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Category Archives: Learning Methods

I have been using a combination of different homeschooling resources with Ethan. We love a few things among each method: Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Doman, etc. Books I often refer back to & use are “The Well Trained Mind” by S. Bauer, “What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know” by E.D. Hirsch, Montessori books & more. Curriculum’s I enjoy include a combination of Prufrock Press Multi-age units, Moving Beyond the Page & Critical Thinking Co.

Ethan makes tons of things with "HouseHold Items" by K. Ross

Core Curriculum:

- Tweedlewink (this covers Art, Science, Cultures, Perfect pitch, Vocab., Word building & more!)

- Building Thinking Skills 1st Grade, Mazes/Logic

- Supplement w/ BrainQuest WK BK 2nd Grade, Making the Grade, etc.

- Lot’s of reading from various books & review phonic rules from Fleschcards (Daddude) &amp

Math: Mathematical Reasoning, Singapore Math, Jones Genius Math & homemade hands on math games

Writing: Printed worksheets, D’Nealian & montessori inspired writing. Future use?: Copywork: Lessons in Manners for Copywork, Math Facts for Copywork, Pictures in Cursive Primer by Queen H.S.S.

Language Arts: “First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind” by Jessie Wise, Primary Language Lessons, and “Language Smarts Level B”, Spelling use in future “Spelling Power”.

History: A combination of “The Story of the World” by Susan Bauer, “Little History for Child” EH Gombrich, “Draw and Write through History”  and maybe? “A Living History of our World” by Queen Homeschool Supplies.

Music:  Music classes, Live/taped clips of performances, Themes to Remember by Majorie Persons,  Music Ace Deluxe (not started yet), Soft Mozart piano lessons

Art: “Drawing with Children” by M. Brookes, “Discovering Great Artists” by M. Kohl, maybe “ARTistic Pursuits”, “The Usborne Art Treasury”, Future use: God and “The History of Art Package” from MyFathersWorld.

Geography: “Expedition Earth” by, various books, nature walks, youtube, online websites.

Science: “Developing Critical Thinking through Science”, MBTP, Exploring Creation series, maybe “A Reason For Science”, and too many books to list because we LOVE SCIENCE.

Current Curriculum 2013

Current Curriculum 2013

**Natural learning happens throughout the day. We schedule “academics” 1 hour per day now and want to work up to 2 hours p/day. My motto is make it short, effective and simple!

Let us keep in mind the ultimate goal beyond “education” subjects. I would like to provide him with a lifetime of opportunities to thrive. Most importantly to be kind, to freely love others without expecting anything in return, to contribute to society & humanity, to leave our world better than it was before he arrived in it. That is my ultimate goal.

Your morals, values and character are more important than “academics”.

- What sort of individuals are we raising?

- What are we raising them for?

- What is the purpose of education?

These are the questions we must address.

Excellent Article written by Suz in Frogpond.

HANDWRITING – Best taught through copywork. I start my dc on the basics. Whatever scheme or style you decide on, start with the basics – the foundation strokes, shapes, etc. Then, we move on to the letters and numbers. By the time 1st grade comes around, we’re ready for short sentences. I use Bible verses, nursery rhymes, lines from FIAR stories, whatever. A good rule of thumb is one sentence per grade, so by the time they are 4th or 5th grade age, they should be up to copying paragraphs. When learning letter formation/cursive connections/spacing, I use a yellow highlighter and write out the selection for them. Once they get a good “hand” on it, I just let them copy from the book, the Bible, whatever.

SPELLING – take the words straight from their own writings. Make them learn the correct spellings of the words they’ve misspelled. We keep a list of words each student needs to work on. On Monday, I pretest. Any word spelled correctly isn’t studied that week. (Why bore them with something they already know. Plus, we all occasionally misspell something, right? Leave some room for the casual or careless mistake.) I write each word on an index card or on their white board “slates.” They study the words, reviewing each day. (We use our slates, word searches, Scrabble tiles, magnetic letters, funky colored markers, you name it, so daily review isn’t boring or tiresome.) On Friday, we test on that week’s words. Any missed words go back on the list, but NOT the next week’s list. This prevents burn-out for poor spellers. We review occasionally, especially words that might be unusual or uncommon. Using their own misspellings makes the work more meaningful, less drudgery. Also, they learn the importance and the difference correct spelling can make in their own writing. As they age and read/write more, they will encounter most, if not all, of the spelling “rules.” If they have a difficulty with words that follow any specific rule, I try to make sure that their handwriting selections and/or reading selections contain words that follow that rule, so they gain more practice with it. (HINT: a good source for lots of varied rules is poetry, as often the rhyme scheme calls for many words with similar letter patterns.) Charlotte used dictation to test for spelling, but I’ve found from experience that my dc didn’t retain the spelling. It was kind of that old “learn it for the test” thing with them.

VOCABULARY – Have the dc keep a notebook handy while reading, both independently and with you. Any word they don’t know the meaning to, they have to write it down, find the definition (either from a dictionary, or from context clues) and write that down in their own words. This really helps them to cement the meaning of the word in their minds. Once they have 10 to 15 words on their list, you may want to review or test them in whatever way works best for you. I like to have them write sentences or paragraphs using the words, as that way I know for certain whether or not they’ve mastered the definitions.

GRAMMAR – Charlotte Mason’s students DID use a text for grammar. However, I believe that the text was used with her older students, high school aged. Her younger students used their reading, written narrations and copywork, along with their foreign language work, to learn the basics. It’s very easy to use a Bible passage/verse, nursery rhyme, a favorite story or poem or their own writings to point out things like parts of speech, punctuation marks, capitalization, and the like.

If you truly want to go text-book free, you’ll need a scope and sequence (list of topics to teach when) and a good resource or reference book, so you know you are teaching them correctly. My favorite is “Grammatically Correct.” However, it is a reference more for writers, so I don’t know if it would work for everyone. My oldest dd likes WriteSource’s “Writer’s Inc.” I’ve found the best way to test their knowledge of grammar is through their writings – essays, stories, compositions and poems. In a way, learning to write and learning good grammar go hand in hand.

