After three it is too late – or what is the early development of a child

After three it is too late, or the early development of a child by Masar Ibuka

After three it is already late - or what is the early development of a child

Our resource has already provided several reviews of popular early childhood education methods. In this article, we will look at another theory that belongs to Masar Ibuka, a Japanese by birth, a global citizen by the importance of his contribution to various spheres of human activity. The whole the essence of the concept lies in one short phrase – “after three it is already too late”.

Note that the theory itself, its evidence base and tools have already been appreciated by thousands of parents around the world. They share so fantastic results of work on the methodology that those who have just joined the parent club, immediately want to test this system. Let's look at it in order.

Japanese entrepreneur, engineer, co-founder of SONY Corporation, author of innovative methods of raising children Masaru Ibuka

The author's personality is curious. The man is so versatile that interest in his opinion about the upbringing of children arises involuntarily.

Was born Masaru Ibuka at the beginning of last century in the small Japanese town of Nikko – one of the religious and pilgrimage centers of the country – in the family of an engineer. Contrary to the early death of his father, the choice of professional path was predetermined.

Masaru was educated at the University of Veseda, Faculty of Electrical Engineering. While studying, his classmates called him “genius inventor” in a friendly way.

It's not a coincidence! After graduating from university, he undertook research into the transfer and recording of audio and video signals on film and the development of kinescopes. Later on he decides to open his own precision tools company. It was this experience that served as the starting point for the foundation of the business giant in the modern world market – the SONY.

That could encourage an outstanding engineer and businessman to pay attention to the topic of raising children? It's all about personal experience. Masaru Ibuka's first child was diagnosed with autism.

In an effort to find effective ways of developing him, he developed his concept of preschool education, the main points of which were published in the book “After three is already late.

Later on, this helped him to establish a national association and an early childhood development school.

Key positions

The essence of the method is that the brain of babies develops very intensively during the first three years of life. It is at this stage of development that up to 80% of all neural connections are formed in the child's head.

Very important to lay a strong foundation for the further development of his intellectual, creative and physical potential during this period.

According to the author of the methodology, at this age the child's brain is like a powerful computer. And the time lost can be a time of opportunity.

As an example, Masaru Ibuka writes about the practice of learning Japanese from different age groups.

His research has shown that three-year-olds need only a month to start communicating in this language.

Pupils at the age of seven to eight years in the same period can learn a quarter of the given volume, and the abilities of adults in this case are limited to memorizing only a few phrases.

The author considers language learning to be one of the most necessary for the development of the child's studies. His experience shows that it is absolutely natural for kids to be able to learn several foreign languages alongside their native language.

Masaru Ibuka was convinced that this was possible because the children's brain under three years old was unable to separate complex and simple tasks, and that learning information, however complex it might be, was easy and relaxed.

However he anticipated the parents' question, he wrote in his book that the brain cannot be overloaded. In the case of force majeure, a natural safety mechanism will be triggered.

Theory in practice

Of course, Masaru Ibuka's method gives parents an important place. It is their responsibility to develop the potential of their children.

All adults should be aware that their main task is not to develop a genius, but to create all the necessary conditions for the child to discover his or her potential, based on personal interests and hobbies. All parents need to do is support their child's talent and help him/her to show up.

Avtor believes that the primary role for harmonious development is not the child's genetic code, but the environment in which he or she is encouraged to develop.

Masaru Ibuka therefore suggests that parents should not focus on the information they want to convey, not on its volume and complexity to understand, but on the way it is presented. Let's review the author's recommendations on broadcasting educational material for kids.

Specificity of perception of information of a child under three years old

  • The child remembers only what is of interest to the child. Up to three years old it is the key aspect of cognitive activity. And for the learning process to be as effective as possible, it should be continuously supported. To do this, it is recommended to use your favorite toys, as well as high-quality, bright teaching aids.
  • The child is very susceptible to the rhythm, which can be used, including for learning a foreign language. Try singing the words you need to remember together and the process will go faster.
  • Try to organize the learning process in such a way that your child gets the most pleasure and positive emotions from the lesson. After all, the result is not so much important for the crumbs as the process itself. Then they are eager to get involved in your exercise formats.
  • Repetition is the key to ensuring that your child learns and remembers the material well. The more often, the better. Ibuka gives an example of how kids, following this principle, are able to master musical works even at the age of six months, not to mention the recitation of poems and other works in the poetic format at a slightly older age.
  • Motor activity is the key to quality cognitive activity. From infancy, the child should be introduced to physical education under the supervision of specialists, of course. Swimming, later skates, aerobics, etc. In addition, we should not forget about the daily walks in the open air, which also has a positive impact on the intellect.

