Our Kids Back on Track : Educating Children for the Future by
A highly readable and practical guide to achieving that
delicate balance of academic excellence and high self-esteem, Getting
Our Kids Back on Track is a realistic look at today's families and
their frustrations in trying to "do it all." Full of stories
from all kinds of families, examples abound of different parenting
styles, teaching methods, and children's personalities. None of these is
presented as being "right" or "wrong"--but the
author doesn't hesitate to offer suggestions. From homework battles to
overbooked sports activities, everyday occurrences are examined and
questioned: is it necessary, for example, to spend four hours each day
shuttling kids to sports practice, or is there a better way of spending
that time? Topics are relevant from kindergarten through the teens, and
tend to focus on clear communication and regular examination of
priorities to help families stay on track. For quick reference, author
Janine Bempechat includes an appendix of questions that relate to each
chapter--questions to ask both yourself and your children's teachers.
While Back on Track is an excellent starting place for longer
dialogues, there are no quick answers to questions like "How much
importance am I placing on my children's education relative to other
activities in their lives?" and "What do you think are my
children's strengths, and how do you think I can encourage their
development in those areas?" Still, the stories are warm and
humorous, and the book as a whole is encouraging. --Jill Lightner
"My children spend five hours in school every
day. They work very hard while they are there, and believe me, it's
stressful. The last thing they need is homework. They need to come home
and relax. They have a life outside of school."-Mother of Fourth
Compared to children from other industrialized
countries, our nation's children are scholastic underachievers. But in
our quest to keep our children "well-rounded" we leave little
time for homework and other activities considered by many to be an
important part of their education. It's obvious, our notions about
promoting a child's positive self-esteem seem to contradict what is
needed to achieve academic excellence. Is it too late to get our kids
back on track? Not according to Janine Bempechat, an acclaimed
educational researcher from Harvard and the parent of two school-aged
children. Bempechat offers parents and teachers a practical guide to
encourage and support children's academic success and, by doing so,
bolster their self-worth. Getting Our Kids Back on Track reveals that
those parents who advocate for reduced homework loads, stress-free
schoolwork, and an increase in extracurricular activities are actually
doing children a great disservice. Using illustrative real-life examples
from her years of research, Bempechat shows how to set priorities and
help children develop traits of persistence, diligence, and the ability
to delay gratification. This important book offers a new vision that can
inspire parents to create a structured, predictable, and consistent home
environment that will help children reach their full intellectual
About the Author
Janine Bempechat is assistant professor of education in the Harvard
Graduate School of Education. The author of Against the Odds, Bempechat
lectures and conducts workshops on the topic of motivation and
achievement in children and is a frequent guest on National Public
here for more about this book
here for more Philosophy books for Children
here for more Philosophy Books
By Per Jespersen.
Per Jespersen has been working with the issue of Philosophy for
Children for 15 years. He believes that since "philosophy is the background of all sciences and all human
thinking... philosophy is (or should be) an important part of childhood."
As Jespersen says, " children are prephilosophical. This is the reason why it is so crucial to discuss philosophical issues with children in order to help them develop spiritually as a preposition for developing mentally and socially. Philosophy should not be a scheduled subject, but be part of education - the red thread going through all education from kindergarten to university. Therefore: go philosophize with your children."
The VisioNaivity site includes original philosophical stories for
children by Jespersen:
Philosophy for Children Essays by Jespersen:
Educate the Children is dedicated exclusively to primary education. Covering the whole of the National Curriculum and using the latest teaching and learning
strategies, Educate the Children is designed to meet the needs of today's child.
Target audiences are Primary Teachers, Parents and Pupils
(5-11 years old).
All resources are free and all materials adhere to the curriculum guidelines set down by the UK
government (QCA Schemes of Work and National Curriculum 2000). However, most
materials are suitable for any other countries educational system.
