|©Copyright by Perla de Adams. All rights reserved.
A haughty look, a proud heart… are sin
One morning in March 2006, I was searching the internet for activities of preschoolers. A few days before my son had his
second birthday – according to my understanding, it was time to start his formal education. I was waiting for two books in
the mail about Classical Homeschooling, but the books were delayed, and I was in a hurry to start the lessons. It was in this
way that between the links about homeschoolers activities I read “How to teach your Baby to Read”, a title very attractive,
I doubt that some mother will not click in that link, after all, who does not want to teach a baby to read?
Many fantasies were borne in my mind: If I succeed in teaching Octavio to read in such an early age, he will become a great
intellectual, a genius, he will finish the school in a record time, I, as mother, would receive many compliments; Octavio
would be the pride of the family.
The link related in a very simple way how thru writing words with a thick red marker in large cardboards, a lady succeed in
teach her two young children to read before the age of two. Immediately, I contacted the author of that page and asker her
more details. After a few days, she answered me telling me that she was no longer involved in such activity, and she refered
to me a e-group where it was possible to get some more information about that topic. Immediately I found the group and
“Can the blind lead the blind?..
I receives a warm welcome in the e-Listas group, this was a online group in Spanish language, most of the members where
moms and also was a father very involved in the education of his Young son. In this group I received many clues about how
to start teaching reading to Octavio, they referred to me all the necessary bibliography which I ordered immediately.
That very same weekend with scarce information; I went to the local bookstore and bought cardboard, thick red markers
and many printer ink cartridges. I made my first flash cards with the words, mother, father, ball, etc. Two or three days
later Octavio was “reading” these words, the method was working! I was very happy.
In that e-Listas group were many opinions about the “right way” of use the cards (there were opinion about the frequency,
replace of new cards, and if were right or not reviewing words “already learned”, etc). These differences in opinion were
the result of the lack of primary resource about this method – most of the members did not have the books, they just have
some chapter or some partial translation of chapters.
In this group was a mom which uploaded Power Point files to the group database – this modality of digital bits was one of
the multiple technique to use the cards -.All in the group were thankful for the presentations, and that motivated me to
create my own “digital bits” in a way to say thanks for the files I downloaded from the group. Without notice I become an
expert in Power Point and my presentations – with effects, with front cover, and with innovation in topics – started to
become very popular in the group. However I left that group because there were many atheist members, quickly I found the
perfect group: a group in yahoo, in English with a Christian monitor, and many enthusiastic mothers.
I arrived to the Yahoo group and immediately offered the presentation that I had, t his presentation were welcomed. I
opened a Yahoo email account and shared the password so all the moms in the Yahoo group had access to the
presentations. Many moms also created their own PPP Bits and the email account was the way to share with the rest of the
Short time after that I received the books from The Institutes, and this plus the experience creating many presentations I
become an expert in the topic – when a new mom arrived to the Yahoo group I was always ready to answer her doubts, give
her details of the “right way” to use the flash cards, the objectives we were pursuing, and specially many encouragement to
continue ( this method promote no-testing to the child, so we continue following it with an act of blind faith, rather than for
an objective examination, I will talk more about this later). This was a very nice time, this Yahoo group was a real online
community of friendship and cooperation, and it was a very active group with many daily posts. Here I made very good
friends which I continue a close friendship until today.
This Yahoo group was focused in reading and encyclopedic knowledge, but the method has other modalities in the pursuit of
created super human beings. It was in this way that I found a larger group (It was called Childbrain (I am sure if still
exists). In this forums were many moms with children with brain injury - from dyslexia, autism; to Down syndrome and
cerebral palsy – to all those children the treatment was the same: bits, creeping, crawling, and brachiating (swing by the
arms from a horizontal ladder). In this forum in addition to the Doman Programs were integrated other authors as
Shichida (Japanese author with promises to train both side of the children’s brain so he can communicate with the supra
word ( see thru the walls, predict the future, and other promises of oriental philosophies), techniques of another institutes in
Philadelphia founded by an ex employee of Dr Doman ( this was the competition of Dr Doman Institutes) and the
promotion of several product for increasing the mental power of infants. I never felt comfortable in this forum, the level of
discussion was very aggressive: there were mothers complaining about their in - laws, complaining about their children.
