From Publishers Weekly
Schulman and Birnbaum, early childhood educators and directors of the 92nd Street Y Nursery in New York City, have distilled their extensive knowledge to create this indispensable primer for parents of preschoolers. Starting with the premise that parents today face more pressures than ever, the authors admit that getting a child into preschool can be an angst-ridden hurdle. The atmosphere of competitiveness is one of the most significant changes they've witnessed during their combined 59 years in the field, with as many as 10 applicants for every available space at some of the more prestigious preschools, and a formal application and interview process that makes parents understandably anxious. The authors note that there are many viable preschool choices that will provide youngsters with an opportunity to access the five core learning experiences of preschool: separation, being part of a group, socialization, independence and routines. The first section is devoted to the preschool experience, and the authors gently guide parents through an average day, covering such topics as how to deal with separation issues or how to react when a preschooler comes home with a drawing that resembles a brown blob. Ample attention is given to the etiquette of play dates and sundry mysteries of the preschool universe. Discussions of bedtime, meals, discipline, toilet training combine to make this a practical and comprehensive resource. (Aug.)
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The authors are directors of one of the most admired preschools in the U.S. Drawing on their cumulative 60 years of experience, they provide practical advice to parents on the most common concerns of parenting young children and preparing them for school. Part 1 focuses on school life, when and how to choose a preschool, and preparing parent and child for separation and the beginning of this new stage in a child's life. Part 2 focuses on the home environment, what parents can do to provide stimulation and nurturance, covering everything from discipline to ethics to play. The authors include vignettes from their own experience with the 92nd Street Y Nursery School to show examples of overscheduling, developing needed social skills, and setting up play dates. A separate chapter on development offers clear benchmarks with the caution that children develop at their own rates. They also advise parents on how to talk with their children about difficult subjects, from moving to divorce to death. Recommended books, toys, and other products and services add to this title's resource value. Bush, Vanessa