- On baby’s brain development.
- Summary of what we have done so far when it comes to Doman’s math programme: quantities 0-100, equations and problem-solving.
- Description of an exemplary math “session.”
- On the size of math cards.
- Advice on following several programs of intellectual development by Glenn Doman at the same time.
- Summary of what we have done so far when it comes to Doman’s reading programme: first words, second step.
- Our beginnings.
- On results (from the future)
- Why is handwriting useful?
- How to enrich child’s vocabulary (we focus on English).
Something unbelievable: teaching almost since birth
You have to bear in mind that some of the things you are going to read here are really unbelievable because all of it has to do with teaching a baby. Actually, it is about teaching a baby to read and about teaching a baby math. At this particular moment it is also beyond my belief. I guess some of you will smile in disbelief while reading this post. However, the truth is teaching a child is becoming more and more popular trend in Poland, too. It seems it has always been popular around the world when we take into account a number of right-brain methods originating in Asia.
Believe me…I take it with a pinch of salt as well. Will the Doman work with my child or not? Does the Doman method really conrtibute to measurable results? We will see in the future. The most important thing that you should always bear in mind is that whatever you do with a baby it develops its brain. Never forget this. Every new experience provides an extra stimulation and contributes to strengthening the existing ones and creating new connections between the existing neurons. This way it supports and speeds up child’s development. Presenting flashcards is such an experience, too.
So far my baby and I have liked this experiment. Of course Maja has some bad moments from time to time but we are making progress all the time. I am sure there needs to be something special about the Doman method because it is so popular around the world. I realize will see the results in a few months or maybe years. Until that time I am going to document our playing and learning. I have been developing my 10-month-old Maja for 5 months now. We have managed to do a lot.
Doman math – dot cards from 0 do 100
Following my strategy of bilingual upbringing, I have been introducing Doman’s math programme in English only. Until now we have been playing with math cards for almost half a year with some breaks. Of course, this programme can be adapted to any other language.
The most important part has been done:
- quantities 1-100 (look at this pile of dotted cards in the picture below) /edit: I found out much later the cards should be of the same size no matter how many dots they present so this wasn’t an ideal set; however I got it for free while buying something else and I didn’t think about it at that time)
- addition e.g. 2+2 =4
- subtraction e.g.. 100 – 43 =57
- multiplication e.g.. 5 x 11 = 55
- division e.g.. 82:2 = 41
- mixed equations in one session e.g. 2+2 =4, 5 x 11 = 55, 82:2 = 41
- mixed operations in one equation (addition and subtraction, division and multiplication) e.g. 16:2 x 5 =40
- three-step equations e.g. 93 – 33 – 33 = 33
- four-step equations e.g.. 8 + 10 + 12 + 14 = 44
- multi-step equations e.g.. 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5=30, including mixed equations e.g. 60 – 10 + 20 – 5 =65
- problem solving – a child chooses the correct answer from the two answers given (if he/ she is willing to do so).
We are still doing the first part of the Doman method regarding math which means focusing on red dots only in view of the fact that our baby is still really little. Our math programme is not so intensive as before (6 sessions introducing numbers + 3 sessions with equations) and that is why we can combine maths with reading. A piece of advice I can give you at this point is to start with just one program by Doman and add new ones gradually. We started with math but Doman recommends starting with reading.
Math with a 10-month-old baby
At the moment our math programme is limited to 3 “lessons” daily, each lasting 10-20 seconds at the maximum (the main principle is: the faster, the better). The exemplary math lesson by Doman is as follows:
I say 16:2 x 5 = and then I say the solution: 40 showing the card with 40 dots simultaneously
I say 2+2 = and then I say the solution showing the card with 4 dots simultaneously
I say 93 – 33 – 33 = and then I say the solution: 33 showing the card with 33 dots simultaneously
The description seems quite lengthy but, actually, it takes less time when I just say it quickly. As I have mentioned before, the faster, the better and I am really rushing through the session. What I do next is hugging, kissing and praising my baby, telling her how clever she is which is in accordance with Doman’s recommendations. You can read a separate article on praising a baby. You can find the link below this article as well as other related links.
Immediately after this we have our time for a riddle:
I say, for example: 82:2 = and give her two possible options showing the cards with 41 and 25 dots
The kid can choose the solution if she wishes to do so. If she is willing and she chooses the correct number of dots, I praise her again. If she chooses the wrong card, I say calmly that it is the other card and I thank her for choosing. If she doesn’t want to choose any of the cards, I do not press her but just show her the correct card and we start playing something different. In the same article on praising a child I have mentioned before you will also find a detailed information on testing.
Update from 28.02.2019: After a time I found out that choosing the correct card is not always physical choosing (pointing or touching). Our baby can choose just by looking at one of the cards. I am sharing this because I used to expect that my Maja would point to a card or touch it every time and when she didn’t do it I didn’t consider it a choice and chose for her. It’s highly possible that she chose the card just by looking at it briefly and I should have shown her my joy as well.
Early reading with Glenn Doman’s program
I have been following Doman’s reading porgramme for more or less three months. Maja was about 7 months old when we started. The picture below shows the words my baby has already seen. I put them away into a special box so as not to mix them with the cards that haven’t been used yet. With a 10-month-old Maja we do the reading programme in English only.
Update from 28.02.2019: With time new languages were added to our reading programme. The order is as follows: Polish (our native), Italian, Spanish and German. I am proud to observe first results: my two-year-old started reading in Polish and in English.
