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Methods of Reading:  Flash vs. Multi-sensory Reading vs. Native Reading Method

All the babies have a sharp mind to learn how to read. A child can start learning how to read at the age of 3 months. They learn various languages such as a sign, written or foreign language quickly. They don’t require efforts to learn new things. They just grasp the things going around them. They have the developing brain which is growing at a faster rate in comparison to adults. This period is known as the intense brain development period, Critical period, or window of opportunity. A stimulating environment can strengthen the brain of a child to develop and learn new skills.

Teaching baby to read is the easiest mode of learning. Parents can do this easily. Parent must teach in an environment which will be a fun-loving way for the baby. This is necessary as fun learning will keep their interest. They can learn the different languages such as Spanish, French, and English in a single day. So, the method for teaching them is fast enough to keep up an exciting and fun-loving environment. Teaching time should completely depend on the interest of the child. Parents are the best teacher for a child to educate them how to read. Customize reading material can aid in the fun learning session. One can start by teaching how to read the names and other words of daily use. By playing, and talking with the baby can help to develop the necessary skills to become a reader. Various baby reading kits are also available in the market. One can create their reading books to impart the education related to reading.

Children having the reading skills in them will not face any problem at the later stage. This will boost their confidence and help them in their academics strongly. Reading will also increase the intellect of a child. Reading depends on the child’s brain ability to link the different sources of information. Early readers have the various advantages over the late reading peers. Teaching a child at a young age will make them free from the learning burden during the school time. It is easier to teach reading skills to a baby reading in comparison to a school-going child. Children who learn late the reading skills can have a certain type of dyslexia. It is a myth that the parents will create a burden by teaching their child at the early age. Rather, it will give the mental stimulation and the opportunities to learn.

There are different methods of reading which can help the parents to educate their child efficiently. Some of the reading methods are Flash method, Multi-sensory Reading Method and Native Reading method. Complete descriptions of these methods are as follows:


Flash Method

Flash method is a traditional means of educating the child about the reading practices. It involves the display of flash cards rapidly to the child at a speed of less than one second. Parents can use handmade flash cards, or one can buy them from the store. It is the effective means of teaching the baby for the following reasons:

  • Right hemisphere part of the brain can quickly apprehend the information given at a fast speed. This is opposite to the functioning of left brain which needs directing and conscious efforts to learn and memorize. Babies learn more effectively through the right brain as it does not need the special efforts to learn new things.
  • Children learn at a very fast speed as compared to the adults. By quickly moving the flash cards, one can gain the child’s attention which helps him/her to learn faster.

Glenn Doman, the founder of a nonprofit organization, Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential gives the flash method for educating the babies. It helps the parents to teach their child to use the greatest potential of a child to learn. Nobody knows the genetic potential of an individual entirely which is creating hindrance in using their potential. Complete use of the potential of a child depends on the frequency and quality of stimulation receives by birth. Parents can help their child to impart this stimulus because they know and motivate their child more.

Selection of words

It can starts at the age of 3 months. One can start with the words which are familiar to the baby. This can include, the name of the people, vocabulary words use in daily activities, objects present around the house. He/she can get more benefit for when of the flash method for teaching. One must choose the words as per the interest of the child. Small and simple words like: “mat”, “rat”, “bat” are not interesting. They will find the words like “washing machine” “laptop” more impressive. They will love learning the unique words more in comparison to the common words.

Material Selection

  • A child will focus more with red font and big in size.
  • The word should cover most of the area of the flash card.
  • Clear, large and repetition of words will help the child to learn more easily.
  • After few days, one can increase the number of words on a flash card. This should reduce the text size at a slow rate. One must check the child’s reaction during this transition phase. If the child appears uncomfortable with the change, try to start again from the beginning.
  • After the comfort level of the child, a parent can change the color from red to black. It would be easy for the child to read more words on a card in black color. Parents can write the word on the back for their reference. They will say it out while displaying the card to the child.
  • One can start teaching with 200 words. This can help in fast learning of the child. One can organize the words into different categories.

