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Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn--and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less
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Two highly credentialed child psychologists offer a convincing and compelling indictment of the growing trend toward accelerated learning From the announcement that 'Babies Can Do Arithmetic' to products that promise to boost a child's brainpower for life, today's parents are bombarded with anxiety-producing, guilt-inducing, and often contradictory information about how children develop intellectually, socially, and emotionally. In Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D., draw on groundbreaking research to present a realistic, reassuring, and scientifically sound portrait of what -really helps children grow and learn. 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 and offer parents 85 age-appropriate games for creative play. These simple, fun yet powerful exercises work as well as or better than expensive high-tech gadgets to teach a child what his ever-active mind is craving to learn.KATHY HIRSH-PASEK, PH.D., is a professor at Temple University, where she directs the Infant Language Laboratory. She has a Ph.D. in human development and psycholinguistics from the University of Pennsylvania. ROBERTA MICHNICK GOLINKOFF, PH.D., received her Ph.D. from Cornell University. She is at the University of Delaware, where she directs the Infant Language Project. DIANE EYER, PH.D., is a member of the psychology department at Temple University and is author of two books. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Customer Reviews:

  • Great book everyone with or without children should read
    This book is fantastic. I have been waiting for a book to challenge what I have always sort of suspected. Shoving knowledge into our children's brains cannot be good for them. I was so wary to do this with my own children, and I was so scared that my kids would fall behind. Now, not only do I know that they won't, but I know creative and exciting ways to inspire them to actually want to learn. This book does so much more than just tell you the latest studies that warn against flashcards and other products; it offers solution for how we can make kids engaged in learning. Any book that makes parents and children alike excited about the prospect of creative play makes me jump for joy. GO OUT AND GET THIS BOOK!...more info
  • Good advice for parents in a rush
    It describes the perils of unneccesarily hurrying our children. Nothing new for those familair with child psychology but quite useful for the general audience...more info
  • Einstein didn't indeed!
    At last, a book to tell you it IS ok not to play Mozart to baby in utero, not will you be damned forever if you don't buy the complete baby einstein collection! Finally, a common sense approach to the common sense of the human brain - and how wonderful a self sustaining, pre-programmed invention it is. The authors are right, we take far too much credit for our children's capacity to learn....they really are all little einsteins. Now i will not be wondering if I should put my children in pre-school, if keeping them at home will 'damage' them or 'stunt'their development. Now I can thumb my nose to the nonsensical whimsical multi billion industry that claims to have our little darlings' best interest at heart!...more info
  • Great book
    The authors do a great job of passing on useful information in a readable way. They provide practical advice (short two and 3 pargraph "learning moments) to help a parent give their children oportunities to grow. They also help explain what levels of understanding children go through in a way that was extremely sensible (it seems obvious once you read it but I have not seen it so well, and simply, explained elsewhere). The authors are PhDs and reference studies for every claim but again in a way that is easy to read - not at all a dry academic book. While I am in no way an expert I recommend this book to all my friends with babies and young children (the focus somewhere around 8 months to 3 years but with info on somewhat older children also....more info
  • About time!
    Ultimately, this exciting book is about time. It's about time this important subject was objectively studied. It's about how you spend your time with your children and how your children will enjoy their time with you. In teaching us to spend our time creatively with our children, Kathy Hirsh Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, use their vast clinical research experience to show us that educational childhood development does not have to be a race, but rather a creative journey. Enjoy!...more info
  • RTI and Early Intervention (Gaden)
    Einstein Never Used Flashcards

    I found myself exploring below age five programs a few years ago while I was the director of special services in a Midwest community that consisted of mostly Hispanic immigrants. Over 80 percent of the 230 three to five year old's were living in a home where Spanish was the primary language (L1) spoken on a regular basis.

    As part of the learning community we had established for our community, we selected "Einstein Never Used Flashcards" as the reading to help us understand how required assessments and instructional materials were impacting our students learning opportunities in the classroom. Play centered learning verses Response to Intervention practices were the two paradigm that were being addressed by the group. How could center based play learning and a more intensive direct instructional approach to literacy exist without one another or could they exist together?

    Response to Intervention (RTI) requires a framework of assessments and interventions that target specific skills such as phonics (sounds), phonemic awareness (letter id), fluency (reading consistency), vocabulary (work knowledge), and comprehension (understanding). The RTI approach, which is firmly based on data driven decision making), is controversial or could even be considered the antithesis that play is the best way for children to learn. This book stresses the importance of play but recognizes the importance of literacy being embedded within the learning opportunities that below age five children should have to grow and learn.

    Einstein Never Used Flashcards author does a nice job of presenting to parents and educators that by forcing skills on to young children at a time they are just not ready to naturally take in the skill can cause the child to be frustrated and not engage in learning activities such as play. Just by playing a tape of beginning sounds while your child naps does not ensure they will be at a more advanced level then children their same age.

