Since I started down the road of homeschooling Gavin, I’ve been hearing about a lot of early childhood educational programs that have left my head spinning. Uncertain about which way to proceed, I’ve decided to take a closer look at these programs.
Here is a list of some of the ones I’ve heard about (if you have heard of others, please feel to tell me about them in the comments section below – thank you):
- Your Baby Can Read
- BrillKids Little Reader
- DreamBox Learning K-2 Math
- Montessori Method
- Glenn Doman
Some of these are specific programs designed to teach only specific subjects. For instance, Your Baby Can Read and BrillKids Little Reader are focused on teaching infants to read, while DreamBox Learning K-2 Math is about learning Math. Others are educational systems, like the Montessori Method, Glenn Doman and Shichida.
I’ve explored most of these programs already and the ones that currently interest me are the educational systems – the Montessori Method, Glenn Doman and Shichida. Being a homeschool educator with no former experience in education, I figured the best way to get started would be to find out what’s out there, trial and test them on Gavin and then adopt what works.
The common tips I seem to keep coming across over and over again whenever I research the topic of early childhood education are:
- Begin as young as possible
- Be joyous at all times
- Respect and trust your child
- Teach only when you and your child are happy
- Create a good learning environment
- Stop before your child wants to stop
I think these are some pretty important take home points for any parent interested in early childhood education so I have reiterated them here.
I first heard about Shichida from my friend C who was taking her son A to classes somewhere near Centerpoint. From our conversation, all I understood was that Shichida method is a flash card system designed by a Japanese. I’m afraid I never gave it much thought after that.
Glenn Doman was brought to my attention by my friend SM who told me it was that latest craze of the Singaporean Mums. I had heard that it was a flash card system but I didn’t know much else about it.
There appears to be a strong similarity between Glenn Doman and Shichida, although my grasp of both programs are admitedly rather superficial. Stick with me and we’ll explore the differences over the course of the next week or so. For the purpose of this blog post, I just want to highlight what I’ve learned about Glenn Doman and what I think of it so far.
Glenn Doman is the founder for the Institutes for The Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP) whose initial focus was to help develop a program for treating children with brain injuries. They later adopted these approaches with normal children and thus began the “Gentle Revolution“. The objective of the Gentle Revolution is: “to give all parents the knowledge required to make highly intelligent, extremely capable, and delightful children, and, by so doing, to make a highly humane, sane and decent world.”
The Glenn Doman method is intended for children from birth to 6 years. Most of the testimonials I’ve seen so far are from parents who have implemented the series from birth so I don’t know how well the materials are received by an older child who was not exposed from birth. I did find one mother on epinions who successfully implemented the reading system with her older children and came back with positive feedback so I was encouraged to explore further. Perhaps all is not lost – yet.
The main books written by Glenn Doman for “well children” are as follows:
- How To Teach Your Baby To Read (The Gentle Revolution)
- How To Teach Your Baby Math: The Gentle Revolution
- How To Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence (Gentle Revolution)
- How To Teach Your Baby To Be Physically Superb: From Birth To Age Six; The Gentle Revolution
- How To Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge: The Gentle Revolution
They also have DVDs that accompany the books. They are purely instructional and designed to educated parents on the Glenn Doman method. To facilitate implementation of the Glenn Doman method, they offer a range of kits, flash cards, and CD ROM dictionaries.
Based on what I’ve seen online, the material looks pretty impressive, however, I was hoping to get a physical look at the materials before commenting. A search online revealed that there is a local distributor for Glenn Doman materials in Malaysia. However, before you rush over there to have a look for yourself, let me tell you about my experience yesterday…
The local distributor is called GS World of Knowledge and on their website, they state they are located along Telawi 5 in Bangsar Baru, but they aren’t. As to where they have relocated to, if they have even relocated (as opposed to “closed down”), nobody knows. At least, telekom doesn’t and I haven’t been able to find out. There is no forwarding number and no listing for GS World of Knowledge. What a wonderful way to do business (note: heavy sarcasm). Their website is still up – which suggests they are still around – but clearly no one has bothered to update it since 2007. So I posted a message on their “contact us” page and I’m still waiting for an answer.
In the meantime, I decided to be a little more pro-active. Since SM told me she found about about Glenn Doman from the Singaporean Mums Forum, I figured there had to be a local distributor in Singapore. And there is – GD Baby’s Programs. They state that they are the authorised and sole distributor for Glenn Doman products and that they also have an office in Malaysia, so I wrote to them asking for the whereabouts of their Malaysian office. I’m still waiting for a reply on that one, too, but I’ve since discovered that GS World of Knowledge is the Malaysian office because they have the same baby logo. Terrific. I wonder if the Singaporean office is still open as well…
So where does one get Glenn Doman products if we can’t get them locally? Well, I’ve seen some of the books are available in MPH (Bangsar Village), and Kinokuniya. You can also buy them online from Amazon. However, if you want the kits, DVDs, flashcards and CD ROMs, you need to buy them directly from Gentle Revolution who do deliver internationally.
The system appears to be dependent upon the use of flash cards. Off-hand, I have my doubts as to whether this method will work well with Gavin based on my past experience with the BrillKid Reader. Not that I have tried it recently but it appears that only Thomas and Friends can hold his attention and most other unrelated books and materials are deemed uninteresting.
SM also shared the experience of a mother she knows who implemented the Glenn Doman method with her son and received very encouraging results. However, when she tried the method with her daughter, it did not work. Her daughter did not enjoy learning with flash cards and begged her Mum to stop. I suppose this system depends on the receptiveness of your child to learning by flash cards.
If you’re eager to give it a go, I found a website offering free flash cards based on the Glenn Doman method. I find it a bit cumbersome and messy to use however it is a good way to test how well the Glenn Doman method is received by your child without having to spend the money buying the products (as they are not cheap).
I’m still looking for Glenn Doman products so if you know where I can find them, please drop me a line. Otherwise, stay tuned for my updates on this journey.
Glenn Doman on why children love to learn:
For more videos, visit youtube.
Update: Here the is new local distributor for Malaysia – Glenn Doman Baby.
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