I picked up this book with great curiosity. At first, I thought "why would anyone learn encyclopedic facts when Google knows everything these days?"
Glenn Doman, the author and a co-founder of The Institutes For The Achievement Of Human Potential, elaborates on similar myths in the book.
There seems to be a great difference between
older children or adults learning facts that are never used in practice
and very young kids learning encyclopedic facts to learn about the world around them
In a computer, the number of facts that are stored is called the database. In our human brain, we call those facts The Knowledge Base. Knowledge leads to intelligence, as you'll see from Doman's quotes below:
Yet again an important reminder that it’s essential to start with a young kid:
This is so encouraging. I only wish I’d start when my kids were younger!
But never is too late, right? So we started with my daughter when she was 2-years old:
My wife Martina took it seriously and started showing the encyclopedic cards to both our children:
New Material, Please
Even though we try hard, we adults almost always do things too slowly to suit tiny kids. Our new motto should be “the faster, the better.”
What Are The Facts?
Facts, in order to be facts, must have these characteristics. They must be:
true (not opinions),
precise (crystal-clear, not approximations),
discrete (the fact alone),
unambiguous (named exactly),
and large enough to be clearly seen or loud enough to be clearly heard.
Facts Or Cartoons? Facts!
The basis of all intelligence is facts. Without facts, there can be no intelligence.
The human brain is the most superb of all computers and obeys the same rules. With a small number of facts, it can come to a small number of conclusions:
With an average number of facts, it can come to an average number of conclusions.
With a huge number of facts, it can come to a huge number of conclusions.
If they are related facts the number of conclusions is breathtaking.
Children At The Institutes
Glenn Doman describes “average” child at their Institute. An average kid in their terms is clearly an above-average overall.
Well, everything is relative, right?
Wouldn’t it be great if all our kids were so outstanding?
What Is A Knowledge Card?
Each card is a piece of stiff poster board with the picture on one side and its name on the other side facing you.
The facts (cards) are organized in ten divisions (Art, Biology, History, …). Each of them includes ten categories. Each category includes ten or more sets of cards. Each card has 10 facts.
See the book on Amazon.
Subscribe on TeachYourKidsFacts.com to get new cards every Monday morning.
I'm sure you've noticed we were a little less active here on Parents Community due to the vacation.
But now we're back!
Ready to bring some value to all of you, and challenge you to become a better parent.
I was just listening to Peter Diamandis during his mastermind session A360. Peter is a chairman of Singularity University and focuses on exponential technologies. He's very well aware of all the trends and was even sharing interesting insights about education.
He mentioned that in the future, it will be more important to understand the problem space than to understand the solution space. In other words:
Peter also mentioned what he really values when hiring:
How can we help our kids become extremely passionate?
Five Guiding Principles
Peter identified these five guiding principles for future education:
I'm amazed at how many people don't have a mission in life. One of the first questions I ask during interviews with job applicants is "What are you passionate about?"
Rarely I hear a great answer, sadly.
I want to support my two children in finding their passion and purpose. Something uniquely theirs, based on their strengths.
Young children drive us crazy by asking why, why, why... so many times a day, right? At first we (parents) are excited and then tired of answering :-)
Interestingly, curiosity is lost by most adults during the course of life.
In a world where Google Home, Siri, or another AI-powered robot can answer any question, we need to raise kids who keep asking "what if" and organize experiments.
The quality of our questions is likely to be most important going forward.
One of my favorite quotes is "Never give up, son, never give up." I even used to have it in my email signature!
Grit is defined as "passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals," recently acknowledged as one of the most important predictors of and contributors to success.
Peter gives examples of how entrepreneurs and visionaries imagine a world they want to live in, and then they create it. Thus it's important kids know how important and liberating imagination can be.
5. Critical thinking
In a world where AI optimizes and tweaks news headlines to be "more clickable," negative news and misinformation, it's important to learn the skill of critical thinking. It helps to find the signal in the noise.
What does it mean for us, parents?
Well, I want my two kids to be passionate, curious and have lots of grit.
Am I convinced a school is the best environment to nurture these capabilities? Sadly, no.
Peter Diamandis on the left, during the webinar talking about the future of education.
