My Personal Blog

Hot Housing Children

By on June 23, 2010 in Parenting & Education

When my second child was born I purchased a book about hot housing children to create smarter kids.  I read the book and enthusiastically purchased flash cards and tapes, including some on mathematics which showed large numbers of dots with the expectation that the baby not yet in possession of any linguistic skills can still distinguish between a card showing 100 dots and one showing 80 dots.

I no longer have the book so it’s hard to remember all the suggestions but one thing I remember was that it encouraged you to speak to the baby as you would an adult explaining everything in his environment.   No baby talk and cute mispronounced words.

I cannot remember how long I persisted with the flash cards, Chinese language tapes, classical music and other things but by the time the next child arrived they were forgotten.  However I did adopt the idea of speaking intelligently to my children and explaining things to them.

Another thing I remember was that the book talked about shyness and how it is used by many children to gain attention and becomes habitual over time.  I had been shy as a child and the one thing I was adamant about was I did not want my children to be shy so we encouraged them to be confident and outgoing.

For maybe 16 years I had not given much thought to that book and the concept of hot housing but recently my second child, now 18, decided to explore the option of enrolling in the military as a way to get the university education he desired without incurring debt.   Part of the enrollment process requires you to sit an IQ test.

I knew he was very bright having completed the most advanced high school mathematics and knew him to have a sharp and creative mind.  I was still very surprised at the result of his test.  His IQ score was 159 which is genius and 20 points ahead of my own score.

This got me thinking about intelligence and remembering the book on hot housing. While my experiments in hot housing using the flash cards and learning tapes were relatively short lived I did adapt many of the principles and I have to wonder if those flash cards showing 80 and 100 dots did actually work.

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