How to teach your child sciences and encyclopedic knowledge

This section started as a purely Doman approach to teaching Encyclopedic Knowledge, but grew into a more comprehensive list of materials for learning about various sciences and fun topics. Encyclopedic Knowledge Materials Books Pick Yourselves a Subject to Learn: categories and units of study Encyclopedic Knowledge Materials at other sites: English; Spanish; Other Languages How to teach Encyclopedic Knowledge How to make your own materials Buy materials

Encyclopedic Knowledge Materials

A-D * Animals * Art: Painting * Art: Architecture, etc. * Astronomy * Chemistry E-H * Earth Sciences * General Culture * Geography * History * Human Physiology I-O * Literature * Mathematics * Music P-Z * Physics * Plants * Religion * Transportation

What is intelligence? According to Glenn Doman intelligence is “a product of three things: the ability to read; the ability to do math; the amount of encyclopedic knowledge one has.” (How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge, Glenn Doman, 2001, p. xi. From now on GD) Well, we’ve all heard that child’s brain is getting formed by 5 and in the first 3-5 years the child learns faster and easier then ever before. Glenn Doman goes further: “It is easier to teach a one-year-old, then to teach a six-year-old” (GD, p. xi). Glenn Doman is the only one I know who provides some suggestions on teaching kids encyclopedic knowledge, but if you know anybody else, please comment below!

How to teach Encyclopedic Knowledge

Get Started First and foremost, don’t be lazy: get a book How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge by Glenn Doman and read it. Second, Glenn Doman recommends starting with reading. Reading is the staple of the knowledge. If you haven’t yet, review our brief summary of his reading method, and jump start section for getting the materials, knowledge on creating materials, cards, computer presentations, etc. The next program Doman recommends is math. His dot system relies on a fact that kids still are able to recognize quantities visually. Without use, this ability gets lost very fast and Doman’s method of learning math becomes useless. Check out our Math learning section for tips on learning mathematics with little kids. According to Doman, once you are comfortable with your reading and math programs, you are ready for the Encyclopedic Knowledge. What most of the parents say, is that their kids love this program the most. So I think that you can start this program whenever you are ready – your child might like it so much, that it can even give a good boost to your reading and math programs. Here you can find a summary, or rather – a cheat sheet. A few rules:

How to Give your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge, 1984, p. 84 summarizes it:

  1. It must have accurate detail
  2. It must be one item only. It must not have a confusing background
  3. It must be specifically named
  4. It must be new
  5. It must be large
  6. It must be clear

How to show it?

Same rules apply as with reading cards: stop before your baby wants to stop (always show one card less then the baby has the patience to watch), show cards frequently (3-4 times a day), consistently (maintain the same frequency on a daily basis), very-very quickly (as fast as you can – 10-15 seconds maximum – on second per card). Make sure that your cards are large, clear, with a good-sized border around them, so that your child can see the cards very easily. Sit ~18 inches from your child, so that you don’t obstruct the bit card. The younger the child – the louder and clearer your voice should be. Begin with 5 different Categories with ten cards in each, but adjust this number according to your baby’s wishes (less is more – it should be fun and really desirable for both of you!), show each Category 3 times a day. As your confidence grows you can add more categories. Adding and retiring: after 10 days, retire one card in each category and add a new card instead. Then continue retiring/adding on a daily basis. Once you run out of bit cards, start another Category. For more detailed information on how to show Bits and Programs, see Comments at the end of the article.

How to make your own materials

Doman Method

The quality must be very fine. Materials (How to Give your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge, 1984, p. 112):

  1. Raw Bits of Intelligence (photos or drawings) – see the rules for Bits of intelligence. Cut out the unnecessary background leaving just the object for an illustration. If there is a group – cut each object individually and eliminate the background. Make sure you have the clearest and most unambiguous label you can find for a title. E.g. “beetle” is too general, “two-spotted ladybird beetle” is correct.
  2. Poster Board – white, two-sided poster cardboard: index board, illustration boards, etc. It shouldn’t “flop” in your hands, should be strong enough for repeated handling. You can as your cardboard precut. Size: 11″x11″ (28cm x 28 cm)
  3. Black “Magic Marker” or other waterproof felt-tipped marker – for writing title and programs of intelligence information on the back
  4. Rubber cement – “we have found that rubber cement is the best vehicle for fixing raw Bits to cardboard.” I guess they recommend it over conventional paper glue-sticks.
  5. Clear “Contact Paper” or laminate (optional) – “ideal Bit of Intelligence” has a clear plastic laminate on both sides. It is ideal because it strengthens the card, making it virtually indestructible as well as making the Bit card impervious to fingerprints and soil.”

(How to Give your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge, 1984, p. 119): How to find bits of intelligence

Parent’s Methods

Doman’s method describes an ideal Bit Card, with ideal imagery, information, etc. If you have the time and the resources to proceed letter by letter – you’ll have the best possible materials. I actually believe, that if it takes too long to create the materials – the baby will miss a chance to use them, since you’ll be so busy all the time! There is also a concern, that if you are not able to provide your precious baby with the best of the materials, then it is not even worth doing it. I don’t believe it. Kids are remarkable resilient and can learn from variety of “wrong” materials. As long as you do it joyously, enjoy the process together, and provide anything you can put your hands onto – your baby will learn. Even if the baby wouldn’t remember every latin name of every insect you showed him, or every middle name of every president – it is the brain cells that haven’t died in an everyday decaying process, that matter – the baby will fill those cells with some other data later on. Preserving them is important. So, here are the resources parents have found useful for making bits cards at home.

If you come up with some ideas that are not listed in this article, please share it in the comments below!

Computer Presentations

This is my favorite way of making Bit cards. I find it the easiest and I really like that I can show it both on the computer, and print it out as a book or set of cards. We don’t just “retire” cards – I store them in boxes and on bookshelves and we reread the old presentations – my son loves recognizing the familiar images, and I hope that this repetition will actually make some knowledge stick through the years! Doman doesn’t think it is important… but I don’t think it hurts! If we are rereading “Cat in a Hat” ten times a day, why we can’t “reread” “Architectural Masterpieces” or “Solar System”? So,

Where to buy the materials

Please share other materials that you’ve purchased for your kid and found useful or useless! I’ve come up with these resources thanks to the kindness and generosity of other parents who were sharing their recommendations and they’ve already saved us a great deal of time, and now I hope – will save some for you as well! Looking forward to hear from you in the comments below or in our forum.