The Educated Child: A Parents Guide From Preschool Through Eighth Grade

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9780684833491: The Educated Child: A Parents Guide From Preschool Through Eighth Grade

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.

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Review:

William J. Bennett, that doyen of common sense who brought us The Book of Virtues, has returned to the topic of child rearing, delivering a massive canon on the education of young children. He joins fellow veterans of the U.S. Department of Education Chester E. Finn Jr. and John T.E. Cribb Jr. in offering a traditional, back-to-basics resource for parents. The Educated Child is a tome to page through and return to as the years go by, with chapters divided by subjects and grade levels. One of the most helpful aspects of the guide is its outline of what to expect--or demand, in some cases--in the K-8 essentials. The writers list book titles, historic dates, science topics, and other issues that should be covered, borrowing heavily from E.D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge Series, the fact-specific book series that begins with What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know.

But Bennett et al.'s take on education goes further, with the authors weighing in on such controversial topics as sex education, TV, the Internet, self-esteem, and school uniforms with statements that largely reflect their conservative reputations. They also stick to the insistence that Western culture be emphasized in American classrooms. In some cases, however, the three don't always agree--acknowledging diverging views on year-round education, for instance. Some of what they cover is basic, instinctive stuff: we don't need another guide telling us to talk to our children about their school day. But there's valuable advice, too, such as how to save your child from a bad teacher and what questions to ask in a parent-teacher conference. For parents puzzled or overwhelmed by what the authors refer to as "the blob" of the education bureaucracy, The Educated Child can be a helpful insiders' view from those who once governed the biggest blob of all. --Jodi Mailander Farrell

About the Author:

William J. Bennett was Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Secretary of Education under President Reagan, and Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Bush. The author of The Book of Virtues and several other bestsellers, he is a fellow at the Heritage Foundation and codirector of Empower America. He lives with his wife, Elayne, and their two sons in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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