The “Flash Cards Approach” is one of the latest Approaches to Homeschooling Children. It is based on the idea that you can teach to a child from birth anything you want. The method is to make presentation of large flash cards with the desired material to be taught. Showing same said flash cards in randomized order in very short sessions, several times during the day. This approach does not only guaranty the possibility to teach the children the subjects but also has the main objective is growth of the child’s brain. (Some of these approaches also offer to teach the child supernatural powers, but we will not waste time speaking of this.)
This is not an official homeschool approach. The same manner that the authors, institutions and the theories about brain developmental that promotes this approach are not recognized in the Scientific Community. Since the Scientific Community also has a change of position often , and because the popularity that this method has won in the last years, I considered it interesting to write my experience and conclusion about this approach.
The reading method that includes the flash card approach consist’s in to show the children hundreds of cards with single words in large print Then, combine these cards to form sentences and a homemade book. If you show the cards four or five days, that is enough to prove that the child has learned to read that word. And if you combine these words, after a couple of thousand words cards, the baby, will be able to discover the laws behind the language and be able to read any new words present in that language. “For ten thousand word cards you can make your child multilingual, sounds good!”
Some of you will say: Of course! Some other will say: Not even in Dreams! But please we can save the argument to the end of this discussion.
It is important to mention that, this reading method success is based in three fundamental rules:
- Believe in that after showing a card not more that 15 seconds, the child can read that word. - Never test the child, this means never ask the child to read aloud. Never! - If the child answers wrong to an opportunity to discover if he can read, it is because the baby in his infinite capacity deliberately choose the wrong answer, the children does not like to be tested, so they choose the answer wrong.
That is why I call this Approach, “My son’s teddy bear can read”, because if we apply these three conditions, every person, animal and thing can read.
I did thousand of cards, and I must admit my son was able to read in some moment homemade books and several singles words, but as I was feeding him with more words, he seemed forget the first ones. I was a “believer” of the methods, so I continued an entire year.
Then, finally I decided to share my experience in the internet communities that follow the same approaches, and what a surprise: less of three (3) mothers of the hundreds I had met has admitted that their children has learn to read (this mean deduce new words and be able to read anything) following exclusively this approach. The rest uses some kind of mix between the flash cards, phonics, and other educative methods. Also there is a small groups of “believers”, parents that are very proud that their four and five years old can read a new book after see thousand of cards words (if they already know the words in the books). But we must also admit that any five or six year old is perfectly capable to learn to read in a few months months using a good phonics program, and read aloud! I think you will agree that we will feel a job well done when our child can read The Genesis, Pilgrims Progress or Don Quixote.
The reading flash card program does not come alone; there is a complete math and encyclopedic program to help the children in the process to become a superb human being.
The encyclopedic programs ask the parents to isolate the facts to fill the child’s brain. The baby’s brain is considered an empty sack that must be filled of single facts as the first resource of intelligence. This means that if you have a picture of a Fruit Basket you need to cut each fruit and show it to the child separately. Because if you teach the child a whole basket’s picture the child will not learn well what the fruit are.
Well, I did it, and this website is the result of all this work. One time, while I was reading a Encyclopedia of Art to try to describe in ten simple sentences “The Arnolfini Marriage” , I asked to my self: Will it be more easy and productive if Octavio , my three year old son, read by his self all this information? I must admit that he has learned many isolated facts. I almost cried when in a Museum he recognized a Picture of Van Gogh, but is this knowledge? This will take him to the level of Wisdom? That is the kind of education I want for my son? No, I do not want training him to compete in Jeopardy, or to become the “Human Calculator”. I want that he be able to learn by himself and develop a critical point of view to protect him from philosophies and ideas foreign to our family principles.
Then, I reflected on this issue, and analyzed why this technique does not work? All the ideas and techniques of the flash cards approach sound very nice, so, why doesn’t it work?
I think I understand, it is in the foundation of the objectives, and in the way of this approach sees the child develop.
In The foundations of the objectives, because this approach pursues to create a superb human being, but did not recognize in their philosophies as main base the obedience and respect to God.
Prov 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
And in the way of it sees the children because the humanistic evolution theory it is false so, there is not way to be recreated it in each child during his first year of life. The Human Babies are born Human with a Human brain, and not with a “fish brain”, “reptile brain”, etc. The only idea to think in a baby as this way is disgusting.
Here it is important for me to mention that there are children with Brain Injuries who’s parents are following programs based in flash cards and their philosophies, They are following these programs with devotion, with love, with patience and they deserve our great respect and admiration. They are following these programs because it gives hope where others do not give answers, and the hope is a good feeling.
To these parents, who this website it is specially dedicated to, I want to tell them that there is a Gold Rule, better that any programs, and it never fail:
Matthew 7:7-12 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
But, Are the card and bits good?
Of course they are good, I like it very much and my son loves his bits, I save it very careful and I am happy when somebody share some new presentations to enrich this collection.
But it is important to say some conclusions (interview to my self):
Q: Was it worthy to make all this bits and cards?
A: Of course Yes, I had met in this process hundreds of wonderful mothers and fathers. Who, in the distance I considered my close friends. They all have in common the desire to teach their children and obedience to God. He has left only to us as parents the responsibility to educate the children in the His way.
Q: Has the programs some negative effect?
A: Until now the only possible risk for the child is the Induced Dyslexic, there is an report at the end of this document. What I do considered dangerous is that some mothers, we can fall in some kind of “program cult”. We leave to the side other activities that also is important, little to little without we notice, run the programs become our style of life, you see material to bits until in the Soup, and our conversation and friends etc, moving around that. I know about a case where the mother because can not run the programs as she wishes, fell in depression, and felt guilty. Another was so interested in preparing material than prefer send the child to sleep than to play with him.
Q: Recommend you to following these Programs?
It depends, If you will use the material from the internet or if somebody give the cards to you, there is a nice way to teach the child some interesting facts. If you are thinking to prepare the material your self, this will take you so much time, that you will not enjoy teaching your child. You will find many posts on the internet forums about how these programs brought many unnecessary stresses to families.
Read to the child from fine literature; let him explore the nature, teaching him obedience at first command will develop better qualities in the child.
Perla Sarmiento de Adams email@example.com
Bibliography to Learn More Bout:
- Einstein Never Used Flash Cards by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, and Diane Eyer - Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think And What We Can Do About It by Jane M. Healy