Do you want your child to be excited about learning, prepared for the future, and eager to go to school? Rather than worrying about grades or giving kids more homework, it’s best to take a step back and reevaluate what your child needs to be open and engaged with their education. There are so many fundamental tools for preparing children for a lifetime of learning — from showing up at school, to managing their emotions, to learning essential life skills. The solution could be a simple as learning to think how your child thinks.
Parenting books can be incredibly helpful, but there is an overwhelming number to choose from! That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of five great books to help you set your child up for success, and even teach parents a thing or two. Because, after all, you’re never too old to learn something new.
The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
Teachers don’t just teach reading, writing, and things you can learn from a textbook. They teach the essential skills of responsibility, organization, manners, restraint, and foresight that will help children long after their school years. But how do we frame failure as an acceptable and normal part of life?
Parents who don’t give their children the chance to experience failure might be getting in the way of important learning moments. Let your child forget an assignment at home, make a wrong move at a soccer game, or get an F on a report card — these things help children experience the disappointment and frustration that is part of life. Through these experiences, they will learn to adapt and prepare, growing into successful, resilient, and self-reliant adults.
Jessica Lahey, a teacher and a mother, gives advice for handling everything from homework and report cards to social dynamics and sports. She sets forth a plan to help parents learn to step back and embrace their children’s failures. The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed is essential reading for parents, educators and psychologists who want to help kids be successful in school and beyond.
This May Be Difficult to Read by Claire Rubman
Reading is one of the most fundamental and helpful tools a child can learn as they prepare to navigate the world. Author Claire Rubman, a cognitive developmental psychologist with over 30 years in the classroom, has combined research with her own professional and personal experience. This May Be Difficult to Read looks at what’s wrong with the learning process, with a focus on reading, and sets out to offer solutions. This book breaks down myths about reading, separates fact from fiction, and works to get parents and educators on the right course. Choosing the right strategy for children to read, Rubman believes, is “the most politicized topic in the field of education.”
Chock full of information from research, case studies, examples and even some exercises to try out, this book is educational and user-friendly. Rubman tackles reading theories, strategies, and government initiatives from every angle, taking a new look at how we teach children to read and what they really need in order to tackle this next step in their lives. This valuable book from a professor and parent has been awarded the 2023 National Parenting Product Award and a gold-level Mom’s Choice Award.
Read the review and check out this interview with the author.
The Resilience Recipe by Muniya S. Khanna and Philip C. Kendall
Does your child throw a tantrum before school? Claim to be sick? Refuse to get out of bed in the morning? With all the pressures of everyday life, a global pandemic, and fear about school safety, bullying, and academic success, it’s no wonder kids feel anxious. But how is your child ever going to be ready to face the school day — and be excited about learning — if they have this knot in their stomach that makes them miss the bus?
The Resilience Recipe: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Fearless Kids in the Age of Anxiety is a guide to helping your child manage anxiety and stress — no matter what life throws their way. With expertise from two pioneering experts in child psychology and anxiety, this evidence-based plan will help kids build emotional resilience and adaptability, so they can worry less and thrive in all aspects of life. With this guide, adults can help kids feel more in control of their moods and emotions; cope with difficult experiences; and recognize the first signs of stress and anxiety in their minds and bodies, so they can ease their minds and prepare for the day — and life — ahead of them.
Taking Flight: Mastering Executive Function by Carolyn Carpeneti
What should we do when our children struggle academically? Should we let them fail so they’ll learn from their mistakes and do better next time? Perhaps. But what if they lack the organizational tools to succeed?
Carolyn Carpeneti’s son had coped with learning differences through high school, but weeks into freshman year of college, he was failing. The problem was not lack of intelligence, interest, or motivation, but weak executive function — the ability to plan, organize, manage time, initiate action and achieve goals.
Taking Flight chronicles how a mother created a system that rerouted her son from early failure onto a path of success. In the process, she journeyed deep into the silent epidemic of weak or delayed executive function and uncovered a link between traditional education and the inability of kids to thrive and perform at their best. Carpeneti offers up hard-won, practical solutions so that other parents can move beyond confusion and frustration to help their struggling loved ones unlock their dreams and potential.
Check out our coverage on BookTrib.
The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents by Rosalind Wiseman
Though many schools and universities have returned to in-person learning, you never know when your children may have to navigate distanced learning again. This book could also prove useful for online tutoring, homeschooling, or at-home learning.
In The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents, Wiseman does an impressive job reassuring parents and laying out points in actionable, easy-to-follow steps. Her invaluable advice includes reassurance that you don’t have to be your child’s teacher, handle everything well all the time, or have a perfect schedule. The most important things are supporting your child’s love of learning, being a role model for social-emotional skills, and creating consistency in times of uncertainty.
This sensible guide provides the kind of advice, support, and consolation, that school parents craved during the pandemic. There’s plenty of information about school subjects and ways to supplement learning, but, perhaps even more importantly, it addresses underlying issues with which parents and children continue to struggle during and after the pandemic — routines, technology, social and emotional development, values, principles, mindsets and even parental self-care.
Read the review on BookTrib.