I strongly believe that concerning academic knowledge, there is no such thing as “too early” for teaching a child.
Being the nerdy parents we are, we bought the Introductory Calculus For Infants when The Cute was…three months old. I am so glad we bought it. Saved us many a tantrums and gave us tons of quality time with the baby. She loved it and once she could walk, she kept following me around to read it to her. This is her favorite book of all times since she was six months old. And it’s packed with math.
Mathematics is not the only thing this book is about. It actually has a very good story.
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Some parents (and grandparents) are concerned about hot housing babies. Let me reassure you: This book will not create or force a genius. It may – eventually -accommodate the expression of one. Meanwhile, it is a book easy to read, written with optimism and it is full with large, easy to read, colorful drawings. It is a cute and sweet book – if we can assign such attributes to a book (who am I kidding, of course we can; we are booklovers!). that most toddlers and babies will enjoy.
Succinctly put, it’s a story about friends who empower us, yet that is but one way to interpret the story of this book.
This book assisted in familiarizing The Cute with a few important concepts:
– About being nice to others
– About friendship
– About optimism and possibilities (like X, she can be anything she wants)
– The alphabet. There is no other book we own that did so much for The Cute in terms of learning the English alphabet! It took me quite by surprise when she started pointing out the letters and pronouncing them, page after page.
– Mathematics. She may not know how to solve a derivative yet but, the figures and the overall happy mood of the book, will stay with her for life. When she truly encounters calculus in the future, these symbols and terms will be her childhood friends and not an intimidating enemy.
For the purists: the book is not solely about calculus but includes examples from algebra and trigonometry as well. The Cute did not mind that fact one bit and she brings the book to me (so I read it to her) five to ten times per day, months now. If repetition is the mother of learning, I will never forget how to solve a derivative.
What I would like to see, is this book as a thick, sturdy, board book edition. While our volume has – surprisingly – survived all the intense loving, I do not think it is helpful to little – and clumsy – hands being paperback and thin paper pages. Would I buy it again? In a heartbeat but, I hope they print it in something sturdier so it lasts for many, many years.
On the other hand…on the weekends I try to sleep in (with pitiful results) and The Cute walks in our bedroom with a book or two in her arms. As I pretend to be asleep, she simply slams the books on my head/eye and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate at those moments the fact that the Introductory Calculus For Infants is not a board book…
Meanwhile, if you have a little one, do offer her (or him) access to true science books, if even to go through the pages and enjoy the visuals. Teach them their first science words if merely to acquaint them with their sounds.
Or you can create mini stories about planets and atoms.
Babies learn at all times and you never know:
What if, you are raising the next Feynman or Curie?!