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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone here do the Glenn Doman "stuff" with your kids?

I've been reading his stuff and am considering making some materials. DS loves to sit or lay and read with me, as long as the text is very large, so I think he might enjoy this.

Plus I enjoyed Mr Doman's attitude toward very young children.
 

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i've read some of his books and, for several reasons, disagree with his philosophies entirely. have you ever read "the myth of the first three years?"

i will not do anything with my children which they don't ask for/show an interest in before they are three or four years old, aside from "slow & steady get me ready" activities. i am not saying that a 16 month old will never show an interest in reading or basic math; many do. but what interest could a 6 month old have in books? my daughter is five months old and her favorite thing to do with a book (or anything) is to see how many different ways she can get it into her mouth.
 

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Most of the Doman concepts don't sit well with me, but I'd still recommend you learn more about it, if only to disagree with him.
He has a whole series of books along the lines of "Teach Your Baby to Read" and "Teach Your Baby Math." His IAHP campus is about 2 miles from where I live.

Tara
 

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Here is a link to Glenn's website: http://www.iahp.org/well/articles/index.html

I first heard about Glenn Doman through a Paula Yates book, The Fun Starts Here, that I read when I was pregnant. It sounded rather intriguing. I bought "How to Teach Your Baby to Read" and was so pleased with his advocacy and love of children and learning that I bought everything else of his as well. Granted, what I've mainly used are the encyclopedic knowledge cards: inventors, composers, explorers, etc. If my son hadn't been interested in them, I wouldn't have bothered. BUT. My son couldn't very well say to me at age 7 months, "Mom, who invented the lightbulb?" as he couldn't voice his thoughts verbally yet. So I placed these large cards strategically around the house so he just got used to seeing them. He thought they were great fun and I would take maybe 10 seconds out of the day to read him the name of each person on the cards. That's all it takes.

Rather long story short, even though Doman doesn't believe in testing and believes you should trust your children instead, I was curious one day about whether it was working. My son would see the photo of Edison and say, "lightbulb!" On the back of the inventor series are small photographs of 10 inventors, and I asked him which was the person that invented the radio, Guglielmo Marconi? He pointed Marconi out right away. Turns out he knew them all - the composers, the artists, the explorers and all the rest. And he LOVES doing this. He brings me the cards all the time. My relatives were rather astonished and amazed at this. But most children if they watch much TV all know what ad logos are which and other unsavoury things. They know what the golden arches of McDonalds are. So why not put something useful into their perfectly adorable little heads that is useful since they'll learn all about Nickelodeon and the rest soon enough?

95% of brain growth is completed by the time you are 5 years old which means that learning is much simpler when you are younger. For instance, nobody thinks about learning how to speak english (or whatever language). It's just something you pick up without instruction. But learning to fluently speak another language later in life is much more difficult. You can do it, but not as easily. So I like Doman's ideas about how children are capable of so much more than most people give them credit for. If you don't tell children that learning is boring they'll think it's fun, and it is!

If you're a fan of Suzuki, you'll like Doman. His theories are very similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hmmm...

eilonwy - I will def. look for that book. I've been reading all sorts of things about education, brain development, etc. (Montessori and Waldorf are on my list, as well). As far as doing something with him that he doesn't show an interest in...that's the thing...he LOVES reading books with me. The ones with big type. If we switch to the ones with smaller type, he loses interest, which does lend credibility to Doman's idea that kids need very very big print. I guess I figure that if he doesn't have fun with it, we'll stop, but if he DOES like it, why not? We've tried lots of things with him that he doesn't ask for or necessarily show an interest in at first, but he ended up loving them.

Linda KS - thanks for the recommendation - I'll get that one, too.

Kristine - you sound like me. I figure - well, what's the harm? I was insanely curious as a child and he seems to be taking after me. I'm not trying to cram education down his throat against his will...if he likes it, we'll keep it up. If not, no biggie. I origianlly bought the book at Half Price Books on sale just as a curiousity, but his respectful attitude towards children really struck a chord with me. And his rants against playpens

I honestly don't know much about suzuki, other than secondhand info from an aunt whose daughter learned to play violin with suzuki. I read "How to Multiply your Child's Intelligence" and the part about music really reminded me of the way my cousin learned violin. Hmmm...I shall have to add suzuki to my reading list, too.

