Learnings From Doman’s Six Books About Early Childhood Education

Did you know that Glenn Doman founded in 1955 The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP.org) in Philadelphia?

Over the last 60+ years, with a team of 100 experts, they mastered the brain development techniques and methods to accelerate kids.

Intelligence is a product of three things: the ability to read; the ability to do math; the amount of encyclopedic knowledge one has.

~Glenn Doman

I set to read all six books in the series Gentle Revolution:

  1. How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence
  2. How to Teach Your Baby Read
  3. How to Teach Your Baby Math
  4. How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge
  5. Fit Baby, Smart Baby, Your Baby!
  6. How To Teach Your Baby To Swim

These books inspired me and I’ve learned a lot. In this post, I’m sharing some of these learnings and insights.

Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Let me know in comments, OK?

Note: All quotes in this article are from the six books. I can only recommend you to buy them.


Learnings Across The Six Books

There’s quite a lot of information that repeats in all six books, so I aggregate them in this first part.

To a great degree, Doman’s findings are eye-opening and exciting. I’m wondering why did I not know about it earlier?!

I’m frustrated that these things are not taught and discussed with expecting parents. Well, at least in Slovakia and Czech Republic it wasn’t the case.

Hence, I would like to spread a word about these methods to all ambitious parents.


It all starts with the IAHP’s inspiring motto:

The Brain Grows By Use.

At IAHP, they spent decades teaching kids and figured out that:

It is easier to teach a one-year-old to read than it is to teach a six-year-old.

It is easier to teach a one-year-old math than it is to teach a six-year-old.

It is easier to give a one-year-old encyclopedic knowledge than it is to give it to a six-year-old.

It is possible thanks to a kid’s desire to learn.

The child below five has a monumental desire sire to learn. He can learn to read and wants to learn to read.

Glenn Doman and his fellow colleagues believe that kids would rather learn than play with toys.

In all history there has never been a more incorrect assumption than that children do not want to learn. Children want desperately to learn and to learn about everything.

Learning is the greatest adventure of life. Learning is desirable, vital, unavoidable and, above all, life’s greatest and most stimulating game.

Assuming kids are exposed to foreign language(s), it’s easy for them to learn them easily, too.

The child below five learns an entire language guage and can learn as many languages as are presented to him. He can learn to read one language or several just as readily as he understands the spoken language.

Every child who is raised in a trilingual household hold will speak three foreign languages before he is six years old.

It’s important to know that brain growth slows down each year. We should utilize it as much as possible during those important first six years.

When the child is five, the growth of the brain is 80 percent complete. When he is six, the process of brain growth is, as we have said, virtually complete. During the years between six and sixty we have less brain growth than we had in the single year (and slowest of the first six years) between the ages of five and six.

Doman stresses numerous times that learning should be fun.

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 denial. The parent must always remember this and she must never do anything to destroy this natural attitude in the child.

The learning sessions should be very short. Especially at the beginning.

Make sure that the length of time you play the game is very short. At first it will be played three times a day, but each session will involve only a few seconds.

 

Classical Music #comeBack

Listening to great music grows the auditory pathways—which incidentally is why parents should talk endlessly to their children.

Beethoven goes in as easily as “Wheels On a Bus,” great art goes in as easily as “Kiddy Cartoons.”

Needless to say, at home we started listening to Spotify’s classical music playlist. I like it, too!

 

Always Have Fun

Doman warns that many adults see learning as a chore because many of us were forced to learn things we were not interested in. However, little kids want to learn about everything. They are naturally curious. Doman encourages us to see learning in a different light.

The learning sessions must be fun, exciting and joyful.

All you must do to teach your little child anything is to arrange to bring him pleasure. And that doesn’t mean play. Kids don’t want to play, they want to learn.

There is a fail-safe law you must never forget. The most important rule is this:

If you aren’t having a wonderful time and your child isn’t having a wonderful time stop. You are doing something wrong.

The second most important rule seems to be:

Always stop before your child wants to stop.

Child’s interest and enthusiasm for his reading or math sessions will be closely related to three things:

  1. The speed at which materials are shown
  2. The amount of new material
  3. The joyous manner of the parent

The more speed, the more new material, and the more joy—the better.

Children don’t stare—they don’t need to stare—they absorb and they do so instantly, like sponges.

Kids’ Age From Birth To One

What the adult will be in terms of physical and neurological ability is determined more strongly in this period than in any other.

Kids’ Age From One To Five

What is placed in the child’s brain during the first six years of life is probably there to stay.

Therefore, we should make every effort to make sure the content is good and correct.

It has been said, “Give me a child for the first six years of life and you can do with him what you will thereafter.” Nothing could be more true.

Every day, absorbing of the facts gets more and more difficult.

