Teacher mommy
- Robbie Pangilinan () - February 1, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Cherie Mercado (now Santos) loves the career she has been in for five years now — as the mommy of Christiana. When Christiana turned two, Cherie went beyond being just a mother — she also became Christiana’s first teacher.

“Being a busy career woman before I got pregnant, I made sure I’d have enough time to spend with my child during her crucial formative years. I wanted to witness the milestones and be her first teacher,” Cherie shares. 

A friend recommended a learning method to Cherie, which she researched about. She was amazed and simply blown away by what she learned about the potentials of the human brain. She decided to order some materials from the website and did some materials on her own to try out on Christiana.

The method Cherie used is the Glenn Doman Method. To many parents all over the world, the name Glenn Doman is synonymous to amazing babies — babies who can read, do math and tons of advanced physical activities. His famous series of books include How To Teach Your Baby To Read (1964), How To Teach Your Baby Math (1979) and How To Teach Your Baby To Be Physically Superb (1988).

Cherie believes in the Doman philosophy: Every child has genius potential. Glenn Doman himself has said,Every child born has, at the moment of birth, a greater potential intelligence than Leonardo da Vinci ever used.” Doman believed that the younger the child, the easier the learning process. Doman babies are said to know how to read as early as 10 months old. Had Cherie known about Glenn Doman and his method earlier, she would have started teaching Christiana at a younger age.

Cherie initially used the Doman materials as part of her playtime props with Christiana. She started using the kit she ordered from the Doman site, but ended up making her own since she observed that Christiana was more interested in learning about words she could relate to every day. “During that time, Christiana loved fish and coral reefs, so the first words she learned to read were clownfish, corals, wrasse and grouper. She also got very interested with some batches of intelligence or picture cards. The topics she loved most were Organs of the Body, Famous Artworks, Birds of Prey and Flowers,” Cherie recounts. 

Cherie, a book lover herself, remembers the mysterious places, exciting adventures and fantasy worlds books used to transport her to as a child. “I wanted Christiana to experience the same, and the earlier she starts reading, the more fun and fantasy she’ll get out of it,” Cherie says. And the Doman method not only helped her teach Christiana how to read, it also created a bond between mother and daughter.

Cherie says, “I was very happy about the fact that she enjoyed learning. That was my main goal: For her to develop a love for learning and to search for knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Seeing her absorb all those information without effort confirms that every child is pure genius.”

Cherie enjoyed using the Doman method tremendously and recommends it to other mothers. “It’s important, though, to personalize it, give it your own touch. But parents must realize that each child is unique so never pressure your child. Do not pressure yourself as well. Children learn differently and a method may not work with your child the same way it works with other children,” she reminds parents.

Cherie also encourages parents to mind other aspects of the child’s development to go alongside the Doman brand of learning. Sharing, playing in a team, and values formation are as important as intelligence.

Teacher Mommy Cherie also cautions parents about giving children too much praise. She advises, “Parents should control themselves from giving out exaggerated or too much praise as children might end up being scared of failure or think that they’re the center of the universe.” 

Cherie knows she and her husband are the pillars Christiana will lean on, but that the child is not theirs to keep and control for long because she will soon live her own life. Cherie can only wish Christiana’s life is full of wonderful experiences and learning. The beautiful mother hopes her daughter will learn to embrace life’s lessons and know it is not in the trials a person is honed but in how one recovers from each. 

“Parents cannot live their children’s lives for them. We can only hope to arm them with values and intelligence for them to live graciously, sensitively and fully,” Cherie says.

She believes Christiana can be whatever she wants to be. And she prays Christiana will someday contribute to making the world a better place.

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