Physical education in the Eastern tradition of parenting children is given a special place

Parent-child interaction principles

Along with the practical side of organising activities with babies, Ibuka focuses on the relationship between parents and children in general. Here he selects two key principles:

  1. Physical punishment is acceptable. Of course, it's not about beatings, it's more about slapping. By the way, it is for this that he is still criticized by parents and subject matter experts. The author himself says that babies aged 2-3 years begin to show self-esteem. And in a situation where parents try to influence him through swearing and punishment, he shows his character and capricious. Therefore, in order to accustom a child to discipline, it is necessary to start the “right” educational process at the age of up to one year. And he shouldn't feel humiliated or hurt. Masaru recommends to praise and scold more seldom.
  2. Physical contact with the mother has a predetermining value. Masaru recommends to interact with the child as much as possible: to lull him on his arms, to press him against himself, to allow him to be in the parents' bed. All this should create the feeling that the child is loved and cared for.

Pure physical interaction with the child predetermines the success of his or her development

Few practical tips from the author

  • Before taking on childrearing, pay attention to yourself.
  • To walk more outdoors, this helps to launch intellectual activity.
  • Color pencil painting, sculpting, paperwork, and other materials allow for a creative start, which predetermines the development of a child's development in relation to peers.
  • Don't overwhelm the child with toys. In their abundance his attention is constantly dispersed, he just can't focus on anything.

The book after “It's already too late” has a sequel. What it is about, and how it appeared on the Russian market, see the video below:


If we speak in general, the main concept of the method of a well-known engineer and entrepreneurs, embodied in the work “After three is too late,” is the need to develop the potential of the baby so that in adult life, he was able to realize it to the maximum and become a happy person.

And to start working in this direction should be as early as possible. For many parents around the world, this book has become a desktop book. And not a single generation brought up by it has confirmed the effectiveness of approaches to teaching Masaru in practice. For those who found themselves in harmony with his ideas, we suggest two more works: “My baby theory.

This is how we grow” and “After three it's too late for dads”.


Method of education Masaru Ibuka or after three it is too late

After three it is too late - or what is the early development of the child

The talent of a child is the result of a concerted effort by parents and the right environment, says Masaru Ibuka, an engineer and founder of Sony Corporation and author of books on early childhood development.

Mozart performed his first concert at the age of three. At the same age, the future English thinker and economist John Stuart Mill was already reading classical literature in Latin. At the age of five, Tom Blind played the piano with his left and right hands two different melodies at the same time, whistling the third one. Physicist L.D. Landau became a student of the University at the age of 13. THE GIFTEDNESS OF A CHILD IS THE RESULT OF PURPOSEFUL EFFORTS OF PARENTS AND THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT, SAYS MASARU IBUKA, AN ENGINEER, FOUNDER OF THE SONY CORPORATION AND AUTHOR OF BOOKS ON EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT. HAS BE PREVENTED IN THIS ARTICLE.

Masaru Ibuka is one of the founders of Sony Corporation, as well as the organizer and manager of the current Early Development Association, which is famous for its unique methods. Kids brought up “according to Ibuka” perfectly draw, swim, fluent in foreign languages, play and even compose symphonic music. These kids are perfectly adapted to the environment.

After three it's already too late

Namely, this provocative name is given to Masaru Ibuka's world-famous brochure. The author believes that from birth to his third birthday, a child goes a path comparable in many ways to his or her subsequent life. In the first three years of life, the human brain develops at an incredible rate.

At this time, 70-80% of the neural connections between brain cells are formed, thanks to which it provides further intellectual, creative, emotional development of the person.

That is, if you do not create a solid base during this period, all further training is unlikely to produce brilliant results, just as it is unlikely to make a breakthrough on a weak, bad computer.

But the early development of Masaru Ibuki is not the forced feeding of babies with facts and figures.

In his view, the baby cannot be fed with new information and impressions – the child's brain, like a sponge, quickly absorbs knowledge, but when it feels that “enough”, the blocking mechanism is activated and the new information is simply not perceived.

Of course, the information and – most importantly – the form in which it is “packaged” must be appropriate to the child's abilities and needs.

What is the point?

The development program for each child is built individually. But one should take into account a paradoxical, but nevertheless very accurate idea: for a young inquisitive mind there is no clear idea of which thinking tasks are difficult and which are easy.

Contrary to our stereotypes about the sequence of the cognition process, the child is interested in everything new.

Masaru Ibuka considered it very important to offer children many different and complex things from an adult's point of view, while noting that “algebra for the baby is no more difficult than arithmetic”.

