Synopses & Reviews
How many parents have a child struggling in school? The answer: a great many. This book is an informed, practical resource for such parents. As the author of the classic book on home-schooling, The Well-Trained Mind, Susan Wise Bauer knows how children learn and how schools work. Her advice here is comprehensive and anecdotal, including material drawn from experience with her own four children.
The author's rule of thumb is that when a child is struggling, the problem probably lies with the school or the system, not with the child. She knows that the K-12 system, with its rigid rules of advancement and endless testing, doesn't work for all children. She shows how to opt out of many things--SATs and other timed tests among them-- without harm to your child's college chances. Parents will find a comforting clarity and sanity in this book.
Our K-12 school system is an artificial product of market forces. It isn't a good fit for all--or even most--students. It prioritizes a single way of understanding the world over all others, pushes children into a rigid set of grades with little regard for individual maturity, and slaps "disability" labels over differences in learning style.
Caught in this system, far too many young learners end up discouraged, disconnected, and unhappy. And when they struggle, school pressures parents, with overwhelming force, into "fixing" their children rather than questioning the system.
With boldness, experience, and humor, Susan Wise Bauer turns conventional wisdom on its head: When a serious problem arises at school, the fault is more likely to lie with the school, or the educational system itself, than with the child.
In five illuminating sections, Bauer teaches parents how to flex the K-12 system, rather than the child. She closely analyzes the traditional school structure, gives trenchant criticisms of its weaknesses, and offers a wealth of advice for parents of children whose difficulties may stem from struggling with learning differences, maturity differences, toxic classroom environments, and even from giftedness (not as much of a "gift" as you might think ).
As the author of the classic book on home-schooling, The Well-Trained Mind, Bauer knows how children learn and how schools work. Her advice here is comprehensive and anecdotal, including material drawn from experience with her own four children and more than twenty years of educational consulting and university teaching.
Rethinking School is a guide to one aspect of sane, humane parenting: negotiating the twelve-grade school system in a way that nurtures and protects your child's mind, emotions, and spirit.