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Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our…

Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn--and Why… (2003)

by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff

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Read this for a class in 2007?. Brings to mind the reminder of children needing to explore and experience their world. ( )
  EllenH | Jun 17, 2014 |
Here the authors urge us to become advocates for play – both at home and at preschool. They recommend children be free to make messes, to pretend, to have fun. The value of play in learning language, developing mathematical abilities, becoming literate and in developing a self of self is explored.
  storytimestandouts | Nov 8, 2010 |
The message of this book, repeated multiple times, is that most children will learn more, faster, if parents interact with them and focus on helping them explore the world, rather than drilling infants and kids to perform specific activities well. The book's best feature: scattered throughout the text are harmless but illuminating experiments, tied to various developmental milestones, that parents or caregivers can try out on their own kids.

The overall message is reassuring and thoughtful. Nonetheless, the authors have a weird blind spot. As in several other child development books aimed at parents, chapters start with anecdotes or fictional scenes that set up key themes. Often these contrast the 'good' parent who is helping their kid develop naturally (but feels stressed that maybe they're not doing enough) with the well-intentioned but misguided parent who is pushing their kid to excel by using computers, flashcards, and so on. The odd part is that the 'good' parents are usually the upper-middle class, privileged parents, while the pushy parents are more likely to be working class or single parents. I don't think the authors meant this as a statement; I'm guessing they are so locked into an academic public health framework that they missed what it might feel like to read this book as a working class single parent: not very welcoming, even though the information is great. ( )
1 vote bezoar44 | Mar 22, 2010 |
Very useful for those working in early literacy.
  galpalval | Nov 20, 2007 |
I ordered a number of books on child educational development, and I think this one may be the best. It is written in a very accessible manner, but is also very well-documented. The writers really focus on the things that parents are concerned about, and not only give information, but also provide suggestions and activities you can do with your baby and young child.
I have found it very informative, and also very calming - I don't really agree with the competitiveness and aggressive education tactics that seem to be so in vogue for really young children these days. This book reassured me that it is not necessary to "work" with very young children and babies, that their natural tendencies & interests will serve them better than anything that we can try to teach them! ( )
  Meijhen | Aug 4, 2006 |
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Argues that current parenting trends that emphasize early learning through memorization and repetition are actually harmful for children, stifling their creativity and preventing them from learning basic problem solving skills and focuses on the importance of letting children play and have fun and understanding the learning experiences offered through creative, unstructured, independent play.… (more)

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