How to display the flash card

  • According to Glenn Doman, parents must flash the card at the speed of less than one second. This is because the child can learn at a fast rate in comparison to adults.
  • Recite the word while displaying the card. At the same time, make an eye contact with the child to read his/her reaction.
  • Have a lively tone while educating the child. This will help in keeping the interest of the child in learning. One must note the child’s reaction during the transition phase of words.
  • Consistency and repetition will help the child to learn thoroughly.
  • For consistency, the parent must display a set of five cards three times in a day. Shuffling of cards can help to find out better. Little kids can easily learn and memorize the sequence. If the child sees the similar set twice, he/she will remember the series.
  • Replace the card after five days in each group. Repetition for 15 times is enough for a child to learn the word. Parent must not force the child to learn every single word. It is better to keep 10% of 2000 words than 100% of 50 words.

Succession in Teaching:

  • Start with single words at the first stage. This will help the child in building the necessary knowledge about each word.
  • Then introduce couplet or two words such as “red car” after teaching ample amount of single words.
  • At the later stage, one can teach phrases and sentences comprises of three to five words.
  • Book reading. One can prepare his books. Write one word on a single page and draw or cut the picture on another. Similarly, one can make the books with two words.

Thumb Rule

One must teach as per the mood and interest of the child. Stop the session right away if the child seems unhappy while teaching. If the child does not like the particular avoid, try not to teach the same word again. The bottom line is reading to your child with joy and love.  The reading session should not stress the kid.  According to Janet Doman, “On a good day, you do a lot of it; on a bad day, you don’t do it at all.  You don’t touch it with a 50th pole on a bad day.”

Another mode of educating a child how to read is the Multi-sensory Reading method. It has many advantages as this method will use the sensory organs as the helping material to learn. It is also useful for those children who find it difficult to read the simple written words.

Multi-sensory Reading Method

The multi-sensory reading method is the process of teaching which involves more than one sense at a time. It includes the use of different sources to educate a child. It includes PowerPoint slide shows, DVDs, books or the computer software. All these sources help in illustrating the meanings of the word. Since, this method involves the use of different senses to learn, hence, it is known as the multi-sensory reading method. The child will use the various sensory channels like auditory and visual to understand the things. This is an important means of teaching because it delivers the information through the sensory sources. It will be easy for a child to learn when he/she will experience the same. It also involves the right hemisphere of the brain like the flash method. Right brain will learn through feel and visualize the pictures. This is the reason of touching and tasting of the objects by the young children. These kids have the right-brain dominant.

Teaching a child with the means of using different sensory organs can help the child in better learning. Most parents use this natural means for educating their child. For example, Parent will say, “This is your forehead” and touch the forehead at the same time. Children can easily learn the different parts of the body because of the multi-sensory reading method. Many researchers prove this method as an efficient way of teaching. A baby can start learning the language from birth. It is very beneficial for the children who have reading problems like dyslexia. They can learn the reading through touch, hearing, and movement.

Various learning styles

Visual techniques

Pictures or text on posters, models, flash cards, and papers are the visual techniques to involve the visual senses. Use of different colors and graphics can add more effects to the vision.

Audio techniques

Songs, music, rhymes are the various sound techniques which will involve the hearing to understand the learning.

Tactile technique

The tactile technique involves the sense of touch as a multi-sensory reading method of reading. Modeling materials like sculpting and clay material aid the child in learning various objects and shapes. They can feel the touch of the clay objects and analyze them. Sand trays, finger paints, raised line paper help in improving the fine motor skills. Manipulative which involves the use of small material enable the child to learn the mathematical skills.

Kinesthetic technique

The method which involves the use of body movements as the sensory method is known as kinesthetic technique. It includes gross motor and fine movements. It includes clapping and jumping rope which involves the movement along with counting and singing songs. It also includes the activity such as dancing, quiz, rhythmic recall, flash card races.

Use of computer as a multi-sensory reading method

The computer can help in giving the reading lessons to the children. PowerPoint slide shows, DVD’s can be run on the computer to educate the child. Customize the material as per the interest of the child. Children can learn the phonic sounds on their own by reading the different words. Including more senses will help the child to enjoy while learning which makes the reading enjoyable. A child can smell or taste the objects to learn at a faster rate. For example, a child can sniff a flower while teaching him/her the word “flower”. Using citrus fruits is not permissible as a mode of learning for children under age group of one. One can use the multi-sensory reading method daily while reading the books.


