How Children Read
Very young children can and do learn to read words, sentences, and paragraphs in exactly the same way they learn to understand spoken words, sentences, and paragraphs.
When the ear apprehends, or picks up, a spoken word or message, this auditory message is broken down into a series of electrochemical impulses and flashed to the unhearing brain, which then reassembles and comprehends in terms of the meaning the word was intended to convey.
To begin understanding the human brain we must consider the instant of conception rather than the moment of birth, because the superb and very little understood process of brain growth begins at conception.
From conception on, the human brain grows at an explosive rate which is continually on a descending scale. Explosive and descending.
The whole process is essentially complete at the age of six.
By birth the child weighs six or seven pounds, which is millions of times what the egg weighed nine months earlier at conception. It is obvious that if his rate of growth were the same in the next nine months as it was in the previous nine months, he would weigh thousands of tons when he was nine months old and many millions of tons when he was eighteen months old.
The process of brain growth matches the body growth but is on an even more descending rate. This can be seen clearly when one appreciates the fact that at birth the child’s brain makes up 11 percent of the total body weight, while in adults it’s only 2.5 percent.
When the child is five the growth of the brain is 80 percent complete.”
THE PERIOD FROM ONE TO FIVE
This period of life is crucial to the child’s whole future.
During this period of life we love him, make sure he doesn’t hurt himself, we let him play with toys, and send him to nursery school. And, totally unaware, we are doing our best to prevent learning.
What should happen to him during these crucial years is that we should be satisfying his staggering thirst for raw material, which he wants to soak up in all possible forms but particularly in terms of language, whether spoken and heard or printed and read.
It is during this period of life that the child should learn to read, thus unlocking the door to the golden treasury of all things written by man in history, the sum of man’s knowledge.
It is during these not-to-be-relived years, these years of insatiable curiosity, that the child’s whole intellectual being will be established. What the child can be, what his interests will be, what his capacities will be, are being determined in these years. An unlimited number of factors will bear on him as an adult. Friends, society, and culture may influence what job he will do in life, and some of these factors may be harmful to his full potential.
The acquisition of language in all of its forms is one of the prime purposes for the child’s play. We must be careful to see it for what it is rather than assume that such play is geared toward amusement.
The need to learn during this period of life is, for the child, a stark necessity. Isn’t it wonderful that an omniscient Nature made the child also love learning? Isn’t it awful that we have so terribly misunderstood what a child is, and placed so many roadblocks in Nature’s way?
This then is the period of life in which the child’s brain is an open door to all information. During this period of life he takes in all information with out conscious effort of any sort. This is the period of life in which he can learn to read easily and naturally. He should be given the opportunity to do so.
It is during this period that he can learn to speak a foreign language.
It is more than a unique opportunity, it is a sacred duty. We must open the floodgate of all basic knowledge to him.
Excerpt From: Glenn Doman;Janet Doman. “How To Teach Your Baby To Read: The Gentle Revolution”.