Conventional wisdom tells the parents that teaching academics starts with A,B,C or the alphabets of any given language. The Glenn Doman method that we have spoken in detail calls for flash cards that imprint words, phrases, sentences and of course pictures of unlimited sources of knowledge. Whether your child belongs to the ‘traditional’ ways of learning or is comfortable with flash card method, here is a list of exciting things you can teach him, if he is 4+.
Please don’t raise your eyebrows when I tell you what you are going to teach your young one. I only wish to tell you that it is never too early!
Directory (obsolete, though)
To begin with, ask your child, “What is an elephant?”, “What is round in shape and is played with a bat?”, “What is a Television?”, “What is that blue thing right above all our heads with the traffic of sun, moon and stars?” The child would be thrilled to explain what an elephant is, what the television could mean. He must be jumping to answer the other two questions in single words: “Ball”, “Sky”. Calm him and switch on his thinking machine. The little one’s brain is ever absorbing and ready to learn. Tell your child that the communication that took place right now between you two is very similar to what happens between him and a dictionary.
“I can’t be there for you all the time, you know. The dictionary will be your friend, to tell you what a word means.” Gift him a pocket dictionary, the one meant for very young children.
At first you may show him the alphabetical order of presentation. Work together to find out the meanings of words he knows too well: cat, chocolate, train and ice cream. Ask him to define them first – playfully, of course- and then, guide him to look up in his new dictionary. Watch him listen excitedly when you read out the meaning of the same words.
Remind him on and off to use the new gift frequently. You may join him occasionally to keep up the thrill.
Look for the telephone directory that is out of use these days, with the strong advent of the mobile phones. Nevertheless, the child is going to be excited to savor the information that there are thousands of ‘subscribers’, using the telephone all through the state/city. As the child grows up, he may be taught about the emergency services available, important telephone numbers to remember and also the variety of services offered by the national telephone operators. Show your next telephone bill to your child and tell him what the ‘meter’ means (‘Where else have you seen counters?” could be a question you could be asking…), the previous reading, tax levied, etc.
CAUTION: The next time you hang on too long on the phone, you wouldn’t catch him irritated and restless. Instead, he could be worried about the call duration and the money you may need to shell out!
Do you want to lure your child away from the ‘idiot box’? (Television is an information tool, too, I agree!) Start early: Spend time together with him – as a family, if possible- exploring the pages of a Family Encyclopedia. You may make it a part of any job that you do during the weekends, with the little one trailing behind you. If you were gardening, send him in to fetch the Encyclopedia and look for the page about “beetles”. Sit then and there and read aloud to him. He would go into raptures.
Inside the bedroom, explore the pages for ‘breeze’ that would lead you to ‘winds’, ‘storms’ and ‘cyclones’!
Once the child has tasted the joy of leafing through the Encyclopedia, all that you would need to do is watch him shape up into a genius.
Choose a relaxed moment. Say, a Sunday afternoon, post- lunch. Speak to your child about your neighborhood and initiate him to the maps, as we have already discussed in ‘Introduce History and Geography’ Once your child is familiar with your country’s map, start a game :
Ask him to name the city where his favorite aunt/uncle/granny/grandpa lives.
Take him to the Index page and note the city’s position in terms of latitude and longitude.
Take two rulers; place them perpendicularly, each on the latitude and longitude, according to the Index guidance.
Yell “Hooray (city’s name)!!!” 3 three times and run around the chair/cot where you are seated.
Move to the next city of your child’s choice.
Something as simple as a calendar too could be opening an ocean of knowledge to your child. The PIN code or ZIP code would keep him quizzing and engaged. His sense of direction, urge for observation, understanding of the adult world’s immensity… the list could be ever growing. You have started unrolling the Red Carpet of knowledge before him. His journey wouldn’t cease even after the world calls him ‘NO-LIMIT’.