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The Doman Method

What exactly is the global reading method?

The Doman Method, or the Global Reading Method encourages you to start learning to read as soon as possible! Can your baby learn to read? Proponents of the Doman method argue that yes! What is the global reading method? what are the stages of learning with the Doman method and how can you introduce it to your daily routine?

What exactly does the Doman method mean?

The Doman method was developed by Glenn Doman – an American physiotherapist. He created the methods of rehabilitating people with brain damage, including children with cerebral palsy, and also founded the Institute for the Achievement of Human Opportunities.

Among parents, however, he is known primarily as the creator of the method of learning how to read for infants and young children, now known as the Doman Method or the Global Reading Method.

Initially, this method was used for children with various forms of neurological disorders, but for many years they have also been used for children who develop properly – in order to optimally stimulate their innate brain potential from an early age, so at that time when the brain develops the fastest and is the most absorbent.

Since when to use the Doman method?

The Doman method can already be used in infants – the lower age limit is 3 months, the upper age is six years old. It is a time when – as Doman claimed – the brain has the greatest development opportunities and the child learns using all senses (so-called poly-sensory, multi-sensory learning) – before smell, touch, sight, taste.

Doman came to the conclusion that since as babies we acquire so many important and difficult skills – sitting, walking, eating alone – there are no obstacles to start teaching a child to read at this age as well, because then this process will not require as much effort as in school years.

What is the Doman method?

The Doman method is not a typical curriculum – Glenn Doman himself called it more “reading fun” than learning. Its basis is fun, along with the accompanying atmosphere of enthusiasm and joy – but also regularity, because without it it is difficult to get any results.

The learning method itself is to show the child large white cards on which various words were written in large red font – the cardboard boxes should be about 10×60 cm in size and the letters tall – 8 cm.

At first, they are simple nouns that combine into phrases over time, and then into sentences. There should be several sessions during the day – ideally if there are five, but if the parents do not have time for this, there may be three or even one session.

Glenn Doman’s rules

In order for your toddler to participate in learning through play, it is worth following the rules set by Glenn Doman. Here are the most important:

  • Learning cannot be a compulsion: treat it as fun and start it only when you are both happy, healthy and rested.
  • Each session should take place in a pleasant, cordial and joyful atmosphere.
  • Reading should take place often.
  • Sessions should be systematic.
  • The child must not be pressured, criticized or urged. After each game, praise the child, hug, kiss, show him your satisfaction.
  • Speak loudly and clearly to the child, and present quickly.
  • Adapt the pace of learning to your shared possibilities – an overly ambitious plan can both bore you and discourage you.
  • We end each session before the child gets bored and wants to end it – it fuels the desire to continue learning.

5 stages of learning how to read according to Doman

Stage one – learning individual words

This stage consists of presenting individual words – they should be words that are familiar to the toddler or sound pleasant: names of mother, dad, siblings, name of the child himself, names of familiar objects – bed, blanket. Each word should be written on a separate box. We start with nouns, after some time verbs are introduced, and finally – adjectives.

We start learning by presenting 15 words, forming a total of 3 sets, each with five cards. On the first day we show one set – first we show the child a cardboard box, and then we read aloud the word that is on it (eg: “MAMA is written here”). This should be done three (or five) times a day, with breaks between sessions not shorter than half an hour.

On the second day we present the first set three times and the second three times.

On the third day we attach the third set – from this moment we present all three sets to the baby three times a day.

Stage two – learning two-word expressions

When the child learns several dozen individual words (which usually lasts about 2 weeks), we start to pair them together, combining two cardboard boxes, e.g. a noun with a verb (dad runs) or an adjective with a noun (little bear).

Stage three – learning simple sentences

When the boy associates expressions, we introduce simple sentences, showing him combinations of words that he had previously heard and seen, for example “bear is small”. Every day we introduce two new sentences. The font on the cartons may be smaller (instead of 8 be 5 cm).

Stage four – learning complex sentences

We introduce pronouns into the sentences already known to the child: in, on, above, under – and similar. We change the font color from red to black, and reduce the font to 3.5 cm so that the entire sentence can fit on the carton.

Stage five – learning how to read booklets

Books to learn how to read using the Doman method are best made by yourself, at home. It is good if their content concerns a child or persons known to him. On each page (whose size is strictly defined and should be 20×45 cm) there should be a simple sentence, and on the next – a picture that depicts them (e.g. a dog from a bowl).