(Don’t buy this!)
When Bruce was one and a half I came across Glenn Doman’s How to Teach Your Baby to Read in a used bookstore. I bought it, and quickly read it cover to cover. His idea that you could use giant flashcards to teach small babies to read had me hooked, and I was eager to see if this method worked.
I made the flashcards and gave it a good three months, about when Bruce was 18-21 months. At the same time, I was also teaching him his ABCs and sounds using the videos “ABCs and Such” and some good old fashioned play-time with ABC blocks. Maybe this messed up the Glenn Doman Gentle Revolution method, so it didn’t work. I don’t know. Doman does NOT want you to teach children their letters or sounds. He just wants you to concentrate on flashcards, and reading books to children.
After a while, I honestly gave up on the flashcards. It just didn’t seem to be working. But boy did I want it to! So when Jenna was born, I shelled out the $70 to buy the “Teach Your Baby to Read” video, also from Glenn Doman. That was a waste of money, because it was basically a lecture of Glenn Doman’s daughter telling you the exact same things as was in the book. What bugged me was that they never showed any evidence. They said that there were babies who could read, but they never showed them.
So, did the Gentle Revolution method work for Bruce? No, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t a strong reader by age four. A combination of phonics and whole language instruction were what did it.
That being said, I still think that Glenn Doman has some interesting ideas and theories, the main being that there is a window of opportunity in young children when it is much easier to teach them how to read or learn a language, than it will be in later life. This is the same theory Maria Montessori promoted, and boy and I a believer. But I sure do wish I had saved my money on Glenn Doman propaganda. I didn’t even tell you about the money I spent on those darn “Teach Your Baby Math” flashcards!