From an educator's point of view, I have always believed that education should be engaging, concepts are best learnt concretely, experiences of children should be one that they can remember for a long time even after they are done with school... that they were given vast opportunities to explore. Learning explorations offers curiousity in children and opens up minds. Hence, this interactive approach was my driving force when nurturing my students and my own children later on when I became a parent myself.
From a parent's perspective, I wanted to maximize my children's potential to the best of their abilities. Understanding their learning styles would be a bonus so I could tap on their early sensitive periods to perhaps provide more stimuli.
From a mainstream advocate to a Montessori convert and now a Glenn Doman noob... I am always open to discovering different ways of imparting knowledge to young children since as it is, each child is born with traits unique to their own and with individual capabilities we can look to nurture.
Having raised two girls, having to care for my boys is a totally different experience. I never knew raising boys would be so much fun and so much more to learn about how they learn. Parents everywhere always cite short attention span as one of the challenging factors when handling boys. But boys being boys are supposed to uppity and bouncy... playful and fun... fearless and curious.
I embarked upon the journey of chanelling all that bountiful energy into honing their skills with right-brain training... and I found Glenn Doman.
I was trawling the net for information on right-brain training... one that I used to stereotype that it was more for boys than girls. Of course I was wrong. I was wrong to stereotype in the first place. Education is for every one and because each child was built differently, these varying methods of education help to diversify how education is being introduced to children. I know I said I was open to all forms of education methodologies but I have been skeptical of right-brain training and its advantages, well... till now.
My tiger_chubs is my third-born child born in the year of the Tiger.. now two. A terrific-two stage for me. For us.. We love how hungry he is for learning new things.. how patient he is with repetition work.. how cute he is when he expresses himself every single day.
He has worked with Montessori apparatus since he was about 14mths old with the treasures I have amassed over the years from teaching days and also from scrimping my SAHM allowances past 10 years. Apart from that, we read to him a lot.. sing to him i think almost every moment of his waking hours.. and we dance together every chance we get. We encourage his endless questions and laugh a lot over many of the most intriguing thoughts in that handsome little head of his. His first quiet moment was when I first introduced him to Glenn Doman's Encyclopaedic Cards. I loved the realistic illustrations on the GD cards and how because they were pretty big, they display details clearly for every picture and of course the generous detailed information behind every card was a lifesaver for non-encyclopaedic parents like moi. Why was he quiet?
Aaaahh... because he was interested.
I am poor at flashing.. just like how I am equally not that nimble with sewing.. so I show him the cards at my own speed rate. Please don't judge me. LOL! Apart from being a noob at this, I am also not that determined. Read : lazy. But chubs never once judged me (he doesn't know yet) for my shortcomings and welcomed the input I flash at him every (other) day at different intervals of the day/week depending on how much time I have with him to work these fun stuff.
I thought it strange that he just looked while I flashed and that I didn't have to get any input from him. He kept quiet the first three days when I showed him the amphibians set of cards. So I thought... blahh.. just as I expected. No response. Nothing sinked in. I almost scoffed at the lack of response as if I had all the while expected it. Very wrong, I know... So... I skipped the flashing on the 4th day and on the 5th day, he asked to have the cards shown to him. So I said ok and did one round of it. He just kept quiet again but later requested another and this time, he regurgitated... not all but an impressive regurgitation no doubt from a baby who had barely just turned two. He said his first words at 10mths. One reason why I considered right-brain training for him.. to expand vocabulary. Hee. I don't care if that one close friend I asked for his opinion said that this was clearly human programming. :P *sticking out tongue at ya, dude!*
Chubs went... Goliath Frog.. Glass Frog.. Red-eyed Tree Frog.. Common Mudpuppy.. Oriental Fire Bellied Toad.. etc etc.. I only went ................................. *awestruck* A jaw-dropping moment for me, albeit all that came out was still in baby accent.. perhaps it WAS because chubs identified the cards in such a cuuuute baby slang... that made it all the more awesome!
I worked a few days more with these awesome cards (other themes) and contained my surprise for the rest of the family. One fine day, after buds_hubs came home from work and the girls were chillaxing after finishing homework... I took the amphibians set of cards out at casually asked if he wanted to work with them. He nodded and sat cross legged on the mat. The rest of them were just quietly catching up with one another's day (my dragon_boi was asleep) until chubs' baby voice broke the silence of the room.
Yes.. the surprise worked. The elder sisters went wide-eyed and said wow do that again.. and hubs went.. did he just say all of those? They requested a replay and chubs didn't disappoint. At the end of that week, hubs told me. "I think he just memorized it. By hard. I bet if you showed him in random order, he won't be able to tell which is which."
PARTY POOPER, I know! Always that hubs of mine! But definitely my neutral gauge.. So I reflected and I experimented. Aniwaes, today chubs shot down that sick thought of his by proving hubs wrong. Like any normal mom, I object to forms of testing without my consent but I was engaged with other things that I was unable to go to his rescue (from being tested by his daddy!) LOL!!!
Hubs took the set of cards with the Organs Of The Body and mixed them up bad (i've never mixed them up before!) and he said, "Chubs, now tell daddy what this is.." "Hmmmph." I went in my heart. This was what happened.
"Ekk.. wrong!" "It's heart." (smiling wickedly)
"No, daddy. It's kidney."
Hubs took a look and said nope noppity nope. "It's heart." He replied.
"Kiiiiidney... daddy..." Chubs reiterated almost exasperatedly.
Hubs took another look and turned to the back of the cards.
It read KIDNEY.
Chubs went chuckling away and finished telling his daddy the names for the other few cards and then went on playing with his toys, unfazed. Atta-go boy! You my chubs..
To daddy... boo. Yeh, boo hoo hoo. *rolling on the floor laughing!* Don't care if this is cyberspace. He proved you so wrong darling. Suweet victory for this momma today..
More homework to do for me. To read more on Glenn Doman. *wink* Because I went into the flashing before actually reading through the whole instruction/program manual. *sheepish*
Lesson learnt. Never judge a book by its cover. Never stereotype. Always be open to explore new things so learning will always be an exciting experience for both ourselves and our children. This way they will embrace learning (everything) positively. If at first they don't succeed, they can try other ways. :)