EINSTEIN NEVER USED FLASH CARDS: How Our Children REALLY Learn—And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less

Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, Author, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Author, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Author , with Diane Eyer. Rodale $22.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-57954-695-3

Authors and child psychologists Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff and Eyer join together to prove that training preschoolers with flash cards and attempting to hurry intellectual development doesn't pay off. In fact, the authors claim, kids who are pressured early on to join the academic rat race don't fair any better than children who are allowed to take their time. Alarmed by the current trend toward creating baby Einsteins, Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff urge parents to step back and practice the "Three R's: Reflect, Resist, and Recenter." Instead of pushing preschoolers into academically oriented programs that focus on early achievement, they suggest that children learn best through simple playtime, which enhances problem solving skills, attention span, social development and creativity. "Play is to early childhood as gas is to a car," say Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff, explaining that reciting and memorizing will produce "trained seals" rather than creative thinkers. Creativity and independent thinking, they argue, are true 21st-century skills; IQ and other test scores provide a narrow view of intelligence. The authors walk parents through much of the recent research on the way children learn, debunking such myths as the Mozart effect, and pointing out that much learning unravels naturally, programmed through centuries of evolution. Although the research-laden text is sometimes dense, parents will find a valuable message if they stick with the program, ultimately relieving themselves and their offspring of stress and creating a more balanced life. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
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Paperback - 302 pages - 978-1-59486-068-3
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