Others used the forum to compare methods and take part in useless discussion about which institution is better than the
other, share their daily deception and frustration. I used to visit the group just to share the presentation, but I did not make
any friends there. When I found an enthusiastic mother I invited her to the Yahoo group.
Mr. Worldly Wiseman -- Who bid thee go this way to be rid of thy burden?
Christian -- A man that appeared to me to be a very great and honorable person:
his name, as I remember, is Evangelist.
Mr. Worldly Wiseman -- I beshrew him for his counsel! there is not a more
dangerous and troublesome way in the world than is that into which he hath directed thee;
The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
I was working with this method to bolster Octavio’ brain and teaching him to read. I continued pursuing his formal
homeschooling – the bits were just like a fertilizer to make that his formal education went smooth and rich.
I joined the Yahoo Group, Basically Bluedorn, a group that was following the guidelines of the book Teaching The Trivium.
In this group were many moms with many experiences in homeschooling. Sometimes those moms commented about some
frustration in the early teaching of math, problems about writing, different curricula (in other words, they were talking
about the reality in teaching).
Remember for that time, I was an expert in the “joyful education”, it was difficult for me to believe that a mother will
complain about difficulties in learning a math operation when the simple and easy solution “according with my believes”
was as simple as to make some flash cards with the information to learn, information that the children will win by a sort of
visual osmosis. At the same time I read those comments (so different to the ones in the flash cards Yahoo group where
everything was succeeding), I was starting to read the practical part of the book of Christian Classical Education Teaching
The Trivium, there, to my surprise in the part about teaching to read there was a testimony by Laurie Bluedorn about how
she started to teach to her first son to read around 1978.
One mix of upsetting and doubts grow in me while I was reading Laurie’s experience: for her, the method was a failure, the
method could have negative effects in the children as the dyslexia, and the solution was teach phonics – teach the letter and
its sounds- This was so confusing for me, that immediately I emailed Mrs. Bluedorn to clarify her address, more than email
with question was a inquisitive email about why she was opposed to those techniques that could be so beneficial to
Christian children, rather than past by the pain of the phonics instruction ( The phonics is a process that dumb the children
according to the flash cards method).
Mrs. Bluedorn answered me with the explicative post in her blog:
A Review of Glenn Doman and his Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (Mayo 13, 2006)
I did not like her exposition, there she was showing how those methods were not more that a commercial product. In the
other side, I was convinced that these methods were a technique developed in Philadelphia for the simple human race
benefit. After I received Mrs. Bluedorn answer, in the search to confirm my beliefs, I wrote to the Institutes, the very same
Mrs. Doman answeed me telling me that there is many people that do not understand their posture and on that case is
better do not pay attention to such comments. I stopped reading Teaching The Trivium, I removed myself from Basically
Bluedorn and I focused with many energy in the flash cards.
You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days,
nor ten days, nor twenty days, but for a whole month,
until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you…
The thousand of word’s flash cards, bits of encyclopedic knowledge and hundreds of Power Point presentations were not
enough for me. Still I wanted to go to the Mecca of the methods, so I convinced my husband to take our annual vacation
and visit the Institutes. I had already promised to my online friends that I will share with them all the information that were
possible to me, if we had doubt, this time they will be all clarified.
When we arrived to Philadelphia, we talked with some people in the Hotel about the purpose of our visit, but nobody
seemed to know about the Institutes (A strange thing for a institution that was founded several decades ago and had
trained thousands of parents) However, I did not give importance to that fact.
The next day we arrived to the neighborhood of the Institutes, we took a room in a B&B just in front of the Institutes. There
I made new friends that also will take the How to Multiply your Baby Intelligence Course.
The course was very formal and very well organized. There was not discussion allowed and there was no time to relate
between parents, except during the two or three five minutes recesses, the lunch time was also very short. In the first
session we were told that we were paying to listen what they have to tell and not what we want to say, that was the reason
for no discussion allowed. If there were doubts those needed to be solved in the five minutes recess.
To me, that I know the books and the techniques by memory there were nothing new in the course. But I had many desire to
see the result of the method (remember that this methods ask never to test the knowledge of the children). Finally arrived
the day to see the children presentation of the Institute’s children (most of the children, if not all of them, were sons and
daughters of employees of the Institutes). The children were dressed in a very formal way (the boy white long sleeve shirt
and tie, the girls perfect in all). The Institutes promotes that style of dressing in children, they said that in this way the
adults we talk to the children with more respect ( after all, a child with tie in the supermarket will receive more compliment
that a child in short pants and tennis shoes “ look wise makes you wise”, is the subtle message).
