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Thread: hothousing

  1. #1
    elconnolly Guest

    Default hothousing

    Could someone tell me about hothousing - teaching your baby language, music and reading. Has anybody tried it? or are their schools to take toddlers to?

  2. #2


    Why would you want to do this? Children learn most effectively through play, the skills gained through play are amazing for example play doh develops fine motor skills for writing, sorting teaches the fundamentals of mathematics. The best thing you can do for your child is to read books together and provide a supportive, loving home.

    By all means encourage your child to learn at his/her own pace but don't push or try to create some sort of super baby. You don't need to go to toddler school (which I have never even heard of) or multiple structured classes. School is a great equaliser anyway. Even if your child is advanced in Grade 1 due to your hothousing the other children in the class will probably catch up so there is probably no advantage. I think learning should be fun not forced. I am personally not a fan of flashcards and the like which is just rote learning. My focus is on happiness, I would rather my child be a happy bricklayer than a miserable barrister. Just have plenty of interesting toys, socialising with other children, do craft but most importantly provide unconditional love, build up self esteem, be a good role model and learning opportunities through practical experience. This in my opinion is much more important than speaking 3 languages at 2.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Blue Mountains


    Welcome Elconnelly! I've never heard of hothousing, but I think it can't hurt to expose kids to lots of things. I learnt piano when I was 4 (admittedly it was coz I was the bratty little sister that wanted to do what my big brother was doing... and they were only 10min lessons) but I don't remember not being able to read music, and music can definitely help develop logic & math skills.

    I dunno about language classes.. I'd only be inclined to have the baby learn more than one language if you could speak it yourself. Both DH & I speak english, altho DH grew up in Singapore.. he never really learned more than schoolboy Mandarin. He's now learning Mandarin through his work, so I'd kinda like all of us to learn it, coz the best time to learn a hard language like that is when you're young, so I'd like DH to speak Manadarin to our baby

    I agree with not pushing for a superbaby. But it certainly can't hurt to make what you read to the baby and the games you play 'intelligent' ones.

    I was reading fluently before I went to school, and mum said she never taught me to read, just read to me a lot. So it's definitely through interaction and quality time doing things that babies/kids learn.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Sydney, NSW


    I never taught DD things before school, as in gave her lessons or anything, but the one thing I made sure I did was to read to her from birth. She is now the top reader in her class and just LOVES reading. It was the latter that I wanted to achieve anyway, a love of reading. She is not brilliant at spelling or maths etc, but I don't care, she will do her best I hope and that's all that matters.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2004


    i have never heard of hothousing either, but i dont see anything wrong with exposing your child to all different kinds of learning

    also elfin, just because a parent might play flash cards with their children like i do does not mean my focus is not on my child being happy. jackson loves the flash cards and is one of the happiest babies i know- helping him to develop is not trying to create a super baby, and wanting your child to be as smart as they can possibly be is not evil, i would say it is a completely normal parental attitude!

  6. #6
    Melinda Guest


    I believe that everybody here at BB has their child's very best interests at heart. We all have different approaches to parenting and we need to respect that and accept that each of us as parents will always put our child's needs first, and will do our very best to ensure their health and wellbeing.

    BB is a great place to come and ask for advice, information, suggestions and to also learn about new things/approaches out there in the world. Whats "new" in the world of parenting changes all the time and I believe as parents we all have a thirst for knowledge in this regard so that we can make informed choices.

    I believe that's what elconnolly was doing - just asking for some information - so if we can try to stick to providing information on the subject, then that would be wonderful. Please try not to be critical where all the facts are not known, and choose your words carefully - the internet is rather notorious for distorting things!

  7. #7


    There is a range of videos/dvds, books etc made by a company called Baby Einstein that are designed to stimulate babies. They focus on language, numbers, animals, space, nature, music etc. You can get them on ebay or in some toy shops, book shops or baby shops.There are also some by a company called Brainy Baby and I think I have seen baby Motzart too.
    I'm not into hot housing as such but I think that its great to expose babies to a variety of stimulus and installing a love of reading is one of the best gifts we can give a child. I read to Yasin but if he prefers to bang the book on the table or look at the pictures upside down then we do that instead.
    Although we mainly use English at home we also speak to Yasin in Persian because I've read that that exposure to more than one language stimulates differant areas of the brain. Other studies have shown that music has a similar effect so I try to make sure that he hears a few differant varieties of music.
    A good childcare center should provide a range of age appropriate activities in a social setting. I'm hoping to start Yasin doing a few hours at occasional care this year just so that he can interact a bit more with children his own age (and I get a few hours off for 'me' time \/ )
    You might find a book called Test Your Child: How to Discover and Enhance Your Child's True Potential by Miriam Stoppard useful. It has information about what mental and physical activities children enjoy at various stages.

  8. #8


    Wow certainly didn't mean to ruffle feathers and am sorry to anyone I have offended. Just giving my humble opinion not judging anyone's parenting choices. If you like flash cards then go for it they are just not for me and I was only using them as an example of rote learning not saying they are intrinsically evil or anyone is a bad parent for using them!

    I guess I am just very anti hothousing which is about forced structured learning rather than learning though play, fun and experience. There is nothing wrong with exposing your baby to a range of things that is what every family does anyway, I do this too but hothousing is quite different. I don't like heaps of structured classes (I have heard of a case that 4 yr had to miss a party because it clashed with his maths tutuorial), competitive parents and trying to accelerate learning unaturally especially if the child is not interested or bored. Christopher Green in Toddler Taming has a great chapter about this. If your child is enjoying it and it is fun, then go for it. Happiness and enjoyment are the most important things for me. If you do some research you will find that a lot of child psychologists and early childhood educators oppose hothousing which is quite different from providing your child with stimulation and encouraging development. It is actually quite a controversial subject.

    I also think sometimes people can dismiss the importance of play and the greats skills that are being learned by the child, those are the points I was trying to make in my earlier post, not slamming anyone. I also think sometimes we can take a too narrow view of intelligence which is not just about academic ability, but about creativity in other fields. I see nothing wrong with encouraging your child to be the best they can be but I do oppose trying to create something they are not. I think providing a stimulating and supportive environment is so beneficial.

    Anyway i will bow out of this discussion and again am sorry for any offence but I was just offering a point of view that has clearly not been taken in the spirit it was intended.

  9. #9
    Pietta Guest


    Out of interest Elfin because you seem to know a bit about it, what is hothousing for us Mums who have never heard of it?

    Out of interest I dont think that flash cards are rote learning IMHO because i use them to relate to real life- just my 2c!!

    But to answer the original q? i would love to know more about it but have obviously never used that technique

    Oh and welcome to BB by the way- i see that is your first post!!

  10. #10
    Colleen Guest


    I agree with you Shannon..

    I think a few playtime type activities like flash cards are fine but sending our bubs to classes LOL no way, thats ridiculous (IMO) they have better things to learn about , eg Life

  11. #11
    Pietta Guest


    Hmmm sorry for my comment on flash cards then- as i wrote i didnt know what hothousing was and thought it had lot to do with them.

    after Shannons description i still think i would never want to do that. I was in yr 3 and worked at a year 5 level and it proved, like Shannon said, to be really quite hard.

    Thanks for the description though too Shannon

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