Book review: 151 WAYS To Help Your Child Have a Great day at School

Review by ANITA MATTHEWS

Published in Parenthots, The Star on July 26, 2010 as Handy tips for parents with schoolgoing kids

151 WAYS
To Help Your Child Have a Great day at School/ To Start the School Year off Right
By Robin McClure
Publisher: Sourcebooks
151 ways

Mother Robin McClure struck a chord when she came up with the 151 Ways series of books. Two landed on my desk – 151 Ways to Start the School Year off Right and 151 Ways to Help Your Child Have a Great day at School.

The wallet-sized books are packed with suggestions and ideas on what parents can do to prepare children for the school year and to send the children off to school with a happy and positive mindset. Both books may be a decade old but the ideas contained in them are very much current. The ideas are tried, tested and true from teachers and educators who have spent plenty of time with children of varying personalities.

151 ways

Any parent, employee or employer can relate to dealing with a myriad of personalities on a daily basis – it takes sheer skill to keep everything running like clockwork. But all that people management does get to even the saintliest of parents and it is a matter of time before we run of out ideas, hit a brick wall or are simply exhausted.

The ideas in these books are not in any specific order and one can simply thumb through the books at random; which was what I did.

A mother to two boys and a girl, McClure’s daily plate is stacked and she has to figure out how to keep the children mostly happy even on a bad hair day and ensure they have a good day or school term ahead of them.

The 151 ways listed in each book are largely practical tips on morning hygiene, healthy breakfast habits, getting the school bag sorted, books ready or activities listed out for the day, month or year. It also includes useful ways to keep youngsters occupied in the kitchen, garden, playground or on the computer. Other noteworthy tips such as noting down important phone numbers and not sharing personal information with strangers are vital knowledge we can equip our youngsters with as they start the school year.

Read more

Book review: How your child learns best by Judy Willis

By Anita Matthews
Published in  ParenThots, The Star, March 8, 2010

HOW YOUR CHILD LEARNS BEST
By Judy Willis, MD, MEd
Publisher: Sourcebooks

Parents and teachers who struggle to motivate and inspire their children to learn will certainly benefit from Dr Judy Willis’ book that offers “brain-friendly strategies to ignite the learning process”.

Her combined qualifications as a neurologist and school teacher, who had the opportunity to experiment brain-friendly techniques on her own children, further underscores the value of the strategies shared in this book.

Having read brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor’s book My Stroke of Insight that documented her full recovery after suffering a massive stroke, Willis’ book had a ready reviewer at hand. Taylor had written extensively of the plasticity and capacity of a brain to relearn the old or learn new things. Imagine what a parent can do with a regular kid by adopting Willis’ methods.
Read more

Book review: We need to talk by Richard Heyman

By Anita Matthews
Published in ParenThots, The Star, Feb 8, 2010

WE NEED TO TALK - TOUGH CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR KIDS
By Richard Heyman
Publisher: Adams Media

Communications professor Richard Heyman’s book is a refreshing change from the standard staple available on store shelves. Instead of focusing on why parents need to communicate with their offspring, Heyman details the “hows”.

That nailed it for me. As a parent I have often found it difficult to say the right thing to my children and more often than not, I come off sounding as if I am taking sides. Needless to say, most times, the right words come to me only in retrospect. Perhaps I should write down past experiences for future reference. That is exactly what Heyman delivers in the 200-odd pages of this very useful book.

He starts off by sharing his and his wife’s experience of teaching their son the value of responsibility. The latter was 18 and of legal age but was jobless and not interested in college. According to Heyman, his son had always rejected parental authority and they knew they were unable to manage him. The best solution was for him to move out and take charge of his own life.

Read more

Tags