COMPOSITION – I don’t believe ALL students can learn to write simply by reading and being exposed to good writing. However, I CAN say it doesn’t hurt the cause, either. One thing that I like to do is to have the student study a particular passage in a particular style, say a passage of really good dialogue or a very well-done descriptive scene. (Dickens and O. Henry are great for both of these, btw.) Then, after they’ve read and studied it, paying attention to the way it’s written, not just what is written, I’ll ask them to write a passage or two of their own, in a similar style. Then, we compare their writing to the original, to see how well they’ve done. A practical example – A wonderful example of foreshadowing is found in the opening scenes of “A Christmas Carol.” Have your junior high age-student spend a 3 or 4 days studying these passages. Then, read them the rest of the first Stave, so they can see what all this was building up to. Then, ask them to write their own passage of foreshadowing, only make it a mystery or a birthday party or something other than a Victorian ghost story. Again, if you don’t have a good resource book on how to write, you might want to invest in one, or get your student an age appropriate writing guide, like WriteSource, Writing Strands or “Igniting Your Writing” sells. (I have several published by Writer’s Digest – for adults, on both fiction and non-fiction writing, that I find very helpful.) Written narrations can serve as a good basis for how much about writing your student knows, and a way to test their newly-developed skills.

COMPREHENSION & NARRATION The best way to test your dc’s comprehension skills is through narration, either oral, written or “active.” Here’s are the narration “starters” that have made more than one appearance on these boards, for those of you who may wonder just how to “do” narration while keeping it fresh or relevant. In the next post, you will find a list of “narration starters.” These are the things you ask your dc to get them started narrating. (Please note anywhere there is a ____ or a “him/her” or “setting/time period” you would fill in with particulars from your reading.) They are arranged somewhat in order of the complexity of thought needed to adequately “answer” them. In the post below that list is the list of “active narration ideas.” I use these with my younger dc, and sometimes with older ones as a break from oral/written narration. They accomplish the same task of finding out how much the dc knows from the reading, while taking some of the “work” out of narrating. Now, how do I use these? With starters, I typically write them at the top of the page. The dc then writes/dictates her answer to me below. For the active narrations, I have a jar. In the jar are a number of slips of paper. Each slip has one of the activities written on it. There is more than one of each kind, but not the same number of each. Also, I’ve thrown in a couple slips that say “skip narration today” just to keep it interesting. Then, once or twice a week, instead of dictating/writing a narration, we pick a slip from the jar and do what it says. We typically do one narration a day, per dc. I’ve found narrating for every reading with every dc to be tedious for me and them, so one a day is adequate for me. (Only you know what you and your dc will tolerate.) Anyway, I’ve found using these starters and activities makes narration easy and fun and certainly less tedious or boring. Oh, as to how much to expect – when it comes to written narrations, I like to start around 3rd or 4th grade with a paragraph or so. By the time they reach middle school age, they should be able to produce a page-front or so. When dictating, I ask for at least 4 or 5 sentences from my 6yo. In reality, though, it doesn’t matter much how much they narrate (written or orally) as long as they can exhibit enough knowledge of the reading to let you know they were listening and retaining. I DO NOT correct written narrations for grammar. I WILL point out misspelled words, if there are any, simply because my dc use their own spelling errors as their spelling words. The narrations should not be treated as essays or compositions, IMO. They are the dc’s “proof” of attention to and comprehension of their readings. We date each one and add the title of the book (with chapter, if applicable) and put them in their own section of our notebooks. We narrate on every kind of reading we do, too. Just because it’s science or history doesn’t mean a child can’t produce a narration on it. I never tell which readings we’ll be narrating on. That way, the dc pay close attention to ALL their work. Here are the narration starters. Somewhere on the web, I found a list of “exam questions” taken directly from the PNEU schools founded and operated by Charlotte. I copied out as many of the “generic” ones I could, and from some other readings on narration, put together this list of starters:
1.) Tell what you remember about_____________
2.) Tell me the story in your own words.
3.) Wasn’t it funny/sad/strange when_________? Tell me what else you remember about that.
4.) Explain how ___________happens/happened. 5.) Describe _______________.
6.) Tell me who we met today. Describe him/her.
7.) Tell me all you can about (a particular setting.)
8.) Tell me all you can about (the reading’s time period.)
9.) Tell me everything that happened after ________.
10.) Tell all you know about how ___________ happens.
11.) Tell about a problem in the story and how it was solved/fixed.
12.) Tell everything you would see (in a particular setting.)
13.) Tell me all you know about (a particular character or person)
14.) Who said, “———-” Tell me the story about it.
15.) Why did he/she do _________?”
16.) List the story’s events in the order that they happened.
17.) Describe the clues that lead up to ___________.
18.) From the passage/story we read, tell me how to ______.
19.) Tell me how he/she felt after _________ 20.) Describe the narrator.
21.) Describe everything that happened because of________
22.) Tell me all the ways two characters/people/settings from the same story compare.
23.) Tell me all the ways two characters/people/settings from two different stories compare.
24.) Compare this book/story to another of the same style.
25.) Compare this book/story to another by the same author.
26.) Explain how _________ came to be.
27.) Did he/she make the right decision? Tell me why or why not.
28.) Tell me all you know about (time period/character traits/sequence of events.) [This involves a higher level of thinking than the earlier questions similar in nature. The information you are asking for here is to be implied or inferred, not directly stated in the reading. In other words, I might ask, “Tell me all you know about what is happening before the story begins” or “Tell me all you know about Aunt Lucy” even though in the story the only time we “meet” Aunt Lucy is through her letters to the main character.)
29.) Who/what had the most influence on the outcome of the story? Why? How?
30.) Would you want him/her as a friend? Why or why not?

Now, my youngest dd often includes characters from her stories into her make-believe play, so she finds #30 easier than I think it was intended to be…. However, remember that they are supposed to be in order of easiest to do to more difficult.

Active Narrations
1.) Draw a picture of a setting/character in the story.
2.) Set up a scene from the story with your blocks/doll house.
3.) Make a playdough ________ (character or setting)
4.) Narrate into a tape recorder/video camera. (This makes a GREAT addition to a portfolio OR grandparents’ present.)
5.) Act out a scene/event from the story. 6.) Ask Mama 3 questions about the story. (This is another great one for checking how much they are retaining, because they can’t ask questions if they don’t know the answers. I also do NOT allow vague questions like “Tell the story in your own words.” They have to be specific questions about a character or setting.
7.) Pretend you are a friend of his/hers. What is your part in the story? Act it out.
You may want to wait on some of these if you are new to narration, especially #6. Also, remember to substitute info specific to your story for setting/event/character.

Now, to show you how this works in real life, here is 6yo dd’s narration of “Paul Revere’s Ride” from this past school year. I’d asked her to tell me everything she could remember after his friend hung the two lanterns in the church tower. “Paul Revere rode on his horse to the towns where the British were going. The men there got up and POW POW went their guns and the Redcoats ran away or died. Paul was impatient and wanted to get it over with in a hurry so he rode really fast.”

(I thought this was an excellent narration and told her so. ) She also got to act out the part of Paul Revere on her stick pony with her 3yo brother placing two paper lanterns on the railing of the porch over and over again.

