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to think that a 3 year old doesn't need to recognise Shakespeare and Tutankhamun?

(52 Posts)
SequinsAndSparkles Fri 26-Aug-11 18:08:31

I took my DD to a playdate today at my friends house (I say friend, I know her from toddler groups etc), there were a few of us, and it was at her house today ( we have been taking it in turns to host!)

This woman's DS turned 3 in June. When we got there she was clearing away his flashcards and games from the dining table. All of the flashcards were in their own neat little envelopes (which I admired, actually, I am an organisation/stationary nut!) grin

They were labelled things like 'Number Cards' 'Fruit & Veg' 'Farm Animals' etc, but I saw one of the envelopes was labelled 'Important People' and said ooh what's this one? She makes them all you see - I do it too! She showed me, and it was laminated pictures of Shakespeare, Tutankhamun (she said she doesn't expect him to remember the full name, but he says Egypt!) David Cameron, Barack Obama etc.

She said she wants to give him a headstart on things, and just plant the seed. Now, to be fair, he is a very fast learner. One of those children who just has to see/hear things once and will pick it up straight away. But surely, this is all just for show? Right? Slightly unnecessary perhaps?

Don't get me wrong, I was mocked a while ago for keeping an activity scrapbook for DD, and I also make my own flashcards for her, so it's not that I don't understand the idea behind it. But is this really useful at this age? Surely those kind of things will just go over his head? OR will it be useful? Shall I do the same for my DD??

<goes off to google images for pictures important people>

LineRunner Fri 26-Aug-11 18:10:56

You need to watch Parenthood (is it Parenthood?) where the cute little boy eats the flashcards.

worraliberty Fri 26-Aug-11 18:11:48

Well there's no real need for flash cards in the first place

So if her DS enjoys naming 'important''s all good fun.

Hassled Fri 26-Aug-11 18:12:34

It's madness. Let your kids be 3, FFS. They won't ever be 3 again. They should be having fun and learning through play and developing social skills and bizarre imaginary worlds. They should not be memorising the names of important people - really, what's the point?

xmyboys Fri 26-Aug-11 18:14:04

I have the boys that eat the flashcards grin
I am a teacher not that it makes any difference but I don't do anything close to this with my 3 & 4 ds. My attitude is to let them be kids, play and have fun! They have plenty of time to learn about 'important' people.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Fri 26-Aug-11 18:14:17

jesus christ!

camdancer Fri 26-Aug-11 18:16:27

Why would you want to spend time looking at flashcards when you could be out exploring the world? Numbers are on houses, letters are on street signs and the important people are family, the postwoman, the binmen and the bus driver.

ModreB Fri 26-Aug-11 18:16:37

YABU to even consider the idea of flashcards in the first place.

FGS let children be children, not learning robots. angry

SequinsAndSparkles Fri 26-Aug-11 18:17:32

Ah good, that was what I thought really, but it left me feeling a bit unsure/inadequate!

I do flashcards, but to help her learn her name etc...i.e I get her to pick her name out of a bunch of others. But that's it on the flashcards really!

worraliberty Fri 26-Aug-11 18:19:25

When my eldest was 3, he memorised the make of just about every model of car he saw in the street. I have no idea how it started...though I suspect it was during a long journey to keep him occupied.

He's nearly 20 now. Has it ever been any benefit to him?

Has it fuck grin

worraliberty Fri 26-Aug-11 18:20:43

Surely she knows her own name without flash cards?

Or do you mean you want her to learn to read it for some reason?

LynetteScavo Fri 26-Aug-11 18:22:32

OMG, why did I never think of that type of flashcard? I realised when DS1 was 20 months he picked up anything we showed him visually, so we'd show him a 4 and say "four" and there it was, in his brain to regurgitate at our pleasure. I could have done so much more showing off if I'd though of famous people flash cards.