The multi-sensory reading approach helps the child to collect the information about a particular task. The child will try to connect the information they already know. They will learn the various techniques to solve the problems. They will able to understand the concepts correctly. Visual sense assists the child to read the specific information, look the pictures and written words. Hearing sense will help the child to listen to the word properly. Sometimes, kinetic sense such as movement and touch will guide the child to get the meaningful information.

Apart from the Flash and Multi-sensory reading method of reading, a Native method is the simple and easy process. Games and songs are the major factors of the native reading process. Parents can educate their child to read while playing with them.

Native Reading Method

A child can learn to build up the vocabulary with Flash and Multi-sensory reading method. Parent must educate their child the rules of phonics which helps in understanding the letter sounds. Apart from the flash and multisensory reading method, native reading method is another way to educate a child. With the Native reading method, a child can learn quickly and naturally. It depends on the philosophy that the child will learn naturally how to read. When a child learns to understand how to talk and speak, he will also learn how to read. It is a simple and lifelong method of educating a child. Native reading involves the use of simple techniques and games. A correlation between the spoken and written language help the child to learn. A native reader at an early age can make a child genius. Native reading acquires the habit of reading naturally. Parents will create an environment in which child can learn the reading skills naturally as walking and speaking.


Playing games with words and letters is an important part of Native Reading. One must spend the time to include a variety of words, pictures and play letters to explain the meanings. Parents should choose the words and letters which are fun while manipulating. Recite the words in a loud and clear voice consistently while playing the games. One must play the favorite games of their child.

Ideas for fun and interesting learning

One must point each letter while singing the alphabet song. Parents help their child to build a tower with the help of alphabet blocks. During bathing, floating letters can give to spelling the words. A game which includes matching of pictures with the words can help in learning. Play with each letter from an early age regularly. Manipulation of 3D letters and objects is the best means of learning. Songs and music aid in early reading. Include music in their play as children love to sing and listen. They can quickly memorize the poems which would be otherwise a problem for them to read. Parents can print the lyrics of the favorite songs and poems of their child. While listening to the poem, pointing the words of the lyrics will help the child to read. Magnet alphabets are the other means of native reading.

Things to remember while playing

Parents must restrict themselves to correct the child while playing the game. A fun-loving exercise for the child is a must in teaching.  Enthusiasm in the parent will automatically bring child’s interest in the game. Parent must read to the child during the entire learning process. Pointing to the text while reading a word is the most important step of the native reading method. Aside from pointing text method, other techniques which help in native reading include:

  • Label the different things which are present in and around the house.
  • Relate words and pictures together consistently.
  • Spell the child name and the name of other family members regularly.
  • Play games which have rhymes.
  • Try to include the confusing words more often while playing the games. The child will learn the difficult words more instinctively in a natural way.
  • Introduce the upper and lower case letters. Native reading assists in creating an environment in which a child will learn the written and spoken form.

Parents must get the sufficient knowledge about the various reading methods. A detailed explanation of all the three reading methods can help in determining the best method of reading. The best time to learn how to read is below the age of 5.  The earlier you start the better.


The multi-sensory reading method of reading is the best way to educate the child as it uses the various senses. This will help in better illustration of the meaning of words. It will help in sharpening the intellectual skills of a child. It also helps in understanding the basics. Flash method is another efficient way of reading which involves showing up the flash cards. One must do this process at a fast rate. It includes the writing of big words on a single paper. The coloring of the words will attract the child interest. It starts with the single words. Both the methods will use the right hemisphere of the brain for the learning process. This will enable the child to learn without putting extra efforts. Parents must start these two methods at the age of 3 months. The time period from birth to the age of four is the best time to use the potential completely. They even can learn different languages at this age. They have the great potential to learn in comparison to adults. Native reading is the fundamental and essential way of reading which includes how to read. This method involves the writing and speaking skills at the same time. One can teach native reading while playing or singing the poems or songs. Parents must recite in a clear language while making them read consistently.

Parents should teach the child in such a way which helps their child to learn. Parents are the best teachers for their child because they know their child completely. One should not force the child to learn. By applying all the methods effectively, a parent can help their child to develop the various skills of reading. Reading techniques at an early age inculcate the learning competencies in the child. This will use the potential of a child to learn and grasp the things. This will enhance the child’s confidence during the later years of his/her life.