The site is split up into zones, the Teacher Zone, Parent Zone, Learning Zone and Info Zone. Currently the Teacher
Zone is the biggest zone with over 1000 lesson plans and worksheets, the parent zone is currently in
development but still contains a wide range of articles and activities for
parents (well activities for their children!). The Learning and Info zones
are still in development.
The primary focus of Kids and Nature Videos is to produce
entertaining and educational videos that are suitable for all ages. These videos feature beautifully composed scenes of the natural world
and animals, accompanied by original musical scores and natural sound effects.
From Manitoulin Images.
By Dr. Norman Labush
Dr. Labush teaches second grade and college math.
This site is dedicated to teachers, parents, and students.
New Moon Publishing produces media for every girl who
wants her voice heard and her dreams taken seriously and for every adult
who cares about girls.
Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a program that
involves school children in whole class discussion on philosophical issues. It aims to
improve children's thinking through introducing them to, and enabling them to investigate,
many of the 'big questions'. Using the program, teachers encourage children to think more
deeply about the ideas behind their schoolwork in a classroom community of inquiry.
Children will then focus reflectively on their own thinking and the skills they use, thus
improving them, in the meantime exploring and enhancing their own ideas and those of
others in response to philosophical and other puzzles. The joint exploration of ideas
leads to more cohesive shared knowledge within the group.
Australasian Philosophy for Children Associations (FAPCA) is the umbrella organisation
for Philosophy for Children in Australia and New Zealand. It draws together associations
and or networks in the Australian states and New Zealand, in order to promote the use of
Philosophy for Children. Among the activities FAPCA runs are annual conferences.
This is a very informational site, designed by teens, which
teaches and interacts with a user about the geographical, cultural, and historical aspects of all seven wonders. Some features of
this site are: sending wonders postcards to friends and family, Games, Quizzes, a wonderful picture book,
informative maps, and travel info.
In association with FAPCA.
Association of Philosophy for Children (TAPC) is an organisation whose aims are:
|to develop and promote philosophy
|to inspire and encourage individuals to practise and acquire independent skills in
reasoning, and in thinking reflectively, critically, and creatively;|
|to provide individuals with intellectual motivation and self-esteem;|
|to form individuals of sound judgment who are effective thinkers, speakers and
Thinking is a highly respected academic
periodical, published quarterly by the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for
Children. Since 1979, Thinking has been prime reading material for those
professionals in education wanting to know more about the latest developments around the
world in the theory of Philosophy for Children and its experimental foundations.
This page is the home for Philosophy for Children
on the WWW.
This site is also in Finnish.
The Philosophy for Children program is an
internationally recognized and internationally utilized program for developing the entire
range of reasoning skills in young people from grade level K through 12. Its central aim
is to help young people become more thoughtful and more reasonable persons. There are
currently seven components to the program: three early elementary grades ( Getting Out
Thoughts Together--- reasoning about experience Wondering at the World -- reasoning in
nature and Looking for Meaning -- reasoning about language); two for middle school and
junior high (Philosophical Inquiry -- basic reasoning skills and Ethical Inquiry --
reasoning in ethics); and two for secondary school (Writing How and Why -- reasoning in
language arts, and Social Inquiry -- reasoning is social studies). Other components of the
program are being developed.
Philosophy for Children|
approach to developing reasoning skills|
Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in
Education. SAPERE is an educational charity - no. 1037019 -
based in the United Kingdom. It was set up in 1992 following interest aroused by the BBC
television documentary Socrates for six year olds. This hour-long film focused on
the work of Professor Matthew Lipman and his associates in New Jersey who, over the past
25 years, have developed a curriculum for 5 to 16 year olds known as Philosophy for
Children. SAPERE seeks to build on Lipman's work and promote his and other approaches
to developing better reasoning, more reflective consideration of values and the
development of communities of enquiry at all levels of education and in a wide variety of
Richard Ames Hart
Protect your inner child: Daily Web Site helps you
select an appropriate response to bullying on the playground, in the
workplace, or in school.