Glenn Doman is a physical therapist and a pioneer in the field of child brain development. In 1955 he founded the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP), a non-profit organization providing teaching programs to improve and accelerate the mental and physical development of normal as well as brain-damaged children.
Glenn Doman’s Philosophy
Glenn Doman wrote a dozen of books about early child development, which became the beginning of a gentle revolution which continues to this day. Millions of mothers and fathers have read this book, and countless babies and young children have been started on a pathway to intellectual excellence as a result.
The Doman’s method is based around the following core beliefs:
- Every child has genius potential.
Every child born has, at the moment of birth, a greater potential intelligence than Leonardo da Vinci ever used.
- Stimulation is the key to unlocking a child’s potential.
Brain growth and development are a single dynamic process which can be stopped (as it is by profound brain injury), slowed (as it is by moderate brain injury), but most significantly, this is a process which can be speeded.
- Teaching should commence at birth.
The first year of life is a critical time when the brain is growing explosively. The brain literally grows by use – and if we use it, we’re going to grow it. And if you don’t use it, especially in the first 12 months, then you literally will lose brain cells.
- The younger the child, the easier the learning process.
Before the age of five a child can easily absorb tremendous amounts of information. If the child is younger than four it will be easier and more effective, before three even easier and much more effective, and before two the easiest and most effective of all.
- Children naturally love to learn.
Kids would rather learn than eat; kids would rather learn than play. In fact, kids think learning is play.
- Parents are their child’s best teacher.
In your worst minute of your worst day with your child, you will be your child’s best teacher – better than anyone in the whole world. On an average day or the best moment of your best day, you are absolutely spectacular – because you know your child better than anyone else.
- Teaching and learning should be joyous.
Parents deserve to experience the joy that comes from teaching their baby, and babies have a right to appreciate the joy of learning with their parents.
- Teaching and learning should never involve testing.
One of the beauties of teaching a tiny child is that the process of teaching is a pure process of giving information without asking for it back again.
Learning with Flashcards
Glenn Doman offers a universal recipe for teaching very young children using flashcards. The method taps into the enormous potential of a very young child by encouraging you to begin as early as possible.
In his method, Doman used flashcards with red dots, pictures and words. These cards were shown to a child for a short time, but many times a day. Gradually, the number of cards increased.
The cards stimulated redundant healthy brain cells of the brain-damaged children. Months of painstaking work left before sick children began to develop, move, talk. Mentally retarded children in their development were catching up with their peers. Sick children began to speak, count, write earlier. Subsequently, the technique of Doman began to be used as an educational tool for teaching healthy children.
Nowadays the method of using flashcards allows children from all over the world to quickly learn the names of the things while playing, remember how words are written. Such learning develops kids’ intellect, forms photographic memory and encyclopedic knowledge.
Glenn Doman offers specific instructions, such as the exact measurements of the card, the colour of the ink on the cards, the size of the words, uppercase or lower case, how many cards, how quickly, how many times a day, a week, etc. You don’t have to follow the recipe – you can use it as a guideline as long as you keep to the basic rules:
- 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;
- Introduce new materials often;
- Be organised and consistent;
- Do not test your child;
- Prepare your materials carefully and stay ahead;
- Remember the fail-safe law: if you aren’t having a wonderful time and your child isn’t having a wonderful time – stop. You are doing something wrong.
I wish you all the best in your early learning journey with your own children!