Glenn Doman from The Institutes For The Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP) wrote a book to guide parents how to teach their children math.
At first, I thought “Whaaat?! How can a 2-year-old baby do math?”
Now, after reading the book and talking to parents who did it years ago I think “Oh, why did I not know it sooner?”
Here are some of Doman’s findings:
Facts & Rules
These days we count everything we can with my son. Cars on the street, coins in a wallet, pens on a table. And we do simple equations constantly, too.
Consistent and not stressful – that’s exactly a math program I like!
Quantity Recognition Steps
Surprisingly, in the learning of mathematics, tiny children have a staggering advantage over adults. They can recognize quantity up to 100, while adults can hardly up to 20 dots.
Equations with numerals
We Started Teaching Our Kids Math
It’s been lots of fun!
We started with the math cards (quantity recognition), jumped to equations and my son loved it.
At first, we kicked it off with the simple sessions (flashcards with dots 1-5), as recommended.
My daughter doesn’t seem to enjoy these dot flash cards at all at this point.
With my son, Marko, I wanted to experiment with a different approach. Since he’s 4 years old, he can already count, so I assumed he’s a little bored with the basic counting. We jumped to equations and use the calculator, too. He loved it! 💥 #gameChanger
We spent 40+ minutes in the evening doing the equations. Afterward, Marko wanted to practice the word flashcards. This all happened before we spent another 30+ minutes reading aloud. Two hours had gone like a snap of the fingers!
Marko woke up and the first thing he wanted to do was to do equations! At 8 am we spent 30+ minutes doing the math, then grabbed breakfast and then he wanted more. Another 20 minutes spent -- all before 10 am!
He has so much fun, he’s laughing and is happy when he gets to the right conclusion on his “computer” (= calculator).
Download The Flash Cards
Now you can download the math flash cards here in the Downloads. Free, of course! Enjoy
Get this book on Amazon.
Download the dot cards in the Downloads section.
I like playing with new tech gadgets but couldn't get Amazon Echo nor Google Home here in Thailand. Quite frustrating!
So I got one while visiting the US recently. Welcome to the family, Google Home :-)
It took a while to get used to it. My wife's favorite activity is setting up a timer while cooking. I only use it to play music, although it has many more options.
It feels a bit awkward, even after a month.
But not for the kids!
Our children, especially the older one (4y), adopted it really quickly. Without hesitation, without fear.
I noticed they use different--much more personal--language when talking to Google. While I say
My son Marko says:
What a personal connection, right? I would not bother explaining the device why to turn off and where are we going.
The other day we all were sitting in a taxi, driving to school. After the morning rush settled down, Marko said:
I was wow'ed by this sentence. While I perceive Google Home just as a "device", the kids talk to it like to a friend. Wonderful and scary at the same time, right?
What a different world our kids live in!
What seemed so futuristic when I was a child 20-30 years ago, becomes a casual reality for the kids today:
Super-powerful personal computers (=smart "phones" and tablets)
Artificial intelligence powered toys
Unlimited high-speed internet connection anywhere
Real-time personal & group messaging
An abundance of online courses, video content, audio books, ...
A few days ago I asked on Linkedin if my peers look at formal education (college) when hiring and interviewing job applicants.
The comments were very interesting, you can see the full thread here.
Attitude > formal education
Attitude sees to matter much more than formal education. These days, the skills can be trained relatively quickly, but personality is hard-to-impossible to change.
The pace of technology innovation is increasing. What you studied 5 years no longer matters. When I'm interviewing candidates, I only ask what they learned in the last 6, max 12 months.
Mastery over certifications
Hiring managers seem to care more about the skills mastered than the certificates obtained. A person who spent evenings and weekends pushing hard, learning and overcoming challenges is likely to have better results at work than the one who just learned how to tick some boxes in a test.
Nano-degrees are "in"
Udacity prepares courses and nano-degrees with companies like Facebook and Google. It only takes a few weeks to prepare such a nano degree, thus it's very relevant and addresses the market needs.
❓ What does this all mean?
It shows the colleges become obsolete. Homeschooling, personalized tutoring, nano-degrees, and apprenticeships are likely to prepare our children much better than a college.
Would you (dis)agree? Please add a comment below ✍️
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