Mind you, by 2.5 he recognised the badge of every car make, and no one was that impressed. hmm

ttalloo Fri 26-Aug-11 18:23:24


When DS1 was two and a half his favourite words were Jade Goody, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, all of which he'd heard on the radio. He would shout them out at every opportunity with much gusto, and it was very funny.

But he's long since forgotten he ever knew the names of these people because they're not in the least bit relevant to his world, which soon after became dominated by Thomas the Tank Engine, and in recent months by dinosaurs.

Your story reminds me a bit of the toddler who was being proudly paraded on TV by her parents a year or so ago, because she could name all the capitals of the world, and was now the youngest member of Mensa. All completely pointless given that a toddler is never going to be capable of comprehending what a country is, never mind its capital city, and would be far better off learning all there is to know about their favourite toys.

LynetteScavo Fri 26-Aug-11 18:24:29

X-posted with worraliberty.

I know how it happened with DS....DH thought it was an important part of his education. At 12 he "only wants to work with cars". Maybe if I'd given him politician flash cards he would want to be a politician. grin

worraliberty Fri 26-Aug-11 18:27:21

X-posted with worraliberty

Oh I thought it was competitive parenting blush grin

I should've given mine flash cards showing how to tidy up the shit pit loosely known as his bedroom....

SequinsAndSparkles Fri 26-Aug-11 18:32:17

worraliberty yes she does know her name, but the nursery like them to be able to recognise their own names. They have a big board in the entrance by the coats, and when they children go in they ask them to get their names off the board. She starts in January so just prepping her for that really!

worraliberty Fri 26-Aug-11 18:50:25

Oh I see. When mine started Nursery, the kids had their photos on their coat pegs and their names written underneath....same thing really I suppose.

whackamole Fri 26-Aug-11 18:52:35

Bloody hell. At 3 I would be impressed if they recognise extended members of the family, who gives a shit about anything else??

ll31 Fri 26-Aug-11 19:27:12

Never did it but to be honest don't see any problem with it = if its just time spent from the childs point of view playing with his/her parents. Once the child isn't being pressurised to learn but if its treated like a game then fine I'd think.

ll31 Fri 26-Aug-11 19:28:08

sometimes people can get very judgemental - you're bad if you're not talking to and playing with your kids and you're just as bad if you are but doing it in a way that suggests youre trying to teach them....

ineedabodytransplant Fri 26-Aug-11 20:00:39

My grandson also learnt all the different make of cars when he was 2 and a bit. Now he nearly 5

Very funny at first, bit tiring when I take him out on his bike and he has to tell me parked on the

ineedabodytransplant Fri 26-Aug-11 20:02:31


TigerseyeMum Fri 26-Aug-11 20:04:45

jesus christ!

Maybe he's on a flashcard too grin

Sounds fine to me, if the kid enjoys it, it's just a game. Kids memorise lots of things, and play with cards etc - it's surely more helpful to recognise famous people than 'Mr Bun the Baker' or whatever.

ticklebumpkin Fri 26-Aug-11 20:07:21

This sort of thing makes me laugh.

I have a friend who is very much like this.

She taught her DS the alphabet (but the letters version so not the phonics - he basically just parrots the alphabet letters), she teaches him to say "Johann Sebastian Bach" and "La Traviata, Mummy".

I don't do things like that with my three year old. She'll be going to school this time next year, she has the rest of her life to have to learn this kind of stuff.

What is most amusing though, is that my DD has started to draw letters and numbers perfectly without any input from me whatsoever, other than to give her a packet of pens and a piece of paper. My friend was most pissed off when she saw her do it grin

StringOrNothing Fri 26-Aug-11 20:10:51

We went through the makes of car thing with DD when she was 2-ish and <braces self for avalanche of mockery> we decided to take the opportunity to educate her by getting her to say hello to each make in the appropriate language, eg "Guten tag Herr Audi" "Konichiwa Toyota-san". blush
Can you guess that she was our PFB? Still, while it was a ludicrous activity it didn't actually do her any harm, and she'd have been pointing out the makes of every car she passed in the street anyway.

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