I'm glad to hear there are real people out there who have tried the stuff he talks about. Do you still do it?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kristine
So why not put something useful into their perfectly adorable little heads that is useful since they'll learn all about Nickelodeon and the rest soon enough?
I'm a little confused as to why being able to identify a picture of Marconi or Beethoven is "useful." Seems pretty trivial to me. I'd rather play Beethoven for my DD's and read, read, read living books for our mutual pleasure. We'll worry about Tesla or Einstein or whoever when we study science and the history of science.

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95% of brain growth is completed by the time you are 5 years old which means that learning is much simpler when you are younger.
Learning some basic concepts is simpler when younger. The parts of the brain responsible for higher thought processes don't mature until well after puberty. There are some things that have to be learned or initiated early on; trust is a good example and yes, primary language acquisition is another. It is easier to learn a second language the earlier one starts. However, a 3yo exposed to another language will at best learn to speak it like a 3yo. Fluency requires both immersion and significant duration no matter whether a language is started at 2 or 7 or 10. There is indeed a ceiling, however: IIRC by 13 one loses the ability to start a language and sound like a native speaker, even if fluency is attained.
 

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NoHiddenFees: Not quite sure what YOU think would be considered useful, perhaps that is all in the eye of the beholder or perhaps you missed my point. Also, these "living books" you speak of and listening to Beethoven go hand in hand with what I spoke of in my previous post. It is not an either/or thing i.e. you show your children photos of people and ignore books and music or you read books, play music, yet don't find knowing who great artists are useful.

Besides my vast collection of books I brought out from my own childhood, I was buying my son books while he was still in the womb. First book read to him was within 3 hours of his birth and this trend continues unabated. From Rudyard Kipling, C.S. Lewis and Robert Louis Stevenson to Richard Scarry and wonderful English children's authors Janet and Allan Ahlberg and Shirley Hughes, my son is immersed in books. You don't even want to know about my own reading habits, but suffice it to say that I don't have enough bookshelves in my house to accommodate my habit.

Music: sang a Kraftwerk song to the little angel with lyrics changed the day after coming home from the hospital, and as he loves this band took him to see Kraftwerk play when the lovely German men played a show earlier in the year. Aside from that it's classical from Bach to Vivaldi, jazz from Miles Davis to Thelonious Monk, and all of the in-between music snob stuff that nobody on here wants to hear about. My husband is a musician, I am a musician, and our son can sing wonderfully, strum the guitar quite well, plays the melodica nicely, the harmonica, the drums, piano and synths set up in the studio etc. I guarantee he's probably the only child on here who can sing along to The Fall's "I am Damo Suzuki" too.

About the language development: when you say a 3 year old will learn to speak like a 3 year old you may also want to keep in mind that all children vary wildly when it comes to vocabulary and languages. Some children speak quite well before a year of age. Others take longer. Some 3 year olds probably speak numerous languages better than I do. I know one person whose parents were foreign diplomats and the person learned 4 languages before he was 5 and spoke them fluently and still does today. My son speaks better French than me and that is just from watching BBC's Muzzy. No one child is the same and all have very different talents and abilities and it is impossible to say what ceilings there are as a concrete matter of fact.

Basically what it boils down to is that I believe in exposing my son to everything possible to see what HE is interested in. If he's interested in something, great. If he's not, why would I waste my time? But while anything he wants to try on his own I would willingly do, I just think about how wonderful people have introduced me to great things over the course of my life like music and books, which wouldn't have happened if they'd just waited for me to walk up to them and say, "hey, I really love Bertrand Russell and Mencken. I really like Coledridge and Rimbaud too. Oh yeah, and Oscar Wilde and Huysmans. But that's all I'm interested in, so please don't tell me about the french surrealists or anything else unless I specifically ask you about it, okay?" Or "I think all television is a waste of time so please please PLEASE don't tell me about Arrested Development. I guarantee unless the TV sprouts legs and walks to me while the show is on I shan't watch it."