    This book does a nice job of explaining the brains development and how the brain must be left to develop in a way that is unique to the child it belongs to and not to the stimulus being produced by an outside factor. By trying to teach skills the brain is not ready to process, merely leaves the parent with an empty wallet and lots of learning toys to be passed on to friends and family.

    How does RTI fit with Play? Our finding was that RTI could be embedded in the learning centers that students used in the HeadStart, private preschool centers, and our school based preschool programs. Students could play by painting letters, words, colors, or other items they were curious to learn. Centers could have large patterns blocks and the students could play with one another to make patterns using colors, numbers, pictures, and other topics. The centers the students interact in the classroom become more focused on the language and literacy skills the students needed to acquire for dual language reasons.

    Furthermore, we discovered that small groups of children that have speech-articulation concerns could be targeted for intervention in mixed groups by using researched based materials that reinforce phonics and fluency skills through chants and other rhyming activities with children that they love to do on a consistent schedule.

    Our professional learning community learned that free play is a great way for children to learn. Even more, our group discovered that centered based play that uses language and literacy materials along with structured opportunities to practice increase outcomes for second language learners.

    We never did get to the part where we explored our assessments and how they were going to drive the centers based learning materials. We were sure the materials and opportunity play areas must consist of items the students needed more learning opportunities in due to the second language influence on dual language acquisition. Researched based programs such as Stepping Stones were a good example of an intervention that could be used in daily activities.

    I recommend this book to all new parents and newer educators going into early intervention or early childhood education.
    ...more info
  • Child's Play Is Child's Learning
    The author gives strategies for backing away from overstructuring your child's day. She suggests teaming up with other parents to supervise an afternoon of free play for each other's children.
    I saw this book reviewed in the Orlando Sentinel. I'm impressed that the author promotes informal play. Children often are overscheduled today or plugged into the TV/gameboy/computer. The book reminds us that children need some time to just be themselves and to putter and play.
    As adults, many of us feel overscheduled with a never-ending "to do" list. Let's not turn our children into this type A behavior any sooner than necessary.
    Other books on this topic: Putting Family First by William Doherty and What Kids Really Want That Money Can't Buy by Betsy Taylor....more info
  • Simply Superb
    Haven't we all intuitively known this? That kids can learn from playing. We all knew, but never had the evidence to back up what we always had known in our hearts. Well now I have the evidence. Now, I won't feel guilty for teaching my kids that learning through exploring is just as valuable if not more so than shoving facts into their already crammed heads. Let kids be kids. Let imagination reign. Lets stop carting the kids to every activity we can possibly sign up for. Moms like me can now breathe, and know that our children will turn out just fine! Thanks for this book!...more info
  • Guilt Be Gone
    My kids are relatively self-entertaining. Some moms in my MOMS Club? talk about how they have to sit down and play with their kids constantly and their kids cannot seem to entertain themselves. For a while I second guessed myself and had those common thoughts: "Am I a bad mother?" "Shouldn't I spend more quality time with my kids?" "Oh my, all the other kids are in preschool and I haven't even thought about it." "My kids only goes to story time at the library and ballet class. Shouldn't I put them in swim school, gymnastics, ...?" After reading this book I am confident in my mothering skills, and I actually think it is good for the kids that I do not spend too much time entertaining my children. I think it's good that I don't have every hour of the day mapped out for them. One section of the book brought an image into my head of my great grandmother, who lived on a farm, working in the kitchen, with my grandpa sitting on the floor. Great grandma Goldie didn't have a washing machine. She had to put forth sweat on a washboard. My mental image didn't have Goldi teaching little Rex his ABCs whilst she worked. And you know what? My grandfather is one sharp dude. The best thing about this book is that it reaffirmed my parenting style and helped me feel confident with it....more info
  • One of the ONLY books I recommend to my friends
    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....more info
  • Loved it
    Goes to show you how the next generation of parents buying into & pushing their children to become "superkids" without any sound research showing that flashcards & classical music actually make their kids smarter....more info
  • The freedom to enjoy being a parent
    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....more info

  • The most awesome book ever!
    I am not one to buy a lot of books, as long as I can get them from the Library. Not one to reread books, to have the urge to own it.
    But when I was reading this book. I find myself wanting to refer back to it,and read it over and over again. So informative, and instructional.
    I just had to buy it.
    Love it!...more info
  • All Parents Should Stop and Read This One
    Parents have so much information to sift through it is hard not to second guess yourself. I have a Master of Arts in Teaching and I still find that I get confused when making choices for my 3 year old son. You often wonder, will this decision change his life forever. The authors of this book offer a lot of information that you can use when making choices for your family and your children. We are all hurrying along in life so much that we are missing the simplest things and not enjoying parenting. Our kids are stressed out from their full schedules and do not have adequate time to play. I already shared many of the same philosophies presented in the book but it is comforting to have some research to back up my gut instincts. After all raising a child is a precious gift....more info