With every passing day the child’s ability to take in information without effort descends, but it is also true that with each passing day his ability to make judgment goes up. Eventually that downward curve and the upward curve cross each other.

No Testing!

Teaching is giving your child new information as you would give him a gift—testing is asking for it back. Teaching is a natural and joyous process—testing is unpleasant at best and hateful at worst. Teach your child, do not test him.

Testing does not help a child to learn.

A steady diet of testing slowly but surely eats away at the child’s natural love of learning.

Well, stop testing!

If you want to increase his motivation find out everything that he is doing right and tell him about it enthusiastically. […] Tell your kid how great he is and how much you love him. Tell him often. Even if it is all you have to give him-it will be enough.

Basics Of Good Teaching

IAHP published the following basics of good teaching:

  • Begin as young as possible (a few weeks after birth)
  • Be joyous at all times
  • Respect your child
  • Teach only when you and your child are happy
  • Stop before your child wants to stop
  • Show materials quickly
  • Introduce new materials often
  • Do your program consistently
  • Prepare your materials carefully and stay ahead

Remember the Fail-Safe Law: If you aren’t having a wonderful time and your child isn’t having a wonderful time stop. You are doing something wrong.

Become A Role Model For Your Kid

Everything goes easier when you practice what you preach.

Read more about becoming a role model for your kids in my recent article.


Book #1: How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence

This should be your first book to read from this series. It offers an introduction to all four areas: reading, math, encyclopedic knowledge, and movement.

What happens when we give the small child a toy truck? Well, everybody knows what happens. He “plays” with it for a minute and a half and then he gets bored and throws it away. We notice this and have a ready explanation: he has a short attention span. I’m big and I have a long attention span and he’s little so he has a short attention span. Big brain, little brain. How arrogant we are, and how blind.

First, there is the make-it-so-he-can’t-break-it school of thought for the prevention of learning. ing. The second is the put-him-in-the-playpen-where-he-can’t-get-at-it where-he-can’t-get-at-it school of thought.

He’s trying desperately to learn and we’re trying desperately to get him to play.

It reminds me how I used to give toys to my kids all over again and wonder why they don’t want to play with them after 2-3 days. Now it seems obvious. They have learned everything they could and wanted to move on.

Once you begin to teach your child to read, you will find that your child goes through new material very quickly. No matter how often we emphasize this point with parents, they are always astonished at how quickly their children learn.

Cannot agree more!

The one mistake a child will not tolerate is to be shown the same material over and over again after it should long since have been retired. Remember, the cardinal sin is to bore the tiny child.

Kids In Learning Vacuum

Between birth and four years, the ability to absorb information is unparalleled, and the desire to do so is stronger than it will ever be again. Yet during this period we keep the child clean, well fed, safe from the world about him and in a learning vacuum. It is ironic that when the child is older we will tell him repeatedly how foolish he is for not wanting to learn about astronomy, physics and biology. Learning, we will tell him, is the most important thing in life, and indeed it is. We have succeeded in keeping our children carefully isolated from learning in a period of life when the desire to learn is at its peak. Learning is the greatest game in life and the most fun.

Brain Grows By Use

The five sensory pathways grow by use. That’s exactly why children should read, do math, learn a dozen languages, know great art and exercise as many other sensory skills as possible at the earliest possible ages.

I can imagine you still wonder how a year-old-kid can read, right? 🙂

It is easier to teach a one-year-old a foreign language than it is to teach a sever-year-old.

Languages are made up of facts which are called words. Tens of thousands of them. The ability to take in facts is an inverse function tion of age. The older we get the harder it is to take in raw facts.

The more facts you put into your brain, the more it will hold. Isn’t that outstanding and inspiring?

Intelligence is a result of thinking. The world has looked at this point exactly in reverse.

Many have believed that thinking is a result of intelligence, but that doesn’t seem to be correct. Hence, we should teach the kids to get them think more and more!

Your child’s intellectual diet should be a broad one. The more Categories that are taught, the wider view your child has of the world.

All we do at The Institutes is to give kids visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation with increased frequency, intensity, and duration in recognition of the orderly way in which the brain grows.

It is easy to make a baby a genius before six years of life. And a great deal of fun for both baby and parents. Sadly, it is extremely difficult to make a child a genius after six years of age. The first six years of life are precious beyond measure.

10 Basic Rules To Follow

  1. Begin as young as possible
  2. Be joyous at all times
  3. Respect your child
  4. Teach only when you and your child are happy
  5. Stop before your child wants to stop
  6. Show materials quickly
  7. Introduce new materials often
  8. Do your program consistently
  9. Prepare your materials carefully and stay ahead
  10. Remember the Fail-Safe Law.