This is a post I’ve found extremely on helpful written by Shiela that I wanted to keep on my blog as a reference.

Charlotte Mason thought that the child was in “danger of receiving much teaching with little education.” I believe this was in part why she started her school and wrote down her methods. She stresses that one should always expect excellence. Her books are on the net for FREE-vol 1 lays out the home/foundation and vol 6 goes into great detail by subject:

Narration is “re-tells” their own words. Kids must listen carefully and pay attention to detail. For a child under ten, narration is oral. The teacher will write the narration for them or, an oral re-telling will do. After 5th year, the child should write his own. This is the cornerstone of writing. In a well-read child, who has been narrating (as instructed), the transition to writing is usually smooth.

Language Arts:
Copywork, Dictation, Spelling and Grammar. CM strongly advocates the use of copywork for all ages. Add dictation when the child is capable of greater concentration, (year5). Copy work and dictation, together teaches spelling, handwriting and grammar and writing all once. Lessons should be 5-10 minutes in length. When narrating the child gets to see and know his ideas in writing. On occasion, some children need additional spelling but it doesn’t have to be separate. That is the best part: they are taught together. Ms. Mason wrote her own Grammar book, Simply Grammar.

CM used the term: Masterly Inactivity. Your role as a teacher is to provide good literature and get out of the way.”no twaddle” Resist the temptation to break down every part of a book. You shouldn’t discuss everything and Stella is right–don’t make connections for them. Her goal was to develop “good taste” in literature. Narration should be encouraged.

Fine Arts:
Picture study for Art. Hang a new picture every week or so. Make sure to give the children a representation of its true size. Discuss the artist throughout the week. Take them to the museums and let them see good work. Listen to the music of great musicians. Stay with the same composer for a few weeks so that you begin to develop and ear for the music. Make sure they know who they are listening to and tell as much about the composer as you can. You can get info from the net. Play music while doing chores, eating a meal, in the car. Create mini works of great artists (pointillism, water colors, etc)..coloring books by Dover can be fun for smaller kids.

CM devotes many pages of her book(s) on how the mind demands method. Reaching a logical conclusion in one’s thinking is a must. CM was a proponent of “the child is a person and must think for himself.” Naturally, the teacher’s job here is to equip him to observe and be aware of his world. UNDERSTANDING is more important than knowing. “so we go about picking up a maxim here, a motto there, an idea elsewhere, and make a patchwork of the whole which we call our principles.”

CM is very specific in her books–year1 (age 6-7) is when they learn British History. She advocates Marshall’s Our Island Story. Year2 students read biographies of the greats. Year3 students start a more rigorous study. She prefers France be taught 2nd to Britain. Then you move on to The Book of Centuries and add in Indian History (for pleasure). Ancient History must be approached chronologically. Specifically, she adds American and Western Europe during age 15-19. She points out that the student RARELY repeats any of this ever. She also claims that one should not start and end in their own country–“We cannot live sanely unless we know that other peoples are as we are with a difference.” Timelines are completed in 100 years cycles.

Her thoughts on geography are precisely what we now refer to as social studies. Great attention is given to map work. A child should identify “where” on a map before they begin reading. Children should “see” and therefore sketches are recommended. A child should come across facts “as a traveler”. She describes her method as Panoramic-it unrolls the landscape of the world–region by region, it’s climate, productions, people, industries and history. Example questions would be how ___ (a natural disaster or war) affected ____ (commerce, social attitudes, wildlife). Older students are expected to keep up with the news and current events throughout the world.

CM believed in teaching the child the rules (Laws, she calls them). A firm ground must be taken to reveal the beauty and truth of mathematics. It is to be studied for its own sake and not “for intelligence”; therefore, unnecessary to delve into math outside of what is necessary for ‘real life’. It is dependent upon the teacher rather than textbook. The child should read living books about the concepts, know the laws of math, and study great mathematicians–like Euclid. Economics would find it’s home here as would the stock market and banking.

Nature Study. Children should spend as much time as possible outside, in all types of weather. The mother should train her children to be keen observers. Nature journals are a must. Provide field guides, binoculars, magnifying glass, cameras. Anna Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study is a good reference. Specific concepts are taught through literature. Laboratory work is necessary. Every child should have a microscope. Recognition during nature walks is the basis-A LOT of specific details are given throughout all of her books, including recommended reading by year along with specific instruction for the teacher.

Foreign Language
The language should be spoken to them and the child should narrate. Songs and Fables are encourage for Year1 & 2 students. They are asked to narrate art and books in the new language often. Eventually, lessons are taught, such as History or Literature in the new language. Grammar and vocabulary are learned the same as they are learned in English. Several languages are taught young and concurrently. A tutor would be strongly suggested. Otherwise, find a steady program that teaches the WHOLE language..not just memorizing words.

Art & Music:
Children should be taught a musical instrument. Children should have some instruction in singing. If possible let children learn from lovers of their work.

Handicrafts and Drills:
She used Swedish Drills daily in her school. However, children under age nine were given musical drills and dancing instruction since they are considered more pleasurable. In teaching handicrafts: 1) a child should not be making “crafts”. Example would be learning woodworking, needlepoint, basket weaving. 2) they should be taught slowly and carefully. 3) shoddy work should never be allowed.

CM stresses character develop throughout all of her works. Habit is another means of instilling virtue as the parent should provide ample illustrations. The best book I have seen on this subject is Laying Down the Rails. It takes all of CM’s words from her six volumes and translates these into a modern read. I think all parents should give it a glance at least…interesting.

Modern Times:
Many interpretations of how CM would use the internet are found during a “search”. Obviously, computer skills must be taught to some degree to all children now. One can argue that typing is more a necessity than handwriting. I would also say that “sketching” in a nature journal is not as necessary since we have pictures. Many points that were necessary ‘back then’ will find their time erased (if not already)–I consider computer programming, robotics, electronics, photography and the ilk as handicrafts for this generation.

I had written this response on a parenting forum and wanted to save it to later revisit this topic.

I’ve been using Tweedlewink off/on now for 1 yr since Ethan was 2 yr.’s old. I never just show him an episode without further explaining things we learned through watching one 7 min. lesson. It usually takes us anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 month to finish a lesson where he would watch the same lesson anywhere from 3-5 times at the most. I personally noticed, he shows much more interest when we cover the topics than when we don’t and truly believe he is remembering these facts for life.

As a former school teacher, I can say from observation that the children not only enjoyed lessons that were unit based and covered across curriculums/subjects, an integrated approach in learning, but they “REMEMBERED IT!!” and isn’t that what’s it’s all about anyway? Enjoying the process of learning while memorizing the objectives?

