Glenn Doman’s method FAQ

by Alenka

I’m overwhelmed. I can’t possibly do all that Glenn Doman says?!
How do I know if my baby is learning?
What to do if she is losing interest?
Can I start with an older child?
Where do I find more information about his method?
Does baby need to understand the word before seeing it?
When do I start decreasing the letter size?
When the child will begin to read?
Can it be harmful to teach a young baby to read with this method?
My child can read the words on the card, but doesn’t recognize/want them in the book.

In case you still haven’t seen our Jump start teaching to read article on introduction to Glen Doman’s method, here are some more questions you might be having:

So, where do I get the materials?
How do I use these files?
Can I use computer, TV or other multimedia options instead or in addition to cards?
Now, how do I start?
But how many times a day is it realistic to show these sets?
Where did you get the materials?
Can I buy some ready made materials?
How do I make my own materials?
What if I have more questions: how do I know if my baby is learning or what to do if she is losing interest, etc.?
How can I share my own materials and ideas?
Does this actually work?
What about other programs: math, encyclopedic knowledge, foreign language, music, physical exercises, etc?
What about FUN?

Let us know if you have more questions that are still not listed here! You can either post your comment below, post your question on the forum, or send us an email at ideas@childandme.com.

I’m overwhelmed. I can’t possibly do all that Glenn Doman says?!
(Special thanks to Laurie Tiemens for her TeachYourBabyToRead files).
When you read the book please keep two things in mind:

  1. The book is only a guideline. Doman describes a complete program for those who can give it their full attention. If it seems overwhelming you are probably thinking that you have to do the full program which brings me to my second point…
  2. Only do the number of word sets that you can do easily and consistently. If that means just one set then great! That is way better than nothing at all! Even if you do just one set of five words every day for a year, that adds up to about 250 words! And remember, the more words your child sees the greater his hunger will be. So if you show him five cards now, chances are in a few months he will want to see more than five cards at a time. It really snowballs and your child is way down the road to reading well. And even if he doesn’t he’ll still know 1000 words in just four years. That’s a lot of words!

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Can I start with an older child?
Thanks to Laurie Tiemens from TeachYourBabyToRead:
I can’t share anything from experience as I’ve started earlier with my
kids. But the really great thing about starting at age 3 is that they
have their own interests which you can hone in on. Does she like
princesses? Show her words like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Aurora,
Ariel, crown, tiara, gown, throne, kingdom, etc. Butterflies? cocoon,
caterpillar, wings, flutter, migrate, swallowtail, monarch, etc. You
get the idea.

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Where do I find more information about his method?
There is a lot of information right on this site.
Teach your Baby to Read: Glenn Doman’s Method

In our Book Reviews section
On our forum
ALSO: At the official site of Institute of Achievement of the Human Potential
In TeachYourBabyToRead yahoo group
On Childrbrain site
On Classical Mommy site
In the following ABC network program….link
Let us know if you know other resources!

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Does baby need to understand the word before seeing it?
I think Doman recommends on showing familiar words first. If you started early, you might run out of those ones pretty fast. So initially I tried to attach a picture on the back of every card. It was too time consuming to create cards like that. Since our first batch of words were objects around us, I would make rounds with my baby all over the house: here is a window (and a card), here is a tree at the backyard (and a card), here is a shoe (and a card), here is a picture of a pig in your book ( and a card), here is your toy truck (and a card), etc. My son, Elliot, would touch (at first with my help), smell, feel, sometimes even lick the object… and look at the card. Again, not orthodox, but I thought it was far more enriching and fun for both of us.

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When do I start decreasing the size of the letters?
Thanks to Aesha for posting these very precise directions on reducing the letter size: When Can I Reduce Word Sizes on Word Cards.
Thanks to Laurie Tiemens, the moderator of TeachYourBabyToRead for adding her own comments:

One of the reasons the letters are 3″ high is to develop the visual pathway in the brain. Once it is well-developed your child will be able to ready to see smaller words. I say go ahead and try for smaller letters and see how she does. Chances are very good that she’ll do fine with them. Some kids just like the larger size letters and will lose interest. Same thing with changing colors from red to black. But most kids will tolerate one change at a time with no problems. I think I started decreasing size at about 12 months.

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In the end, when the child will begin to read?

There are a lot of testimonials, videos, personal achievements and frustrations discussed here: Doman Method Results

Every child will begin reading when he/she is ready. Some parents from HowToTeachYourBaby to read reported their babies grabbing a book and reading it before the 2nd birthday. Some parents say their kids started reading at 3, 4, 5 years old. I guess, it depends on a child even more, then on how diligent you are with a program.

