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.

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  1. Thanks old lady! Ha. Couldn’t resist (and who am I to talk, I turned 34 last month).

    Happy Birthday and thanks for the run-down on the intellectual program.

    I plan to start one for Fletcher soon, and actually got laid off from my job this week, so I should have some extra time. No money, but more time. What can you do.

    Oh, and my vote is for Orange. It is my favorite color, and I think it is a little more quirky than Blue, and in my book quirky is a very good thing.

  2. therextras says:

    Call me traditional but I like the blue one better. And I have a preference for blue over orange, too. You know, Bird, you will have to make the decision yourself eventually. Jus’ sayin’.

    Knowing only what I read here about Charlie’s vision impairment, makes sense to me that the dot-math cards are an excellent medium – high contrast.

    I’m for low-key, personal birthday celebrations, too. I’m pretty happy with my life, but I might categorize my 30’s as my happiest decade. (Body is still pretty good and past the stress of single life.)

    Wishing you many happy returns. Barbara

  3. First of all happy birthday! I’m a lurker on your board, and through the past year, I feel like i’ve gotten to know you and your family really well. I love your blog. You’re super-organised when it comes to Charlie! Kudos to you!
    As for the art work..I like the blue..something about the feeling of freedom it portrays

  4. I like the orange one I think.

    Children are so amazing. I am consistently amazed at what they learn and how fast they learn. I am often left wondering at what is going on inside their head after they say or so something that is unexpected.

  5. Hope you had a really great, low-key birthday…those are nice.

    Really interesting stuff about your intellectual program! I know it is paying off. Charlie is one blessed boy to have a mama like you.

    I vote BLUE! Both are really cool though.

  6. Boy you and Erin are both little whipper snappers!! I could almost be your mother! I’m almost 42! Ok now I’m really depressed! Happy Birthday to you also.

    It is amazing how similar we are (except in age!) We also do the Doman flash cards (reading) haven’t gotten to the dots yet but we have them. And when Lonnie (hubby) checks out your blog, he’ll get a kick out of it. He tells me I’m anal cause I have a giant whiteboard at the bottom of the stairs that I write EVERYTHING down on. Its my list board!
    We are too much alike its kind of scary!

    I like the orange one.

  7. It’s amazing everything you are doing with Charlie! I am impressed.
    I like both of them, but the orange one is my favorite. It’s a little more original, in my opinion — stands out more!

    (wouldn’t let me sign in under by blogger account for some reason)

  8. Small Town Girl says:

    Happy belated birthday! I’m glad you had a good but mello day.

    You are such a teacher! :)

    I like the blue better myself.

  9. happy birthday!

    i’m 35 and i agree with whoever said your 30’s are your best decade.

    your intellectual program is so interesting. i have never heard of those books or method. i will definitely add the books to my wishlist.

    i like the blue painting.

  10. I like the orange one! But both are really great.


  11. I love them both but the blue is my favorite.

  12. The pelican Katy!!!! It’s fantastic!!!- Karla

  13. ACTunforgettable says:

    I love the blue….its so calming. But the orange is nice too.

  14. Gina (Mannyed) says:

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for taking me along on your journey these pass couple of years!

    I’m very impressed with your organization skills! Is that from being a teacher or where you always that organizationally talented.

    I like the blue!

  15. Gina (Mannyed) says:

    Ps…Manny votes orange. So I guess we cancel each other out :o)

  16. ok happy late birthday
    you are so organized–i guess that’s the teacher in you. charlie is so lucky, he’s going to be one of the smartest kids in town. can i use this program on my baby?

  17. and oh yeah, i like the blue one best. what did you use to paint those? i see circle shapes on the surface

  18. I don’t know how to write this, but I am curious in a genuine way – and I don’t want to offend anyone – but is it recommended to start teaching brain injured children reading/math etc at such a young age? It seems awfully young (but I know nothing about brain injuries). Is play based learning learning not recommended?

  19. Carol, I really appreciate your curiosity and am not offended AT ALL by your questions and I want to respond as well as I can.

    First, let me say that play therapy is recommended and it happens at my house. We have a “teacher” who comes by once a week to give me pointers on how to do this. We play a LOT. There’s just general silliness like singing songs and giggling, and playing with toys, but also more constructive things like exploring the fridge and cabinets, feeling the water in the sink, going to the playground and sitting in the sand box, and banging on pots and pans.

    My desire to provide Charlie with an academic foundation is an adjunct to play therapy. He really enjoys the lessons and smiles delightendly every time we do one. I also look at it from the perspective of someone who spent a lot of time working with kids with learning disabilities. One of the hardest things to do is to teach children who have no academic foundations.

    As an added bonus, familiarizing Charlie with the cards has made communication that much easier for us. He fully understands the idea of picking a card that represents something he wants. He can communicate with us even though he can’t talk.

  20. BabyPaxson says:

    I vote for orange – love the color.

    Thank you so much for doing a run down of Charlie’s program. Have you been to the institutes? do you recommend going?

    We got the “what to do with your brain injured child book” and we got the “teach your baby to read” (or something like that) We havent started the reading program, but I am glad to hear Charlie is responded so well and that he enjoys it. Did you just start this, or have you been doing it a while? how old was charlie when you started?

    thanks for all the info and happy belated b-day!

  21. Bird,
    Thank you for your reply. I very much appreciate it.

  22. Katy, how much time does it take to get through the intellectual program? We will be starting ABR in a couple of weeks. I will be working part-time but I can’t figure out how to get in 3 ABR hours and the intellectual hours in. My son will be 6 months old tomorrow.