Parents who have children in Rainbow Cultural Garden might want to think about getting them tested by an independent speech therapist not connected with Keith Raniere, the brains behind this unlicensed operation.
Recently, I had the chance to speak at length with a child who attends Rainbow Cultural Garden. I was shocked to learn the child [age seven] could not speak any foreign languages even though she had been taught by an array of foreign nannies in the program for several years.
She could speak English passably well, but not speak Russian, Hindi, Chinese, Spanish or anything else.
She knew a few words of most of the foreign languages.
Her father told me that when his daughter was in Rainbow, she was having trouble with English as well. She only started speaking English fluently once she got out of Rainbow.
Her mother regretted she did not bond with her child more during the “formative years” she was in Rainbow. She was always with nannies and it was discouraged for the parents, she said, to speak with their children when nannies are there.
I also spoke with the Mexican mother of a girl who was also in Rainbow for years.
She told me her daughter could not even speak her native Spanish. She could babble words in different languages but could not construct sentences in any language.
The mother was told by the “linguistic experts” at Rainbow that this was natural and was the precursor of new and profound levels of the ability to speak.
But how did they know?
So far it hasn’t happened.
As far as I was able to ascertain, there is no one in Rainbow – neither teacher nor student – who speaks seven languages.
The mother of the little girl who could not speak Spanish told me she had a psychiatric report on the child that confirmed the child, who is otherwise normal and should be able to speak, cannot speak intelligibly in any language. [I have not seen the report].
The model for Rainbow is to have seven [untrained] $10 an hour nannies speaking to a child in seven languages, in sequence, all week long.
Is this how children are meant to grow?
The design of the past is that children are nurtured and taught by their parents, their extended family and, if you prefer, their village. A family or village that speaks the same language.
What proof is there that, before a child even learns the essentials for communication through even one language, that it is preferable to teach him seven?
Keith Raniere, the “genius” who devised Rainbow, can only speak one language.
He is not a speech therapist or a philologist; nor does he have a degree in early childhood or behavioral science.
According to women who were eyewitnesses, he had a team of women help him get a high score on his take home IQ test in 1988. But by the terms of the IQ test, what he did was actually cheating.
He nevertheless claims he has one of the world’s highest IQ’s in the world.
But he has only a bachelor’s degree. He has never published a peer reviewed study that establishes the efficacy of inundating a child with a barrage of seven languages in infancy through the time the child should be learning to speak.
My concern is that Rainbow children are having their infancy stolen and being disadvantaged in life by having deficient communications skills.
Children may need some freedom from structure to develop and grow and learn the skills of understanding and communicating with people. Perhaps that should be done in the language of those who love them.
In Rainbow, the children are largely segregated from their parents and placed on a regime of babbling to them by $10 an hour workers whose only qualification for teaching is they speak a certain language.
Children learn the word “milk” in seven different words – and when it came time to ask for “milk” will they know what to call it? At least one child didn’t.
Absent true studies or some strong proof it works, Rainbow constitutes human experimentation. It may also constitute child abuse.
Does anybody know of any success stories with Rainbow children?