My thoughts on the Glenn Doman Learning Method

When I was invited to attend a baby learning seminar about the Glenn Doman Learning Method , I wasn't prepared to feel what I did after that.

There were fleeting thoughts in that 3 hours for me to leave my job to be at home with J.

I also had my heart swell with pride despite not having been the most conscientious mum in helping my son to learn. Yet the time he spent in school has helped him reach all his developmental and learning milestones.  

Perhaps, it is my personal parenting philosophy that has led me to (subconsciously) help my son pick up bits of "intelligence" along the way. 

That said, I am no expert, and to be honest, never did any in depth research on the different learning methods out there.

Prior to attending the seminar, I had only a vague understanding of the Glenn Doman method. If you scour the web, the key takeaways would probably be about how parents should leverage on a baby's brain development and their ability to absorb information at a tender age to start teaching them, by providing them bits of intelligence via rapid card flashing. 

I don't think I can do the programme justice since this was really my first encounter with what Glenn Doman advocates. 

So, what I will attempt to do is touch on some points discussed at the seminar, that got me thinking about what I should do more to feed J's endless curiosity and turn that into a learning experience for him. 

1) It is all about joyousness. 
I love how Janet Doman exclaims that it is not about the flash cards. 

Yes, the principle behind the flash cards is that babies learn faster, and they get impatient if we flash the cards too slowly. So, speed matters. 

However, very often in Asian culture, we take the card flashing as well as the how many words  (or in this case, bits of intelligence) the baby knows as a basis for competition. While doing so, we lose sight of whether or not the child is enjoying the process. 

Joyousness is about being there with our child(ren), having a good time, all the time.

 It is about being present, in mind and body. It is not about sitting next to your child, but furiously typing on your mobile. How many of us are guilty of such behaviour? 

According to the people at Glenn Doman, the child knows if we are present or if we are just patronizing.

2) Learning is NOT Education 

We often think that sending the child to childcare will enable him to learn. However, learning in definition or in reality does not quite equate to education. Education is often referred to the acquisition of knowledge via instructions.  Learning on the other hand, requires some kind of exposure and experience. In the same breath, getting a baby/ child to learn is far easier than we think. What we need to do is expose them and treat everyday with them as a learning opportunity. 

Somehow, we already practice that in our household. 

Are we doing it well enough? I am not sure. On the other hand, I am certain J knows a good number of words, enough to provide convincing rebuttals to our instructions. The next step for us is maybe to encourage him to read, and the flash card method does seem like something we can try. 

3) Teach what the child is interested in

This is seemingly common sense. As adults, we don't have patience with things that does not interest us. 

Same goes for babies. Learning becomes harder when they don't like the subject matter. Hence while they are still young and able to absorb information like a sponge, it sounds logical to focus on what they like. 

Don't know what they like? Ask them. 

It is at this seminar that I realized there's such a simple way to make a baby communicate what they want, and it can be done via hand signs and giving them choices. If only I figured that out when J was still a teeny weeny baby. 

4) Physical excellence contributes to intellectual excellence

I think this is yet another point that seems rather logical. Babies love to explore and when they figure out how to move from one place to another they learn, whether is it through falling, or through their sense of touch. What we need to do is encourage them to take that extra step, explore their surroundings and work towards being physically strong. 

Apparently, if we are consistent with helping our kids excel physically, they should be able to run 4.8km before turning 6 years old. This, I think I will need to start training J now. However, I personally feel that should not be a benchmark on how well the kid is. 

In all these, Janet Doman mentioned numerous times the importance of Mums in helping their child(ren) to learn not only bits of intelligence, but also to develop social skills necessary for growth. She liken placing a child a childcare to creating social chaos rather than aiding the child in developing social skills. 

We all know in the society we live in, it is not easy to make the decision to stay home with our children. It pains me a lot to see J resisting school these days, not because he is unhappy there, but because he wants to be with us as much as possible. 

While we still believe that childcare has its benefits, we know we as parents should start looking at some ways to encourage J to learn more. We will take baby steps, and it is never too late to start. 

So here's some things I think I will work on: 

1) Look after myself. Only when I am well rested can I then be joyous around our child when he learns. 

2) Start on flash cards of J's favorite things. I am already started making some and can't wait to share if it works. 

3) Encourage more outdoor play and exercise with the boy. Hopefully him reaching physical excellence can enhance his learning experience. Outdoor play is really what we have always advocated at home. Perhaps we should increase the frequency.

Two other mummies have attended the same seminar and here's their thoughts. A balanced view perhaps since both are Stay Home mummies..

My Lil Bookworm
Raising Faith 

Does this Glenn Doman Learning Method sound interesting to you? You can find out more at They have got programmes for infants all the way to 6 years old. 

Keen to find out more before committing to a programme, why not grab their books to give you a better insight into how the method works. 

Glenn Doman Singapore
1 Goldhill Plaza, #03-27, Podium Block Singapore 308899 

Tel +65 6456 3526
Fax +65 6258 1318


Disclaimer: The man and I were invited to attend the recent Glenn Doman method seminar in Singapore. No compensation was received and contents here are wholly my opinion.