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Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn--And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less Paperback – 31 Aug 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Press; Reprint edition (31 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594860688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594860683
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 2.1 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Title: Einstein Never Used Flashcards( How Our Children Really Learn--And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less) <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: KathrynHirsh-Pasek <>Publisher: RodalePress

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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 July 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book hoping that it would put the counter-
arguments to "Teach your baby to read", i.e. actually
discuss why it's not a good idea to use flashcards.
However, it has almost nothing to say about flashcards, and
what it does say is ill-informed (it assumes that all
flashcard methods involve spending hours per day, rather
than the seconds per day that TYBTR involves). So it was
no use for that. Considered as a general child development
book, it is quite good, but if you've already read a few
of those, this one doesn't add much. It's also very
consciously written for a lay audience, which I found
patronising - I could, for example, have done without the
irrelevant physical descriptions of the (fictitious, I
presume) children mentioned.
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By Charlotte Spinner on 1 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book for uni, especially as I am going into teaching and potentially child psychology later on in life :D
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 86 reviews
202 of 204 people found the following review helpful
Beyond Excellent. You won't panic while reading this book! 6 Aug 2007
By Bargain Savvy Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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!
61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
One of the ONLY books I recommend to my friends 19 April 2005
By J. Filipowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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.
73 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Great resource to confirm the style of parenting that just feels right! 15 Feb 2006
By Meli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
The freedom to enjoy being a parent 9 Jun 2004
By Gina P. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I love this book. It takes a lot of the pressure off parents to "create" an intelligent child -- love your baby and play with him or her. Learning should be fun, not rote memorization.
I like that the authors explain in plain English the science behind their theories and provide real-life examples. They also provide practical exercises to put their approach to work. Definitely worth a read. I plan to wear my copy out as I'll refer back to it while my little girl grows up.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Serious Advice for Smart Parenting 3 Sep 2006
By geeper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I could just absorb this book and automatically incorporate its ideas into my everyday parenting. The information is very well presented and convincing, and the suggested activities are specific and useful. It's serious advice to parents of babies and young children that their child's best learning moments are in play! It doesn't encourage parents to take to the sidelines, but rather to use play and everyday experiences to foster their child's love of learning.

Now as I watch my son, I can truly appreciate that "Play IS learning!" Just the other day he was carefully moving his trike back and forth, turning the handle bars and watching the wheels turn and move as he manipulated it. Now he confidently rides his trike through narrow paths between obstacles, backing up and steering as needed. Not too long ago he would get frustrated and immediately cry for help to get out of a jam.

This book drives home the idea that you really shouldn't "try to teach" your young child so much as expose and guide him/her through different learning opportunities. Children are wired to learn, which doesn't mean we should try to feed as much info into their growing brains as early as possible. It's not meant to be work...it's play.
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