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.
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: James J. Heckman
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Business & Economics
In Giving Kids a Fair Chance, Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman argues that the accident of birth is the greatest source of inequality in America today. Children born into disadvantage are, by the time they start kindergarten, already at risk of dropping out of school, teen pregnancy, crime, and a lifetime of low-wage work. This is bad for all those born into disadvantage and bad for American society. Current social and education policies directed toward children focus on improving cognition, yet success in life requires more than smarts. Heckman calls for a refocus of social policy toward early childhood interventions designed to enhance both cognitive abilities and such non-cognitive skills as confidence and perseverance. This new focus on preschool intervention would emphasize improving the early environments of disadvantaged children and increasing the quality of parenting while respecting the primacy of the family and America's cultural diversity. Heckman shows that acting early has much greater positive economic and social impact than later interventions -- which range from reduced pupil-teacher ratios to adult literacy programs to expenditures on police -- that draw the most attention in the public policy debate. At a time when state and local budgets for early interventions are being cut, Heckman issues an urgent call for action and offers some practical steps for how to design and pay for new programs. The debate that follows delves deeply into some of the most fraught questions of our time: the sources of inequality, the role of schools in solving social problems, and how to invest public resources most effectively. Mike Rose, Geoffrey Canada, Charles Murray, Carol Dweck, Annette Lareau, and other prominent experts participate.
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
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.
View the culture of childhood through a whole new lens. Identify age-based bias and expand your outlook on and understanding of early childhood as a culture. Examine various elements of childhood culture: language, belief economics, arts, and social structure to understand children's dispositions of questioning, engagement, and cooperation. Emily Plank specializes in play-based education, diversity and culture in early childhood education, and outdoor learning. In 2011, the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children identified Emily as one of seven emerging leaders. She earned her bachelor's degree from Pepperdine University. She and her family currently reside in Lausanne, Switzerland.
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.
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 1990-03-10
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
The important thing about The Important Book -- is that you let your child tell you what is important about the sun and the moon and the wind and the rain and a bug and a bee and a chair and a table and a pencil and a bear and a rainbow and a cat (if he wants to). For the important thing about The Important Book is that the book goes on long after it is closed.What is most important about many familiar things -- like rain and wind, apples and daisies -- is suggested in rhythmic words and vivid pictures. 'A perfect book . . . the text establishes a word game which tiny children will accept with glee.' -- K.
Author: Angela J. Hanscom
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Release Date: 2016-04-22
Genre: Family & Relationships
In this important book, a pediatric occupational therapist and founder of TimberNook shows how outdoor play and unstructured freedom of movement are vital for children’s cognitive development and growth, and offers tons of fun, engaging ways to help ensure that kids grow into healthy, balanced, and resilient adults. Today’s kids have adopted sedentary lifestyles filled with television, video games, and computer screens. But more and more, studies show that children need “rough and tumble” outdoor play in order to develop their sensory, motor, and executive functions. Disturbingly, a lack of movement has been shown to lead to a number of health and cognitive difficulties, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), emotion regulation and sensory processing issues, and aggressiveness at school recess break. So, how can you ensure your child is fully engaging their body, mind, and all of their senses? Using the same philosophy that lies at the heart of her popular TimberNook program—that nature is the ultimate sensory experience, and that psychological and physical health improves for children when they spend time outside on a regular basis—author Angela Hanscom offers several strategies to help your child thrive, even if you live in an urban environment. Today it is rare to find children rolling down hills, climbing trees, or spinning in circles just for fun. We’ve taken away merry-go-rounds, shortened the length of swings, and done away with teeter-totters to keep children safe. Children have fewer opportunities for unstructured outdoor play than ever before, and recess times at school are shrinking due to demanding educational environments. With this book, you’ll discover little things you can do anytime, anywhere to help your kids achieve the movement they need to be happy and healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
Author: Roberta M. Golinkoff
Publisher: American Psychological Association (APA)
Release Date: 2016-05-01
Genre: Child development
Today's children will forge careers that look nothing like those their parents and grandparents knew. Even the definitions of "career" and "job" are changing as people create new businesses and services. Although these changes are well underway, our education system in the U.S. lags behind and still subscribes to the idea that content is king. This exclusive focus on content is reflected in what we test, how we teach, and even the toys we offer our children. Employers want to hire excellent communicators, critical thinkers, and innovators-in short, they want brilliant people. So what can we do, as parents, to help our children be brilliant and successful? Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek provide a science-based framework for how we should be teaching children in and outside of school. Using fun and engaging examples, the authors introduce the 6Cs-collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence-along with tips to optimize children's development in each area. These skills will make up the straight-A report card for success in the 21st century. Book jacket.
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