How To Raise a Child Prodigy

October 1, 2006

Illustrator Patt Kelley

Congratulations! You’re expecting! As you will learn, the groundwork for true genius must be fostered in baby’s first valuable months. This is the perfect time to read the indispensable guide Two is Too Late and put baby on the path to success.

Next, sign up for the groundbreaking course in pre-childhood education, Teach Your Baby to Read. This course teaches baby to associate her first memories with the written word by using oversized flashcards. For instance, when baby sees an abacus for the first time, hold up the “ABACUS” flashcard, and so on.

A great third-trimester activity—I mean you’re barely mobile anyway—is to start
baby’s music education. Take an empty Cracker Jack box and fashion a baby-proof violin. Also, purchase a recording of Suzuki Method Book I and listen to it exclusively. When baby is born, she’ll learn Twinkle Twinkle Little Star faster than all the other kids.

Make sure the violin and the “Teach Your Baby to Read” flashcards are packed and ready to go to the hospital. When baby first sees daddy—you’ll be tired, but muster the energy to hold up the big “DADDY” flashcard and read the word slowly and clearly. Give baby her Cracker Jack violin—and don’t forget the corresponding flashcard! There’s no time for laziness while baby’s precious mind is forming.

After you’ve recuperated from delivery, it’s time to start Kumon math sessions, second-language courses (Latin is making a comeback) and swimming lessons. Physical activity like swimming does wonders for motor skills.

These group activities are also a great opportunity to meet other dedicated moms, although none of them will have children quite as bright as yours (nor will other moms be as devoted). Just be sure that baby doesn’t grow too much, because nobody’s impressed by a 2-year-old if she’s 3 feet tall—even if she can play Elgar’s Enigma from memory.*

*If baby does start to grow freakishly tall, as often occurs with the genetically fortified food products in the United States, abandon fantasies of breeding a young concert violinist and start thinking Yao Ming.


1 Cracker Jack box

1 12” ruler

Black Sharpie marker

Brown non-toxic paint

Hot glue gun


1. Sand down top corners of ruler so as not to injure baby.

2. Glue ruler to Cracker Jack box as the “neck” of the violin.

3. Paint brown.

4. Use black Sharpie to draw outline of violin and specific parts according to the diagram provided by your Suzuki instructor.

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