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Early Childhood Education: What is the Gentle Revolution?
When I started researching early childhood education so that I might better equip myself to homeschool my two year old, I discovered that there are actually quite a number of philosophies and methods for teaching young children. So many, in fact, that it started to get a little confusing after a while.
This article is the continuation of my research into early childhood education (the first being the Montessori Method) and looks at an interesting method called The Gentle Revolution by Glenn Doman.
What is the Gentle Revolution?
Glenn Doman is the founder for the Institutes for The Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP) whose initial focus was to help develop a program for treating children with brain injuries. They later adopted these approaches with normal children and thus began the "Gentle Revolution". The objective of the Gentle Revolution is: "to give all parents the knowledge required to make highly intelligent, extremely capable, and delightful children, and, by so doing, to make a highly humane, sane and decent world."
The Glenn Doman method is intended for children from birth to 6 years. Most of the testimonials I've seen so far are from parents who have implemented the series from birth so I don't know how well the materials are received by an older child who was not exposed from birth. I did find one mother on epinions who successfully implemented the reading system with her older children and came back with positive feedback so I was encouraged to explore further. Perhaps all is not lost - yet.
The main books written by Glenn Doman for "well children" are as follows:
- How To Teach Your Baby To Read (The Gentle Revolution)
- How To Teach Your Baby Math: The Gentle Revolution
- How To Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence (Gentle Revolution)
- How To Teach Your Baby To Be Physically Superb: From Birth To Age Six; The Gentle Revolution
- How To Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge: The Gentle Revolution
They also have DVDs that accompany the books. They are purely instructional and designed to educated parents on the Glenn Doman method. To facilitate implementation of the Glenn Doman method, they offer a range of kits, flash cards, and CD ROM dictionaries.
Based on what I've seen online, the material looks pretty impressive, however, I was hoping to get a physical look at the materials before commenting but I haven't been able to locate a local distributor.
The system appears to be dependent upon the use of flash cards and off-hand, I don't think this method works particularly well with my son based on my past experience with the BrillKid Reader. Not that I have tried it recently but it appears that only Thomas and Friends can hold his attention and most other unrelated books and materials are deemed uninteresting.
I have also heard about the experience of a mother who implemented the Glenn Doman method with her son with extremely positive results. However, when she tried the method with her daughter, it did not work. Her daughter did not enjoy learning with flash cards at all. I suppose the take-home message is that this system depends on the receptiveness of your child to learning by flash cards.
If you're eager to give it a go, I did find a website offering free flash cards based on the Glenn Doman method. I find it a bit cumbersome and messy to use however it is a good way to test if the Glenn Doman method is appropriate for your child without having to spend the money buying the products (as they are not cheap).