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

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9780684872728: The Educated Child: A Parents Guide From Preschool Through Eighth Grade

The Educated Child defines a good education and offers parents a plan of action for ensuring that their children achieve it.

The Educated Child defines a good education and offers parents a plan of action for ensuring that their children achieve it. Combining the goals that William Bennett enumerated as Secretary of Education, key excerpts from E. D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge Sequence, and the latest research, it sets forth clear curricula and specific objectives for children from kindergarten through the eighth grade, including:

-What children should be studying and the kind of work they should be doing

-Important facts to learn and essential reading lists

-When children should master specific math skills, spelling and grammar basics, and scientific facts

-Test preparation, homework, and other areas that require parental involvement

The Educated Child also examines timely issues such as school choice, sex education, character education, and the phonics/whole language debate. Perhaps most important, it encourages parents to become advocates for their children by learning what to look for in a good school, how to talk to educators, and how, when necessary, to push for needed changes. For parents concerned about their children's current education and future lives, it is the ultimate handbook.

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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 served as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush and as Secretary of Education and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Reagan. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Williams College, a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Texas, and a law degree from Harvard. He is the author of such bestselling books as The Educated Child, The Death of Outrage, The Book of Virtues, and the two-volume series America: The Last Best Hope. Dr. Bennett is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett's Morning in America. He is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute and a regular contributor to CNN. He, his wife, Elayne, and their two sons, John and Joseph, live in Maryland.

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