I really don't mean to sound petty and it's late at night so this is probably coming out the wrong way, but I see nothing wrong with having a child who is capable of pointing out who Albrecht Durer is as well as loving to play with his cars. The world is a big place and there are a lot of things out there to explore, and I love every second of exploring and learning with my son, and see no reason why I should limit his learning in any way, shape or form.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kristine
NoHiddenFees: Not quite sure what YOU think would be considered useful
What I consider "useful" changes as the child ages. I personally don't think pumping young children's heads full of random facts (as is my impression of the cards you described) for its own sake is either necessary or appropriate. I firmly believe that since young children soak up knowlege like a sponge no special system need be employed to help them do it other than an interested parent.

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It is not an either/or thing
Of course it's not.

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About the language development: when you say a 3 year old will learn to speak like a 3 year old you may also want to keep in mind that all children vary wildly when it comes to vocabulary and languages.
That's why I didn't say "typical" 3yo, having met an atypical one myself.


Quote:
... I just think about how wonderful people have introduced me to great things over the course of my life like music and books, which wouldn't have happened if they'd just waited for me to walk up to them and say, "hey, I really love Bertrand Russell and Mencken. I really like Coledridge and Rimbaud too. Oh yeah, and Oscar Wilde and Huysmans. But that's all I'm interested in, so please don't tell me about the french surrealists or anything else unless I specifically ask you about it, okay?" Or "I think all television is a waste of time so please please PLEASE don't tell me about Arrested Development. I guarantee unless the TV sprouts legs and walks to me while the show is on I shan't watch it."
We are talking about 2 and 3 yo's! Questions of faulty science aside, I think I'm biased against programs such Doman's because their primary purpose is one other than the instilling of joy and wonder. Plenty of people (including myself) can reconcile the idea of a rigorous and structured educational experience with a fully child led approach in the toddler and early childhood years. It's amazing how much I've learned following DD1's lead. We talk about everything and anything and take her questions seriously; they sometimes lead us to unexpected places. OTOH, while we don't go out of our way to "educate" her, we're overjoyed that she loves to read as much as we do, and accomodate her at every opportunity. We still choose what books come into the home, but DD chooses what we actually read.

Quote:
I love every second of exploring and learning with my son, and see no reason why I should limit his learning in any way, shape or form.
Though we have very different perspectives, I could have written those same words myself about my DD's.
 

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Actually, if I hadn't read Doman myself, I would probably agree with what you were saying about the cards and how they probably don't instill joy and wonder and sound rather joyless. But having read Doman, he is exactly the opposite and if I had more time I'd put some quotes of his in here since he really is all about joy and wonder. For instance, the story of australian mothers who haven't been told that like him, you're only supposed to learn to swim at 7 years of age like everybody else in the neighborhood, so these moms took their babies into the water and taught them how to swim at a very young age because nobody told them not to and they grew up loving the water. Or he talks about meeting Suzuki and how nobody believed that young children could play or love to play a violin either because they were too small and nobody had done it before. What I liked best was his talk about how things like playpen were for parents since they could afford not to learn, but children couldn't and shouldn't be in playpens etc. So it's more a holding up of a card and exclaiming joyfull who the person is on it, and that if your child isn't having fun you shouldn't do it. And it could be anything really, not just the cards, but he mainly points out that children are capable of more than they're given credit for in a world where most adults put their children in cribs and let them CIO for awhile and don't treat them like human beings. Uh oh, I'm getting completely off topic now!

I see what wavelength you're on and have read a lot about unschooling and child-led learning and absolutely agree that children initiate learning by themselves and that should be followed, and believe me, every day is an experience with a child who insisted before age 1 that he unload the dishwasher, and so I let him do so. I will continue to follow wherever I am led with my child, but part of the fun of being a parent is being able to introduce him to the wonders of narnia at a young age (something I discovered as an older child and wish I'd known about when I was younger) and many other things. The cards I realize don't sound like a good approach to learning and I'd have thought the same thing. But my son absolutely loves them and brings me the cards numerous times each day because he wants me to read off some fact about whoever happens to be on the card. It may have to be seen to be believed, but he really adores doing this. And it's only for a few seconds and absolutely doesn't take the place of anything else we do in our toddler-led world.
 

