Einstein Never Used Flash Cards
by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff Ph.D., Kathy Hirsh-Pasek Ph.D., Diane Eyer Ph.D.
This is a very good book. We used much the materials to reinforce our approach to homeschooling in our presentation on March 28’s seminar. It’s written by people who are experts and know what they are talking about. – LBS
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books (August 12, 2004)
Read on for reviews…
We use thisYou know how it goes. You hear another mommy in the playgroup or a mutual friend talk about how they are teaching their one-year-old to read or how their toddler just got in to the spanish immersion pre-school and you feel that twinge of guilty panic, wondering if you’re doing what is right to make your child as smart as possible. This book is INCREDIBLE and will calm you down and help you realize what is truly important: children do not learn from boring drill-and-kill experiences. They learn from play and enjoyable reading.
My favorite quote from this book is “Put away your credit card and get out your library card”. That is the theme of the whole book. The authors explian why most expensive “educational” toys MAKE your children play with them a certain way and don’t allow for creativity so they should not be the only toys your child has. (You can have them! They simply suggest you also have creative toys like dolls, blocks, dress up, kitchen & tool sets or Legos.) They go on to explain that access to toys like these encourage unstructured, imaginative play that help children learn about numbers, physics, geometry, the world and their feelings.
This book tackles our most pressing questions, like how we will teach our children to read before pre-school and how we will teach them the concept of number symbols standing for actual quantities of items. Moreso, they explain to parents exactly how children learn and that parents are not the sole architects of the perfect baby brain. Mother nature has already created a brain that loves to learn and drilling children with flash cards or worksheets can kill a love for learning that is naturally there.
As you can tell from the title of the book, flash cards and demanding, there’s-only-one-right-answer educational toys are a fairly new trend but geniuses have always existed. Most intelligent people in the past were allowed to play and leisure read freely – and experiment with things around them – which contributed to their intelligence the most. Parents reading to children and free play are a must! (By the way, I have a psychology degree and I learned in college that children under 1 cannot really see words well unless the letters are FOUR INCHES TALL! Even better if the words are red, not black, to attract the eye to focus. No flash cards look like this! Two year olds still need three inch letters. Adult print is simply too small for their developing visual pathways to read! How bored and agitated would you be looking at small, blurry letters all day? It’s like a constant eye-chart test set at 20/10!)
I loved this book and nearly every paragraph is supported by research completed all over the world on child development. The back of the book organized the cites and references by chapter so you can look in to the research if you want to arm yourself with facts! In fact, I have talked so positively about this book, my friends are lining up to borrow it and I’m encouraging everyone to buy their own copy because you will want to keep this one on-hand. I’m buying one for the gal that lives up the street that just won’t quit talking about how “smart” and “advanced” her one year old is because she buys educational toys exclusively!
Honestly, you’re going to find the answers you are looking for about how to both encourage creativity and teach the fundamentals your children need for Kindergarten. If nothing else, it will assure you that a relaxed, unstructured play day at home is one of the best things you can do for your child!