Suzanne's Reviews > Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn--and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less

Einstein Never Used Flashcards by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
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Feb 27, 2011

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Many parents instinctively like to see their kids play, but wonder if they can afford the "luxury." Einstein Never Used Flash Cards debunks a lot of overblown scientific reports that have been used to sell "educational" programs and toys. See if any of these revelations surprise you.

It is not true that playing Mozart for infants improves their IQ.

It is not true that successful readers are those whose parents spent the most time drilling them on letters, either during infancy or preschool.

It is not true that the window of opportunity for music learning, foreign language learning, or much of anything closes after age three, age six, or any age.

It is not true that even young toddlers have adult-like, sophisticated mathematical abilities, which we waste by not developing with formal education.

There now, don't you feel better? The authors go on to explain why, and how we know that:

Children are wired to learn from situations, not flashcards.

Complex abilities like early mathematical reasoning develop through a combination of everyday experiences and natural maturation.

Attempts to teach rote facts to young children, without understanding, are hopelessly ineffective oversimplifications of human learning.

A learning child must always be viewed as a whole person, with emotional content of any situation being as important as the intellectual content.


These are powerful ideas that you can use to support your kids' development without making them into nervous wrecks. The authors give you the intellectual ammo you need to feel good about letting your children play dress-up games instead of going to soccer-for-tots, or for that matter letting them lie on the couch appearing to do nothing at all.

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