So, with EThan, we always take our time, even if we occasionally “flash”, it is later presented in further study.

In regards to the physical memory topic, I have seen first hand that your muscles/mind work together. My very talented husband can fix anything and do anything, literally, even if he was never taught before he can self-teach almost instantly. For example, run & win marathons, defend himself physically from anyone, he can be a mechanic, electrician, engineer, plumber, build up an entire house on his own, remember things I can’t, sing along to songs after listening just a few times, program computer app.’s, great chef, sew, artist, paint fantastic gallery grade art, fight and I can go on and on, and it’s mostly because when he was a child his father would always take him around the house to repair things, cook, art, run child marathons. So his brain was literally wired that way. Now, in his 30’s he never has to train for a marathon and be on the top, because his muscles are built for the endurance. His military career helped him tune into his engineering skills, he can figure things out that people wouldn’t even want to look at!

Yet because he was a twin, he only learned to talk at the age of 5! No one had ever worked with him on his speech or english skills, he still struggles to write and express himself and dislikes reading/L.A.

So teach your children young and later in life they will breeze through many things that will come at an ease to them. I’m convinced more than ever that EK, has merit to it but like Charlotte Mason teaches us to present things kindly, without force and in a loving beneficial way.

I regretfully have forgotten which source this was obtained from since I had saved it long ago but I wanted to post it as a reference to CM’s principles. One of the major distinguishing characteristics of a Charlotte Mason curriculum is the time spent on each lesson. Mason stressed that lessons be no longer than 15 to 20 minutes for elementary and middle schoolers and 30 to 45 minutes for high school-aged children. This allows the children to learn while their interest is at its highest and before they become too bored or restless to concentrate.

  • Living Books - Living books should present the child with real life; the teacher should not interfere with a lot of “talk”.
  • Composition taught using oral Narration followed by written narration when the child is about ten. “They should narrate and they will compose later, readily enough; but they should not be taught ‘composition’.” (Written in Home Education; Training and Educating Children under nine, by Charlotte Mason, p247)
  • Copybook - a tool for sentence structure, punctuation, grammar
  • The Knowledge of Man: History – taught using living books, biographies, primary sources
  • Literature - often related to historical time period.
  • When Children are reading, they read on their own – from a number of books at a time.
  • Art - viewing art prints, ‘picture-painting’-focus on detail, committing them to memory, focussing on one artist at a time.
  • Geography – tied in with history – the local landscape can be used as a minature lesson of the whole world.
  • The Knowledge of God: Bible – the foundation living book – to give children their knowledge of God – the most important lesson.
  • Teacher directed - teacher chooses what the children will read.
  • Short lessons (10-15mins, when young and increasing with age)
  • Free afternoons and evenings.
  • Children should spend a great deal of time outdoors – in nature; using their senses;.
  • Nature Walks.
  • Habits are taught; Young children should be spared the labour of decision-making; habits must be actively formed by parents and teachers to make many of our actions second nature – habit of attention; habit or application; habit of thinking; habit of imagining; habit of remembering; habit of perfect execution; moral habits of obedience, truthfulness;
  • Beginning Reading – by learning sight words primarily and secondly, learning the sounds.
  • Memorization of poetry – not by repetition, but by listening and imagining the scene many times over.
  • Spelling learnt through dictation – child views passage, isolates words which may give him trouble, pictures the word in his mind, and when ready, writes the passage which is dicatated clause by clause, repeated only once.

Andrea H posted this: I use a variety of methods, here is a summary (somewhat ) of what I use as a guideline, but this is not literal:
1. Doman: heavily on the physical development and brain speed
2. Shichida: I recently studied him on line, don´t have the books yet, but I saw that I did some of the things he develops: memory linking and ESP.
3. Classical: Classic Languages, Logic, Astronomy
4. Charlotte Mason: Nature Study, Art Appreciation and Music appreciation, Narration
5. Montessori: Mathematics, Geography and Culture, Sensorial and Practical
6. Waldorf: Eurhythmy
7. Suzuki: Violin since he was 18 months
8. Multiple Intelligences
9. Religion and Spirituality: we study the teachings of the world´s major religions starting with Zoroaster.
It took me years to choose what I thought was worth of each method, and it´s hard to share in a post because I don´t know how to synthetize it, since some things overlap or are much more that they seem on paper (I mean written down), but I have to say that overall I apply an environment of radical brain development, always giving him independence and the opportunity to engage in things that are beyond his capacities, so he develops his capacities by doing.
Hope this helps.

Here’s a very brief overview of a handful of Charlotte Mason’s most familiar ideas written by tatianna.

Twaddle is what parents and educators today might call “dumbed down” literature. It is serving your children intellectual happy meals, rather than healthy, substantive mind- and soul-building foods. Charlotte Mason advocated avoiding twaddle and feasting children’s hearts and minds on the best literary works available.

Living books are the opposite of dull, dry textbooks. The people, places and events come alive as you read a living book. The stories touch your mind and heart. They are timeless.

Whole books are the entirety of the books the author actually wrote. If the author wrote a book, read the whole book. The opposite of this would be anthologies that include only snippets from other works—maybe a chapter from Dickens, a couple of paragraphs from Tolstoy, etc.

Narration is the process of telling back what has been learned or read. Narrations are usually done orally, but as the child grows older (around age 12) and his writing skills increase, the narrations can be written as well. Narration can also be accomplished creatively: painting, drawing, sculpting, play-acting, etc.

Charlotte Mason recommended spending short, focused periods of time on a wide variety of subjects. Lessons in the early years are only 10-15 minutes in length, but get progressively longer as the children mature. (Lessons increase closer to an hour per subject for high school students.)

In spite of often rainy, inclement weather, Charlotte Mason insisted on going out once-a-week for an official Nature Walk, allowing the children to experience and observe the natural environment firsthand. These excursions should be nature walks, not nature talks.

In addition to the weekly Nature Walks, Mason also recommended children spend large quantities of time outside each day, no matter what the weather. Take a daily walk for fun and fresh air.

Nature Notebooks are artist sketchbooks containing pictures the children have personally drawn of plants, wildlife or any other natural object found in its natural setting. These nature journals can also include nature-related poetry, prose, detailed descriptions, weather notes, Latin names, etc.

Bring the child into direct contact with the best art. Choose one artist at a time; six paintings per artist; study one painting per week (maybe 15 minutes per week). Allow the child to look at the work of art intently for a period of time (maybe five minutes). Have him take in every detail. Then take the picture away and have him narrate (tell back) what he’s seen in the picture.

