Parenting can seem overwhelming. Most parents want what is best for their children, but few have the time, energy, or background knowledge to take a deep dive into an ocean of scientific studies every time a decision has to be made. This book translates educational research, from Piaget to the latest neuroscience article, into actionable strategies for parents.
The book is a “guerilla guide” in the sense that some recommendations may seem counterintuitive, radical, or contrary to popular practice. However, these strategies for home and school are supported by research and years of practical experience. What's a Parent to Do? is written for parents who want to know what to do, what not to do, and why.
Lawrence Baines is Director of Teacher Education at Berry College.
Introduction: The Enduring Benefits of a Good Education
Part 1: At Home
Strategy 1. Make home not only loving and safe, but also fun and interesting
Strategy 2. Pay attention
Strategy 3. Have plenty of print materials and toys on hand
Strategy 4. Limit screen time
Strategy 5. Get moving and get outside
Strategy 6. Engage with the arts
Strategy 7. Help your child choose a musical instrument
Strategy 8. Seek out diverse experiences
Strategy 9 Promote resilience
Part 2: At School
Strategy 10 Choose the best school
Strategy 10a For public schools, follow the money
Strategy 10b For private schools, do your due diligence
Strategy 10c Avoid charter schools
Strategy 11 Select the right teacher
Strategy 11a Actively seek out the best
Strategy 11b Insist on honesty and enthusiasm
Strategy 11c Consider the teacher’s education and experience
Strategy 12 Get into gifted
Strategy 13 Encourage participation in non-contact sports; no team sports before age ten
Strategy 14 Take advantage of school services
Strategy 15 Attend school events
About the Author
What’s a parent to do? is a must-read book for parents, professionals, researchers, advocates, and lawmakers interested in providing quality education and future success for every child.
An enlightening and interesting read that made me reflect upon and evaluate the choices I have made and will make for my daughter. I wish I would've had a copy at the onset of parenthood.
Lawrence Baines has done the work of digging deeply into complex areas of learning research, and of cleaning and polishing what he has found. This is a book that every parent, every relative of a young person, every childcare provider, and every teacher should read and use.
This engaging book contains crucial information all parents should have. I particularly like the way it shows how the experiences children have both at home and in school can make a huge difference regarding the extent to which they will succeed later in life.