on February 24, 2003
Disclaimer: I actually have no children at this time on which to try this method, so unfortunately I have only to pester my friends to read the book to try it out and cannot speak to the results. That aside, the book was, in itself, tremendously interesting to me.
The idea of the "Gentle Revolution" is that children are able to take in and process tremendous amounts of information beginning at birth. This period of intense and specialized learning is to come to a close around the age of five, coincidentally the same time at which most children begin to be formally trained. The author developed his theory, originally, through his work with children who had sustained all different types of brain injury. His discoveries about their learning processes, led to discoveries about the learning process for all children.
The reason that I had to give this book four stars, although I did find it so fascinating, is that, if you have read How to Teach Your Baby to Read, you will find that at least half of this book is a reprint of that, with reading taken out and mathematics put in its place. The book does pick up again when they get away from convincing you that you should try this and why, and get to the actual method.
The author believes that babies can learn math instantly and quantitatively. He believes that a baby can look at an 11"x11" white card with a lot of 3/4" red dots on it, and immediately know that there are 79 dots. It all seems very "Rainman". He suggests that numbers, or numerals, only serve to confuse the situation, and that babies can be taught math using pure quanities, without the numbers getting in the way. The steps involved include recognizing quanities instantly, addition, subraction, multiplication and division, simple algebra, sequences, etc..
The method seems simple enough, if one is willing to put forth the effort to make up the flash cards and spend the few minutes each day it takes to go through them with the baby.
The book also decribes the different ways one might approach this program given different age groups, such as newborn to three months, eighteen to thirty months, up to five and six year olds, and encourages that whatever you do and whatever effort at whatever stage you do it, can only benefit your child.
I would recommend this book if you are interested in raising an exceptional child, or even if you just have a general interest in the brain and the learning process.
on November 9, 2002
Initially I was skeptical about teaching my 18-month daughter math. But after reading the book, I found out that that Glenn Doman and Janet Doman have discovered the completely different method of teaching a baby math, not the same that is using in junior schools. Their method suits for a baby from zero moths old, i.e. from birth. The are three lessons a day, each lesson last fifteen seconds and give such a joy to the baby that she woke me up in the mornings asking me to teach her math. When she hears my steps when I return from my job, she runs to me to teach her math. The babies CAN and WANT to learn!
The babies are eager to learn, they want desperately to learn everything they can, as quickly as possible, but the adults are often fail to provide for the babies the adequate opportunity of learning.
Glenn Doman and Janet Doman offer funny and inexpensive way of teaching the baby math, by means of special inventory: cards with red points indicating a real quantity.
A few words from my own experience on producing the inventory: don't even imagine of cutting the cards or the points by yourself. Order the empty cards of the specified size in a nearby company, which prints business cards. Order five thousand 0.75-inch sticky red circles on a roll of ORACAL in a nearby company, which decorates the shop windows. The authors do not emphasize on ORACAL, but the process of putting the circles to the cards should be as easy as possible.