I Loved Every Minute of Teaching My Girls
One professional mother tells the story of teaching and learning with her four girls.
Chenee, Janelle, Ariel and Tamara
I just want to start by saying that some of the best memories I have with my children were when we were doing The Institutes Program together. I have four daughters, Janelle and Tamara (who are twins), Chenee, and Ariel. I started the program with the twins when they were one and a half years old. With Chenee and Ariel, I had the opportunity to start from birth.
I have always believed that my children were my responsibility. I wanted to be the one to teach them. This idea inspired me.
I realized my girls were not doing some of the things other babies were doing for their age.
I heard about the program from a friend. At the time, I was feeling concerned with how my twins were progressing. Twins, from what I understand, tend to develop differently than a single baby. Every time I went for a wellness check-up I realized my girls were not doing some of the things other babies were doing for their age.
It all started with “How To Teach Your Baby To Read.”
A friend of my husband’s suggested that we read Glenn Doman’s book How To Teach Your Baby To Read. My twins were 15 months at the time. My husband and I read the book and we found it fascinating, so we ordered the “Teach Your Baby To Read” kit. That’s how it all started with my twins.
I started in the hospital and the nurses thought I was insane but I did not care, I knew the program worked.
With my daughter Chenee, my second pregnancy, I was able to start at birth with the stimulation program at the hospital, crawling track and all. The nurses thought I was totally insane but I did not care, since by that time I knew the program worked. She was crawling up the track on day two. It was amazing. My fourth child, Ariel, I also started from birth.
Mother and the girls enjoy participation in a demonstration of a typical math class at home.
The most difficult part of the program for me was making enough Bits, since we went through so many in such a short time. I would start making Bits at midnight until about 3 in the morning in order to prepare for the next day and to stay ahead of the game. I had trouble getting enough sleep.
I loved every moment of teaching them.
Doing the program is an incredibly bonding process with your children. I loved every moment of teaching them and seeing how it changed their lives for the better. I could see that by instilling the love of learning in my children, their opportunities in life would be endless, that they could be anything they imagined as a result. I’m happy to say that this has proven true over and over again.
I hit my stride when I learned not to expect immediate results.
With the twins, Janelle and Tamara, I started with the reading program. At first, I thought I was doing it all wrong because I was not getting the feedback that I wanted. So I made an appointment at The Institutes to see what was wrong only to find out that everything I was doing was, in fact, correct. They helped me realize that I needed to just give freely and not constantly track immediate results. The results would show over time. After I started to approach the program in this way, I really hit my stride.
I started out by doing Bits with them at mealtimes. They were in high chairs at the time, so that made it easy. Then, I kept adding more sessions until we were doing the program at almost every hour they were awake. Besides the reading program, I had added encyclopedic knowledge, math, languages, and the physical programs.
At age of eight, she performed her first rescue, when a child wandered into the deep end.
With Chenee, I was already experienced in the program so I started her with the entire program I did with the twins.
When Ariel was born, I added swimming to her program. We started when she was 13 days old. As a result, she magically slept through every night. This is a good example of what early development can do because, unlike my other children who didn’t like the water, Ariel was a natural swimmer. She was so comfortable in the water. At the age of eight, she performed her first rescue, when a child she didn’t know wandered into the deep end.
Ariel was a natural swimmer – so comfortable in the water. She participated in triathlons and swimathons.
“Twelfth Night” with real twins playing the famous Sebastian and Viola. They could not decide which part they wanted – the sister or the brother. So they did both parts, switching back and forth through the entire play. Only the plumes on their hats identify which is which.
If I had to do it over again I wouldn’t change a thing, except for that fact that I wish I had all of this knowledge before my children were born. In this way I could have started my twins on the program from birth (like I did with my two younger children).
At first, I was laughed at, but after they saw a difference in my children, they praised what I was doing.
My advice is: Do not let other people influence what you are doing with your child. I was laughed at by family members at first, but later, after they saw a difference in my children, they praised what I was doing. I remember my father-in-law saying, “Why would you want to teach your children violin? How square!!” But now, I have a daughter who is a professional musician. In summary, go with your gut. Do what you think is best for your children always.
The Fairy Queen, Tamara, and her minions in a performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
I have to say that the best thing the program has done for my children is the fact that they were happy and loved to learn.
Ariel as Queen Gertrude in The International School Players’ performance of Hamlet.
My girls have found themselves equal to the challenges life has thrown at them.
Janelle is a professional violinist. All four girls loved playing the violin
All four girls are highly skilled ballerinas with performances in the Atlantic City Ballet from a very young age
My girls are never afraid of a new adventure
For myself, the best part was the opportunity to take an active role in their lives and development. I believe that as a result of the program, my girls have found themselves equal to the challenges life has thrown at them so far.
Susan Aisen, Chenee, and Janet Doman at the Obon Festival in Japan. Chenee was performing in the Corps de Ballet and living in Tokyo. Here she has an evening out with The Institutes staff, who were in Tokyo teaching parents of brain-injured children
They’ve made ambitious career paths work and never seem to be afraid of a new adventure or challenge. On the contrary, they seem to relish any new opportunity to learn, which in my opinion is what the program is all about, instilling the love of learning.
Phyllis Papa is the founder and artistic director of the Atlantic City Ballet who has choreographed over thirty ballets. Her career has taken her around the world, dancing for major companies such as American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, and Stars of American Ballet.
Ms. Papa founded the ACBT Performing Arts Academy, the official school of the Atlantic City Ballet. In 2006 she was elected to the Wall of Fame of the American Repertory Ballet. Ms. Papa has been justly acclaimed “one of the finest dancers and teachers on the American scene today.”