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If we were talking about two and three year olds, that'd be different, but IIRC, these programs begin with newborns.

The problem, in my opinion, is not with introducing things the baby didn't ask for or isn't interested in (although, as I said before, I can't see the point of doing that with an infant), but that it doesn't actually accomplish much. Yes, your child can learn all the tricks and games, but the fact is that Doman's Institute has yet to produce a single genius. Not one child can be shown, not a single example of a child who grew up and actually had this encyclopedic knowledge or the ability to do high level mathematics or anything that his programs are supposed to teach. The most comprehensive study of the programs, methods, and children at the Institute for the Advancement of Human Potential showed that kids who had been through the program were less likely to take joy in learning than other children their age by the time they were eight years old. That was the only difference between "hothoused" kids and children who were allowed to develop at their own rate. It may seem that Doman's methods are all about love of learning, but the studies don't bear that theory out.

All of the ideas about children learning more/better/faster when they are very young are just that-- ideas. They have all been proven false; neurological studies indicate that if anything some pruning of synaptic pathways must take place before a child can learn most things (including higher reasoning skills). There are indeed critical periods, but they only exsist for a very few things: primary language, gross motor skills (crawling/walking), emotional connection/attachment. There is no critical period for learning math, or science. Some studies indicate that nearly any child without a profound hearing deficit can indeed be taught perfect pitch, and they can all be taught to appreciate fine music, but that nothing can make your child a musical prodigy or prevent that from developing (aside from severe abuse).

I understand the desire to "fill their heads with something useful," and I actually make an effort to do that, but not in any formal, structured way. My kids are very bright, and I wanted to take advantage of that and help them to achieve their potential, but the fact is, I can't see any possible benefit to formally teaching my son to recognize Tesla or Bach. He's picked up a startling number of things just going about his regular life; for example, I love Vivaldi and my husband does too, so for the first 8 months of our son's life, we played some every day. We stopped for a while and started up again just recently. I put the CD on and my two year old son ran into the room, shouted "Vivaldi! It's Spring, mamma!" and started dancing. :LOL Totally unsolicited, and we didn't make any effort to teach him, but he learned it. He's learned the alphabet pretty much through osmosis, and shapes, colors, and all sorts of other things just from playing with his cousins and listening to people around him speak.

The point I'm trying to make is that you can't make your child more or less than they are (unless you're abusing them.
) If your baby is a genius, he's going to be a genius no matter what you do or don't "teach" him as an infant. If your child is going to be average, he's going to be average regardless of how much time you spent "building encyclopedic knowledge" with him as an infant. I understand wanting to encourage your child, I desperately want to encourage my own children, but they will be what they will be. It is my job to see to it that my children become the greatest people they can be, that they have the opportunity to live up to their potential; I think that we're doing that as best we can.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kristine
If you're a fan of Suzuki, you'll like Doman.
Not necessarily. I'm a fan of Suzuki and not of Doman. To me Suzuki is about the pursuit of artistic discipline as a way to nurture the soul. It's about process, not results.

Also, the nurturing Suzuki environment which is ideally present at birth is completely unstructured -- no particular response is expected from the child until formal lessons begin (generally around age 3-4, often later in North America).

Miranda
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eilonwy
Yes, your child can learn all the tricks and games, but the fact is that Doman's Institute has yet to produce a single genius. Not one child can be shown, not a single example of a child who grew up and actually had this encyclopedic knowledge or the ability to do high level mathematics or anything that his programs are supposed to teach. The most comprehensive study of the programs, methods, and children at the Institute for the Advancement of Human Potential showed that kids who had been through the program were less likely to take joy in learning than other children their age by the time they were eight years old. That was the only difference between "hothoused" kids and children who were allowed to develop at their own rate. It may seem that Doman's methods are all about love of learning, but the studies don't bear that theory out.

