Flash cards are the Devil

Part one:

I don't believe in flash cards*. Hell, I don't believe in forcing any sort of quote education unquote down my kids' throats before they are old enough to pee on their own. This sounds like a lazy parent excuse, but rest assured; my kids are smarter than I am. They are smarter than most people I know are. It's true.

I don't believe in flash cards because flash cards are good for one thing only:Maybe someday I'll have the stones to show you the other half-ton of crap that sits on my floor all day long.

I have found, in my decade of fumbling through this parenting gig, that flash cards waste your time and annoy the pig kid. I think that kids learn better if what you're teaching them is a tangible thing, something real. You know, something they care about.

Take colors, for example. Yes, you could hold up cards with pink and red and blue boxes on them, and say pink and red and blue 5,000 times every day if you really must. However, if you want that child to care about what red and pink and blue are, if you want them motivated to learn those things, maybe you should skip the $20 flash card purchase and instead drop $5 on a box of these:They come in pink, red, blue, white and purple. If your kid wants one, your kid will ask for it. And then you can turn it into a teaching moment without them ever knowing it.

I take those popsicles and I dump them all into an ice cube tray. When 3of3 wants one, she'll ask for a "showme*". I'll then grab the tray, put in on the floor, and let her rifle through it. Every time she picks one up, I ask, "Red? Do you want a red?" And, of course, she'll say, "No red", because two-year-olds are pains in the booty who can't ever make up their mind, and then she'll grab another one. "White? Do you want a white?" Eventually, she will choose one. By then, we've gone through every color. After a few days of this, she'll start asking for a pink showme instead of just a showme. After a few more days, she'll start asking for her pink shoes. Because suddenly she knows what pink is. And I didn't have to pick one single flash card up off the floor.

*I DO, however, strongly believe in flash cars for tweens. There is no better way in the history of mankind to learn your times tables. Period. We're talking babies here.

**The bambino calls popsicles showmes. It is a long story that I am saving for another post. Bear with me.