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Raising a Left-Brain Child in a Right-Brain World: Strategies for Helping Bright, Quirky, Socially Awkward Children to Thrive at Home and at School Paperback – September 29, 2009
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“This book brims with sound, practical advice for nurturing children who don’t fit into the commonly accepted patterns of ‘normal development,’ yet possess remarkable gifts. A must-read for parents, educators, and mental health professionals.”—Michael Gurian, author of Nurture the Nature and The Wonder of Boys
"Beals shows parents how to campaign for left-brain friendly education reform, advocate for their socially awkward children, and nurture innate gifts of logic and linear thinking in a society that often favors personal interaction over academic genius."—Exceptional Parent
"The most accurate insights into the current trends of educational thinking that I have come across. It is a wake-up call for parents of both left- and right-brained children and should be required reading for all students-and teachers-in our schools of education."—Barry Garelick, Nonpartisan Education Review
“[Beals] articulates the most accurate insights into the current trends of educational thinking that I have come across. It is a wake-up call for parents of both left- and right-brained children and should be required reading.”—Nonpartisan Education Review
"Beals intelligently and sensitively raises all the right questions about how we need to accommodate square-peg kids and bring out the best in them.”—Wellsphere.com
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Katharine Beals has used the label "Left-Brained" in place of other more judgemental labels. She describes the left brained child as the sort of child to whom mathematics comes easy and group work does not. Her definition is quite encompassing but if I have any issues with the book, they're simply that the definition she uses isn't wide enough. In my opinion, the book is just as relevant to children with "left brained" characteristics but better English/History skills than mathematics. Similarly, much of the book is relevant to children who have aspergers but who also have learning difficulties which prevent them from becoming "math wizzes".
The book describes three types of "left-brained" children;
* The Unsocial Child
* The Analytic Child
* The Mildly Autistic Child (Aspergers, HFA, PDD-NOS)
There are similarities between all three types of children and you may find, as I did, that things relevant to your child appear in all three sections.
What makes this book fascinating is that instead of providing an overall view of the child like most similar books, it concentrates on the changing school environment and its effects on these children.
It helps that Katharine is both an educator and a mother because her discussions don't stop at the school, they also include socialisation with school children outside of school (playdates), homework and learning at home.Read more ›
In most classrooms, there are one or two kids who don't fit the mold: who don't interact easily, for whom group projects are torture, and who are unable to participate fully in the modern conversational classroom. Teachers need to understand that these kids *are normal*; they aren't broken or in need of fixing (or medicating,) and they are not developmentally delayed--their personalities are simply different from the other 85-90% of the world. What they need are understanding teachers, and schools that take the diversity of personalities into account, and who do not place unrealistic demands on such kids. In short they need schools that separate a child's academic progress from their social integration.
Most important is Beal's observation that the modern classroom brings the worst aspects of the playground--with the social pecking-order--into the classroom and ties academic grades to a child's place in the social hierarchy. When classroom learning is framed around conversations among the students, instead of a conversations with the teacher, the kids at the top of the social hierarchy will prevail.
For example, our son's fourth-grade class was being introduced to the properties of circles, and because we had done some tutoring at home, he was familiar with the idea of pi. When he mentioned it to the other kids at his table, the others mocked him, asking if there was also a number called "cake." The fact that he was factually correct made no difference--it was the social hierarchy that prevailed, not actual learning.
However, the book is not just a show-and-tell of the problem. It also deals with ways to deal with so-called left-brained kids and with their schools and teachers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
superb book as it explains an area
I have always been interested in...
moreover a very good read and filled with knowledge!
This book is only an attempt to glorify the analytical mind and adopts the very real woes of right-brainers, in or to victimize the left-brain child. Read morePublished on April 24, 2014 by T Crichton
Since I am an educator this helps me share some resources and ideas with parents of my students that might be helpful to them.Published on August 18, 2013 by Grace M. Dunning
When I purchased this book, I expected a focus on what would work for my child. Instead I got a book that explains how the myriad teaching methods may be failing my child. Read morePublished on March 8, 2012 by Amazon Customer
First, a disclaimer: Dr. Beals is a friend of mine.
While this book is pitched to parents of "left-brain children", it should be of interest to anyone who cares about... Read more