Well, it depends on what you would consider a genius. Are we talking IQ scores? Emotional intelligence scores? Those who appear to be child prodigies? Extraordinary intellectual power is one of the definitions of genius, and thus what would it take for people from Doman's school to fit into this mold in your opinion? I know a few scientists, a teacher at Yale, my husband (as examples) who display genius tendencies but aren't known far and wide. Do they have to become wildly famous like Einstein and have press? I don't believe that you have to discover the cure for one type of cancer or win the nobel peace prize and have your name all over the world to be a genius. So Glenn Doman's students so far haven't produced anybody famous, but so what? How many Einsteins are there? I know plenty of famous people on the other hand....most of which are NOT geniuses, although a couple of musicians I know might fit that category imho.

Also, could you provide a few links to these comprehensive studies about Doman's program and how the children attending it take less joy in learning than other 8 year olds? I know well how rigorous scientific studies work, and would like to see what criteria was used and the specifics of said studies. I'm not really sure how you could measure a person's joy level unless you asked every student that went to the school, and even then I'm not sure what you'd measure that AGAINST - other kids from various public schools? Religious schools? Private elite secular schools? unschooled kids? Don't know how you could get accurate or unbiased results, but there ya go. I have an open mind and am very interested to read these studies and would love links to as many studies done on Doman's program as possible to investigate further. Thanks!
 

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*Wanders around the forum all confused*
What is the point of doing the flashcards? I genuinely don't understand the goal. Is it because the baby wants this or the parents enjoy looking at flashcards for themselves? Is it to give baby an advantage over other babies? How? I just don't get it. I don't understand the value of teaching a baby or toddler to memorize the faces and names of composers. My kids and I would rather just listen to the music, because we all like it. My oldest son has no idea of what Rossini's face looks like or what his name is. But he recognizes some of his works from the first couple of notes. He can do that, because he enjoys listening to it. So do I.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kristine
95% of brain growth is completed by the time you are 5 years old which means that learning is much simpler when you are younger.
Rote memorization is a lower brain function. IMHO, creativity, enjoyment of being, and critical thinking (i.e. questioning, applying new knowledge to known data) is much more important. I, personally, would rather devote my energy to reading a bit above my ds' level, asking him questions during the story, explaining new words, paraphrasing for him, summarizing for him, and helping him see similarities to what he already knows, than teaching him to memorize print/images. To each their own, obviously. I just don't understand the importance of drilling print images early in life.

I just don't really understand Doman's goal. If it's to exercise the developing brain, then I'd argue that memorization doesn't really do much for that.

Just my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I had really hoped this thread could be a place for mothers who follow doman's suggestions to talk, rather than a place to debate the merits of his suggestions.

I thought my OP was clear, but I guess it was not clear enough.

Well I found another BB just for families who are trying out Doman's suggestions, so I guess i'll just head over there from now on to discuss this particular topic.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sarahtar
I had really hoped this thread could be a place for mothers who follow doman's suggestions to talk, rather than a place to debate the merits of his suggestions.

If that's what you wanted, you should have titled this thread "Support for Glenn Doman/IAHP parents" or something along those lines.

I'll get back to you with the links.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kristine
Well, it depends on what you would consider a genius. Are we talking IQ scores? Emotional intelligence scores? Those who appear to be child prodigies? Extraordinary intellectual power is one of the definitions of genius, and thus what would it take for people from Doman's school to fit into this mold in your opinion?
What do I consider a genius?
I've certainly got my opinions on that, and probably not what you'd expect, but that's not the point. (PM me if you want more details from me.) What I was trying to say (and failed to articulate) was that the Institute has not, to date, produced anyone who appears to be exceptional in any way once they leave school. By the time they graduate from elementary school, the only difference between IAHP kids and other kids is that the IAHP kids are less interested in learning; by the time they graduate from high school, there's no difference at all. They are no more or less intelligent or successful than other people.

