Brainpop is a wonderful site that provides 5 minute learning videos on Math, History and every other school subject followed by a series of multiple choice questions. My kids (6 and 3) have been using BrainPop Jr. which is targeted for K-3.

  • A 3-year-old can see that learning can be fun.
  • A 4-year-old can start to the grasp the concepts.
  • A 5-year-old can answer the questions.
  • A 6-year-old can read some of the questions and answers himself.

Behavioral Economics

Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize for Economics — becoming the first non-Economist to win that distinction. He summarized the field in a wonderful tome called Thinking Fast and Slow. The basic thrust of the book is that we have a number of unconscious heuristics and biases that drive our decision making — which work well MOST of the time but not ALL of the time. On a different note, Kahneman gave a fascinating TED talk about happiness that’s well worth watching. Kahnemann’s book is a fantastic tome but a little long for the people new to the field. If you want something that’s a little quicker on the topic, check out Dan Ariely’s books Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality. I wrote a few hundred words summarizing Ariely’s work on default settings as well. For more of a financial look at this, check out Nicholas Nassim Taleb’s books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan.

Po Bronson

Po Bronson writes on a number of fascinating topics. He wrote a great magazine article on how mindset applies to child rearing. It’s also a great and short introduction to the Mindset concept. The upshot from Po’s article is that you should praise children for how hard they try, not their innate qualities like how smart or pretty they are. Po expands upon this in the book Nurtureshock. He’s also wrote other great books like Nudist on the Late Shift where he convinces people to join the internet boom at the turn of the century and What Should I Do With My Life? Where he apologies and attempts to help people figure out what to do after the crash.