Will They Not Be Bored At School?

I can imagine the first question that comes to your mind when you imagine your three-year-old kid reading books is: “Cool, but what will he be doing at school in the first 2 years?”

Glenn Doman has a simple answer to this, too! 🙂

Of course he’ll be bored! All children are bored in school. That’s because schools are boring. They are insulting to children’s intelligence.

Should this stop us from teaching our kids at this early age? No!

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Book #2: How to Teach Your Baby Read

Do you still wonder why little kids should read? Well, wonder no more, here is the answer:

We cannot close our eyes to the considerable able evidence that supports the possibility that early reading has a strong influence on performance in later life.

Plus, it’s easier to teach a kid to read when he’s younger. So why not to do it?

It is infinitely easier to teach a child to read at very young age than it will ever be again. […] Children who learn to read while very young tend to comprehend better than youngsters who do not.

It seems obvious that man’s intelligence is limited to the information he can gain from the world through his receptive senses. The highest of these receptive abilities is the ability to read.

Reading is great – I read at least one book per week, I hope my kids will read a book per day!

 

Look at the ten top children in each class in school and see what common factor is the most prominent in the group. That’s easy: They are the best readers. The nonreading children are the greatest problem in American education.

That sounds about right 🙂

Beyond two years of age, reading gets harder every year. If your child is five, it will be easier than it would if he were six. Four is easier still, and three is even easier.

Why nobody told me two years ago?!

One year of age or younger is the best time to begin if you want to expend the least amount of time and energy in teaching your child to read.

Age From One To Five

It is during this period that he can learn to speak a foreign language, even as many as five, which he at present fails to learn through high school and college. They should be offered to him. He will learn easily now, but with great difficulty later.

At this point we offer these languages to our kids:

  • Marko (3.8y): Slovak, English, French
  • Mia (1.5y): Slovak, English, Thai

And I’m thinking if we shouldn’t get someone to do flashcards in Chinese with them. Providing they would have some fun, there’s nothing to loose. (Some money, maybe?)

The hyperactivity of the two- and three-year-old old child is, in fact, the result of a boundless thirst for knowledge. If he is given an opportunity to quench that thirst, at least for a small part of the time, he will be far less hyperactive, far easier to protect from harm, and far better able to learn about the world when he is moving about and learning about the physical world and himself.

Teaching Steps

When you start teaching reading, these are the steps to follow:

  1. Single Words
  2. Couplets
  3. Phrases
  4. Sentences
  5. Books

The steps are described in a great detail in the book.

Actions:

  • Get this book on Amazon
  • We have lots of reading cards ready to be printed out. If you want, drop me an email to juhasm@gmail.com.

Book #3: How to Teach Your Baby Math

At first, I thought “Whaaat?!”

Now, I think “Crap, why not sooner?!”

We started with the math cards (quantity recognition), jumped to equations and my son loved it.

Math is one of the most useful things you can put into the tiny child’s brain.

It is essential to your child’s intellectual health and happiness that you offer him a wide selection of mathematical food for thought.

Here are some of Doman’s findings:

1. Tiny children want to learn math.

2. Tiny children can learn math (and the younger the child, the easier it is).

3. Tiny children should learn math (because it is an advantage to do math better and more easily).

Facts & Rules

Mathematics is a language and a child can learn to speak it and read it as readily as any other language.

If you teach a tiny child the facts about math, he will discover the rules of mathematics which we call addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, algebra and so on.

Have Fun!

The cardinal rule is that both parent and child must joyously approach learning mathematics as the superb game that it is.

We count everything we can with my son. Cars on the street, coins in a wallet, pens on a table. And we do simple equations constantly, too.

A modest program done consistently and happily will be infinitely more successful than an over-ambitious program that overwhelms mother

An on-again-off-again program will not be effective.

Consistent and not stressful – that’s exactly a math program I like!

Once you begin to teach your child mathematics you will find that your child goes through new material very quickly. No matter how often we emphasize this point with parents, they are always astonished at how quickly their children learn.

Indeed!

The only warning sign in the entire process of learning math is boredom. Never bore the child. Going too slowly is much more likely to bore him than going too quickly.

Quantity Recognition Steps

Surprisingly, in the learning of mathematics, tiny children have a staggering advantage over adults. They can recognize quantity up to 100, while adults can hardly up to 20 dots.

Beyond two years of age, recognizing quantity or true value gets harder every year. One year of age or younger is the ideal time to begin if you want to expend the least amount of time and energy in teaching your child mathematics.

  1. Quantity Recognition
  2. Equations
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Numeral Recognition
  5. Equations with numerals

How We Are Doing Equations?

