I just finished reading How to Teach Your Baby Math and How to Teach your Baby to Read by Glenn Doman. I think the thing I learned the most from reading them is that children have an amazing capacity to learn. This book has helped me to not underestimate what my kids can learn.
The background of the book is that Glenn Doman worked with brain-injured kids in the 1940's. They were looking for ways to help brain-injured children. What they discovered (and is old news now) is that neuropathways can be re-built after they have been injured. They also discovered that if they removed a portion of the brain that was injured, that the remaining part of the brain would take over and compensate for the loss. They found that these children that were missing part of their brain were often able to operate at "normal" levels, and some even went on to function on "genius" levels. They prepared a program that was successful in re-teaching the brain to function. But after solving that problem, they started to wonder about well-children. Why are children that are well not functioning at higher levels than they are if they have full-functioning brains? After all, kids who are missing significant portions of their brains are doing the same things that they are, or more.
Over the course of time Glenn Doman founded the Institutes for Human Potential where they teach parents of brain injured children and now parents of well children what they can do to enhance their child's capabilities.
What I read astounded me:
The research they did shows that a 1 year old child can learn math and to read FASTER than a 2 year old.
A 2 year old learns math and to read FASTER than a 3 year old.
A 3 year old learns math and to read FASTER than a 4 year old.
They also found that the ideal teacher is the child's Mother. The home is the ideal learning ground. Thank you.
So, regardless of how old your kids are, I would recommend reading both books. Regardless of whether you want your 1 year old to learn to read or do math, this research and the books will change how you see your child's potential.
There is some repeat in one after you have read the other because they build on the same foundation. This also isn't a "quick fix" method. You will invest time in doing it. But that is how the results come for real too. I'm not speaking from experience with teaching this method, just from my experience teaching in general :)
Jay started reading at 2.5 years old. I didn't yet know about this method, but did some of the same things by chance. I do believe that it is easy to teach your child. I also believe that the younger they are, the easier it is. When they are little all they want to do is be near you. You may as well give them the gift of reading while you spend time loving them. I am preparing some things to get Kay started now too.
I also picked up How to Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence by Glenn Doman so that is next on the list...I'll let you know how it goes...
Here is one quote from the book How to Teach your Baby to Read:p. 110 "The cardinal rule is that both parent and child must joyously approach learning to read, as the superb game that it is. The parent must never forget that learning is life's most exciting game-it is not work. Learning is a reward, it is not a punishment. Learning is a pleasure, it is not a chore. Learning is a privilege, it is not a denial."
This quote made me ask the question, "Is the same true of teaching?" It certainly is a privilege to teach your own child. There is so much joy in discovering together and those moments of understanding are so precious. There are so many little people out there just waiting to be taught. This book will help you see.