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Early Learning Pathways

Computer-Like Math Skills
Learned in Infancy!

Can infants learn math a few months after they are born? Yes, according to early childhood specialist Dr. Makoto Shichida. Shichida tells how infants learn by absorbing information through the right brain. He challenges the traditional belief that math is primarily a left brain activity by proving that children can learn to calculate subconsciously through the right brain.

Japanese studies have shown rapid calculation abilities stem from the brain's right hemisphere. In his book Right Brain Education In infancy Shichida cites a study at the Nippon Medical Center on Yuka Hatano who won world titles for mentally calculating sixteen digit problems faster than a calculator. Professor Yoshiya Shinagawa studied Ms. Hatano by PET scan while she was orally doing mental arithmetic. Shinagawa noted that the rear part of the right brain that governs visual functions was used.

The answers appear on the screen of the mind! These so-called math geniuses don't make conscious mathematical calculations! Answers automatically rise from the subconscious, where they are calculated faster than a calculator! Through the right brain, or image brain, the person sees a picture of the right answer. This function of the right brain is also exercised in people who have photographic memory. Shichida mentions 18th-century mathematician and physicist Leonard Euler who memorized books while ruffling through the pages and correctly answered 15 digit math problems in a second. Mentally handicapped people have also demonstrated this ability, baffling scientists. Shichida gives the example of Flure, a blind, mentally retarded man who spent his life in a French mental institution at the beginning of the century. Flure could answer complex math questions in less than 30 seconds and give perfect 20 digit answers.

Today, Shichida proves these extraordinary abilities can be developed in ordinary children, given the right training. Shichida uses dot cards and fact cards to stimulate 'lightning-rapid' calculating ability and photographic memory, which he believes are normal functions of the right brain. These flash cards are rapidly flashed in front of infants and young children who register the information subconsciously. Shichida explains that unlike the left brain, the right brain absorbs information very quickly.

In his book, Right Brain Education in Infancy, Shichida provides many examples of children who excel at calculating at a very early age, having been shown dot flash cards over a period of time. One mother witnesses her son's progress. "I've been teaching him all kinds of knowledge with homemade flash cards and charts that I placed in my house since his birth. He started answering mathematical problems in writing at age two and a half years old. He has no problem solving the four rules of arithmetic in four to six digits."

Lightning-rapid calculating ability is stimulated with dot flash cards, where dots replace numerals. "We took up dots when my son was two months old," says another mother. "Since he could not sit up by himself yet, I showed the cards to him while he was lying on his back. I was not sure if he understood what I was doing with him, but I kept on showing the cards as one of our games. When he was five months old, I showed him five addition problems using dots, then I tested him by giving the problem 48 + 29. I held up two answer cards 77 and 78. He tapped the card with the right answer--77. Then, I showed him only five subtraction problems and tested him. He gave me a correct answer again. I was totally amazed. Seeing my own son master addition and subtraction in a matter of ten seconds. I felt as if I was watching a magic trick. In this way, he was able to master the four rules of arithmetic by the age of six months."

Teaching your child with flashcards:
1) Experts agree that flashcards should be shown quickly (1 card per second). Presenting information quickly triggers the right brain into action!

2) Sessions should be brief but they can be frequent.

3) Flashcards should be fun and children shouldn't be forced. When children are pressured against their will resistance shuts down right brain learning.

4) Parents need to be relaxed and have fun with the process. Love is a key ingredient!

Shichida and Doman differ somewhat in their methods. Doman uses repetition (left brain), while Shichida does not (right brain.) You may want to experiment or try a combination of both, a whole brain approach.

Glenn Doman's book
How to Teach Your Baby Math gives detailed instructions on using dot cards. You can download Math Diamonds and use them in the same way that you would use dots.

Books by Dr. Shichida are available in English. Order on Shichida website

The Doman Method

For information about a book click on the title.
To see enlarged front cover click the cover.





How to Teach Your Baby to Read
Glenn Doman, Janet Doman



Highly recommenced by IPA


What to Do About Your Brain Injured Child
Glenn Doman



How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge
Glenn Doman, Janet Doman


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