In this bold challenge to the conventional wisdom about early childhood, Yale Early Childhood expert Erika Christakis offers a pragmatic program to encourage parents to rethink how and where young children learn best. Christakis argues that children are hardwired to learn in any setting, but when 'learning' is defined by strict lessons and dodgy metrics, it devalues a child's intelligence while placing unfit requirements on the developing brain. Her message is energising and encouraging: children are inherently powerful and will flourish if we can revitalise the early learning environment.
“Christakis . . . expertly weaves academic research, personal experience and anecdotal evidence into her book . . . a bracing and convincing case that early education has reached a point of crisis . . . her book is a rare thing: a serious work of research that also happens to be well-written and personal . . . engaging and important.” --Washington Post "What kids need from grown-ups (but aren't getting)...an impassioned plea for educators and parents to put down the worksheets and flash cards, ditch the tired craft projects (yes, you, Thanksgiving Handprint Turkey) and exotic vocabulary lessons, and double-down on one, simple word: play." --NPR.org The New York Times bestseller that provides a bold challenge to the conventional wisdom about early childhood, with a pragmatic program to encourage parents and teachers to rethink how and where young children learn best by taking the child’s eye view of the learning environment To a four-year-old watching bulldozers at a construction site or chasing butterflies in flight, the world is awash with promise. Little children come into the world hardwired to learn in virtually any setting and about any matter. Yet in today’s preschool and kindergarten classrooms, learning has been reduced to scripted lessons and suspect metrics that too often undervalue a child’s intelligence while overtaxing the child’s growing brain. These mismatched expectations wreak havoc on the family: parents fear that if they choose the “wrong” program, their child won’t get into the “right” college. But Yale early childhood expert Erika Christakis says our fears are wildly misplaced. Our anxiety about preparing and safeguarding our children’s future seems to have reached a fever pitch at a time when, ironically, science gives us more certainty than ever before that young children are exceptionally strong thinkers. In her pathbreaking book, Christakis explains what it’s like to be a young child in America today, in a world designed by and for adults, where we have confused schooling with learning. She offers real-life solutions to real-life issues, with nuance and direction that takes us far beyond the usual prescriptions for fewer tests, more play. She looks at children’s use of language, their artistic expressions, the way their imaginations grow, and how they build deep emotional bonds to stretch the boundaries of their small worlds. Rather than clutter their worlds with more and more stuff, sometimes the wisest course for us is to learn how to get out of their way. Christakis’s message is energizing and reassuring: young children are inherently powerful, and they (and their parents) will flourish when we learn new ways of restoring the vital early learning environment to one that is best suited to the littlest learners. This bold and pragmatic challenge to the conventional wisdom peels back the mystery of childhood, revealing a place that’s rich with possibility. From the Hardcover edition.
Parents of young children today are in crisis: pick the "wrong" preschool and your child won't get into the "right" college. Christakis believes we have confused schooling with learning: children are hardwired to learn in any setting, but they punch below their weight when "learning" is defined by strict lessons and dodgy metrics that devalue a child's intelligence. Here, she explores what it's like to be a young child in America today, in a world designed by and for adults.
Featuring compelling, detailed narratives, this is the first book to provide an eye-opening look at why pre-K matters for children and society, what it should look like and do, and what it takes to create good pre-K programs.
Author: Peg Tyre
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: 2011-08-16
Award-winning education journalist Peg Tyre mines up-to-the-minute research to equip parents with the tools and knowledge necessary to get their children the best education possible We all know that the quality of education served up to our children in U.S. schools ranges from outstanding to shockingly inadequate. How can parents tell the difference? And how do they make sure their kids get what's best? Even the most involved and informed parents can feel overwhelmed and confused when making important decisions about their child's education. And the scary truth is that evaluating a school based on test scores and college admissions data is like selecting a car based on the color of its paint. Synthesizing cutting-edge research and firsthand reporting, Peg Tyre offers parents far smarter and more sophisticated ways to assess a classroom and decide if the school and the teacher have the right stuff. Passionate and persuasive, The Good School empowers parents to make sense of headlines; constructively engage teachers, administrators, and school boards; and figure out the best option for their child—be that a local public school, a magnet program, a charter school, homeschooling, parochial, or private.
Understand the connection between how kids grow and how they learn After 35 years as an education consultant, Rae Pica knows the importance of understanding the natural course of child development. In this collection, she keeps kids front and center as she provides thought-provoking commentary and actionable insights on topics such as the Common Core, the self-esteem movement, and standardized testing. Sure to inspire discussion, this pocket-size powerhouse of educational philosophy includes 29 short essays on topics critical to best practice in child development and education Opinions of experts supported by research and anecdotal evidence Real-life stories shared by teachers and parents References to related articles and interviews with experts
“Kids are important… They need safe places to live, and safe places to play.” For some kids, this means living with foster parents. In simple words and full-color illustrations, this book explains why some kids move to foster homes, what foster parents do, and ways kids might feel during foster care. Children often believe that they are in foster care because they are “bad.” This book makes it clear that the troubles in their lives are not their fault; the message throughout is one of hope and support. Includes resources and information for parents, foster parents, social workers, counselors, and teachers.
This exciting book by three pioneers in the new field of cognitive science discusses important discoveries about how much babies and young children know and learn, and how much parents naturally teach them.It argues that evolution designed us both to teach and learn, and that the drive to learn is our most important instinct. It also reveals as fascinating insights about our adult capacities and how even young children -- as well as adults -- use some of the same methods that allow scientists to learn so much about the world. Filled with surprise at every turn, this vivid, lucid, and often funny book gives us a new view of the inner life of children and the mysteries of the mind.