All the children’s presentations were perfectly performed, each child knew his roll very well, there was no place for
improvisation. A seven year old girls read a excerpt of Shakespeare from gigantic flash cards ( I can’t, at that time,
remember that I myself learned to read at six years old, and my practices in reading were in the newspaper, not my mother,
not my first grade teacher shuffled cards in front of my face so I can be able to “read”). The girl did her actuation perfectly
and all we were very happy for her achievement. There was also a nine year old boy who read a book that his father wrote
to him (large letter, one sentence per page), it was text about chemistry, What a achievement! (better said, What a fraud!
Not because I make Octavio to memorize some fact about chemistry, mean that he know about the composition of the
matter) There was not an opportunity to ask the children to read a improvised text, there were only allowed to read what
was carefully prepared for the show.
The moment of the dissertation of Dr. Glenn Doman arrives. He is a very friendly and nice gentleman. He told us how he
arrived to his amazing discoveries about the human brain thru observing lizards as a child in the basement of his house (you
can read that same history in his book What To Do About Your Brain Injured Child).
I will not doubt that it is possible that different people, in different times, in different geographic areas could arrive to the
same conclusion about a fact. Such seems to be the case of the ontogeny (the stages through which organisms develop from
single cell to maturity) recapitulates phylogeny (the evolutionary history of the species) which Dr Doman affirm that he
discovered (however the evolutionist considered that process part of the “mythological past” of the evolutionary theory, by
the way the whole evolution theory is in fact a myth!). Dr Doman affirmed that if we stimulate age stage of the babies
development, we can accelerate the “evolution”, in short the theory goes like this: if a baby is creeping many, he will be
crawling early, and if the baby is crawling enough, the baby will start walking early, and if the baby can walk and then run
many, he will become a genius as Leonardo Da Vinci (why there is not soccer players with PhD in neurology? Please, do
not ask to me).
This foundation of that theory must be enough to complete refuse the method build upon it, not only for the creationist, but
also for the evolutionist as we already see. Unfortunately, our generation as consequence of the modern education has lost
the tools of logic analysis to faster detect those kinds of fallacious arguments. It took me a whole year to awake.
The course ended, but all of us that took the course got the exclusive privilege of joining the Alumni Association - paying a
quote, of course- . I was sure that this will be the best support group about the topic, with thousands of experiences and
testimonies. The reality is that it was a group of no more of 40 active members, most of them graduates of our seminar of
the seminars of the previous year, so, I must live with the desire to meet parents with older children and to know about the
result of practicing the methods.
When I come back home – and with a big lot of original bits, ordered books and other “official products”, and my diploma
of “Professional Mother” - I decide to open this website to continue spread the gospel of the flash cards.
Down, down, down. Would the fall NEVER come to an end!
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
One of the compromises that the parents sign when subscribing to the course is that all the knowledge that acquired must
be only for use with our own children. This was a hard thing to me because I had my internet community of friends that
faithfully follow the methods and I wanted to share some information with them. However, without stop being an active
member of the yahoo group I joined the Alumni Association.
In this forum there was very little discussion. Soon I noticed that this forum was more about psychological support to the
moms. To resist the temptation to test the children’s progress and constantly focus on what we were doing. There was many
flattery to the Moms in this forum by the forum administrator (an employee of the institutes). Here also all were managed
with false spirit of formality and protocol – we must call ourselves by our title and last name, example I was Mrs. Sarmiento
de Adams – this created walls between moms, even so, I did make some friends there who I communiqué by private email in
a relax way.
Inside this forum I had access to other “programs” as The Law -a system when parents wrote domestic rules on a giant
cardboard that must be displayed in the living room, so everybody can see it. Children are payed with coins that after they
can change to win or lost privileges ( in theory a child can disobey if have enough coins to pay for) - Here also I read a
document call “How to Make your baby an Idiot” in this document were appeal to fear, so the moms continued following
I inscribed in the next course that was for parents of children 3 years old and up. There I will learn about the importance of
creeping and crawling, the most important program of the institutes – according to the Institutes this program solves all
brain injuries and even genetic condition as Down Syndrome (The opinion of the American Association of Podiatry and
American Association of Neuroscience can be read at the bottom of my article: The Flash Cards Approach”).
