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Motivated Minds: Raising Children to Love Learning Paperback – April 18, 2001

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Motivated Minds: Raising Children to Love Learning + Bright Minds, Poor Grades: Understanding and Motivating your Underachieving Child + Drive: 9 Ways to Motivate Your Kids to Achieve
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st edition (April 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805063951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805063950
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

How do parents instill a lifelong love of learning in their children? Stipek, dean of the School of Education at Stanford, and Seal, a journalist and author, answer this question with well-documented studies, including research from UCLA's Corrine A. Seeds University Elementary School, a laboratory school for educational improvement where Stipek has served as director for 10 years and Seal as co-president of the parent-teacher's association for two years. Believing that "play is children's work" because it engages their interest in the world around them, Stipek and Seal encourage parents to develop their children's natural drive to learn by focusing on what they believe are the three primary components of success: competence, autonomy and relatedness (the unconditional acceptance, connection and support parents provide their children). Combining famous and fictional anecdotes and other special tips (the proper use of rewards, the role of self-esteem) with the results of current research studies, the authors provide an informative account of the broader concepts they believe are important for parents to understand so that they can create a culture of learning at home. An appendix supplies suggestions on how to assess a school and when to enroll a child in kindergarten. Despite the many studies cited, parents will find the book to be friendly and engaging, a useful resource that they can consult over the many years of their children's education. Agent, Heide Lange.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Though these parenting aids both emphasize nurture over nature, they have different focuses. Conkling, a freelance writer specializing in health and alternative medicine, believes that experience and environment can change and improve children's intelligence and, furthermore, that early stimulation can alter the size, structure, and chemistry of a child's brain ("In fact, 70 percent of your child's brain development will be complete by the time she blows out her first birthday candle," she writes in the introduction). Using research of the past 20 years, she argues that even a genius would not achieve her potential without the proper stimulation. Included are tips on assuring that maximum neural development can take place in the womb, talking to your baby and appreciating her special gifts, encouraging artistic expression and speech development, and making good food choices. Stipek, dean of the School of Education at Stanford University, and Seal, a freelance psychology and education journalist, believe that most children are born with the desire to learn but that this desire starts to decline at about middle school. Rather than focusing solely on boosting self-esteem (which she says can "do damage"), she advises parents to foster competence, autonomy, and relationship security in children. One of her most useful bits of advice is how to connect book learning to the real world. She also rightly points out that if children worry that making a mistake will make them look bad, they will avoid challenge. Caretakers, she says, should help children understand that they can feel and even get to be smarter by doing their work. Public library patrons will find both of these books helpful and approachable. Annete V. Janes, Hamilton P.L., MA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
This book will stay on my shelf for years!
I really liked how it made the connection between having a good, loving relationship with your child and having them feel comfortable making mistakes.
K. Simpkins
The parents' role in helping children develop this persistence is crucial I feel, and this book talks about that.
Gayathri Tirthapura

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Nicholson on April 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book answers a lot of questions I've had about parenting. It has good sections on how and when to use rewards, when and how to praise your kids, when you should tell them "Do this now!" and when you should let go. I especially liked a chapter on intelligence where they explain why it's better to emphasize that intelligence isn't a fixed quality. I had never thought about this before but found that it is useful for keeping your kids encouraged in school.
I found that I already do some of the things this book recommends - like reading to my children -- but that they also suggested interesting ways to "stop nagging" my kids yet still have them do their homework, ways to help them do well on standardized tests yet face them calmly, and ways to ensure their self-esteem. One thing I found especially useful was two chapters on choosing schools. They give very specific instructions on how to judge a preschool and what to look for when you visit elementary schools. It gave me a list of questions to ask take when I looked at a preschool for my son recently, so I feel now that I can make decisions based on research and not just instinct.
The best thing about this book is that is a good read. There are lots of examples and suggestions for what to do and what to say, even a quiz to give yourself. This is a book I would definitely give at baby showers, because it's a guide you can refer to from babyhood onward.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "rosey64" on September 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an all ages book on how children learn and how parents can help them -- what to do and not do. Let me quote: "Although this book focuses on children from babyhood through elementary school, its general principles and recommendations apply to children of all ages, and even to adults. Everyone can follow the self-motivation model you will read about in upcoming chapters: the cycle of working hard, persisting to overcome obstacles, and being energized to do more by the feelings of pleasure brought by newly gained confidence." It's based on the latest research. This book opened my eyes to the inadequacy of my own education: I worked for grades, not to learn. I made great grades, but what did I learn? Not much. Even now, I have bad "learning" skills. My curiosity has been quashed by the desire to perform and get the job done. This book also covers choosing schools, toys, "getting smart" instead of "being smart," the harmfulness of grades and competition. Also included is what to say and not say to your child. This book will stay on my shelf for years!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is, without question, the best book available for anyone who is a parent (or intends to eventually become a parent) and wants to preserve or increase their children's intrinsic motivation to learn. If you want children to WANT to learn, to learn WELL, to ENJOY learning, and to CONTINUE learning even after their schooling has ended, there is no finer book than this one. It also will be a fantastic contribution for any person who teaches or intends to eventually teach. I recommend this without question!!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Emily Simon on April 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book should be required reading for all parents. Carefully researched, this book lets you know how a child can learn to love learning and how a parent can help that process. The book is written in a beautiful flowing style so there is not a minute of boredom. Research facts and stories intertwine to demonstrate exactly what children need to succeed.
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