January 25, 2007

"Warren Harding. William Taft."

These kinds of stunts are always great. When she was one, I taught the kid "Rauschenberg" and "Ellsworth Kelly" so she could freak people out at MoMA.

Baby knows presidents [youtube via dt reader jason]


I'm not sure *I* could pronounce "Rauschenberg" correctly... :)

Seriously, I love doing this kind of stuff. When we were in Japan, my wife said a neighborhood grannie was bragging how her grandkid, about the same age as my daughter, would hold out one finger when asked how old she was... upon hearing "how old" in that sentence, though, my kid said "I'm one year old" in a perfect sentence. I immediately started teaching her to memorize "I'll be two in January of next year" just to freak the lady out more in case we met her. :)

I see a difference between memorizing a few tidbits for fun and having a toddler memorize all of the presidents or the 50 states or state capitals, etc. I feel sad for the children who have parents who then take it a step further, bringing their kid to the news media or on a late night TV show to present him as a faux baby genius.

I'm thinking that this video is fake... the words spoken don't seem to match the baby's lip movements... anyway, I guess if she really knows the presidents, it'll come in handy in the 4th grade. Can I brag and say that my kindergartener knows the multiplication facts up to 5?

It's not fake, it's just Youtube's shoddy quality, I think. You could easily teach a talkative one-year old to remember faces and names... kids are brilliant at pattern recognition.

I don't think teaching them rote memorization will hurt... I knew the name of every single gas station and its logo by the time I was two, apparently, and I ended up with a career in graphic design... :)

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