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Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent's Guide Paperback – August 21, 1998

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Editorial Reviews Review

Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent's Guide is a vital book for parents. Beginning with talk as the foundation of literacy, and emphasizing the importance of listening to and speaking with children, Lucy Calkins, longtime education specialist, then moves into the stages of reading and writing: how to recognize an emergent reader, how to foster a young author, and how to encourage a love of books and reading through your own interest and modeling. Additional chapters deal with math, science, and social studies.

Calkin's text is accompanied by extensive appendices by Lydia Bellino, focusing on the role of schools in a child's literacy, including how to pick a preschool or kindergarten, testing and assessment issues, and working together with your child's teachers. Raising Lifelong Learners illuminates the process by which parents can celebrate and support children's skills as readers, writers, and lifelong learners in all fields. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Although this work is written as a guide for parents to foster a love of learning along with the requisite skills in their children, it also provides valuable information for others who work with children?child care workers, teachers, scoutmasters, and librarians, perhaps. Calkins is founding director of the College Teacher Writing Project and author of The Art of Teaching Writing (Heinemann, 1991), but she does not limit her attention to writing in this guide. While concentrating on individual skills in each chapter (writing, reading, playing, science, math, and more), Calkins never loses sight of her overall goal of creating interest and skills for lifelong learning. Appendixes by Bellino, an elementary school principal, help to relate Calkins's principles to the school day. Highly recommended.?Kay L. Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills., Md.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (August 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738200247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738200248
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lucy Calkins is Founding Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and the Robinson Professor in Literature at Teachers College where she co-directs the Literacy Specialist program. She is the author of over 30 seminal books on the teaching of reading and writing, including her trademark curriculum resources, Units of Study supporting K-2 and 3-5 writing and 3-5 reading. Other foundational texts include The Art of Teaching Reading, The Art of Teaching Writing, One-to-One: The Art of Conferring with Young Writers, A Principal's Guide to Leadership in the Teaching of Writing (co-authored with Laurie Pessah), Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent's Guide, and most recently, Pathways to the Common Core (co-authored with Mary Ehrenworth and Christopher Lehman)--currently one of Amazon's top-selling titles. Lucy is also the author of the upcoming Units of Study for Teaching Writing, Grade by Grade: A Yearlong Workshop Curriculum, Grades K-8 (Heinemann: 2013).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By F. Hamilton on January 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
_Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent's Guide_ is full of practical suggestions, many of which are helpful to teachers as well as to parents. The book's principal author, Lucy Calkins, is a teacher educator, yet she considers the teaching of her two young sons to be her most important work. Calkins relates many vivid examples from her own experience.
Although Calkins discusses things parents can do to maximize school success, _Raising Lifelong Learners_ is not a book about helping children with their homework. Instead it tells how to make the home a rich learning environment, how to arouse children's curiosity in all academic areas. Calkins says, " . . . the qualities that matter most in science and math, reading and writing -- initiative, thoughtfulness, curiosity, resourcefulness, perseverance, and imagination -- are best nurtured through the everydayness of our shared lives at home."

Calkins believes in leading children very gradually along the path of learning in all academic areas. She says, "My rule of thumb is to help the child do today what she will be able to do tomorrow. I don't want my assistance to be too far beyond the child's independent abilities or she will be put in a dependent position, always waiting for and wanting assistance."
Calkins places heavy emphasis on both work and play. The latter provides an opportunity for children to develop imagination, resourcefulness, and language skills. Calkins believes that parents, not schools, have the primary responsibility for developing a work ethic in children. This is cultivated through hobbies and projects as well as through chores.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
I began this book last night. It was recommended to me by a friend who is also a principal, and I dutifully bought it, placed it on a shelf and kept looking at its spine (feeling guilty). It looked, judging from the title and cover, like an academic, how-to book. I was afraid it would be too impractical...too unrealistic. Was I wrong. I was immediately inspired. In fact, I was in my youngest child's preschool class today helping out. I heard myself asking the children the rather inane questions (questions only of fact) that Calkins describes early in her book. She doesn't just list these questions as "bad" questions. She gives us alternatives to help US help our children to THINK. So, upon hearing myself ask something inane, I rephrased my question and really LISTENED to the child's response. Thank you Lucy Calkins. I'm sure to keep asking these basic questions, but now I also know how to ask for and listen to more complicated ideas! I can't wait to learn more as I finish this wonderful book.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By LYNDA DILLON ORR on June 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent resource for anyone attempting to help a child's learning process, but it addresses our affluent, better educated population. The message is sometimes garbled by the "silver spoon" sticking out of Ms. Calkins' mouth. I give it 4 stars because the message is there, and I would not want anyone interested in the education of children to miss it. It does remind me of Martha Stewart and her creative, neat, organized world--often condescending but still providing good ideas.
Unfortunately, "my" child is a 13 year old boy who has been neglected and abused all his life, and has been our foster son for only four months. He scores at a 2nd-3rd grade level in reading, but our observations tell us he is capable. This child missed out on that necessary intervention in early childhood and, it is apparent, his school is not going to bring him up to speed. I have read many books in the last few months on the theory of teaching reading, and Ms. Calkins' is one of the best. I just wish there were more to be found on helping disadvantaged children who have been deprived of the joy of reading by circumstances beyond their control.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't put this book down! I have to re-read the chapters that are applicable to my 4-year-old child over and over again. The author captures exactly the kind of education I'd like for my child: one that encourages active, critical, and creative learning and not merely doing well in tests and getting good grades. This book has given me many practical ideas for instilling a love of learning in my child, as well as for finding a school that will be my partner in this endeavour.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was attracted to this book by the title and based on the previous recommendations I read on Amazon.
You have to give credit to somebody who draws from their experience to help others. What I really like about this book is that the author urges parents to become a proactive force in their child's education and provides various suggestions for doing just that. This is particularly true when the author addresses reading. As I researched about reading skills, it became apparent to me that many pre-reading skills (such as understanding symbols, sequencing, left-to-right, etc) should be developed 1 or 2 years before reading begins. One of the simplet ways (there are others that should be considered also) to encourage and strengthen these skills is to read aloud to kids. Don't wait until they are in kindergarten or preschool, do it now, as soon as birth and perhaps even during pregnancy. LMC articulates and underscores this point very well. Of course if you are considering this book you probably are already doing just that.
Why the three stars? First, I think LMC missed a big red flag when she invalidated her sons feelings at one point about going to school. She writes something to the effect that she told her son "its not normal" to not like school or something to that effect. Having read Roger Schank's radical "coloring outside the lines" in parallel with this book, I think its the most normal thing in the world for children to complain about being bored in school while adapting to it. How is it normal for a child to sit at a desk and not speak out of turn all the while being expected to absorb concepts that are new and thus foreign and perhaps even uninteresting to them?
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