This way we take children away from stamps, expand the horizons of knowledge. As a result, a new skill and need to comprehend the new one is formed, which, with the support of close people, will not fade away in the future.

Masaru Ibuka is very picky and demanding about the quality of the didactic material. In his opinion, all the treasures of the world civilization, rather than toys made by adults specifically for children, should be used as visual aids for developing activities. Let the child see the paintings of great artists at an early age, hear the best examples of classical music, love and remember the poems of genius poets.

Musical and linguistic harmony

Masaru Ibuki's system attaches great importance to early learning of foreign languages and introduction to musical culture.

The most talented students are free to communicate in 5-10 languages by the time they reach the age of four, without difficulty moving from one language to another. Knowledge of several foreign languages of Ibuka considers it the norm for every person.

A common fact: musical harmony is best learned in childhood. Ibuka formulated some of his pedagogical ideas under the influence of a unique teacher, violinist Shinichi Suzuki. Professor Suzuki himself came up with the idea of early musicianship when he evaluated the speed with which children learn their native language, its phonetic system and grammatical harmony.

Ibuka found that academic study of music at a young age not only “softens the soul and improves character”, but also through regular training teaches perseverance and ability to concentrate. And in the end, it's easier for a person to learn new knowledge and do any job – whatever the field.

Moreover, Ibuki found the link between music studies and leadership development.

Motor activity

Ibuka encouraged children to learn how to swim from birth and ice skate when they are still taking their first steps. So kids will quickly and gladly develop balance and coordination of movements. And more agile and physically developed kids, as a rule, and knowledge assimilates much faster than their peers.

It is instructive that while under the influence of Dr Benjamin Spock's ideas a joint dream with a child was considered almost indecent, and the carrying of crumbs on his hands was considered to be indecent, Masaru Ibuka, on the contrary, encourages mothers to take babies into their arms and beds more often, to sing songs to them, to lullaby, to tell fairy tales, and to communicate as much as possible.

In the TECHNICAL CONTACT of MOM AND BREAKE the child should have a strict regime and a clear schedule of all classes. It is noteworthy that Masaru Ibuka offers to use the TV as a metronome, counting the time – for example, after the evening news program it is time to prepare for bedtime. Morning music show is a signal to go wash up.

Masaru Ibuka's method of education

Stereotype of “Japanese” upbringing says that in the Land of the Rising Sun, kids are allowed to have literally everything, but at some point the nuts are tightened, and the little Japanese are built into the rigid hierarchical structure of society, where the authority of the elders is unquestionable.

Masaru Ibuka considers this approach to be deeply wrong. Non-interference at an early age, and then pressure on the child at a later age, according to Ibuka, can only destroy talent and cause resistance. It is in the early years of a child's life that he or she should be gentle but strict, and as his or her personality develops, gradually “release the leash” and show respect for his or her will.

Masaru Ibuki's method is most criticized for allowing physical punishment of young children, in particular slapping. The author himself explains his position as follows: at 2-3 years old a child develops self-esteem, so it is already problematic to strictly account for the baby at this age.

What the Larger Kid GOTHERS AND SHARE THERE More Unsuccessful and CAPRIZED TO WALL

To avoid the development of this vicious circle, there is only one way out – to teach children discipline while they are not yet a year old.



HEALTH – To develop in the child her unbound potential that a greater degree of joy in her life and in the world. Masaru IBUKA

“After three it's too late”: listen and remember

  • No child is born a genius, and no child is born a fool. It all depends on the stimulation and the degree of brain development in the crucial years of a child's life.
  • If there is no solid foundation to build from the very beginning, it is useless to try to build a solid building: even if it is beautiful from the outside, it will still fall apart from strong winds or earthquakes. Early development is about that foundation. It has to be made strong from the beginning because it is impossible to start building a foundation when the building is ready.
  • The eye or nose is passed on to your child by inheritance, and the expression on his face is a mirror that reflects the relationship in the family.
  • Early development is often reduced to stuffing the child with information or teaching him to read and write at an early age. But what is much more important is to develop the ability to reason, to evaluate, to perceive. There are no special programs for this, and only the way parents behave, what they do and feel, how they talk to the baby, can form the child's identity.
  • If the mother catch a cold, she may try not to infect her child, for example, not to hold him too close or put on a gauze bandage. But not many moms who care not to pass on their shortcomings to their children. A virus called “nervousness” in a mother is much more contagious and strong than a cold.

Tips to Masaru Ibuka


1. Learn poetry by heart. The child's brain can hold 100 to 200 short poems in memory. The more intensively memory is used, the better it functions and develops.