First step of the Doman reading programme
Following Doman’s advice we started with 15 words which were most familiar to my baby at that time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any of those in the ready-made set of cards I had bought. Therefore, I had to print all the first words. It was impossible to find exactly the same font as I had on the ready-made cards but I am sure the font is not so important as the size. According to the book, “How to Teach Your Baby to Read” we don’t have to print the words. Handwriting will do as well. In fact, I got a red felt-tip pen together with the cards probably for this purpose. Maybe I will use it one day. At this moment, I am not sure about my handwriting.
Update from 28.02.2019: With time I started handwriting only and I recommend it to every parent who completes all ready-made cards. According to Aneta Czerska (a Polish mum who modified the Doman method and sells the cards and her courses under a different name “Cudowne Dziecko” which means “Wonderful Child”) parents who handwrite have better results. It is related to teaching an older child who needs his/her words at a particular moment and they need to be connected to what he or she is doing at the moment or to his or her present interests.
First words in the reading program by Glenn Doman
These are the first 15 words I chose for my baby’s reading programme in English:
- Maja – my baby’s name
- light – she has been fascinated with lights and all glittery things since she was born
- lamp – the same reason as above
- book- it is a part of our morning routine
- piggy – we have a finger game with piggies
- spider – Incy Wincy Spider is my baby’s favourite song
- titty – there is some research indicating that breastfeeding has an impact on child’s intelligence; of course this is not the only reason I continue to breastfeed her
- bee- Maya often listens to the Maya the Bee song
- mat- her place to play
How to start the reading program by Glenn Doman
One cold wintery evening we started our reading programme with a set of five words from the list above. I showed her this set 3 times. The following day I added the next set of five words and I showed her each set 3 times (6 sessions altogether). On the third day I added another set which I showed 3 times. I presented all the previous sets the same number of times (9 sessions together). I continued to present the same 3 sets, each 3 times daily for 5 consecutive days. After 5 days we retire 1 card from each set and add 1 new. We continue presenting the cards remembering that each has a lifespan of 5 days and after this period is replaced by a new one.
As Doman says in his book, when we feel quite confident with 3 sets of cards, we can add the 4th one and I did this. Since then we have been having 12 sessions of reading each day as each set is presented 3 times daily. Doman suggests adding the 5th set when we feel confident with four sets but I decided not to do it. I added the 5th set but not with word cards. I am a teacher of English and I have lots of picture flashcards and I decided to make use of them as well. I will go into details concerning this later.
Of course, the suggested number of daily “sessions” is not an obligation but a suggestion. I am on a maternity leave right now so I decided to do my best. I believe every parent should decide how many sets are the maximum so as not to feel the programme as something overwhelming and full of pressure. I know that a non-working parent can do much more. ItThe situation is the same when we compare parents of younger and older kids. We can do much more with younger ones.
The second step of the reading program by Glenn Doman
After my baby had seen all the 15 words from the list (the most important words for her in my opinion), each word 3 times daily for 5 consecutive days (each card was presented 15 times), I started putting away the cards and adding new words related to the baby’s surroundings. I am using the ready-made set by a Polish publishing company.
We started with nouns. Later on we had verbs and at present we are doing adjectives and colours. I am trying to show her the meaning of words while I am showing her the card or even before to make the session even shorter. Every day I put away 4 cards and add 4 new cards so I know before which card comes next. If I think my baby doesn’t know a word, I try to say it to her a few times the day before in different contexts. Whenever possible, I try to show her the meaning by pointing to things in our house. I sometimes show her the objects I know they will appear soon on the cards a day before.
As far as colours are concerned she had been exposed to all the colours long before she saw their written form. I used to show her the flashcards with different colours. The “lessons” with verbs were longer. I followed Doman’s advice to show all the actions on me and on Maja if possible.
Enriching my baby’s vocabulary in English-my idea
As I said before, I felt that I wouldn’t manage the fifth set of reading cards. I followed the cues Maja had given me. Four sets were enough for her attention span. However, I had something different in mind. I left the fifth set for the Polish set of reading cards which my husband is supposed to introduce soon. We have the fifth set but with pictures only. I noticed that even if she is not in the mood to look at the words even for a second, she is always interested in pictures. The fifth set constitute my teachers’ flashcards as I am a teacher of English.
Actually, the picture flashcards have been present with us since the first month of Maja’s life. For the visual stimulation I printed the cards which I downloaded from Brillkids. Then, we stopped using them for some time to return to them again until I had an idea to continue with picture flashcards using all the cards I have. After I had shown my baby all black and white visual stimulation cards I started showing her colourful cards from my collection as a teacher of English.
I present picture flashcards following Doman’s principles regarding reading or maths, i.e. I started with 5 cards which I presented for 5 consecutive days. After 5 days I put away one card and replaced it with one new. Since then, I do this every day. I present the set as quickly as possible. Following my idea of raising my baby bilingually and the challenges of non-native bilingualism, I present all the cards in English.
We have already done:
- black and white visual stimulation cards for babies: animals, different shapes. I long for her attention span at that time….she could look and look and look at one card for ages and now I am happy if she looks at it only for a second. That is why I regret I hadn’t introduced math and reading programmes earlier.
- colours and words like “dark” or “colourful” (I didn’t have silver or golden colour so I used a piece cardboard which was silver on one side and golden on the other)
- animals (we are still doing the cards from this category)
Have you found my experience useful? If yes, share with others.
You are welcome to read the rest of my blog.
There is lots more in the Polish part but I haven’t managed to translate it yet.