I had bought a file cabinet to save and keep organize all the bits, but each day I was producing new cards (I needed at least
100 new bits each five days). That morning I was organizing the old material while Octavio was playing near to me,
suddenly appeared some of the first word cards I did (mama, octopus, ball, etc). I wish to enjoy a few seconds of my success
and I committed the “sin” of asking Octavio what was on the cards “Octavio, what does this card say?” I asked while
show him the card with the word octopus: he answered me “mama”. I told him no, tell me what said here, he answer me:
“ball”, I tried with many more cards, until discovered that he already forgot everything, he was able only to “read” those
sentences that I had taught him the previous week, but was not able to read single words. I start to feel very nervous,
immediately I asked to the administrator of the Alumni Association.
I admitted that I asked Octavio to read some words. I was told that I know that that was not right to test the knowledge of
the children, and if I did the program correctly and consistently he knows how to read without doubt, according to them
what really was happening is that Octavio knows that I was testing him so he decided to answer wrong. That makes me feel
better for a few days, I kept reading the comments of other mom’s about the infinite intelligence of their children and how
that it was normal that they decided to answer wrong when tested.
There was a case of a mother with a little girl that took my attention. This mother was concerned that her 13 month old
daughter cannot walk, even so she was doing the program from birth The interesting of this case was not that a 13 month
old baby cannot walk (that is normal), the interesting is that this girls practice the program from birth and it was suppose
that those baby start walking at 8 or 9 months! (To get that a child starts walking after 12 months old, you do not need any
program!). The answer to support that mom by the side of the forum administrator was that his own baby girl did not start
walking until 14 month old! So, “the baby program” after all are not different of the babies outside the program. The light
was starting to show up.
I keep showing Octavio the bits, cards, running, braquiation, etc, But Octavio continued without reading, so I bring his case
again to the alumni association forum. This time I was told that maybe Octavio did not crawl enough when he was a baby,
and that he need a little of “pattering” and after that he will read perfectly. I tried, but Octavio continue without read.
Again I come back to the forum with my case – I started to look as the black sheep- This time the administrator told that
knowing I did a complete and consistent program a whole year, perhaps what was really happening is that Octavio has (or
had) a small brain injury and if I did not make the program at that moment he will be delayed in his neurological
development. In other words, from night to morning my 3 years old son who started walking at 11 month without any
program, which is bilingual and very athletic, was now suspect to have a brain injury so he cannot read! (In average
children start to read in first or second grade at age between 6 and 10) After I read that answer I had 24 hours of many
anguish , when my husband came back home from work that night I told him that perhaps Octavio have a brain injury, and
that he needed a neurologic evaluation in the institutes.
I wrote again in the forum, this time I was very sad. I told them that I did try everything and that definitely Octavio cannot
read, I was hoping that the Institutes would continue to investigate to help with of Octavio, I also wrote a similar post to
the yahoo support group.
“But he has nothing on at all”, said a little child at last
The Emperor’s New Suit- Hans Christian Andersen
The next day after my confession, I received many emails, more than 30 (some emails from the very same moms of the
Alumni Association), to my surprise, those emails were to share similar stories. In those emails, the moms comments to me
said they did stop showing the bits a long time ago, and started to teach phonics (but they hide this fact from the Institutes).
That created a big doubt in me: Why did those moms did not say anything? Why did they keep acting that they did practice
the programs when in reality they did not believe in them? So I discovered that those moms were afraid, afraid to be guilty
of not making enough cards, bits, programs, they feel guilt because of the lack of results.
My last participation in the forum was not welcome, after reading all the emails I received in that week with similar
histories, my position of submission in the forum changed to a more critical position. I was asking for answers and not just
flattery because of my “wonderful job”, so my membership was canceled. They did not want that I keep contaminating the
rest of the moms with my doubt. Other friend that also did get results from the programs shared with me her password
access so I can read the last thread of my conversation. There I read sentences that completely remove the cover from my
“ If the true reason ( to make the programs) is so the child can compare favorably with the other Little children in the
neighborhood, then parents might well find themselves periodically disappointed”
Lets analyze this sentences, you make a thousand cars, you read innumerable encyclopedic and science books to digest the
contents so you can write the medulla of the books in ten short sentences, you bought a large brachiationg ladder that take
half of your living room area, you divided your day so you can have time to make 30 bits sessions in one day, you spend
until midnight cutting images ( because the images must be without any background), cutting white cardboard, gluing
pictures, laminating bits, because the child need new cards each day, Why? So your child performs inferior to the average?
