

must be before the baby loses interest, so that in this way we can guarantee that the

baby will want to repeat the activity and live the moment of happiness of being with

the parent. During this moment, the baby enjoys the parent’s company and plays

with new knowledge and information. It is necessary to know exactly what the baby

is thinking, or better, to know his/her reaction in order to stop each session prior to

his/her desire to do so. The reader must imagine that this is impossible to be done.

But it is not so. After a few sessions, it is possible to perceive exactly when it is time

to distance the baby from the card. If you have more than one baby, you will see

that each one has his/her own rhythm, as I have found out with mine.

Eliane Leao, PhD

Adapted learning method (c) 2006


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