The child's ability to remember needs to be trained while he finds pleasure in repetition.

There are known cases when two-year-old carapuses told by heart about everything Chukovsky, while their peers could not remember the quatrain about weeping Tanya.

2. Take a crumb in your arms. Communication, physical contact with parents affects not only the intelligence of the baby, but also forms a responsive, receptive person. And in general, communication, interaction with parents can not be too much. The newborn cannot be spoilt by sleeping together and caressing.

3. Diversify your classes. For a child it is more useful to try out a variety of activities, with as many subjects as possible, than to focus on one thing. On the other hand, if he succeeds in one area, it will give him confidence and he will be more successful in other activities.

4. Give your child pencils as soon as possible. Everything your child does with his hands – drawing, throwing toys, tearing up colored paper – develops his intelligence and creativity.

The sooner you give your child pencils, the better the results.

But if you stop him at the same time (“Hold the pencil right!”, “Apples must be red”), then you will prevent him from developing his creativity.

5. Train your left hand as well as your right. Note that monkeys use both hands freely for food and play. Man is less perfect in this respect…

6. Don't buy too many toys. Toy overload dissipates your child's attention.

If you want to develop fantasy, unconventional thinking and ingenuity in a baby, don't buy everything he asks for.

In your child's mind, a piece of wood or a kettle lid can be transformed into a fairytale house or a ship – it's much more interesting than an expensive toy from a store that can be used for one purpose.

7. Move more. Walking stimulates the thinking process and is an excellent exercise for the intellect. It's not for nothing that many talented people say that during a walk new ideas come to mind and inspiration reappears.

This is how the great Masaru Ibuka spoke and bequeathed

  • Before raising children, it is necessary first to raise parents
  • Children need to walk. Of the 639 muscles in our body, 400 are walking. It is no coincidence that many writers say that when their work stops, they take a walk, during which new ideas appear. It is likely that walking stimulates the thought process.
  • Step, cutting patterns out of paper and folding paper figures develop the child's creative potential. A child who has begun to sculpt at an early age is significantly ahead of his or her brothers in mastering various skills. And the point here is not that he started to practice molding earlier, but that molding early awakened his intellectual and creative make-up. Sophistication and self-expression are the first, but not the only qualities a child gains from sculpting. The child learns curiously about the objects around him and reacts especially to those that give him “joy of achievement” and satisfy his need for creativity.
  • Give your child pencils as soon as possible. Everything a child does with his or her hands – drawing, throwing toys, tearing paper – develops his or her intelligence and creativity.
  • I think in Japan children are given too many toys. When there are too many toys around a child, it suppresses him and he finds it difficult to focus on one thing. A child plays best with one toy, inventing a variety of games with it. Ready-made toys are rarely liked by children because they have little in common with the world around them. It is better if the child makes a toy himself.
  • When the child is given a standard sheet of paper, he is immediately deprived of the possibility of choice. A child sees a huge world (much bigger than parents can imagine) when they first pick up a pencil and discover that they can leave traces on clean paper. This huge world is much bigger than a standard piece of paper. I would give the child a huge piece of paper to crawl over it by drawing.
  • To bring up the child is to bring up himself.


Methodology of early development of Masaru Ibuka

After three it is already late - or what is the early development of a child

Masaru Ibuka and his original early physical development system is popular in Japan and far beyond.

In the mid-1970s, his booklet with the provocative title “After three it's already too late” became a special sensation in pedagogical circles all over the world, as the theses presented in it looked so revolutionary and fresh. Masaru is an engineer and businessman, but his interest in age psychology and physiology cannot be called superficial or accidental, as he is dictated by parental necessity. The only son of a Japanese genius suffered from a serious illness and began to lag behind in development. That's when Masaru Ibuka's methodology.

The caring father was just looking for ways to rehabilitate his child: he read a lot, talked to innovative philosophers, teachers and child psychologists. Even as president of Sony, he focused all his attention on the future, on children, and created the organization “Talent Education” and the Association of Early Development in Japan, which operates to this day.

Classes at the Association are based on original methods and lead to stunning results. Children brought up under the Masaru system are fluent in foreign languages, read, draw, swim like dolphins, compose and play symphonic music. And yet they remain naughty, cheerful, and perfectly adapted to society.

The Japanese innovator does not give certain recipes for bringing up prodigies. Moreover, all the principles set out in his famous book are now standard practice for many caring and thoughtful parents. Anyone interested in early development of children will find it very useful to read this book – even if your child is far from three years old.

Don't be late!

Masaru Ibuka's methodology once again convinces us that young children simply have no limits

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