Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Since Erin Asked

Well, today is the big 3-0. I wish I had some profound reflections, but I don't. Today feels much like any other day, which is how I like it. I prefer a low-key birthday.

So Erin asked me about my intellectual program and she's not the only one, so I'm going to outline it here today. If you're not interested in Charlie's intellectual program then please skip to the poll I'm taking at the bottom of the page.

Over here we subscribe to the Doman methods for teaching babies. Glenn Doman made his name working with brain-injured children and his Institutes in Philadelphia are dedicated to working with them. He's also written several books about teaching regular children. The methods for teaching brain-injured children and regular children and basically the same, so I bought the books and got down to business. Doman believes that small children are capable of enormous amounts of learning and he's right. He also believes that very tiny children love to learn and he's right about that too. Charlie just loves his learning program. I can't say taht I agree with every single thing he does, but his intellectual programs suit me to a T.
We started with the reading program outlined in the book How to Teach Your Baby to Read. I won't go into the whole thing, but basically you make big flashcards with red words on them. I'm pretty ghetto-tastic in my application and my cards are smaller than recommended. Still, I'm fairly certain that Charlie is getting something. He smiles at the cards and ignores ones that we've done too many times. Also, twice, I've held up two cards with words and asked him to point to a certain word. He's been right both times. The program continues from words to couplets to phrases to sentences. We're just now starting couplets. If you are interested in implementing the program in any way then I recommend getting the book since I've just barely touched on things.

Next, I began to implement the math program outlined in How to Teach Your Baby Math. This is a little different because you're just giving your child the foundation of mathematics. You start with these red dot cards that represent the numbers one through one hundred. You also use these dot cards for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. I found a woman who has all the dot cards done on power point slides and you can simply print them on your computer. She also has a blog where she outlines many of the ways that she is teaching her three-year-old.

Right now these are the two programs I'm doing. I supplement these with DVD documentaries about artists. I'm hoping to start the program on encyclopedic knowledge sometime after Christmas but it's a pretty big under-taking, so we'll see. It is outlined in the book How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge.

How do I keep track of everything? Well, I have a big white board where I'm constantly putting hatch marks to see how many times I've shown Charlie words, phrases, numbers, or equations. On the left-hand side are our goals. Sadly, I almost never meet my goals, but I figure some is better than none in the education category. Charlie seems to be learning and I'm happy enough with that. I also use this board to keep up with my ABR hours and Charlie's appointments.

In other stuff, I'm debating which picture I should enter in the up-coming multi-media show. Which do you like better? The blue or the orange? Please forgive the crappy pictures.