Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn–and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less

Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn–and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less

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

  • intelligence
  • psychology
  • children
Now Available in Paperback!

In this book two highly credentialed child psychologists offer a compelling indictment of the growing trend toward accelerated learning. It’s a message that stressed-out parents are craving to hear: Letting tots learn through play is not only okay-it’s better than drilling academics!

Drawing on overwhelming scientific evidence from their own studies and the collective research results of child development experts, and addressing the key areas of development-math, reading, verbal communication, science, self-awareness, and social skills-the authors explain the process of learning from a child’s point of view. They then offer parents 40 age-appropriate games for creative play. These simple, fun–yet powerful exercises work as well or better than expensive high-tech gadgets to teach a child what his ever-active, playful mind is craving to learn.

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3 Comments so far »

  1. Bargain Savvy Mom said,

    Wrote on November 23, 2012 @ 3:03 am

    146 of 146 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Beyond Excellent. You won’t panic while reading this book!, August 6, 2007
    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn–and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less (Paperback)

    You 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!

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  2. J. Filipowski "Kindle Bookworm" said,

    Wrote on November 23, 2012 @ 3:57 am

    51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    One of the ONLY books I recommend to my friends, April 18, 2005
    J. Filipowski “Kindle Bookworm” (Winston-Salem, NC) –

    it is so amazing to watch my 21 month old daughter learn. it’s fun to watch her explore things and figure them out and see the lightbulb go off in her head. and this book is partially responsible for allowing me to sit back and notice those little steps and appreciate them. if she is interested in figuring something out it can hold her attention for a pretty long time. for instance, she’ll get bored with the insanely complicated shape sorter I got her pretty quickly right now…but put her in front of her car seat or stroller and she will spend a good five minutes or longer trying to get the buckle snapped without getting frustrated. and once she gets it done she wants you to undo it so she can do it again.

    this book argues for the merits of “play” and theorizes that by pushing kids too hard you can end up hampering their natural tendencies to experiment and explore. basically the authors liken a child’s mind to a highway and if you cram it too full of information at one time you end up with a traffic jam. they also explain the different stages of learning and how a child’s mind works at different ages and give a lot of good experiments to do with them to monitor their development. I rarely recommend reading baby books because i find them to be alarmist and one-sided, but this is one i highly recommend every parent read.

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  3. Melissa "Mom of 2 boys" said,

    Wrote on November 23, 2012 @ 4:25 am

    57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Great resource to confirm the style of parenting that just feels right!, February 14, 2006
    Melissa “Mom of 2 boys” (Northern CT USA) –

    I was concerned that I wasn’t doing enough for my toddler. While I sit and play with him at times during the day, he primarily plays by himself while I’m nearby. We don’t do alphabet drills, I don’t run addition flash cards, and I prefer to have him play with blocks to watching an “educational” video. And yet, now at 24 mo, he has an extensive vocabulary, speaks in full sentences, counts to 10, creates wonderful stories for me, and loves to play with his trucks and trains.

    This book confirmed to me what I always felt was right – involve your kids in your everyday activities. Talk to them, reinforce what they learn naturally, and spend time with your kids. You don’t need to entertain them, enroll them in “enrichment” classes, or hire personal tutors. Children learn naturally through play and open, unstructured activities.

    By no means does this book advocate ignoring your children, or failing to get them assistance if they are developmentally delayed. It does argue, rather compellingly, that over-teaching our kids is not only unnecessary, but is also harmful to their long-term development.

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