If you care about the education of a child, you need this book. Comprehensive and easy to use, it will inform, empower, and encourage you.
Just as William J. Bennett's The Book of Virtues has helped millions of Americans teach young people about character, The Educated Child delivers what you need to take control. With coauthors Chester E. Finn, Jr., and John T. E. Cribb, Jr., former Secretary of Education Bennett provides the indispensable guide.
Championing a clear "back-to-basics" curriculum that will resonate with parents and teachers tired of fads and jargon, The Educated Child supplies an educational road map from earliest childhood to the threshold of high school. It gives parents hundreds of practical suggestions for helping each child succeed while showing what to look for in a good school and what to watch out for in a weak one.
The Educated Child places you squarely at the center of your young one's academic career and takes a no-nonsense view of your responsibilities. It empowers you as mothers and fathers, enabling you to reclaim what has been appropriated by "experts" and the education establishment. It out-lines questions you will want to ask, then explains the answers -- or non-answers -- you will be given. No longer will you feel powerless before the education "system." The tools and advice in this guide put the power where it belongs -- in the hands of those who know and love their children best.
Using excerpts from E. D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge Sequence, The Educated Child sets forth a state-of-the art curriculum from kindergarten through eighth grade that you can use to monitor what is and isn't being taught in your school. It outlines how you can help teachers ensure that your child masters the most important skills and knowledge. It takes on today's education controversies from phonics to school choice, from outcomes-based education to teaching values, from the education of gifted children to the needs of the disabled. Because much of a youngster's education takes place outside the school, The Educated Child also distills the essential information you need to prepare children for kindergarten and explains to the parents of older students how to deal with such challenges as television, drugs, and sex.
If you seek high standards and solid, time-tested content for the child you care so much about, if you want the unvarnished truth about what parents and schools must do, The Educated Child is the one book you need on your shelf.
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Bennett (The Book of Virtues) and his colleagues (Finn, author of We Must Take Charge; Cribb, formerly of the U.S. Department of Education) offer American parents an impassioned and straight-shooting reference for educating their children. In prose free of academic rhetoric, the authors state: "[I]f your school is inflicting a mediocre education on your child, the sooner you know about it the better." They then present a "yardstick" by which to judge the academic quality of any school (public or private). A model core curriculum organized by grade levelAprimary (K-3), intermediate (4-6), and junior high (7 and 8)Apresents the material clearly and logically, and helps readers assess whether a child is getting a thorough dose of English, history and geography, the arts, math and science. While blunt in their criticism of decaying academic standards (evident in grade inflation, lowered expectations for students and terrible international rankings), the authors are unequivocal in their support of dedicated educators and all those willing to hold children to the highest possible standard. Parents may question some of the model curriculum's expectations (e.g., that second graders dramatize the death of Socrates), but the authors are quick to reassure readers that the book's purpose is not to serve as a list of must-haves but rather as "inspiration and general guidance" in gaining a sense of "the knowledge and skills that should lie at the heart of a solid elementary education." Bennett is a controversial figure because of his passionate cultural conservatism. But this book, despite a brief word in favor of school vouchers, is about padagogy, not politics. It's an ambitious and commonsensical guide that will inspire both parents and educators. 100,000 first printing; 25-city radio satellite tour. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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November 06, 2000
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Excerpt from The Educated Child by William J. Bennett
The purpose of this book is to help you secure a good education for your child from early childhood through the eighth grade. As far as learning goes, these years are far and away the most important. They are the time when children acquire the bricks and mortar of a solid education -- the knowledge, skills, habits, and ideals that will serve as the foundation of learning and character throughout their lives. If that edifice is solid by the end of eighth grade, then a student's future is bright indeed. If poorly constructed, the outlook is much dimmer.
Our aim is three-fold. First, we hope to remind parents of their own responsibilities in educating their children. There are few secrets to raising good students. What needs to be done is mostly a matter of common sense. But there is much you can do, and a few things that you must do, to see that your child learns well.
Second, this book will help you determine whether your school is doing a good job. Many parents assume that their children's schools maintain high expectations and offer a quality education. They naturally want to believe that the academic program is strong. Our message to you is: "Trust but verify." The reality is that too many American schools are not doing right by their pupils. In the coming chapters, you'll find some tools you can use to figure out whether your child is truly getting a good education, and some suggestions about how to correct problems at school.
Third, this book paints a fairly detailed picture of what a well-educated child knows and can do. For much of American history, there existed the idea of a "good education." It meant possessing certain knowledge and skills, and behaving in a certain way. Today, regrettably, such a vision is missing from many schools. They are reluctant to specify the lessons that all children should learn. This is a shame, because some things are more important to know than others.
This book helps you know what to look for in a good education. It reminds you of what to stand for as a parent, and what you should not stand for. It draws on common sense, the experience of many teachers and parents, the wisdom of the ages, and much of the best available research. We can all use allies in our efforts to raise children. Think of this book as an ally to help you keep yourself, your child, and your school on track.
You Are Your Child's Most Important Teacher
There is an old saying that a parent's heart is the child's schoolroom. Your dreams, your efforts, your examples and loving exhortations -- these set the boundaries of your child's education. The seminal lessons taught in the home stay with children as they make their way through school and life, shaping their interests, ideals, and enthusiasm for learning. Parents are children's first and most important teachers. Raising your child is your number one job. Seeing that he gets a good education is, in many respects, the crux of that task.
The pressures of time, work, and competing interests tempt us to hand more and more of our educational responsibilities to others. Parents often get a subtle, alluring, but deeply damaging message from today's culture: your role is not quite so important after all. You can delegate. You can outsource. Children will suffer no harm -- in fact, they may reap some benefits -- when they get more of their care and guidance from others. Specialists and experts can fill in for you, pay attention for you, make decisions for you, give guidance where you cannot. Let others take charge of education: curriculum directors, counselors, child care professionals, even children themselves. It is a seductive siren song. It gives the green light for surrendering part of a sacred duty.