Reading “How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge” by Glen Doman was a huge inspiration to me because it made me realize the potential and capacity that children have to learn, even before they are able to speak. After all, if they are learning how to understand and speak the English language, they really can and ARE learning hundreds of other things as well from the very moment they are born!
I believe my biggest takeaways, and the overall themes in the book, are…
(and these are in my own words, definitely not direct quotes, but more what I personally got out of the book)
- Don’t limit your children by thinking they are too young to learn.
- Children learn when you speak facts to them.
- If you speak baby talk to your baby, he will speak baby talk back. But if you speak like an adult, and give them information, they will pick up on that too.
- Children naturally LOVE to learn!
- Children under 3 years old can learn to read, do math, speak a second language, swim, and learn dozens upon dozens of useful facts about all kinds of things including history, science, nature, the world, art, and more…
- Teaching with joy will bring joy to your children.
- Most people WAY underestimate how much information children can retain.
- Mothers are the very best at teaching their own children.
- You don’t have to be smart to teach your children, but you do have to be willing to spend focused time with them.
- Never keep teaching your children until they want to be done. Always stop an educational activity before they want to stop. If they are asking for more, go ahead and put it away until tomorrow (this is really hard to do). You are on the right track with your teaching, and they will eagerly look forward to “learning time” tomorrow.
I’d like to add that if you read the book it can be a bit overwhelming. The “rules” of teaching your children do not have to be followed completely to make the basic philosophy of the book work. Doman recommends a rigorous and detailed learning plan that includes tracking, filing, and certain amounts of times spent on different subjects. However, I have three kids three and under….so…I don’t follow it all! 😉
What I have learned is….
- Do what works for you, because a happy mom=happy children.
- If you miss a day, a week, or a month of teaching with your children, they can survive it and still be very smart.
- Doing a little each day takes you much farther than you would imagine.
- Taking the time to explain how things work in day-to-day activities with your children, grows their knowledge and feeds their hunger to learn. Ex: When you see a dog, you can point and say, “Look, a doggie!” or you can say, “That dog is a German Shepherd. Some German Shepherds work with the police.”
- We all know different children learn different ways, but the “Bits of Intelligence” (basically large flash cards that you can make yourself) work for any child!
- Keeping playtime simple (this is my nice way of saying no electronics) and limiting screen time (computer, TV, etc) makes kids more eager to learn.
This gives you a basic idea of the philosophy I started with a few years back, and you will see a lot of these points come back over and over again throughout the blog posts that follow.
Learning is SO easy to incorporate into everyday life, and I guarantee your child is eager to learn new things. (why do you think they ask so many questions? ;))