From Publishers Weekly
Authors and child psychologists Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff and Eyer join together to prove that training preschoolers with flash cards and attempting to hurry intellectual development doesn't pay off. In fact, the authors claim, kids who are pressured early on to join the academic rat race don't fair any better than children who are allowed to take their time. Alarmed by the current trend toward creating baby Einsteins, Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff urge parents to step back and practice the "Three R's: Reflect, Resist, and Recenter." Instead of pushing preschoolers into academically oriented programs that focus on early achievement, they suggest that children learn best through simple playtime, which enhances problem solving skills, attention span, social development and creativity. "Play is to early childhood as gas is to a car," say Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff, explaining that reciting and memorizing will produce "trained seals" rather than creative thinkers. Creativity and independent thinking, they argue, are true 21st-century skills; IQ and other test scores provide a narrow view of intelligence. The authors walk parents through much of the recent research on the way children learn, debunking such myths as the Mozart effect, and pointing out that much learning unravels naturally, programmed through centuries of evolution. Although the research-laden text is sometimes dense, parents will find a valuable message if they stick with the program, ultimately relieving themselves and their offspring of stress and creating a more balanced life.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"An elegant summary of what mind and brain science can tell us about child development and learning. The reasonable and reassuring implications the authors draw from this research provide a much-needed corrective to the hype and distortions all too prevalent in the popular media. Finally, the truth!"--John T. Bruer, Ph.D., president of the James S. McDonnell Foundation and author of The Myth of the First Three Years
"Parents eager to know what to do-- and even more important, what not to do-- to help their children discover and take advantage of their hidden talents will find this well-written book a treasure trove of information and advice. A trustworthy parenting resource from two highly respected scholars!"--Linda Acredolo, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and author of Baby Signs and Baby Minds
"This book makes it easy to be a good parent! It explains how, by nurturing your child's love for learning through play, you will foster initiative, creativity, curiosity, empathy, and self-esteem-- in sum, a happy child. Isn't that what we all want? Indeed, I gained many new insights into how my 4- and 2-year-old daughters are engaged in learning through their own magical play."--Janet Rice Elman, executive director of the Association of Children's Museums in Washington, D.C.
"Although parents know that the early years are learning years, just what that means has been confusing-- until now. Einstein Never Used Flash Cards makes practical sense of the vast number of technical studies and hyperbole of advertising claims. It explains in clear, compelling, and scientific terms how learning really takes place. This book is a must-read for parents, grandparents, teachers, caregivers, pediatricians, and policy makers-- in other words, all those who care about and for the next generation of children."--Ellen Galinsky, president and cofounder of the Families and Work Institute in New York City