The Bottom Line
By Stan Goldberg, PhD; 313 pages.
The cover makes these promises:
• Understand how children learn
• Learn how to become a super teaching parent
• Avoid current and lifelong emotional problems
• Prevent learning problems in kindergarten
• What to do now to make your child's future better.
If that doesn't wear you out right there, the book might finish the job. It’s packed with excellent learning strategies, but may make you feel like a bad parent if you're not on learning patrol 24-7.
- Learning strategies clearly explained, with charts and illustrations.
- Engaging, sometimes humorous writing style makes for an enjoyable read.
- Nice emphasis on making learning fun for child and parents.
- Focuses on "get along" behaviors as well as academic issues.
- Great introduction to what your child will need to succeed in kindergarten.
- Case studies make progress sound more speedy than it may be in your home.
- Author tends to drop into situations where parent is failing and magically make things right.
- More applicable to children with minor learning differences than major special needs.
- While some techniques are applicable to older kids, basic focus is on very young ones.
- Last two chapters, while comforting and affirming, seem to be from different book.
- Chapter One: Learning Differently
Chapter Two: Becoming a World-Class Teaching Parent
- Chapter Three: Understanding Your Child's Feelings
- Chapter Four: Kindergarten: A Whole New World
- Chapter Five: Strategies to Help Learning
- Chapter Six: Attention
- Chapter Seven: Understanding
- Chapter Eight: Storage, Retrieval, and Usage
- Chapter Nine: Getting Others to Help
- Chapter Ten: And What About You?
- Chapter Eleven: Your Child's Future
Guide Review - Book Review: Ready to Learn - How to Help Your Preschooler Succeed
I'll be honest: I have mixed emotions about this book. I had them when I first heard the title -- do we really have to push preschoolers now? I had them when I was reading -- the problem went away how fast? And I had them when I assigned a rating above. Much of the material here is absolutely five-star stuff, but I’m afraid it will make a lot of folks feel very one-star about their parenting -- guilty that they didn’t do all this when their child was younger, guilty that nothing they try works like it does in books, guilty that they have no magical doctor to drop in and fix things.
Those are useless feelings, and I may be projecting my frustration about my children’s own intractable learning disabilities on a defenseless book. But I wonder if the author didn’t worry a little about stirring up that sort of guilt, because the last couple of chapters go out of their way to assure parents that not everything can be fixed and children are valuable even if they don’t excel (read an excerpt). I’m not sure you can title a book “How to Help Your Preschooler Succeed” and then assure parents it’s okay if they don’t. But I do appreciate the attempt..
If you have a preschooler who’s just a little behind in kindergarten readiness skills, this book will be a huge help. If you have a child with more serious special needs, there may be things here that would be helpful as well. One suggestion, though, for the latter group in particular: Read the last two chapters first.