How To Teach Your Baby To Read - Glenn Doman & Janet Doman

When I checked this book out at the library, one of my coworkeds took one look at the title and said, "Jonathan, you realize that the baby has to be able to see the books before they can start reading, right?"

Anyway, I finished reading it (see Robyn's post below), and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm also glad that I came across this book before our child is born, not after; I'm excited about the way that a baby's visual pathways develop. Doman claims that some of the areas of development can actually progress faster than previously assumed—it's just that the baby didn't get appropriate opportunities to practice. I'm still not sure how I myself learned to read, but the process outlined in this book seems like it could be a lot of fun, and certainly couldn't hurt. If it means that my child will be able to sit quietly in church and read a book, hey, that's great!

There was one discouraging thing about this book, but for adults: Doman spent some time talking about the fantastic ability of babies to learn language (after all, babies regularly learn a language fluently in a matter of a few years, and we think almost nothing of it). But then he talks about the extremely poor ability of adults to learn new languages, and it's almost as if he's saying that it's not worth it to try. That's not encouraging news for somebody who wants to teach his wife Chinese! He does say that this book has been translated into many other languages—I'd like to see if the same process would work for Chinese (for our baby), with its pictograms and lack of alphabet. (Since this method relies on whole-word recognition and not phonics, perhaps it would be especially useful for learning Chinese.)

Overall, a fascinating book that I'd highly recommend to anyone with small children, anyone planning on having children, and then anyone else who's just interested in language and brain development.

Fed to jonathan's brain | May 26, 2003