No, so your child performs the same as the neighbors child whos mother did not make programs at all? No, of course not,
all those Dr. Domam books are about improvement, speed, perfection, and surpassing the standard.
When a man buys a shampoo for baldness, for what did he buy it for? To make his hair grown or just for the pleasure of
massaging his head 15 minutes each morning with a stinky lotion?
for this my son was dead and is alive again;
he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry
I feel a mix of angriness and shame, deception and change of conscience. I was not only spending a lot money to travel to
the Institutes, lost the deposit for the second course, lost the money of my inscription in the Alumni Association Forum, bits
that now hinder in my house, that brachiation ladder!, but I had motivated many moms to fall in that trap. I needed to take
My first change of conscience was for Mrs. Bluedorn, one year before she told the time to answer my impertinent email. I
wrote to her, and quickly she answered me that she was never upset with me, that she understood me because I did exactly
what she tried to do with her first son. I also contacted Basically Bluedorn Yahoo Group, I asked forgiveness for my abrupt
retire, I continue being a member of this group until today.
I kept investigating those methods now looking from another perspective. I found information and literature, studies about
the effects of those methods, and analysis of consequences. I discovered that the idea to read large cards was not born in
Chestnut Hill! Actually that method was developed in the 19th century to teach deaf people to read.
Other moms sent me their own articles and references. I wrote The Flash Card Approach, and started to share it in all
forums that I know.
There is always somebody expert in giving opinions!
The day after the diffusion of my discoveries, my website received 700 visits and more than 1000 the next day (it was a hot
topic). There we have a very interesting discussion where the favorable opinion about the methods abounded but there was
lack of arguments with supportive evidence.
There were a few moms very upset with me for having the insolence of such said “blasphemies” against the methods. I was
not a easy victim, I was a mom that did everything, there was nothing that they can blame me for the lack of results ( the
general position was that there were lack of result, the mom was the responsible, perhaps because she did not make
enough, or she did not make the things correct.
Of course, somebody brings the “Theory of the Balance”: The best is to do a little of phonics and a little of cards. Also there
was something that affirmed about one case with success, but there was a forum with around 2000 members, 1/2000! Will
you do a program that has this percent of success? The phonics instruction to reading has more than 20 centuries of success
in a wide spectrum of languages, cultures and historic époques. My report about the French Government who forbids the
whole word as a method of teaching reading in the public school system, was not accepted for Spanish. Some said that the
problem is the English language that is very irregular so flash cards is the only option (in the Spanish forum they said that
the method was good in Spanish but not for English!). I will not make this story long; the moms are upset with my insolence
asked that the topic was deleted from the forum and my expulsion, to make the things easy I asked the owner of the forum
to remove my membership.
In other forum where I share the same reports, happened the same at the end of the discussion. This whole method thing
was a like a sect, the one that is against has got to go!
After all, is it not juts harmless word cads?
Three points to take in consideration:
1)The flash cards thing is not just a harmless game; it can have serious and permanent consequences for the children.
The dyslexia could be induced if you train a child to memorize words as pictures instead of teaching him to read it.
Here it is important to mention the trick behind all of this: Redefine the word “reading”.
In a primary sense of the word reading means:
In a primary sense the word read means to utter or pronounce written or printed words, letters or characters in the proper
order; to repeat the names or utter the sounds customarily annexed to words, letters of characters.
Example: The wolf is in the garden: Th-e w-o-l-f i-s i-n th-e g-a-r-d-e-n.
The promoters of the flash cards approach (whole word), are using a different definition, here the objective is the
“interpretation” a written document.
Example: The wolf is in the garden- could be read as ( between other options)” “The fox is in the forest”. What you obtain
is approximated idea about what is written, they promote guessing of words in the context, it is not accurate reading. The
reading by flash cards is subjective reading.
More about this topic in the Samuel Blumenfeld essay Induced Dyslexia in the page of Don Potter.
2)We create disabilities in the healthy child.
The healthy child has the ability to learn orthographic and phonetics sings (letters and its sounds) that after he can learn to
combine to understand a complete thought. The child with brain disabilities has troubles to make this connections, however
if we train a well child to read as if he has a disability, what we will obtain that the well child will start to show the same
symptoms of the child with disabilities.