There’s great value in keeping a personal journal, encouraging reflection and descriptive writing. Record activities, thoughts and feelings, favorite sayings, personal mottoes, favorite poems, etc.

Daily copywork provides on-going practice for handwriting, spelling, grammar, etc. Keep a notebook specifically for copying noteworthy poems, prose, quotes, etc.

Each day choose a paragraph, or sentence, or page (depending on the age of child). Have the child practice writing it perfectly during his copywork time. Have them look carefully at all punctuation, capital letters, etc. When the child knows the passage well, dictate the passage to the child for him to recreate the passage.

A Book of the Centuries is a glorified homemade timeline; usually a notebook containing one or two pages per century. As children learn historical facts, they make notes in their book on the appropriate century’s page about famous people, important events, inventions, wars, battles, etc.

Charlotte Mason’s schools finished daily academics in the morning, allowing the afternoon hours for free time to pursue crafts and other leisure activities or areas of personal interest.

Charlotte Mason had much to say on establishing good habits in children. Habits (good or bad) are like the ruts in a path from a wheelbarrow going down the same trail again and again. As time goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult to run the wheelbarrow outside the rut, but the wheel will always run smoothly down the well-worn rut in the path. By training children in good habits, the school day (and home life in general) goes more smoothly. Focus on one habit at a time for 4-6 weeks rather than attempting to implement a long list of new habits all at once.

I’ve obtained this information from a parenting forum gathered/written by pupisek & other contributors and wanted to share it with you.

I highly recommend Glenn Doman’s book “HOW TO MULTIPLY YOUR BABY’S INTELIGENCE”. It includes information from his other three books (How to teach your baby to read, How to teach your baby math and How to teach your baby encyclopedic knowledge).

I hope that this summary would help you to start or make better any teaching sessions with your children. Just do not forget to do it with LOVE and enthusiasm!!

Doman’s general rules of teaching are following:
Begin as young as possible.
Be joyous at all times.
Respect and trust your child.
Teach only when you and your child are happy.
Create a good learning environment.
Stop before your child wants to stop.
Introduce new materials often.
Be organized and consistent.
Do not test your child.
Prepare your materials carefully and stay ahead.
Remember the Fail-Safe Law: If you are not having a wonderfull time and your child is not having a wonderful time – stop. You are doing something wrong.

Teaching baby to read according Glenn Doman:
The reading pathway is the same for every age of a child:
Step one: Single words
Step two: Couplets
Step three: Phrases
Step Four: Sentences
Step Five: Books

STEP ONE starts with the use of just 15 words (most familiar and enjoyable words for baby). First day simple “hold” the words and say what it says. Show only 5 words. Do the same 3 times the same day. Second day add set of another 5 words and show two sets of 5 words 3 times a day. On the third day add another set of 5 words and show 3 sets of 5 words three times a day. Then add SELF words (parts of the body) – 2 sets of 5 words each. Now you show 25 words devided into 5 sets of 5 words showing each 3 times a day.

From this point use this method: Remove one word from each set that has already been taught for 5 days and replace the word with a new one in each set. (it is good to write a date when you added the word so you know well which is the oldest one to retire).

After SELF words add HOME vocabulary (objects, possessions, foods, animals and “doing” groups) – about 50 words all together including 15 at the beginning.

STEP TWO – teaching children to put single words together (couplets). Create as many couplets as possible from words child already knows. To make it easier you can teach a child also colors – then it is easy to start making couplets. Category of oposits is also helpful (big, little, long, short, happy, sad, and so on).

STEP THREE – teaching phrases by adding actions to the couplets and creating a basic short sencences. (Mommy is jumping,…..) There are many combination using the 50-70 single words that child already knows…

STEP FOUR – Sentences.

STEP FIVE – Books. They should meet the following standards:
1. It should have a vocabulary of 50-100 words
2. It should present no more than one sentence on a single page
3. The printing should be no less then 7/8″ high
4. Text should precede and be separated from illustrations.
When choosing or creating a book parents should remember:
1. Create or choose books that will be interesting to your child
2. Introduce all new vocabulary as single words before beginning the book
3. Make the text large and clear
4. Make sure your child has to turn the page to see illustration that follows the text.
Always you and your children should enjoy the reading sessions.

Teaching baby math according Glenn Doman:
For those that have not read the book of Glenn Doman “How to teach your baby math” and would like to know more, here is what to do and in more details how to start with dot cards.

The first step = teaching quantity recognition
The second step = Equations with dot cards
The third step = Problem solving
The fourth step = Teaching Numerals
The fifth step = Equations with numerals

The first step is teaching quantity recognition which is teaching your baby to be able to perceive actual numbers which are the true value of numerals (the symbols).
The first day:Begin with dot cards 1-5 and show it to your child three times first day
The second day: Add dot cards 6-10 and show both categories of 5 cards three times a day = 6 daily sessions
Continue to show two sets of five cards, each set three times a day, total of six math sessions spread out during the day, equaling a few minutes in all.
After second day alway mix the sets up. Constant mixing and reshuffling will keep the sessions new and exciting.
On the sixth day and later add 2 new cards daily and put away 2 old cards daily. This is how you retire cards: Every day remove the two lowest numbers from the ten cards you have been teaching for five days.

You may feel that the baby needs new material more quickly, then you should retire three cards daily and add theree new once. Or even four.

Always resist the temptation to review old card over and over again.

Always stop before your baby wants to stop. You and your baby should both enjoy the math session. If not something is wrong.

Teaching baby encyclopedic knowledge according Glenn Doman:
I will try to explain in more details how Doman recommends teaching baby encyclopedic knowledge in his book “How to give your baby encyclopedic knowledge”.

We should start by showing categories of related pictures (just to remind – picture=BIT of inteligence-must have accurate detail, must be one item only, must be specifically named, must be new, large and clear). Fist you should start introducing 3 categories of 10 pictures each, very fast, the best 10-15 sec for each category. Rules for adding new and retiring old cards are the same as I mentioned earlier – after about 10 days (it may be earlier – depends of your child) every day retire 1 old and add 1 new picture to each category. If your baby wants you can refresh categories even faster (but never slower).

When you have taught your child 1,000 Bit of Inteligence cards, you should start creating Program of Intelligence. Each new program within a category adds a higher magnitude, starting with the most simple information and ending with the most profound.

