Glenn Doman, author of How To Teach Your Baby To Read, says: “Two years of age is the best time to begin if you want to expend the least amount of time and energy in teaching your child to read.” The child needs to be taken through seven steps, beginning not with the alphabet but with visual differentiation. Doman suggests an initial list of 59 words and explains how these words have to be taught patiently one at a time. Here’s the list:
The ‘Self’ Vocabulary
hand, knee, foot, head, nose, hair, lips, toes, leg, eye, ear, arm, teeth, belly, mouth, elbow, thumb, finger, tongue, shoulder.
The ‘Home’ Vocabulary
mommy, daddy, brother, sister, dog, cat, fish, bird, baby
Chair, table, door, window, wall, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, refrigerator, tv
Plate, spoon, cup, hat, shoes, ball, orange, pants, dress, pajamas
Sitting, standing, running, laughing, climbing, creeping, walking, jumping, throwing, reading.
Only in the sixth step the child will be ready to read a real book. Doman writes: “The choice of the book to be used is very important and should meet the following standards:
- It should have a vocabulary of not more than 150 different words.
- It should present no more than a total of 15 or 20 words on a single page.
- The printing should be no less than ¼” high.
- Text and illustrations should be separated as much as possible.”
“There are three distinct levels of understanding in the process of learning how to read,” says Doman. First, the child discovers that words have meaning. Second, the child notices that words combine with other words. Third, the child realizes that the book is actually talking to him/her.
Doman recommends 26 books, including some written by Dr. Seuss, which fulfilled the following criteria: “1. large enough print; 2. print not intertwined with pictures; 3. size of vocabulary; and, 4. subject matter.”
Teachers may follow Doman’s guidelines in picking suitable storybooks for their children in kindergarten.