No fear of overstimulation

Dr Neil Harvey is the author of Kids Who Start Ahead, Stay Ahead (Penguin-Putnam, 1999). His book reports what happened intellectually, physically and socially to 314 early learners after they have entered school. During pre-school years (0-4) these children, coming from every walk of life, had been introduced to reading, math, physical activities and social graces. Once in school, nearly 35% of them were classified as “gifted”. They and the other early learners in Harvey’s study excelled convincingly in all areas.

Glenn Doman is adamant that when you teach a child joyously, you can never lose, but will add to our love and respect for each other. By teaching them joyously you, as parent, will raise the ability of your child intellectually, physically and socially.

“Function determines structure,” he said. “The brain grows by use.” SmartBrain has witnessed the fact that early stimulation promotes incredible neurological development, time and time again.

Doman also asserts that: “The critical factor here is age – the first three or four years of life is the time of maximum neurological development. Kids learn more, fact by fact, prior to six years of age, than they learn the rest of their lives.” According to him, the ability to take in raw facts is an inverse function of age. If parents understand the development that is, or should be, taking place in these first few years, they can greatly enhance and increase the chances for the child to fulfil his desire to learn. Early reading is one of the best ways to capitalize on this stage and significantly increase intelligence.

“The human brain grows most rapidly from conception to three years after birth, and then growth slows down until by age 6 it has tapered off and it becomes difficult to affect its final level of development. It is during that growth spurt between 18 months and three years that the two functions of language acquisition (speech) and pattern perception (reading) are best developed and enhanced. After age three it becomes progressively more difficult to learn a second or third language or learn to read with ease and fluency.”

According to leading researchers, such as Bruner, Kagan and Burton White, if by age three the child has not had the opportunity to develop fully his neurological functions, he has missed the boat. From then on it requires much more radical intervention to improve the child’s mental functioning.

Parents must know that brain growth and development is a dynamic and ever-changing process. It may be stopped, slowed or most significantly, speeded up!

SmartBrain’s Early Learning Programme is designed to speed up the process by giving children visual, auditory and tactile information with increased frequency, intensity and duration in recognition of the orderly way in which the human brain grows.

According to Glen Doman, there are 5 requirements for intelligence:

  • The ability to take in facts;
  • The ability to store facts;
  • The ability to retrieve stored facts as useful knowledge;
  • The ability to combine, permutate and interpret facts and knowledge to discover new facts and laws (neuro-network possibilities);
  • The ability to use facts, knowledge and laws to successfully solve problems of increasing difficulty and importance.

Obviously then, facts are the basis on which intelligence is built. Armed with that knowledge, the parents’ job then is to satisfy their baby’s insatiable desire to learn, by:

  • Feeding him/her a huge number of facts;
  • Developing a system whereby the facts can be presented frequently to insure permanent storage;
  • Providing frequent opportunity to retrieve the facts for useful purposes;
  • Providing sets of related facts to that the child can combine and permutate the facts in the greatest number of useful ways;
  • Presenting the tiny child with increasing opportunities to solve problems of increasing importance.

Next: What limits mental activity?