Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Month 11 Week 2: How To Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain
There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots, the other wings. - Hodding Carter

It took 3+ hours to curl my hair (after 5 years!) so I managed to finish Doman's book on "How To Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence" as I'd been curious about their approach since that Gymnademics trial class.  Stuff that got me thinking below.

Why start now vs wait for formal school (primary at 6 or nursery/kindergarten at 3)
  • Learning begins from birth
  • The brain grows the most at the early stages
  • The first six years are the genesis of genius, limited only by how much material babies get to learn and how it's presented
  • All significant brain growth is finished by six years with growth in ability dropping sharply each year
  • See this recent article on how frequent, positive stimulation can make a big difference in the early years 
  • What we do not use, we lose - the human brain has the memory capacity to hold ~3 million hours of TV shows :).  What are we filling ours with? 
    • Input: see, hear, touch, smell, taste
    • Output: mobility, language, manual competence
  • When "teaching," have fun. Tell your kid how great he is, how much you love him ... often!  
How to teach your baby to read:
  • Only humans can read
  • Words must be large, clear, repeated enough, presented enthusiastically
  • The more speed, the more new material, the more joy, the better
  • Suggested sequence: Commonly used words, self/body, home objects, baby's possessions, foods, animals, actions, colours, modifiers (pairs, opposites), x is a/an/the y z (e.g. "Mango is a sweet yellow fruit") 
  • Suggested approach: Start with 25 words - 5 new ones 3x/day, mix order. Remove one word/day after 1 week. 5 steps: Single words => couplets => phrases => sentences => books
  • Note: I'm already reading books and flashing words with B but like the sequencing and approach which makes more sense than following the alphabet.  After all, what does "A" or "Z" really mean?!
How to teach your baby encyclopedic knowledge;
  • Suggested approach: Show 10 cards, 10 sec, 3 consecutive days. Intro related facts and sub-categories, list 1 to 12 magnitude of knowledge, expande on sub-categories
  • Suggested categories: biology, history, geography, music, art, math, human physiology, general science, language, literature
  • Note:  Instead of following Doman's (excessively) detailed "bits of knowledge" specs, I may start a digital catalog instead (on iPad/Windows 8 tablets?). This is environmentally friendly, cost efficient with unlimited capacity given the ample real-life beautiful pictures and facts available online
    How to teach your baby math
    • Intro with the facts vs intro "laws" i.e. numerals and symbols
    • Science = branch of knowledge dealing with a body of facts systematically arranged to show the operation of laws
    • Suggested 5 step approach:
    1. Quantity recognition: Use dots and patterns to intro 1 to 20
    2. Equations: Demonstrate additions, subtractions, multiplication, division
      1. Using the same dots, illustrate +, -  and x first
      2. Intro 0 - shift similar quantity dots around (e.g. 5 dots + 0 = 5 dots)
      3. Intro up to 100 (does not have to include all numbers from 20 on)
      4. Illustrate / division
    3. Problem solving: Offer choices, sequencing (e.g. 1, 3, 5, 7), greater less than scenarios
      1. Doman's overall approach is that teaching/learning should be fun and testing should be limited to games or real-life evidences
      2. Even if they get it wrong, your response should be along the lines of "Good try, that's actually X, this is Y"
    4. Equalities: Intro (in)equalities, fractions, simple algebra 
    5. Numeral recognition: FINALLY, digits (numbers) as we know them!
      1. Use equalities to show 0-20, mix up the order of dots and numerals 
      2. Intro 1-100 and go beyond 100s
      3. Proceed to equations with numerals

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