Look Over There, Siberian Husky!

For a good reason, there are not too many dogs in Bangkok. #concreteJungle

We used to say to our kids “Look over there, a dog.”

Nothing wrong about it, right? … Wrong!

I was reading a few months ago in Glenn Doman’s book this is a common mistake parents do. Instead of explaining what kind of a dog it is and saying a few interesting facts, parents just say a very high-level statement such as “It’s a dog.”

Doman gives a few good examples in his famous book How To Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge:

We can look at the dog and say “That’s a bow wow.”

We can use the same ten seconds and say “That’s a dog.” However, the word “dog” is not precise, it is not discrete, and it is highly ambiguous.

We can use the same ten seconds to say “That’s a dog called a collie.”

And even better would be to say:

Look, that’s a dog called a collie which is a native of Scotland.

I really like this concept and wanted to practice it with my kids.

After a few attempts, I realized I know nothing about the animals around, or the trees, musicians, artists, countries, reptiles, … How can I teach kids if I don’t know myself?

Fast-forward a few months and we are creating our own encyclopedic cards to help us out.

This is what our encyclopedic sets look like. Each set has ~10 cards.

We follow the best practices from The Institutes. The sets are organized in Divisions (Art, Biology, Physiology, Science, …), and each division has multiple Categories.

I have learned a lot just by creating some of the cards. Did you know that octopus has three hearts?

It also brings a new dimension to our dinner discussions: “The Siamese cats are from Ayutthaya which we visited last month!”

Husky in Bangkok, really?

Despite there are only “a few” dogs in Bangkok, we were fortunate enough to meet two Siberian Huskies.

I wouldn’t pull these dogs from Siberia to Bangkok, but they seemed to be adapted to +30°C already.

Siberian Husky in Bangkok

Thanks to the new encyclopedic cards, we can say instead of “Look, two dogs” something fancier:

Look, those two dogs are Siberian Huskies that originate in Siberia in Russia.

Kids are now happy to go through the cards and learn new things.

A set of encyclopedic cards (Division: Biology, Category Dogs, Set 1)

How do you talk to your kids?

How can you do it better?

PS: I’m preparing a video training about how to teach encyclopedic knowledge. And I’ll give away our cards, too. Stay tuned!