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The Educated Child: A Parents Guide From Preschool Through Eighth Grade Hardcover – November 10, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (November 10, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684833492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684833491
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

William J. Bennett, that doyen of common sense who brought us The Book of Virtues, has returned to the topic of child rearing, delivering a massive canon on the education of young children. He joins fellow veterans of the U.S. Department of Education Chester E. Finn Jr. and John T.E. Cribb Jr. in offering a traditional, back-to-basics resource for parents. The Educated Child is a tome to page through and return to as the years go by, with chapters divided by subjects and grade levels. One of the most helpful aspects of the guide is its outline of what to expect--or demand, in some cases--in the K-8 essentials. The writers list book titles, historic dates, science topics, and other issues that should be covered, borrowing heavily from E.D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge Series, the fact-specific book series that begins with What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know.

But Bennett et al.'s take on education goes further, with the authors weighing in on such controversial topics as sex education, TV, the Internet, self-esteem, and school uniforms with statements that largely reflect their conservative reputations. They also stick to the insistence that Western culture be emphasized in American classrooms. In some cases, however, the three don't always agree--acknowledging diverging views on year-round education, for instance. Some of what they cover is basic, instinctive stuff: we don't need another guide telling us to talk to our children about their school day. But there's valuable advice, too, such as how to save your child from a bad teacher and what questions to ask in a parent-teacher conference. For parents puzzled or overwhelmed by what the authors refer to as "the blob" of the education bureaucracy, The Educated Child can be a helpful insiders' view from those who once governed the biggest blob of all. --Jodi Mailander Farrell

From Publishers Weekly

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Bennett (The Book of Virtues) and his colleagues (Finn, author of We Must Take Charge; Cribb, formerly of the U.S. Department of Education) offer American parents an impassioned and straight-shooting reference for educating their children. In prose free of academic rhetoric, the authors state: "[I]f your school is inflicting a mediocre education on your child, the sooner you know about it the better." They then present a "yardstick" by which to judge the academic quality of any school (public or private). A model core curriculum organized by grade levelAprimary (K-3), intermediate (4-6), and junior high (7 and 8)Apresents the material clearly and logically, and helps readers assess whether a child is getting a thorough dose of English, history and geography, the arts, math and science. While blunt in their criticism of decaying academic standards (evident in grade inflation, lowered expectations for students and terrible international rankings), the authors are unequivocal in their support of dedicated educators and all those willing to hold children to the highest possible standard. Parents may question some of the model curriculum's expectations (e.g., that second graders dramatize the death of Socrates), but the authors are quick to reassure readers that the book's purpose is not to serve as a list of must-haves but rather as "inspiration and general guidance" in gaining a sense of "the knowledge and skills that should lie at the heart of a solid elementary education." Bennett is a controversial figure because of his passionate cultural conservatism. But this book, despite a brief word in favor of school vouchers, is about padagogy, not politics. It's an ambitious and commonsensical guide that will inspire both parents and educators. 100,000 first printing; 25-city radio satellite tour. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

William J. Bennett served as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush and as Secretary of Education and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Reagan. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Williams College, a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Texas, and a law degree from Harvard. He is the author of such bestselling books as The Educated Child, The Death of Outrage, The Book of Virtues, and the two-volume series America: The Last Best Hope. Dr. Bennett is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett's Morning in America. He is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute and a regular contributor to CNN. He, his wife, Elayne, and their two sons, John and Joseph, live in Maryland.


Customer Reviews

This is a wonderful book, a must read for parents with children of any school age.
Mark
The authors make the case for parent involvement by providing a clear picture of America's public school system.
Nancy B. Driscoll
Much of the book sets forth what children should learn in each subject area in each grade level.
David E. Levine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

234 of 239 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Tate on December 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a mother of three -- one in public school, one in private and one home-schooled -- I am deeply concerned about my children's education. I've lost count of the number of books I've read in the past 16 years on educating children. Some books were worth my time, many were not. Mr. Bennett's book is standing tall at the top of my list of "best reads". I'm sure we all have horror stories coming out of our kids' education (i.e., the huge amount of wasted time in the classroom, the lack of control in the class, the political correctness of revisionist history), but this book really can help. Mr. Bennett begins by explaining the importance of a solid education that engages a child's imagination by first making sure that child can read well. He builds on that by reminding parents that the main responsibility for educating our kids rests on our shoulders, not the school's. The book goes into detail about more than the Three R's, but covers those subjects extremely well, also. He reminds us that as parents it's up to us to speak up and go to bat for our kids throughout their education thus insuring they get the help they need. Throughout the book are checklists, questions to ask your child's teachers, book lists for you to insure that your child reads what is truly worthy of his time, and tips for incorporating the arts into your child's life. This book is like having a one-on-one conversation with a great educator who will give you the confidence you need to take control of your child's education. Help your child succeed by reading this book and then putting it into practice!
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145 of 153 people found the following review helpful By W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D. on December 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Bennett, Finn & Cribb provide for all parents what parents of special needs children have had for a long time - an individualized education plan, a guide for what their children need to learn and a yardstick to measure the school's performance. Since my children are in 3rd and 5th grade, I immediately went to those sections to see how we were doing in our tiny four school district, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that we do well here, but could do better. I found their treatment of issues such as learning disabilty, ADHD and giftedness to be even handed and practical. By using this text as a guide parents (and hopefully school boards and principals) will be less inclined to jump on the latest educational bandwagon, and will instead stay focused on what needs to be done. The chapter on "Temptation and Troubles", dealing with the influences of TV, internet and sexual education is excellent, and the advice here will certainly be distributed in my practice as a child Psychologist. This is a must buy book for any parent who cares about what their children learn during these critical years.
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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
From Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly Former U.S. Secretary of Education Bennett (The Book of Virtues) and his colleagues (Finn, author of We Must Take Charge; Cribb, formerly of the U.S. Department of Education) offer American parents an impassioned and straight-shooting reference for educating their children. In prose free of academic rhetoric, the authors state: "[I]f your school is inflicting a mediocre education on your child, the sooner you know about it the better." They then present a "yardstick" by which to judge the academic quality of any school (public or private). A model core curriculum organized by grade level--primary (K-3), intermediate (4-6), and junior high (7 and 8)--presents the material clearly and logically, and helps readers assess whether a child is getting a thorough dose of English, history and geography, the arts, math and science. While blunt in their criticism of decaying academic standards (evident in grade inflation, lowered expectations for students and terrible international rankings), the authors are unequivocal in their support of dedicated educators and all those willing to hold children to the highest possible standard. Parents may question some of the model curriculum's expectations (e.g., that second graders dramatize the death of Socrates), but the authors are quick to reassure readers that the book's purpose is not to serve as a list of must-haves but rather as "inspiration and general guidance" in gaining a sense of "the knowledge and skills that should lie at the heart of a solid elementary education." Bennett is a controversial figure because of his passionate cultural conservatism. But this book, despite a brief word in favor of school vouchers, is about padagogy, not politics.Read more ›
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96 of 104 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Hope, an advocate for a better education, October 25, 1999, Bravo, Bill! Bill Bennett has done it again. This time in a BIG way. This book, in my opinion, is the last word on a good elementary education. It is the most concise, clear book I have read in 13 years of parenting and supplementing my kids education. With ideas taken from E. D. Hirsch core knowledge series, it is not only VERY well presented for the parent reader,but should be required reading for all teaching candidates of elementary ed. With children is grades 7, 3, and kindergarten, I am sure I will be referring to this book for many years to come! ( The reading lists are some of the best I've seen!)
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