Monday, June 15, 2009

It's getting HOT in here

I mentioned in my previous post, a little bit about the movie Parenthood. This movie really has been my only exposure to flashcarding, AKA "hot-housing" of young children before I had my baby. Rick Moranis' character Nathan had become obsessed with making a genius of his 3-year-old daughter Patty, and his obsession caused him to neglect his marriage and had just begun to damage Patty socially and emotionally as well. In particular, I remember the scene where he is flashing the symbols from the periodic table. This highlighted his obsession, because no matter how you look at it, it most certainly is not very useful information for a 3 year old to know the exact symbol that represents the elements and she had it down cold. It seemed like the most un-fun activity, a waste of time, and all for show and bragging rights.

I don't know any hot-house parents personally, but I have heard about them, and I'm sure I've been in contact with some on-line. Maybe I am making a distinction between myself and others when there is no real difference, but my purpose in educating my baby is NOT to create a genius. My purpose is to enhance his life, instill purpose and confidence, and begin to cultivate an intelligent young man. I do not care what his IQ test scores will be if he ever has a test done, whether he gets identified as gifted in school, and most of all I do not care whether others believe he is smart or a genius. I have to admit, I do care if my educating him early ultimately has an effect on his standardized test scores because frankly, in this country, this represents access to scarce education resources. And I do also care if his early education makes him a more intelligent adult who has a wider array of choices when it comes time to choose a career.

Sidebar: I am going to be looking up the origin of "hot-house." That is a really interesting term and I wonder where it comes from!

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