Example:Division: Biology
Category: Birds
Bit of Intelligence card: Common Crow
1st Magnitude Program: Crows build nests in trees or bushes.
2ndMagnitude Program: Crows’ nests are made of twigs lined with grass or hair.
3rd Magnitude Program: Crows eat insects, seed, fruit and nuts.
4th Magnitude Program: Crows have been known to eat mollusks, dead animals, mice, eggs, fish, garbage, rubber, puttz and plastic insulation.
5th Magnitude Program: The female cow raises one brood per year.
6th Magnitude Program: The voice of the crow is hars and loud, not musical.
7th Magnitude Program: Crows are part of the Corvidae Family.
and it can go on and on…..
Initially you should aim to do a Program of Intelligence of the 1st Magnitude on every retired card in all your categories. As you complete this step you begin to build to higher and higher magnitudes in all of the categories.

And finally how to teach Program of Intelligence:
One session should consist of no more than five programs. Programs take longer to read aloud than Bit of Intelligence cards and in order to keep sessions short you need to do fewer of them.
So for example you take 5 retired cards of birds and you say as you show them:
Crow – “Crows build nests in trees or bushes.”
Robin – “Robins have red breasts and gray wings.”
Bluejay – ………….
Mockingbird – ………………
Cardinal Grosbeak – …………………..

This should take about 10-15 seconds. You can also choose to use large-print sentences instead of showing the actual Bit of Intelligence card. Whatever you decide, it should be very fast and fun.

You should befin with 5 categories of 5 program each. Do each category three times in the day. You can expang this to include as many categories as you wish. After 5 days retire all the programs and put in five new programs in each category. This means a new program will be done three times over five days, to total fifteen times before being retired. If you wish you can retire and add new ones faster.

When you have done many Programs of Intelligence of the Fist Magnitude you begin to teach programs of the Second Magnitude. And then third and so on….

I came across another website which explains the 2nd to 5th steps in more details. I’ve cut and pasted here :


1. Zero Step (for newborns – kids under 3 months old, all other kids should start at the First Step) – dot cards that are very-very large: 15″x15″, with black, very bold dots 1.5″ in diameter. Begin with one card, show it for 10-15 seconds and hold it absolutely still to give him a chance to focus on it. On a first day show “one” dot card 10 times, on second show “two” dot card 10 times; proceed for 7 days with different cards 10 times each day. Repeat for the following two weeks: so, for the first three weeks you show “one” dot on Mondays, “two” on Tuesdays… On week 4: chose dot cards 8-14 and cycle each of them 10 times a day for the following three weeks (card “eight” on Mondays, card “nine” on Tuesdays, etc.) Continue with this pattern until tiny infant is seeing detail consistently and easily (around twelve weeks or later). Chose the correct time of the day: when the baby is in a good mood. Once you realize your infant can see the detail clearly, proceed to step one.

2. First Step – Quantity Recognition
Teaching your child to to perceive actual numbers, which are true value of numerals – 5 dot cards 1-100. 2 sets of 5 cards each, three times a day each set.

3. Second Step – Equations
Start after you’ve showed first 20 cards for First Step.
Don’t test, continue introducing new quantities, i.e. dot cards, (until you reach 100), and add sessions with simple equations: 2+2=4, 5+11=16. Avoid predictable equations: 1+2=3; 1+3=4; 1+4=5. After two weeks of different addition equations, do subtractions, followed by multiplication and division (at two week intervals of 3 sessions of equations per day).

4. Third Step – Problem Solving
You have completed First Step (showing dot cards), and First Step (simple Equations).
Progress onto more sophisticated three step equations, e.g: 2x2x3=12.
“You are still extraordinary giving and completely non-demanding” (GD, Math, p. 125)- you haven’t done any testing. “The Purpose of problem-solving opportunity is for a the child to be able to demonstrate what he knows if he wishes to do so. It is exactly the opposite of the test.” (GD, Math, p. 126). You can do it at the end of the session.
* Hold two cards and ask where is 22 (always offer options!)
“This is a good opportunity for a baby to look at or touch teh card if he wishes to do so.” If he does, make a big fuss. If he doesn’t, simply say, “This is 32″ and, “This is fifteen.” (GD, Math, p. 127).
* Give a simple equation and then hold two dot cards for him to chose the result of the equation. Again, always offer options, and if your child doesn’t want to show a card, simply and upbeat say it yourself.

After a few weeks of these equations, make them even more fun: combine addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, but don’t mix the pairs e.g. 40+15-30=25, not 4+2*7.
After a few weeks, add another term to the equations: 56+20-4-4=68.

You can further progress onto:
1. Sequences
2. Greater then and less then
3. Equalities and inequalities
4. Number personality
5. Fractions
6. Simple algebra

5. Fourth Step – Numeral Recognition
11×11 poster board with numerals written in large, red, felt-tipped marker: 6″ tall by 3″ wide.
Combine numbers with dots: 12 greater then dot card of 7; dot card of 12=12 (number)

6. Fifth Step – Equations with numerals
Make 18″x4″ poster board cards for equations with numerals: 25+5=30; 115x3x2x5 not equals 2,500; 458 divided by 2 minus 229.

Sit down with her and show her one set of word cards, one set of math cards, and one set of encyclopedic knowledge cards would take less than thirty seconds total. And of course reading to her, talking to her, and singing to her would also all be wonderful things you could do in that short hour, or half hour, or however long you have with her daily. It’s true you won’t be able to accomplish three sessions of five different sets of reading cards, nine sessions of math cards, thirty sessions of encyclopedic knowledge cards, etc. But that thirty seconds you spend showing her facts in the form of words, numbers (dot cards), and pictures will be extremely beneficial to her, if that is something you want to do.

Here is an interesting article about Shichida Method written by Aileen Kawagoe.

Shichida Method – What’s it All About?

Dr Shichida in case you didn’t know, is the guru of right brain education in Japan, often in the press in the late 1990s and early 2000s, though the press seems to have tired of him since there hasn’t been anything new from his quarters lately. Anyway, I sent my two kids to a Shichida Academy a few years ago for a couple of terms out of curiosity. And below are some of the things I learnt:

Some of the practices and goals that characterize the Shichida Method founded by Dr Shichida Makoto of the Shichida Academy are:

– visual imaging: images are flashed at speed of half a second, to bring out the right-brained speed recall. This is done many times throughout every sessions. Subject-matter varies considerably (they say content doesn’t matter as much as development of the ability)

– memorization of stories — practice is done on 100 picture cue cards shown as story is read. The stories are quite ridiculous and difficult to memorize and change over the weeks. But kids learn to memorize at first 10, then 20, then 30 and up to 1,000 cards. By two terms, 90 per cent recall is aimed at. Kids can recall which picture falls in which square, or by word cue, or in any manner of recall. This appears to be very effective, I’ve seen most kids excel at this over time. This trains the kids to associate words with images in their heads, and eventually they see pictures instead of words in their heads and can achieve perfect recall of books they’ve read.