To better understanding, I will make the example with blindness:
I well child can see the letters and learn to read these letter using his eyes. The blind child cannot see the letter, so we train
him feel the shape of latter in Braille using his fingers.
After some time, because the succeed in teaching blind children to read in that way, the government make the Braille
method the official method to teach reading in all the school system.
We ask to the well children to close their eyes so they can concentrate and feel the shape of the letters in Braille. What will
happen with the time? The well child will be unable to read a book with his eyes, he will read only using his fingers, we
make him functionally blind to read.
The flash card method to teach reading was created for deaf and mental retarded children, that because his disability to
learn and understand sound symbols (phonics). So it was develop for them a method where they can relate a idea to the
picture of a word.
When this technique is used with well children, what happened with the time is that those children do know how to relate
letter and its sounds – they depend of how many words they have memorized to understand a whole idea – they are unable
to read a book beyond the level of reading (amount of words they know). English has more than one million words, how
many do you thing a child can memorize? The children that learn to read using flash cards become functionally dead and
mental retarded respect to reading; they are unable to read a book in the sense that we know it.
If you compare a book that children just to read one century ago with what children are reading now, you will understand
what I am talking about.
3)The true objectives of the Whole Word method to teach Reading.
In defining reading, the pro-whole language authors of Whole Language: What’s the Difference” writes:
From the whole words language perspective, reading (and language use in general) is a process of generating hypotheses in
a meaning-making transaction on a socio historical context…In a transaction model, words do not have static meaning.
Rather, they have meaning potential and the capacity to communicate multiples meanings.
Example: Where before we read “perversion” now we read “alternative style of life”; we use to read “killing a baby” now
we read “free choice”, where before we read “parricide” now we read “die with dignity or euthanasia, “marriage” can be
read as the union of a man and a woman, two man, two woman or a man and his dog, who know, everything is ok in the
Whole Word philosophy.
It is important for homeschoolers to understand this connection between whole language and deconstruction. The purpose
of both is the destruction of the absolute word as represented by the word of God in Scripture. If children are taught to
invent their own meaning in whatever they read, then what is to stop them from reading the Bible in their own subjective
manner, inventing whatever meaning happens to please them? – The Whole Language Boondoggle by Samuel Blumenfeld.
The alternative is clear: come back to phonics, where should we have never departed. As we mentioned before, the process
of teaching reading using phonics has more than 20 centuries of success, and is the only method that guarantees objective
reading. Actually, is the only method to learn to read, the whole languages is nothing more than “actuation of reading” it is
not real reading.
I know that many moms will protest: “Phonics is for older children, older than 4, 5 and 6 years old because their
neurologic developments cannot understand the abstraction of phonics”. So what is the alternative for babies? The sincere
answer is: there is not alternative for babies.
In the same way that we cannot teach walking to a 3 months old baby, we cannot teach to read a child who is not
neurological ready for that. You can put some apparatus in the legs of a baby so he can look as if he is standing up, then
you can move his legs so it will look that he is walking. But as soon you remove the support the baby will fall, and
everything will be not more than a cruel experiment to please the mom’s vanity. You can spend 5 years trying to make a
baby memorize enough words so he can read a Disney book or you can spend 6 month giving phonics instruction to a 6
years old child so he can read a Charles Dickens book, it is your decision.
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
And, what about the Bits? Many will say that those ideas of learning to read using flash cards was a kind of fantasy, and
that they never take it seriously, but continue thinking that the Bits are something different.
I will tell you only one reason against the Bits: The bits did not work.
Let see what a bit is: A bit is a large image of a single object, without any background, that you present to the child in
groups by categories, three time a day during several days. An example of a bit is the picture of an apple, a plane, a
balloon, the portraits of a musician, etc.
I made thousand of bits, for later fall to the conclusion that what Octavio learned from the bits was the same information
that every child knows by his age. Or was the kind of information that you can acquire easily checking a book or just
watching the TV (saving the time and cost of prepare the bits): This information was recognizing an elephant, a zebra, a
car, a plane. And, What about the special bits? For example, the one about the molecular structure of the elements” About
those Octavio forget everything.
