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Author Topic: Difficulties with flashing words to 4 mon old, help!  (Read 6859 times)
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« on: August 03, 2012, 01:18:53 PM »

Hi everyone,

We started teaching our 4 month old boy with Doman flash cards two weeks ago.  We are having some difficulties and I am a little discouraged. We would really appreciate your help and insight.

1. I can't find enough "happy time" to do 15 sessions a day.  Showing the cards only takes 5 seconds per session, but because Doman's book says we need to wait 15 minutes between sessions, I often find myself in a situation where I look for a time when he is happy to show him a set of cards, then I play with him, but before 15 minutes is up he becomes cranky and needs to be held and comforted.  When he seems calm, I will try to put him in his bouncy chair so I can show him another session of cards, but he would cry as soon as I put him in the chair, so I end up picking him up again.  As a result, we often get only 5 or 6 sessions a day.

2. Another challenge I have is that my son does not always pay attention to the cards.  I flash them quickly and say the words enthusiastically with no background noise, but often he gets distracted and looks at his foot or away at his play mat or something else (we live in an apartment and I don't exactly have a "boring place" to go).  Because the session is only 5 seconds long, by the time he looks back at me, the session is over, and I feel he didn't get to see the words I flashed.  I am tempted to repeat the session but I am afraid it would bore him.

3. Because he is only 4 months old, we run out of words he hears often quickly.  For example, we are running out of familiar body parts like "nose" and "face", and are flashing words like "wrist", which I don't think he understands.  Is the baby suppose to understand what the word says?

4. Before we started the flash cards, we've been showing my son the visual stimulation cards from this forum.  He loves it!  Kicking and laughing and can't peel his eyes off the cards every time we show them to him.  I was hoping for similar reactions to the Doman cards but unfortunately he hasn't showed any enthusiasm towards the Doman flash cards.

Again, I would really appreciate your advice for us.  I was so excited to start the program but feel a bit discouraged right now.

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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 03:47:15 AM »

Don't be discouraged your situation is quite common.
Personally I always thought 15 sessions a day was asking ALOT. I do think just do as many sessions as you and baby are comfortable with. It could be as few as 2 and your baby will still learn to read much younger than school age. Are you doing a math program as well? I think most parents could manage 5 sessions without too much stress but some babies are naturally pretty grumpy.  laugh
Also why are you putting your baby in the rocker to do your sessions? I think your baby would respond better cradled in your lap. Are you are inadvertently linking the words to removing affection? I know some mums show words while breast feeding, I doubt I would have had the four arms necessary for that but give it a try.
If you think your baby needs more or less time with the cards each session, have faith that you are the best judge of that. It's your baby, you know best. Baby will not get board if you keep adding in new words regualary.
Now the new words issue. Ok yes at 4 months you will run out of words pretty fast if you are relying on experience to choose them from. Have your tried the little reader program? It has all the words WITH pictures. So children are learning the words, the vocabulary and the meanings all at once. Download the 2 week free trial and see if you baby likes it. I really think it is wonderful and has so much potential for years of use. ( the button is at the top of the forum smile ) if you don't want to use little reader, try using words with pictures. Show the picture and the word separately. I think just keep showing words. Regardless of if baby can connect them to real life experience.
As for paying attention. That is the reason you show them repeatedly. If he misses a word here and there he will see them next time round. Also are your words big and red? So he can see them clearly?


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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2012, 08:59:15 PM »

Don't worry too much, you have lot's of time!
I started Little Reader at 4 months and had the same problem with my son paying attention paying attention. I decided to take off a few weeks and try again. We tried off and on until 12 months. At 12 months he started really liking Little Reader, and at 14 months he LOVES it and gets mad if we don't show it to him. He is really making connections with knowing a word has a meaning and what the meaning is, he has enough real life experience to relate to the pictures, and he is responsive when we play and engage with each word. He is learning so much more than he was earlier and I feel the time I spent worrying about getting the sessions in when he was younger was really a waste. Kids learn the most when they are having fun and want to learn, so don't stress at this young age! Eating, sleeping and learning about their body is really what is most important to them at 4 months through when they can crawl and walk.

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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 08:15:36 PM »

You do not have to do 15 sessions a day.  That might make a huge difference.  I found, and I know many other parents have also, that Doman has set up guidelines for teaching your baby to read, not rules.  You have to adapt his guidelines to fit your life.  If you adhere strictly to what he suggests, you and your baby may not enjoy the process as much.  It is not necessary to wait 15 minutes between sessions.  You can also present more cards per session or less, depending on the baby's interest.  What worked for my children is to show cards 2-3 times per day.  I did this in the morning shortly after my baby woke up and two more times after a diaper change.  By noon each day, we were done with our reading program.  It was easy to implement and my children enjoyed viewing between 20-40 words at a time.  I would keep my materials on my dresser and after changing their diapers on my bed I would stand by my dresser and hold them in my arms while flipping flash cards and wordbooks.  It took less than 2 minutes per session and we didn't have to think about doing it all day.  I did not add and retire words daily either.  I changed out everything on Sundays.  We looked at the same materials all week and then got new stuff every Sunday.  This also worked well for us.  I showed my 5 month old any word I could think of.  He didn't care if he knew them or not.  He was happy to look at the words.  Your baby does not have to know what the words mean to read them.  If your baby is distracted you can also put the words up on your refrigerator or a wall and hold your baby and point to the words and present them that way.  You can get a dry erase board or a chalkboard and write new words that way as well.  I had a dry erase board and would write sentences to my baby long before he showed me he could read.  I would write the sentence and read it to him while pointing to each word.  How you approach this is a huge factor in your success.  If you want to teach your baby, you can find opportunities everywhere.  You can point out words everywhere, all day long.  They don't have to be specifically on flash cards.  I would also like to mention that I did not use the huge font that Doman recommends because it was not possible for me to do that at the time.  It did not keep either of my babies from learning to read.  I hope this helps.  You can do it!  Don't give up.  It is so much fun, you will be glad you stuck with it.


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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 01:15:00 PM »

Thank you all so much for the advice and the encouragement!!!  I really appreciate it.  We are currently doing three sets of five words three times a day (9 sessions).  We want to add math, so starting next week we are thinking about doing one set of five words (maybe more if we can keep him interested) plus the two sets of math dot cards.  

I have a follow up question about the position to show him the cards.  I have been putting him in his seat because I was under the impression that it is important for the baby to see my mouth pronouncing the word.  Does it not matter?  I am also wondering whether I can show the cards with him lying down face up.  Has anyone tried that?

Also, I love the idea of the dry erase board!  Can't wait to try it.

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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 10:36:10 PM »

I suppose seeing your mouth is the ideal, but my kids were always looking at the cards not me anyway. Try a variety of different ways and see which one he enjoys most. I would definately try lying down, many mums here showed words strait after nappy change, baby lying down facing up. You could leave one set of your cards next to the change table just for this purpose.
Rememember also in the not too distant future your baby will sit unsupported and then your options to ensure he can see your mouth are much greater.
At the moment adjust the method to suit your family, using the ideal as guidelines. Any success is better than no cards at all. Any imput is better than no imput.


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