– memorization of numbers — the kids practice memorization of a thousand images linked to numbers. Eventually they will be able to recall any number combination using image-association.
— speed-reading and speed-listening is done every lesson
— memorization of several hundred mandala patterns, Dr Shichida says there is a finite number of shapes that make up everything in nature and the universe, once the child has seen every combination, he can spot and recall all the patterns in science and nature. This seems to be rather fascinating as well. The children are flashed in a few seconds and must recall all the colors in the pattern flashed.

– Kids are flashed different shapes and color patterns on a grid or in a
random picture and must reproduce them in a blank format. Sometimes they are asked to reproduce a line drawing of an animal or even a complicated maze. These are again amazing activities with great results. My two year old started with 3 patterns and colors to progressively difficult combinations and can do them. My 6 year old has to contend with 20 or more at a flash, and has improved tremendously on this skill.

– Mathematical calculation skills — there is an intricate 65 day math course that you must do with your kid — it is repeated about three times to achieve speed-calculation skills.

– There are many spatial puzzles to be solved in a very short space of time during each session. These are very challenging. They are reinforced through the worksheets taken home. My two-year old has 30-day worksheets as well as my 6 yr old. The worksheets are very varied, from mazes, to puzzles, to logic exercises, to math. They work on skills incrementally as well.

– Others: Speed listening, speed-reading; perfect pitch skills training; the basic sounds of many foreign languages are taught in songs, proverbs, flashcards during the sessions as well. These will not help the child master any language but will give the child an ear for most world languages should he or she choose to pick it up later. Language activities are also often incorporated — riddles, tongue-twisters, excellent selection of poetry.

– For my 6 yr old, one science experiment is demonstrated every now and then.

– Exercise of Imagination (this seems to be a key component and is never compromised upon, every lesson starts with this. Apparently, exercising the imagination is a trigger to activating the right-brain’s abilities.

– One very unconventional activity is the ESP (guessing) game that is also never compromised upon. Even 2 year olds get into the habit of doing these games very well. Dr Shichida’s premise is that everything in the universe boils down to some form of wave energy, so energy-wave reading is a key skill that all students are expected to perfect. The lessons, following the imagery/imagination exercises, incorporate ESP activities. I can tell you that many a parent starts out a skeptic and is quite converted at the end of the course. For the past three lessons, all the students in my son’s class (including my son) achieved perfect scores in guessing matching cards in a set of 4’s (and my son has quite astounded me at home as well). My then two year old for the most part takes to the ESP games like a duck to water (the 2 year olds don’t work with cards though).

There are a number of techniques which Dr Shichida uses to “train” parents (during the compulsory parent seminars) that are designed to show parents how to achieve the optimum beta waves and relaxed states that are necessary for concentration and best memory recall results – he tells parents who scold intimidate or abuse their children they must change their negative ways and teaches them how to affirm and lavish praise on their kids, and much more.

Neurosurgeons have endorsed his school, and there are also those who have debunked it. Is his school unique? I’m not sure, certainly components here and there (like IQ tests) and tuning into brainwave frequencies may be found elsewhere; and there are speed-reading courses (but those courses discernibly different); there are also right-brained art courses that teach observation but perhaps the most unique element is the SPEED-element – ie. instant and perfect recall, speedy math calculation, speed listening and recall, speedy puzzle-solving. My son was constantly frustrated in the first two terms because he likes to take his time about things.

I thought the course at the time was worth the money I paid because it worked on his great weakness — dallying and daydreaming. It taught him to work on and complete tasks in nearly always a minute. It also taught him to improve his listening skills since instructions are nearly always never repeated (although some guidance and assistance may be given to an individual).

Shichida Method falls under the category of brain-based learning or pedagogical methods that have become quite popular in recent decades among reform-minded educators in many parts of the world. Dr Shichida’s theory of right brain wiring approximates those offered by Dr Howard Gardner, Thomas Armstrong, Dr Colin Rose, western educators who are said to be spearheading educational reform in those countries under the umbrella of Multiple Intelligences. But in spirit as well as in practice, Glen Doman, is considered closest to Dr Shichida (although this is vehemently denied by Shichida practitioners).

Dr Shichida is himself careful to distinguish his methods from those of other educators. The big difference between his methods and those of the other educators, says Dr Shichida, is that his method is far more intensive and speed-related. What is revolutionary is Dr Shichida’s belief that any child can be trained to focus and look at any thing in half a second, and that the child can also be trained to perfectly call that info input and stored in the brain. Dr Shichida has also clarified that anything that isn’t flashed at the speed of half-a- second won’t build or stimulate instant recall ability nor will it produce the desired hard-wiring of the right brain circuit. According to Shichida school authorities, the Kumon school once approached Dr Shichida to have the cramschool endorsed as a right-brained outfit which Dr Shichida refused downright saying that the constant repetitions and “at your own pace” worksheets were clearly at odds with his concepts of wiring and hard-wiring the right brain for speed and learning.

With Dr Shichida, he is also not primarily concerned with the repetition of content as with the repetition of his methods ad techniques. However his schools are always careful to emphasize to parents that the child’s progress is tied to the parent and the home environment, but that if his methods are properly applied, the sky is the limit as to what the whole-hearted and home-nurtured child can absorb and learn.

The main goals of his teaching in school is to deliver a child who will know how to relax, exercise stress-relieving techniques, self-control and concentration, harness the fantastic right-brain’s capabilities to achieve remarkable learning and retention powers. So classes always start in the same way with breathing or other relaxation techniques, exercises with imaging and photo memory, speed reading, and activating right brained visual-retention capability. The other half of the lesson is devoted to other stuff like speed-reading, wave-reading, perfect pitch, learning of foreign language sound patterns, puzzle-solving and lots of IQ and mathematical problem-solving.

No real systematic content (facts and info) such as the major disciplines of learning (science, history) is ever taught, although all the “memory” skills work each work is not mindless memorization but incorporated encyclopedic facts and data, so the child in a few years would have “input” quite a lot of info and data from visual maps of Spain, Africa, faces of Isaac Newton, Chemistry symbols, astronomy, to trivia such famous landscapes like Eiffel Tower. Oh and the auditory listening exercises take place in several languages other than the mainstream one. Since kids are expected to read (or be read) about three books daily and to do homework sheets, you can imagine, the kids generally get to acquire rather encyclopedic knowledge.

I sometimes think the Jennifer Gardner spy-character of ALIAS drama series fame had a Shichida method training in childhood, — in a nut-shell, Shichida academy is a “spy-training-style” school that is designed develop nimble brains in kids – only there isn’t any spying except maybe in Dr Shichida’s sixth dimension. Again Dr Shichida is known to champion humanism and vows that his ultimate goal is to raise compassionate and well-rounded human beings who achieve excellence in all areas.

