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Working Parents Can Raise Smart Kids

The "Time-Starved" Parent's Guide to Helping Your Child Succeed in School

Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 1999

Working parents who have little time to spend with their children will find useful tips within this guide. Providing examples that can be completed in 15-minutes segments, tips are included on building positive attitudes toward school, and making the best use of available time.

The authors maintain the most effective ways parents can help their children succeed in school have little to do with schoolwork and academics. They note that non-academic skills are critical to school success, including responsibility, persistence, and independence. The development of these skills is the focus of the guide.

The guide begins with the most basic of information: helping your child to get enough rest, good nutrition, and physical activity. The book offers suggestions for streamlining bedtime routines, and easy-to-prepare snacks that are high in nutritional value. Most useful are chapters 3, 7 and 9, which cover building positive attitudes toward school; developing a partnership with your child’s school; and guidelines for helping your child with her homework. The authors note that helping your child with her homework might make a difference, but not in the ways you intended. They suggest asking your child to show you, step-by-step, how she would solve a specific problem. If she still can’t work through the problem, create a similar problem for her to work on instead. If she still doesn’t understand, circle the original problem and write a note asking the teacher to help your child learn how to do the problem. In this manner, you help your child learn the process, without actually providing the answer.

Beaulieu holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology, and has worked in the field of education for over 20 years. Granzin holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, and has worked as a school psychologist for the past 18 years. Romaine has published several books and more than 300 articles.

Included are appendixes rating educational games and good websites for kids, and a recommended reading list.

Rebecca Maksel