Every so often I find a book of non-fiction that speaks to me so loudly, I carry it around in my purse, to reread, to cite from, and to recommend to others. The Lost Art of R
eading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time by David Ulin was one such book. Recently, I was delighted to discover that next week, David Ulin will be at Waverly’s Literacy Night, along with a panel of two other speakers.
My current non-fiction choice is a book by Madeline Levine titled Teach Your Children Well – Parenting for Authentic Success. This is the only book I have requested be carried at our Book Fair this year, and if I could give a copy to every parent at Waverly, I would. Throughout the early chapters of the book, Madeline Levine advocates for the kind of education and experience provided at Waverly. Encouraging parents to resist pervasive worrying about early education, she says, “No child is better off in front of a computer or practicing the times tables. Childhood is precious. It is not preparation for high school, college, or a profession but a brief and replaceable period of time when children are entitled to the privilege of being children.’’ With chapters dedicated to the “tasks” of each the elementary, middle and high school years, Levine gives reasonable, experience and research-based advice. For parents of elementary age students she says, “mastering content is the easier part of learning. What we really need to attend to with elementary age children is keeping their interest alive and helping them figure out multiple approaches to thinking about content.” For parents of middle school students, Levine describes how the middle school brain is changing in ways that cause young adolescents to be susceptible to risks, novelty, and stimulation, explaining that, “at this point the brain is kind of like a Ferrari being driven by a twelve year old.”
There is so much more I could say, but hopefully you will consider picking up copies of these – and many more – books at our Book Fair, Tuesday 10/35 – Thursday, 10/25 in the community room at the elementary school.
Literacy Night will be held at the Elementary School on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:00.
— Jen Dakan
Bibliophile and Director of Admissions