Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fast Flashing Method

When I explain to people that we use the fast flash method to show K her cards, I don't think that people always understand quite how quickly we do them, so I thought I would put up a video of a flashcards session. It really is fast!  The 12 cards in this set took  24 seconds to show both the words & pictures.                  

There are a number of reasons for going so fast.  Here are several of them:

1. Kids learn incredibly fast - by going too slowly, kids get bored & lose interest.  If your child won't sit for flashcards, try going much faster, using a very small number of cards, & doing them in very short sessions.

2. K would never have learned enough words to be able to read books unless we went quickly.

3.  Showing the words & images quickly helps with instant recall.

Between camera & computer difficulties, & "out in the country" speed internet, it took longer than expected to get this up ( I'd promised a couple of people that I would be posting it).  Even loading the YouTube page to upload it took 15 minutes. I left my computer running from midnight last night until 9 am & only 60% had loaded.  By 65% at 10:00 this morning, it timed out & I got an error message.  Grrrrr.  I realized later that I didn't turn the title card in between the words & pics - I guess I'm out of practice because we have been doing words only for over 6 months now.  After all of the computer problems I'm having, I finally decided that I'd better just put it up as is.

We flashed through the words as fast as we could say them, then we flashed through the pictures as fast as we could say them. This video is what our typical flashcard sessions looked like. The only thing I usually do differently is to switch the title card in between the words & pictures rather than at the end like I did here - that's what I would change if I could get the other video up.

 I can't believe how grey my hair looks from this view, but here it is:)! 

We also used this method sometimes. We would show the word and read it, then flip the card over and show the picture and say it, then turn the card over again and say the word again.

K learned equally well with either method & was able to associate the word with the picture regardless of how we showed the cards.

This last video is of K flashing through & reading the cards herself.  Isn't it cute how she organizes the cards after each session?

We loosely follow the method in Glenn Doman's Book, How to Teach Your Baby to Read.  I highly recommend reading it.  Here is a link if you are interested in purchasing it:


  1. I just found your blog & really appreciate the info you are sharing. I was unable to view the last video & get a message that says "This video is private." Thanks again for sharing!
    -April Vernon

  2. Thanks April & you are so welcome! I changed the video so that it is no longer private. I think it should work now.

  3. Oh my, I think I've been flashing ours to slow. I need to be much quicker evidently. Maggie watched your video about 4 times! LOL Definitely think that's the speed I need to be going.

  4. Tracy - I'm glad Maggie enjoyed it. K always loves watching videos of other kids!

    Slow isn't neccesarily wrong - it just won't help with instant recall & may be boring for the child & therefore not keep their attention for as long.

  5. Hi Laura,
    I was showing your blog to my husband last night as I was trying to explain why I'm going to start teaching Miss K (8 months) to read. He appreciates all your explanations and videos. I have a question though ... did you laminate all your reading flash cards? I'm getting ready to print out a bunch for Miss K on card stock but am not sure if I should deal with laminating them (it seems expensive to do so) or just know they will eventually wear out and I'll have to do it again later. Thanks!

  6. How wonderful that your husband is also on board. When I first approached my husband about teaching our baby to read, I wondered if he would doubt my sanity, but thankfully he is totally on board with early learning:)

    I started with very large flashcards when K was about 6 months old - see my earlier post on K's word cards which includes some pictures. Because the cards were so huge, I did not laminate them. Babies eyes are not as developed as they are with older kids/adults & therefore they need really large print, preferably in an interesting color such as red.

    It is however, almost impossible to consistantly flash cards as quickly as I do in this video if they are not laminated, so I have laminated everything else.

    It can be expensive, but there are some cheaper options. I actually am planning a blog post on the subject & uploaded some pictures last night for the post, but haven't had a chance to get back to it. I will try to get back to it in the next couple of days though.

    Good luck with your reading program! It will likely be a while before you get any feedback because your daughter is so young, but I'd love to hear how it goes.


  7. Hello Laura,

    I just watched the 3 videos you posted and I watched the last one of K with a huge smile on my face. K is so cute! I just loved watching her flip through her cards. She holds them so close to her face I was surprised she could see them. What a beautiful child. You are so blessed. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Where do I buy these?? I want some!!

    1. You just make them yourself! I printed a few cards for my 2 month old yesterday

  9. Thanks for your comment anonymous & sorry I missed your question Chelsea.

    Like anonymous said you can make your own. You can do it as simply as by writing a word with a felt pen on an index card. Pictures are optional. I preferred to use a pic as I believe it helped with comprehension. The cards I used are printed from the BrillKids computer program. Here is a linto some info & their SN discount: