Early Childhood Education: The Gentle Revolution

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):

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:

  1. Begin as young as possible
  2. Be joyous at all times
  3. Respect and trust your child
  4. Teach only when you and your child are happy
  5. Create a good learning environment
  6. 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:

  1. How To Teach Your Baby To Read (The Gentle Revolution)
  2. How To Teach Your Baby Math: The Gentle Revolution
  3. How To Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence (Gentle Revolution)
  4. How To Teach Your Baby To Be Physically Superb: From Birth To Age Six; The Gentle Revolution
  5. 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: This is new local distributor for Malaysia – Glenn Doman Intellectual Program.

This post was written some years ago. Please see our updated notice on the Glenn Doman Program.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

78 thoughts on “Early Childhood Education: The Gentle Revolution

  1. Jill, you are ceratianly a good mom, Bravo!

    My preciuos girl is 10 mths now…We started math since she is 1 and half month old..

    Im guilty that I have not start with her on any languages as the GD materials are expensive and seeking opportunity to buy in bulk.

    I come across GD resources lately will most probably opt for it after I assess their contents since they are much cheaper and work on same concept of GD. I know I can’t put them on hold any longer as the window of opportunity for effective learning is closing on us.

    Prior to this I as well used home made black and white shapes when she was a week old.

    On the other hand, Im exploring physical developement for her. So if anyone come across any good physical program, pls do share.

    Oh Btw liyana, Im sorry that i couldn’t join your support since you only invited mothers…Hehehe

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  2. dears ladies,

    please do all call and organise a get together. i love meeting all mums and mums to be !

    jill and chong..just to reteirate what i wwrote. its best to have in mind to entertainthe child. education is through entertainment..regardless how old. when one enjoys, there is focus. there will be retention, and expectation to want more input.

    i was the first who designed an edutainment workshop based on harry potter, spider man… fairyland, beatrice potter, hans christen andersen for school going children… andit encourages them to have the desire to read hv fun and enjoy..and the express themselves with the knowledge they acquired. they get excited to share what they haved learned. which is so necessary in the age. children are to accustommed to communicating buttons and find it difficult to speak face to face.

    i statred my sons with flash cards. first i used glenn domain cards. then i started developing them myself. whatever i wanted him to know. but reinforces his input by real life things and events. like coming with me to the supermarket and telling him about the vegetables and tasting , smelling it.. its just all abt bonding. you shd see the looks i get when people stare at me in the supermarket.

    but i realised that even with things that i could not identify real things for experience, they seem to have it stored someway and recall faster. their perceptual of the environment is more acute and they grasp things effectively till today.

    so much to share with you all… but take it easy…

    as mums..we are not here to load the child with the world.. there is much time for that. we are here to nurture and enjoy each other. educating a child is another way or excuse to bond with the child for long term relationship. having quality , effective and eventful time together.

    hugs to all of you… liyana

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  3. Thanks Liyana. I’m enjoying things so much more the second time around. It also puts a lot of things into perspective with my first child. Looking forward to meeting you when you’re back here.

    Chong – great insights into the Baby Bits and thanks for the links to GD resources. Yes, they are so much cheaper than Glenn Doman. Pity I can’t use the other languages. I’m monolingual so I’m hoping that the DVDs will help with a second language. BTW, I’m not sure why the gentle revolution website won’t work for you. I checked it again and it worked fine for me. Perhaps they were having down time when you tried. Suggest you google “gentle revolution” and try again.

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  4. Thanks Shen-Li, yes indeed it was a down time when I tried. Oh ok …is about IAHP’s Glenn Doman. For Malaysia, most of the bit cards can be obtained in Malaysia. However CD-rom needed to be purcahse directly from IAHP USA. I probably could get with a slight discount if we pooled the purchase form Malaysia office. For the State you could either email them to IAHP in philadelphia or call. Visit their official site at http://www.iahp.org/. You could download catalogue and sign up for Newsletter. BTW, they also offered course to parent for about USD 3000 (for mom & dad) for a week intensive training and provide certificate. Some pre-school teacher and volunteer workers for special child has been getting certification from the institute.

    Shen-Li, the original GD Chinese’s Bit cards come with chip embedded in each card where you could use a reader pen to read out the word. So it actullay help parent who are not familiar with the pronuncition of mandarain. Of course it still be hard when come to the sentenses part. Unfortunately, GD resource doesn’t have the feature..Pity!

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  5. dear chong

    i realised you were asking abt physical development for your child.
    GD has a book on that.
    if your child is already 10 months , you probably want to expose him to baby gym. its all abt exploration and going through obstacles. interesting and fun.
    otherwise create an environment in your play round that you can change the props.
    in GD it does tell you what exercises to do . safely and effectively..
    Goodluck dear !

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  6. Thanks Liyana, yes I am fully aware of those GD books and even the how to teach baby to swim which I practicing now. I have even attended Douglas Doman’s Seminar on his physical develeopment.

    However, reproduce a gym in the house envinronment is quite not possible to have a completly safe environment. And unfortunate that GD’s baby gym is not fully set up in the herritage. Thus I am looking for alternative of baby gym that has the safe environment and follow the GD’s concept. I seen Gymboree…and heard about kids sport…what else is out there? I am sure my princess will appreciate some nice workouts.

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  7. Chong – There are lots of play gyms around. Not sure if they’re all appropriate for babies though. I think Gymboree and Kizsports are probably the better ones for babies. I’ve seen one on the top floor of Midvalley, opposite side from the cinemas (think that is more for the older children). There is also one on the top floor of the West wing of Bangsar Shopping Complex. Otherwise you can just go to the playground. KLCC has an extensive park. There are some new playgrounds in Titiwangsa as well. You’ll have to supervise your child closely, though.

    Alternatively, you can just throw some cushions and a mattress on the floor at home and make something of your own. My older boy was always a bit timid with sporty stuff but my second child looks like he might be more adventurous. These days, my older boy is getting more adventurous and he “makes” his own jungle gym at home using the cushions from the chairs – much to the horror of his grandparents.

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  8. hi ! yes kidzport and mega kids and gymboree are some children play zone. evan that it shd be supervised by a parent as accidents can happen. i useto crawl in the tunnels together with my boys. it was a gym for me too. until they were old enough to be embarass abt mum playing soldiers. btw the strutures were built for adults too.

    but i think you are refering to structure class for mums and babies/toddlers. basically its a place for mum and child to socialise besides bonding. when a child plays, even at home and in familiar surroundings, they are working out. as long aas they are active, they get loads of exercise.

    as grow, the open park is great. and the monkey bars is excellent with help at first and keen supervision. its a good skills and confidence developer.

    the other thing that we asians are not accustomed to is play with the child a little rough. like turning them upside down and swing them around. i have foreign friends who plays like that and the kids are always strong and well developed.

    perhaps these are still too early. so dont fret. the time will come. Do play and enjoy !

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  9. Thanks all.

    We have explored and joined the free class at Gymboree yesterday. I think both my baby and ourselves find it a little confusing for the class. It just too much activites in a short 1 hour session. However, I do agree that they have good set up for baby from 0-18 mths. I probably would not consider their classes but I wouldn’t mind joining them just to use their facility for Play Gym, but hours are limited to during lunch time..

    Yes I heard about Kidzsport, Critterland, etc. but I find that their set up is more towards bigger kids perhalps 3 and above with lots jumpping, running rather than crawling and baby stepping. I will explore Tumbletots…heard is a older gym for baby physical developement too. I haven’t heard about mega kids, where are they at? is thier set up more towards big kids too?

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  10. Liyana – haha.. I was a combat Mum, too 🙂 Until I got pregnant with no. 2. In the first trimester I felt too sick to navigate the tunnels. Then I got too big to navigate the tunnels. We haven’t been back since but now that Gareth is older and can sit up, perhaps we should go again.

    With my older boy I was probably a bit cautious, but now we play rough quite a bit. Hubby was good with the rough and tumble games though. Sometimes I see the things he does and it freaks me out. I’m also more relaxed with no. 2 though – he loves the swinging. I think he’s going to be a real daredevil.

    Chong – Kizsports in BV have an area for “under 2” but it’s more like a ball pit and a little slide. It isn’t policed very well and older kids go in there, too. The Kizsports in 1U is better. They fence it off so only “under 2” can go in.

    I’ve seen tumbletots but never went in. Mega Kids is the one in Midvalley I think. Can’t remember the name. It’s near California Fitness. If it is the one in Midvalley then yes the set up is more for bigger kids.

    Seriously, unless you want the interaction with other Mums and bubs, I think you can do quite a bit at home with just mattresses and cushions. Then once they’re old enough you can take them to these places or the park.

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  11. If you are looking for some apps on the go and have a Iphone, Ipod, or Ipad, check out these apps from http://www.smartbabyapps.com. A simple electronic flash cards nicely categorized and with images that you could reinforce the bits for the kids in the car, waiting lounge etc.

    It builds on GD concept, and ideally work with Ipad which has a bigger screen but fine with Iphone and Ipod with selection of extra large font display.

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  12. Hi ladies, I join this thread late and have something important to add.

    Shichida Method recommends us to flash physical cards to the child (and read out the relevant word / info) FACING the child. Reasons:
    – let the child see our expression
    – let the child see how our lips pronounce the words

    Therefore, using electronic mediums without the educator facing the child is not advisable, especially as a core learning tool.

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  13. Shen Li & Chong, I just discovered Glenn Doman recently throgh your postings. My son is 2+ years now. From what I read, it would be good for him not to miss this. Not sure if the type/module of cards affect the learning & result of the child. Please kindly advice if I should purchase the reading kit from 1 or 2. Below are my findings.

    1 – Glenn Doman Baby (bad PR in a conversation (but better in second call), only one sales rep, provides home coaching, expensive, ~1000cards, American English), provides life service

    2- GD Resources (good PR, cheaper, coaching only in office, ~700 cards, British English (same as Malaysia), they cannot claim that the materials/concept are from Glenn Doman, but the approach is the same), provides life service, maybe in different size vs 1.

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    1. Sorry MieVee – I can’t believe I’m only seeing this comment now! But good points. I do use electronic devices, too, but I position myself so Gareth can see me. As for Gavin, who is older, I don’t think facial expression and lip reading is quite as critical as it is for infants and toddlers.

      Reva – I bought my kit from Glenn Doman Baby. At that time I was not aware of GD Resources. I’ve always prefered to teach the children British English, however and since completing the Glenn Doman Kit, I started the BrillKids program (using the UK curriculum) for the kids. I bought both Kit 1 and 2 since I was going to do the program with my baby. I was told that for my older son, I should start straight away with Kit 2. In the end, what I did was I went through both kits for my older son, but I did it much faster – more cards with less repetition. I didn’t follow the Glenn Doman program exactly because he was getting bored.

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  14. Hi Reva,

    For me, I use both of them. I had math with GD BABY (GD Malaysia) and full set from GD Resources including Chinese and Encybits. Why? I can get the best out of the the two worlds. Althought both owners are students of Glenn Doman uses the original Glenn Doman concepts, thier teaching, trainning materials (for parent) is slightly different. Contruction of the materials is identical.

    Here the facts:

    The owners: GD baby (GD Malaysia) is JV between Lawrence (owner of GD Singapore) and Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew’s daughter. Local office manage by Fiona (lawrence downline form s’pore office) and Lily, a rep of from Mines’ office. Lawrence is typical Kiasu s’porean businessman and relatively good trainner (persuasive type). Fiona is typical hard core salesperson. Lily kind of a bit more honest.

    GD resources owned and operate by Aru. He sell and train parents. Is a family business with full passion in early child developement. HIs wife, Jasmine operates a pre school using GD concnepts in same location. He used the GD for his own childs before. Aru train using his personal experainces in using GD.

    The Flash cards: Sizes, color, contrast, is identical to original GD. However GD m’sia tend to have cleaner & newer stocks as turnover is higher due to s’porean demand. GD resources stock is a bit aging. The contents wise, Math is indentical for both. GD m’sia will have 2 volomes for languages (chinese with optional reader pen, english and indonesian) and more than 20 sets of Encybits sell seperately (1set =10 cards on 1 topics) . GD resoruces have the 1 volume for languages (chinese with no option for reader pen & english), 1 box of 10 sets Encybits.

    The Training: GD M’sia train by Lawrence. it come with beginner and advance session with unlimited session. Seesion usually cover all topics from math to language in a 1 hour session. normal size per session of 30 pax. They do provide teaching plan for the particular set that you bought form them. Instruction come in powerpoint format. GD Resources train by Aru, simililary with beginner & advance gorup with smaller grp of 10-12 pax. No teaching plan provided but it come with instruction in booklet form.

    The Networking: GD malaysia networking is directly linked to GD Baby S’pore and IAHP, philadelphia. They organized seminars for IAHP where Janet, Spencer, talks about the program. They also helps IAHP to bring along the physical program to m’sia in Herritage with intention to set up a regional institute in asia as a JV with Tan Sri Lee. GD resources is a family business with strong passion in Early Child Education. They have Pre School offering the full concept of Glenn Doman brain and physical developement in a single set up. However not directly link to IAHP, thus his materials does not need to paid loyalty to IAHP, thus cheaper plus local printing.

    So, there is no best soutions and it will depends on your budget. If you have intention to buy full sets of materials, try the both worlds, and gain teaching plan and experiances thru the sessions and talking to the parents. You can try getting math (I liked their teaching plan) and encybits from GD and languages from GD resources.

    You can quote my name CJ to ARU, he knows me well, and his wife and mine is in the child education line. Fiona & Lily knows us too, but said to FIona that I hated her. Hahaha

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  15. Hi Shenli, I’d like to add one more methodology which is the Waldorf method or also known as the Steiner method/school, seems like it is not as “hot” as Montessori although similar and it has been in the peninsular since 1980s. I just found out about it recently and like it much although there are still a few cencerns to weigh, especially and most importantly, sensing what will my son enjoys most, his best learning method. If any of you have any information on Waldorf, please do let me know I really hope to see/hear more comments from parents that had tried it or researched about it.

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    1. Hi Clbp,

      Yes, I have heard of the Waldorf method as well and have been exploring it as an option. Unfortunately, none of the schools here are approved by the Ministry of Education so it falls under the same category as homeschooling. Also, there is only one that takes older children but that’s too far for us. So beyond preschool and kindergarten, there is no further continuity. I’m sure this will change in time to come but I don’t know if it will be in time us.

      I will explore the method further to see if we can incorporate some elements at home, though…

      Like

  16. Hi everybody, I have very good news for all you concern parents out there. Glenn Doman is back in Malaysia.
    They have been absent in Malaysia since 2007, but have re launched the Glenn Doman program this year.
    They have also started a Glenn Doman school, teaching Reading, Math, Music, Dancing. Swimming and they also have their own gym for babies according to Dr. Glenn Doman’s requirements.
    I will send you more information on where they are located/contact no and how you can purchase the Glenn Doman set for your kids, very soon. in the mean time if you have any other questions you can email me at, melvin.djay@gmail.com

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  17. This design is spectacular! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog
    (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really
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    Like

  18. Hi, I am now with Glenn Doman Malaysia. If anyone is interested to now more about the Glenn Doman programs : How to teach your Baby to read, How to teach your Baby math, Giving your Baby encyclopedic knowledge, How to teach your baby to be physically superb. Please contact me at 017-2595872.
    It is under no obligations at all. Or if you already have any of the above sets any need any help please get in touch with me also. You can also contact me at melvin@glenndoman.com.my , or like out facebook page glenn doman malaysia(education) and get latest updates and leave your commends there.

    Warm Regards

    Melvin Jay

    Like

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