Author: Ajay Chaudry
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Release Date: 2017-03-01
Early care and education for many children in the United States is in crisis. The period between birth and kindergarten is a critical time for child development, and socioeconomic disparities that begin early in children’s lives contribute to starkly different long-term outcomes for adults. Yet, compared to other advanced economies, high-quality child care and preschool in the United States are scarce and prohibitively expensive for many middle-class and most disadvantaged families. To what extent can early-life interventions provide these children with the opportunities that their affluent peers enjoy and contribute to reduced social inequality in the long term? Cradle to Kindergarten offers a comprehensive, evidence-based strategy that diagnoses the obstacles to accessible early education and charts a path to opportunity for all children. The U.S. government invests less in children under the age of five than do most other developed nations. Most working families must seek private childcare, which means that children from low-income households, who would benefit most from high-quality early education, are the least likely to attend them. Existing policies, such as pre-kindergarten in some states are only partial solutions. To address these deficiencies, the authors propose to overhaul the early care system, beginning with a federal paid parental leave policy that provides both mothers and fathers with time and financial support after the birth of a child. They also advocate increased public benefits, including an expansion of the child care tax credit, and a new child care assurance program that subsidizes the cost of early care for low- and moderate-income families. They also propose that universal, high-quality early education in the states should start by age three, and a reform of the Head Start program that would include more intensive services for families living in areas of concentrated poverty and experiencing multiple adversities from the earliest point in these most disadvantaged children’s lives. They conclude with an implementation plan and contend that these reforms are attainable within a ten-year timeline. Reducing educational and economic inequalities requires that all children have robust opportunities to learn, fully develop their capacities, and have a fair shot at success. Cradle to Kindergarten presents a blueprint for fulfilling this promise by expanding access to educational and financial resources at a critical stage of child development.
This accessible and enaging work introduces current and future teachers, child care providers, and others interested in early childhood education to the importance for the early years in children's well-being and success. It summarizes their research on the value of high-quality services for young children, families, and society, showing why early education matters both today and into the future. Emphasizing the need to understand and respect young children's strengths and unique characteristics, the authors offer inspiration for working in the field, as well as addressing the realistic challenges of implementing developmentally appropriate care and education.
Author: Ann Hulbert
Release Date: 2011-01-26
Genre: Social Science
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, millions of anxious parents have turned to child-rearing manuals for reassurance. Instead, however, they have often found yet more cause for worry. In this rich social history, Ann Hulbert analyzes one hundred years of shifting trends in advice and discovers an ongoing battle between two main approaches: a “child-centered” focus on warmly encouraging development versus a sterner “parent-centered” emphasis on instilling discipline. She examines how pediatrics, psychology, and neuroscience have fueled the debates but failed to offer definitive answers. And she delves into the highly relevant and often turbulent personal lives of the popular advice-givers, from L. Emmett Holt and Arnold Gesell to Bruno Bettelheim and Benjamin Spock to the prominent (and ever conflicting) experts of today. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Richard Louv
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Release Date: 2008-04-22
Genre: Family & Relationships
“The children and nature movement is fueled by this fundamental idea: the child in nature is an endangered species, and the health of children and the health of the Earth are inseparable.” —Richard Louv, from the new edition In his landmark work Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv brought together cutting-edge studies that pointed to direct exposure to nature as essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. Now this new edition updates the growing body of evidence linking the lack of nature in children’s lives and the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Louv’s message has galvanized an international back-to-nature campaign to “Leave No Child Inside.” His book will change the way you think about our future and the future of our children. “[The] national movement to ‘leave no child inside’ . . . has been the focus of Capitol Hill hearings, state legislative action, grass-roots projects, a U.S. Forest Service initiative to get more children into the woods and a national effort to promote a ‘green hour’ in each day. . . . The increased activism has been partly inspired by a best-selling book, Last Child in the Woods, and its author, Richard Louv.” —The Washington Post “Last Child in the Woods, which describes a generation so plugged into electronic diversions that it has lost its connection to the natural world, is helping drive a movement quickly flourishing across the nation.” —The Nation’s Health “This book is an absolute must-read for parents.” —The Boston Globe Now includes A Field Guide with 100 Practical Actions We Can Take Discussion Points for Book Groups, Classrooms, and Communities Additional Notes by the Author New and Updated Research from the U.S. and Abroad
When it comes to parenting, sometimes you have to trust your gut. With her first book, It’s OK Not to Share, Heather Shumaker overturned all the conventional rules of parenting with her “renegade rules” for raising competent and compassionate kids. In It’s Ok To Go Up the Slide, Shumaker takes on new hot-button issues with renegade rules such as: - Recess Is A Right - It’s Ok Not To Kiss Grandma - Ban Homework in Elementary School - Safety Second - Don’t Force Participation Shumaker also offers broader guidance on how parents can control their own fears and move from an overscheduled life to one of more free play. Parenting can too often be reduced to shuttling kids between enrichment classes, but Shumaker challenges parents to reevaluate how they’re spending their precious family time. This book helps parents help their kids develop important life skills in an age-appropriate way. Most important, parents must model these skills, whether it’s technology use, confronting conflict, or coping emotionally with setbacks. Sometimes being a good parent means breaking all the rules. From the Trade Paperback edition.