Quote:
I know a few scientists, a teacher at Yale, my husband (as examples) who display genius tendencies but aren't known far and wide. Do they have to become wildly famous like Einstein and have press? I don't believe that you have to discover the cure for one type of cancer or win the nobel peace prize and have your name all over the world to be a genius. So Glenn Doman's students so far haven't produced anybody famous, but so what? How many Einsteins are there? I know plenty of famous people on the other hand....most of which are NOT geniuses, although a couple of musicians I know might fit that category imho.
:LOL I hope you didn't take my statement to mean that you must be famous to be a genius. I certainly never meant to imply anything of the sort! :LOL I would never say that all geniuses are famous or that all famous people are geniuses, that doesn't make any sense at all. Whether or not the Institute has ever produced anyone famous is completely irrelevant; the point is, Doman's Institute is supposed to produce geniuses, or at the very least kids who are more successful than the average person, and it hasn't.


I'm having a hard time finding links; I read a book on the subject a few years ago, around the same time as I read "The Myth of the First Three Years," but I can't remember the title or the author's name. I'll keep looking. In the meantime, why don't you write a letter to Mr. Doman and ask him if he can show you an adult who excells in any of the areas which the Institute specializes in? He's been doing this for more than 40 years, if it worked he'd surely be able to point to some...
Decide what it is you expect your baby to know/have/do as they get older, and try to find someone who can do it as an adult or even a high schooler.

I've met one child who did the program, back in the 80's. He had a huge and horrific psychotic break at the age of 11. He wasn't any smarter/better/faster than his classmates, who hadn't gone through it all, his grades in school weren't any better, though he did seem to have a greater need to please his teacher than the other students. Of course, this is one story, one small shred of anecdotal evidence, but if you'd met him, you'd think twice about hothousing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by eilonwy
If that's what you wanted, you should have titled this thread "Support for Glenn Doman/IAHP parents" or something along those lines.
.
Yes, apparently "does anyone here do this stuff" was unclear and easily mistaken for "tell me what you think of Glenn Doman." Will make note for next time.
 

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Some recommended reading.

"Nature Via Nurture" by Matt Ridley.
It contains a pretty good summary of current genetic and neurobiological research on "intelligence." Current thought is that on average, about 50% of variation in intelligence (as traditionally measured by IQ tests) is genetic, 25% by shared environment, and 25% by environmental factors unique to the individual. Generally, as one goes up the socioeconomic ladder, genetics plays a larger role, and as you go down, it's shared environment that increases in importance. The influence of genes vs other factors are also found to increase with age.

"Your Child's Developing Mind" by Jane Healy
A little outdated, but nontheless a good summary of the neuropshycology of developing minds. When talking about giftedness, she makes it clear that what differentiates gifted children is the ability to recognize patterns. In other words, to integrate and synthesize information at a basic level, as opposed to mere factual recall.

"The Scientist in the Crib" by Gopnick, et. al.
Again a bit outdated (1999), but a good, accessible account of the process of learning language, understanding the nature of objects, etc. Lots of peer reviewed references. Some talk of critical periods, few of which are pegged at below 3-5 years of age. Even in the acquisition of the second language, "young child" is defined as 3-7 years of age. (I'm not suggesting that children younger are incapable or shouldn't be introduced to a second language, especially if it's part of their homelife with a native speaker).

Hoagie's Tonnes of information about giftedness. The brains of exceptionally and profoundly gifted individuals (clinically defined terms, not loosely used) are literally wired differently than those of their peers with respect to the way they make associations and integrate ideas. No amount of hothousing will shift children who are not already there into these categories because the difference is not just synaptic pruning, but different raw material. Only relevant because that's what Doman seems to promise.

Studies I've read that show early childhood events or abilities translated into later results include:

A recent Canadian study showed that 4yo children who were adept at telling stories were better later on at math.

Block play and manipulation of objects in space by toddlers (i.e. toy cars) are beneficial to higher math abilities. It has been suggested that this (along with genetics) may account for the slight advantage boys hold over girls in the highest levels of math.

More later... off to a holiday high tea. My mouth is watering at the prospect of clotted cream.
 
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