Glenn Doman: How to Teach Your Baby – Part 5

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Glenn Doman’s reading program usually recommends showing a baby 5 sets of 5 cards, 3 times a day for 5 days, then introduce a new word in each set.  When talking to TweedleWink, they felt this frequency for introducing new words was too slow.  The rationale was that Glenn Doman’s program was originally for children with brain damage who needed to heal pathways before they could learn.  To apply the same program to normal children seemed to be an overkill.

So I dropped back on the repeats.  We would flash the cards twice, sometimes only once a day before introducing new words. Now I’m wondering if even this is too frequent.

Gavin’s attention span is very short and his patience with flashcards even shorter.  So I follow a different program with him.  I show him 5 sets of 10 cards, once a day for five days and then introduce a new set of ten cards at the end of the five days.  Recently, I was showing Gavin one set that he had seen three times prior.  When I held the cards up, he said, “I know this, Mummy,” and read the first couplet on top of the pile.  When I went through the pile, I found that he recognised all the words except for two, which he made an educated guess at – for instance, instead of “evening”, he said, “every”, which means he recognised “eve”.

Shichida says that a two year old learns faster than a three year old, while a one year old learns faster than a two year old.  Following this rule, Gareth should be picking up words even faster than Gavin, which means I must be boring him – I’ve been showing him new words at an even slower rate than Gavin!  No wonder there are days when Gareth looks like he can’t be bothered to do flashcards.  Looks like it’s time to step up the pace…

If your child doesn’t seem interested in your flashcards, you’re going too slowly or you are repeating the same material too many times.  Even if it seems incomprehensible that they could learn that fast – well, you’d better believe it because they are.  Whenever I think I’ve figured my son out, he surprises me.

Update: This post was written some years ago. Please see our updated notice on the Glenn Doman Program.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

2 thoughts on “Glenn Doman: How to Teach Your Baby – Part 5

  1. At Shichida, we were taught not to repeat the cards in the same day; and to change the cards frequently. If the child learns fast, the cards need to be replaced more frequently. Currently, my boy can absorb about 150 cards at one sitting and asks for more, but I leave it as it is, to let him look forward to the next session.

    For certain cards, I also flash them in English and Mandarin every alternate day, to keep him interested. So far, he seems rather bilingual.

    Children are full of surprises indeed. 🙂


  2. My first experiences with teaching a young child to read were using the Doman methods and he recommends quite a number of repeats. I’ve only since come to see other methods which actually advise against repeating too much.

    Again, my own limitations in learning has affected my understanding of just how much my children can absorb. I honestly don’t know what Gavin can learn and how quickly he absorbs the material presented to him because I have never tested him because Doman advises against testing. He does offer activities that you can do which sort of helps to test and confirm that your child is learning but it’s not an easy way to see how much he has learned. It just confirms that he’s learning something.

    I’m afraid Gavin has been my experimental child because there were a lot of things I didn’t know when I first started teaching him. I didn’t understand the right brain or know anything about it until he was 2 plus and even then I didn’t really “get it”. I’m only just beginning to grasp what the right brain is capable of.


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