My personal success came first at 10-11 months: my son started pointing at the right words words, that I was showing him (I was hanging a selection of five different words on a fridge, changing their locations after every session)!!! My next success didn’t come for a long time. But just last week my 2 1/2 year old finally read his first sentence (not just inidual words)! He is a very reserved boy, so I am sure he was able to do it for a while – it is only now that he felt like sharing his knowledge. Other people conducting this program had a lot more encouraging results much earlier (before a year kids were reading books loudly), but I think for 2 1/2 it is still quite impressive.

Please share how it goes for you!

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Can it be harmful to teach a young baby to read with this method?

To many people the concept of teaching really small babies is revolutionary. Moreover, to even greater of them – revolting. There are also those who are not against early children development, but against this specific method. So, you can get more information that can help you form your own opinion:

8 thoughts on “Glenn Doman’s method FAQ

  1. Jeanny hardono

    I got a question : in the book ‘How to teach your baby to read’ daily program it is written :
    new words – 5 daily in each set
    Retired words : 5 daily ( 1 from each set)
    Life span of each words: 3 x daily for 5 days = 15 x
    I got confused, because say from the first set you retire 1 word, then the life span of the 4 left behind words are not 15 x, instead they are more. Pls help.

  2. Alenka Post author

    You understood it correctly! 15 is not a “dead-set” number, just approximate. Retiring just one word will let your child see some familiar words and get excited about new ones. My three year old gets very excited every time there is a new word. Retiring just one word every day allows him the daily joy of something new and ability to recognize and read the word that he already knows! Some parents prefer sets: 10 words for ~2 weeks and then a totally new set. With phonetic based cards from A.A.P. we sort of use that, mixing it with new words now and then. So, it is important to focus what works for you and your family, not on specific directions.

  3. new mommy

    Thanks a lot alenka for summarizing the whole thing.
    I have one question about these sets. Should all the words be in a set of be a particular categaory or it can be random words? For ex, Set I contains ‘Fruits’ category and Set II has ‘Animals’?
    How will my 6 month old understand different categories in Flash card method.
    Please help

  4. Alenka Post author

    Categories do not matter. It can be random words. I found it is easier to group words into categories for myself to keep track what else you can show him, but absolutely not necessary.

  5. new mommy

    Thanks for the reply Alenka. want some more help from you.
    I have started with word cards for my daughter and she absolutely loves it. She coos and kicks hands and legs. I have 2 sets of word cards now. Showed more than 40 cards.
    I want to make books for her.When can I start showing the books?
    I also want to start math. If I’am starting with 2 sets, which would contain (set I- 1,2,3,4,5 and set II-6,7,8,9,10) should I start showing dot card 1 three times for set I and dot card 6 three times for set II on day 1?
    While retiring two cards, and adding 11 and 12, 11 should be in set I and 12 should be in set II right? or can it be random?
    What about making her understand concept of zero? should I show a blank card? Just curious..

  6. Alenka Post author

    Sounds like you are doing a fantastic job!
    Random sounds great: you have to reshuffle the cards every time anyway. You can add 11 to set 1, and 12 to set 2. You can start showing books as early as possible – I always did. First I had home-made books of our loved ones and their names, than random words, then intelligence bits, and at all times I showed nursery rhymes that you can find on the site in the books section… I used to read real books and my own ones interchangeably and my kids still enjoy it. Being a perfectionist, I never get around creating normal photo albums, so I just create similar books with very simple texts about our vacations, special times, etc. I think, the more opportunities to see large red simple texts, the better are their chances at learning to read faster and enjoying it more. It till took some time, but I don’t regret it for a second and planing to use the same strategy with baby #3 who is on a way.

  7. Sutha

    Hi
    I’m in the process of preparing word cards
    I would like to know the colour of the letters on card. Is it black or red? If we are writing letters in red when should we change the colour to black.
    While we introduce opposite how do we show the cards?
    While showing opposite couplets how do we show?
    Plz clarify
    Thank you
    Sutha

  8. Alenka Post author

    Red attracts the most attention, so it is the best color to start with. You can switch to black after a while – there is no specific set date, you’ll see as you progress with the program if you no longer need the letters so bold and red. Opposite cards are shown the same way as everything else – adding a new card every day and retiring the old. Good luck!

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