Glenn Doman has a book called “How to Teach Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge”. Prior to taking the course, I wasn’t that interested in this idea. But after seeing how fun it looked and how much I could learn in the process, I figured I would give it a try. The only tool you need to teach your baby is a “Bit”. Basically, it is an 11″ x 11″ card that has a clear depiction on one side of what you want them to learn, and on the back, 10 facts about that idea. You can teach them flowers, dog breeds, presidents, geography, anything.
Our instructors at IAHP stressed that it wasn’t necessary to buy the Bits premade because they are so easy to make and you want to customize it to the things your child is interested in. However, in the interest of those who like premade tools, they created several sets. I knew when I got back home, I wouldn’t have time to immediately make some, so I bought the “Great Art Masterpieces” just to see how Moose would respond. I initially showed him 5 cards from the set. I presented them very quickly, naming the piece and the artist. After I finished, he immediately said, “You have more?” So I grabbed the other 5 cards, did the same thing. Immediately he said, “Again?” So we did all 10 and I put them away.
Today, he asked to see his Bits immediately after we finished words. I went through them. This time, I asked him which ones he wanted more information on. He asked about 3 of the cards – “Sunflowers” (Vincent van Gogh), Mona Lisa (Leonardo da Vinci), and “Mont Sainte-Victoire” (Paul Cezanne). We stopped and examined them closely, I asked him to tell me what he saw and what he liked. When we did the Bits later in the afternoon, he asked about another 3 cards. During a discussion about “The Hare” (Albrecht Durer), it dawned on me that my 2 year old and I were doing something that I have never done in my entire life. We were learning about art history and he loved it.
This led to my immediate search and discovery of a used bookstore in town. When the owner saw me, she told me children’s books were in the back room. I said, no thanks, I am looking for art reference books. I found two gorgeous books that are part of some old Great Museums of the World series – one for the Met in NY, and one for the National Gallery in Washington.
The books have gorgeous pictures and we will visit these museums someday. They were only $6 apiece. As I went to pay for them, the owner said, please tell me you don’t intend on cutting up these books. I really didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth. I simply told her I liked the books because they had large, clear pictures and had information about each piece. And while I have a nagging guilt about cutting up this book, I can tell you this – it was printed in 1968, the spine looks brand new, and there are no marks or folds on any pages in the books. This tells me they were probably just very pretty coffee table books. And I am going to transform them into powerful learning tools for my son, my future kids, and most likely the next few generations.
Please understand, I only got back from Philly 2 days ago. Moose has only seen these Bits 3 times, so we have spent less than 5 minutes total looking at them. While we were at the grocery store today, he was practicing saying “Michelangelo” and “Picasso”. Just now, when I pulled up the IAHP online store, he saw the picture of the van Gogh piece and said, “Look! It’s Sunflowers!” I’m not grooming my child to be a great artist, I just want him to appreciate the beauty art and know how to have a discussion. Now excuse me, I have to go play outside with my Moose!