Dr Shichida himself has impressive credentials having done decades of research work and has received awards from the World Science Council for his revolutionary methods in math calculation. His method was developed prior to all of the other right brain proponents, except perhaps for Glen Doman. His research carried out on his schools and the students has its own backup statistics and enough years to track students. Apparently, the school claims that the figures for students who complete their course (which is very high in Japan compared to elsewhere), show that an exceptionally high proportion of the Shichida graduates end up as high achievers in top public and private schools in Japan and make it to the top-tier universities as well.

Track record notwithstanding, the efficacy of the program or of the method is not foolproof. Success depends on how young the child is when the child starts with the program and how diligent the parent is (and Japanese mothers are more diligent since they pay more? and also spend more time with their children) in following through with the techniques (we didn’t). I personally know one parent who started the method on her 9 month-old child, and her child now 2 years old, can answer multiplication questions at one look, by picking out the correct answers out of two cards.

OK I hear you ask, is Dr Shichida’s Japan’s maverick educator or gimmicky guru, it’s hard to say. He’s got great press and TV followings every now and then. But his method will never be mainstream: while the right brain techniques are fairly impressive, from the mystical mandala training to the meditation and intuition training sessions that are designed to help each child see the “truth, virtue, and beauty of our primal selves” as well as conduct self-healing — downright pragmatists and skeptics find some of his guru-like techniques hard to swallow.

But what of your kids – I hear you asking the question — no my two kids didn’t graduate into Shichida spy-kids – they don’t have perfect recall nor anything even close to it – sad to say they’re Shichida Academy drop outs. As a family we didn’t follow through with the method. Though the classes were fun, I tired soon of the tediousness of the daily intensive practice sessions at home (although they are brief) – there were just too many flash cards without meaningful content for me. But I did gain many insights on right brain techniques from the parent seminars and from watching the presenter-teachers during the classes – many of which we still use at home when homeschooling and learning stuff that do mean something to us. However when you consider that my son has pretty near-perfect auditory recall when listening to readings or music while my daughter who is five now is quite a whizz at all sorts of visual or hands-on puzzles and tangrams and beats me hands down at solving every puzzle ever shoved at her — maybe something stuck.

This reseach was submitted in a forum by pupisek:
I do not have personal experience but I searched on the internet today and found something.
SGparenting page with forum –
(I registered – I am not sure if you have to to read threads)

There is Shichida method discussion and Doman metod discussion (and much more)

For example here you can find something about his Math program (and many more questions from parents with answers).

Objective: 65-day math program enables your child to be capable of lightning rapid maths calculation.
Description: The program consists of 2 cycles of 65 days each to be repeated twice. So a total of 260 (65X2X2) days required.
First cylce introduces dots 1-50 whilst second cycle introduces dots 51-100.
Typically, in each cycle you introduce
* the individual dot cards,
* followed by addition,
* then subtraction,
* then multiplication,
* then division,
* then multitudinous calculations eg. 34+8-20, (2-1)x3, (75-50)x2-10,
* then associate the number to the respective dot cards
* then image calculation e.g. get child to convert dots into numbers and vice versa, play “which one is 58-23?” and show 2 cards for child to choose.
His program laying out what to do on Day 1, 2, …., 65.

Materials used: Dot cards (1-100)
SM school sells “dot” cards at their bookstore. Their cards consist of pics. like veges and others. Every 10 cards have the same pics. e.g. brinjals for 10 cards then change of pic. They have 3 types of “dot” cards – random “dots”, random “dots” with number, non-random “dots”.

The 65 days maths program’s 4 cycles goes like this:-

Cycle 1 : Dot cards (1-50) Follow program Day 1 – 65
Note that Day 1-9 and 55-58 of cycle 1 is shown in column entitled “1st cycle”
On day 66, begin
Cycle 2 : Dot cards (51-100) Follow program Day 1 – 65.
Note that Day 1-9, 55-58 of cycle 2 is shown in column entitled “2nd Cycle”
On day 131, begin
Cycle 3 : a repeat of cycle 1
On day 196, begin
Cycle 4 : a repeat of cycle 2

Day 55-58 is when you show the number that is associated with the respective dot cards. e.g. dot card with 1 dot is associated with number 1.
Day 59 to 65 is the testing phase. The program describes different ways of testing your child.

Hi all, I need help in understanding the Shichida Method of Maths 65 Days Programme. Can someone help me???

ANSWER: Pls find my inputs to your questions below:

1. Is it ok to use only dot cards to teach? If not, how to introduce picture dots or pattern dots? What is pattern dots?
65-day program is based on dots card only. Picture / pattern cards can be shown to support the dots cards.

2. When I teach the addition, for eg. 1+1=2, do I show only the “2” dot card? Or do I need to show “1” “1” and “2”?
Just show “2” dots.

3. When do I need to introduce “+”, “-“, “/”, “x” and “=”?
No need.

4. The list doesn’t seems to include “0”. Any idea when to introduce “0”?
No idea. I showed my dd “0” after 65-day program.

5. How many times do I need to show the dot cards everyday? How many times do I need to show the problem sum each day? How many problem sum do I need to show my child each day?
10 formulea, once to 3 times a day.

6. Is it true that Shichida Method doesn’t believe in repetition?
Shichida actually mentioned kids love repetition in his book “Babies are genius”.

I am wondering which method is more effective? For 1+1=2, showing 1 then 1 then 2 or just showing the aswer 2?
Especially for the first cycle, when yr kid has not been able to relate the number you are saying with the dots, flashing 2 only makes me hesitate.

Answer: When I first started the equation with my boy, I performed the followings:
1. Flash 1, say 1
2. While taking another card from the back, say +
3. Flash 3, say 3
4. While taking another card from the back, say =
5. Flash 4, say 4
However, when my boy becomes more mobile and has shorter attention span, I changed to the following method:
1. Say 1 + 1 =
2. Flash the card 2 and say 2

I have not used this method personally but it seems to be good. Here is some information that you may find useful. I found the sequencing of their steps useful to use with Ethan.

Tested & proven as an effective home-teaching programme worldwide.

Recognising word straight away is more fun and effective. Words can be pictured and make sense, children can relate them to everyday experiences.

To help children towards reading independently.


Age: From birth to 3 months old – Visual Stimulation

Age: From 4 months old onwards – Word Reading


  • The gift of literacy-reading skill & natural love for books
  • Develop good command of the language-speak & read
  • Stimulates & develops the brain
  • Enhances family bonding
  • Prepares your child to enjoy formal schooling
  • The gift of literacy – reading skill


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