Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Einstein Never Used Flashcards

All parents need to read this book! It breaks down the latest research of how kids learn... to show that many of the current parenting trends right now are not necessarily in the best interest of kids. A current trend right now is educational toys. The authors do not claim that all of these toys are bad, but they do think that many are not necessary. For example, many toys trying to drill toddlers on the alphabet are not developmentally appropriate. Even if I spent tons of time teaching Sofia to memorize the alaphabet right now, it would be just that... memorizing. She has no context or experience to make it valuable. I am not saying it is bad to sing the ABC song with your kids, but drilling with the idea that your kid is going to be advanced... yes. The authors talk about how simple play is the best way for small children to learn. The best way to make a child successful in reading is to read to them and help foster creativity. They empahsize the importance of not overscheduling kids with so many activities and giving them more time to interact with the world and people around them. Reading this book took a lot of pressure off me as a parent. It reminded me that my job is to foster a love for learning and to work on praising my kids for their efforts in learning and not just in results. Even after reading this book, I realize that it will still be hard to not sometimes feed into current trends. The other day I overheard a mom bragging to a friend about how young her child was when he learned all of these "advanced" things. I immediately thought of Sofia and couldn't help but compare that she couldn't do any of those things... but then I remembered that I have an active, curious, and happy child who loves being read to, and for now those are the most important things. Okay... I am noticing something about myself. The later I write blog entries.. the more long winded and preachy I am. I am off to bed before this gets lameo. Good night!


Tonya said...

You're a blogging fool, my friend! I liked this entry and would like to read the book. Thanks for helping us remember what's really important as parents!

Cami said...

I couldn't agree more. I like to see my kids playing with each other and learning things while they play. I don't buy into all the toys and latest studies or that my 2 year old needs preschool. Thanks for the recommdation on the book.

juliette said...

Hi Kara. I am finally back in town and ready to continue commenting. My sis, who is a Montessori teacher, was telling me that reading readiness is about motor skills. You can't force a baby to walk if they're not ready, and it's the same for reading, something about the way the eyes move. (You probably already knew about that with your education background, but that was the first I'd heard of it and thought anybody else reading your blog might be interested.)

Niki said...

I agree with you, I think as parents we feel pressure from everyone else around to make sure our children are advanced, I think alot of it is that we compare our children with all the kids around, and if one is reading at the age of 3 we feel why isn't my child reading to. We need to take the pressure off us and especially our kids.
Kara are you proud of me? You will start seeing my opions in your random thoughts from now on.