Read about my experience with math cards in We started teaching our little kids math. It’s been lots of fun!

math-flashcards-and-marko-1

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Book #4: How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge

In the computer, the number of facts that are stored is called the database. In our human brain, we call those facts The Knowledge Base.

With no facts there can be no intelligence.

With an average number of facts we have the base for average intelligence. With a huge number of facts we have the base for high intelligence.

Yet again an important reminder that it’s essential to start with a young kid:

The child’s ability to take in information at two and three years of age will never be equaled again. The younger a tiny kid is, the easier it is to teach him facts.

The more information a child absorbs below low the age of five, the more he retains.

This is so encouraging. I only wish I’d start when my kids were younger 🙂

Babies can learn absolutely anything that you can present to them in an honest and factual way.

The ability to take in raw facts is an inverse function of age.

Myths, anyone?

No myth dies more slowly than the belief that the older you are, the easier it is to learn. The truth is exactly the reverse. The older we are, the more wisdom we acquire, but the younger we are, the easier it is to take in facts and the easier they are to store.

Wisdom, the tiny child does not have; but the ability to take in raw facts—in prodigious amounts—he does have, and the younger he is, right down to the early months of life, the easier this is.

New Material, Please

The one mistake a child will not tolerate is to be shown the same material over and over again long after it should have been retired. Remember the cardinal sin is to bore the tiny child.

Even though we try hard, we adults almost always do things too slowly to suit tiny kids. Our new motto should be “the faster, the better.”

What Are The Facts?

Facts, in order to be facts, must have these characteristics. They must be:

  1. true (not opinions),
  2. precise (crystal-clear, not approximations),
  3. discrete (the fact alone),
  4. unambiguous (named exactly),
  5. and large enough to be clearly seen or loud enough to be clearly heard.

The program of encyclopedic knowledge should be begun as soon as possible and may be carried on concurrently with the reading program.

Facts Or Cartoons? Facts!

The basis of all intelligence is facts. Without facts, there can be no intelligence.

If we put in garbled information we will get garbled answers. The computer people have a superb saying. “G.I.G.O.” That means “Garbage in-Garbage out.”

#giveMeSomeFacts!

It is easier to teach a baby the great paintings of the world than it is to teach him cartoons.

It is easier to teach him the great music of the world than it is to teach him jingles.

The human brain is the most superb of all computers and obeys the same rules. With a small number of facts, it can come to a small number of conclusions:

  • With an average number of facts, it can come to an average number of conclusions.
  • With a huge number of facts, it can come to a huge number of conclusions.
  • If they are related facts the number of conclusions is breathtaking.

Children At The Institutes

Glenn Doman describes “average” child at their institute. An average kid in their terms is clearly an above-average overall.

Well, everything is relative, right?

By two years (prior to their third birthday), virtually all of the children who started at one year of age or less have the following characteristics:

1. They know upward of four thousand Bits at sight. (Since they obviously know them both visually and auditorially, that means eight thousand Bits of Intelligence.)

2. They can read at least four thousand words in two or more languages. (Since they obviously know these words both visually and auditorially, that means eight thousand Bits of Intelligence.)

3. They can read many books.

4. They have begun to play the violin.

5. They can do arithmetic.

6. They know the great paintings of the world and other art masterpieces.

7. They are familiar with the geography of the world.

8. They recognize the great music of the world. (They have been listening to tapes since birth.)

9. They can write.

10. They can speak and understand sentences in one or more foreign languages.

11. They can do a host of other things such as swim, dive, and do gymnastics (things which are not the subject of this book but which are covered in other books).

12. They are sweet, secure, and charming children who are immensely curious and who think that learning is the greatest game life has to offer.

Wouldn’t it be great if all our kids were so outstanding?

What Is A Knowledge Card?

Each card is a piece of stiff poster board with the picture on one side and its name on the other side facing you.

The facts (cards) are organized in ten divisions (Art, Biology, History, …). Each of them includes ten categories. Each category includes ten or more sets of cards. Each card has 10 facts.

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Actions:

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Book #5: Fit Baby, Smart Baby, Your Baby!

One of my most interesting learnings was the importance of brachiation (arm swinging).

I thought that’s something only gymnasts do. But apparently, I should have been doing it with my kids for a few years already!

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We have started using gym rings with kids, too.

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The IAHP created a developmental profile which indicates what should kids at certain age be able to do physically.

The-development-profile-IAHP.png

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How To Teach Your Baby To Swim

It’s a great book showing parents how to teach babies right after birth, but also older kids.

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Want To Know More?

I’m preparing an online course about my experience with teaching kids encyclopedic knowledge. With insights, how-to’s and materials.

If you’d like to get Beta access for free and give me feedback before the course is paid ($99+), please drop me an email to juhasm@gmail.com and say Hi! 🙂


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