Why the children forget the bits? The children forget the bits for a natural process of “pruning” of the brain cells, the brain
automatic eliminate useless information to have capacity to relate useful facts. When thus pruning of unnecessary cell did
not occur, we confront problems of mental retardation and learning disabilities. You can look it this way, when your
computer is connected to the internet in order to read information; the computer collects many temporary files and cookies
that with the time make the system slow. The solution is to delete those temporary files and cookies. The bits are no more
than that, temporary information that with the time become useless and the healthy brain deletes it (there is a medical
condition call the Syndrome of Fragile X when the brain lost the ability to delete that cell and the result is mental
retardation). I will admit that a child can learn from the bits the name of some whales, but that kind of information, if is of
his real interest, he could learn it without the necessity of preparing bits.
We need be careful with the errors of the process of thinking:
If a mom makes a program to teach to walk her six month old baby, and then the child start walking when he becomes 12
months old, the mother could think that the child started walking thanks to the program; or that because the bits the child
learned the name of the fruits, or because the flash cards the child learned to read with phonics at age six. When in fact
what is really happening is that these achievements are the result of the natural process of neurologic maturity and that the
child received the right instruction. This is the fallacy of Post hoc ergo propter ho, believe that because a situation precede
another, so the first is the cause of the second, eliminating other possible alternatives.
The most valuable thing that a little child needs to learn, you cannot teach using bits: obedience, respect to the parents and
orders, self control, honesty, to say always the truth, to think of the other rather than be focus in himself. The bits did not
help you with this thing but take your time to teach them.
…that we should no longer be children,
tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness
of deceitful plotting
|All children born genius.
||“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a
far country, who called his own servants and delivered his
goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to
another two, and to another one, to each according to his
own ability; --Matthew 25:14-15
|A baby will prefer to learn Greek than play with his toys.
||Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod
of correction will drive it far from him—Proverb 22:15
For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who increases
knowledge increases sorrow – Ecclesiastes 1:18
|The parents can designs the intellectual capacity of their
|For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come
knowledge and understanding– Proverbs 2:6
|You can teach to a child everything you want, if you make
it in an enjoyable way.
|The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, But the
heart of fools is in the house of mirth —Ecclesiastes 7:4
Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who
hates correction is stupid – Proverbs 12:1
The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to
himself brings shame to his mother – Proverbs 29:15
Some finals considerations.
There will always be a mother that say, “my child likes the bits, and that is why I keep with this method”. If your standard
to educate your children is to do what they like rather that to do what they need or what is convenient to them, sorry, but I
must tell you that your standard is too low. Never was it my objective to do the programs because Octavio liked them, I did
the program because I thought that they will be good for him from an educational point of view.
I do not want to be misunderstood, in the sense that I promote a style of education hard and difficult. I have nothing against
enjoying the process of learning, but the enjoyment can never be the objective of the educational process. It is not always
the more efficient way (a child with good discipline, will perform his task correctly and to his maximum capacity in a small
amount of time and a minimum cost), The funny part in the process of learning, if arrives, it must be welcome, but the
objectives of our children’s education need to be measured to a higher aspect than the simple physical pleasure.
There will be mom’s that believe the method did work with them. To those moms, I want to ask: Did you try other methods
of teaching and compare cost/benefit? Are you sure that there is no other way to get the same result with a lower cost and
time? If the time you spend making flash cards and bits you decided to utilize in something else, I already guaranty profit to
The time spent in teaching with flash cards, being for reading or for encyclopedic knowledge, create in the child a
dependence to win information. The child become a passive receptor of what the mother has the opportunity to teach.
The idea exists that those methods help to teach the love to learn or teaching the love to study. That is a false idea, the
children do not need to “learn to learn”, they already know how to learn, but we can interrupt the natural process of
learning with artificial methods of teaching as the flash cards. What the children need is to learn obedience, sense of
responsibility, healthy habits, so when there is time to apply themselves to the academic activities, they do it with good
disposition and enthusiasm even if the academic activity is very demanding.
To close this topic, I want to suggest to any one thinking in starting with these activities, or is already using flash cards to
teach, to investigate the topic more in depth to read another point of view. The bibliography at the end of “The Flash
Cards Approach” could open a door to more information.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
– Hosea 4:6
If you have some questions about how to start to teach your children, what about search for the biographies of people that
you admire. How did they’re parents educate them? This will give you better clues of how to walk in the right way. It will be
a safe way other than the long list of experiments and educational failures of the past century.