Rewarding reading for educators and parents. – Douglas Hazelrigg

Rewarding reading for educators and parents. – Douglas Hazelrigg

Rewarding reading for educators and parents. Mr. Ackerly brings to the page many years of experience yet with a refreshing perspective on children and their pathways to becoming engaged, contributing adults.

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The Genius in Children - Review by Douglas Hazelrigg
Mr. Ackerly brings to the page many years of experience yet with a refreshing perspective on children and their pathways to becoming engaged, contributing adults. — Review by Douglas Hazelrigg

 

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Every Teacher Should Read This Book – Edward Purcell Jr.

Every Teacher Should Read This Book – Edward Purcell Jr.

What a great book! Clear stories in “plain talk”, with no educational jargon. Showing us how to find the child’s innate desire to learn and how to play the position of teacher or parent carefully. After a full day at school, should a child have to endure more “teaching” at home? Certainly not, but in this world of standards and mega-testing, too many parents are doing just that. Rick makes us aware of the dangers that arise when parents transfer their anxieties about “success” onto the child. I’ve been involved with the education of children and adults for over fifty years. How I wish that I had this book available when I started! There are so many good examples about the interaction of teachers (and administrators) with children and their parents, demonstrating the importance of maintaining this linkage. This book is so good, that I’ve just ordered ten more copies to distribute to our local teachers, principals, parents and librarians. (That won’t be enough – I’d better order ten more!). – Edward Purcell Jr.

Genius in Children Review by Edward Purcell Jr.

5 out of 5 stars. Every Teacher Should Read This Book, August 5, 2013
By Edward Purcell Jr.
This review is from: Genius in Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity, And Creativity In Children (Paperback)
What a great book! Clear stories in “plain talk”, with no educational jargon. Showing us how to find the child’s innate desire to learn and how to play the position of teacher or parent carefully. After a full day at school, should a child have to endure more “teaching” at home? Certainly not, but in this world of standards and mega-testing, too many parents are doing just that. Rick makes us aware of the dangers that arise when parents transfer their anxieties about “success” onto the child. I’ve been involved with the education of children and adults for over fifty years. How I wish that I had this book available when I started! There are so many good examples about the interaction of teachers (and administrators) with children and their parents, demonstrating the importance of maintaining this linkage. This book is so good, that I’ve just ordered ten more copies to distribute to our local teachers, principals, parents and librarians. (That won’t be enough – I’d better order ten more!)
Ed Purcell 8/5/13

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Powerful and True. – Nathaniel’s Kin

Powerful and True. – Nathaniel’s Kin

This is a book that any teacher of anything anywhere can use to create an experience of joyous learning.  All of us remember being passionate about a subject or an idea, remember the excitement of exploring it and other ideas linked to it, the satisfaction and sense of self-worth that came from knowing, really knowing, about something that fascinated us.- Nathaniel’s Kin

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5 out of 5 stars. Powerful and True. Ackerly really knows kids and learning!, June 23, 2013
By Nathaniel’s Kin
This review is from: The Genius in Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity, and Creativity in Children (Kindle Edition)
As a clinical social worker who has taught Family Therapy at Duke for 35 years as well as a practicing child and family therapist, I believe you can trust my five star review: “Rick knows what he’s talking about.”
“Educate” come from the Latin “educere: to draw out of”. Too much of education has been and is cramming facts into children and then being angry that they don’t seem to want to file them away for retrieval on the end-of-year test.
We are blessed with thousands of loving, caring, hard-working teachers in this country, but we force them to work in systems that often crush them. They are underpaid and overworked, taking work home every night. No wonder many of them burn out and leave or stay but with their teacher soul flickering somewhat, even guttering.
This is a book that any teacher of anything anywhere can use to create an experience of joyous learning. All of us remember being passionate about a subject or an idea, remember the excitement of exploring it and other ideas linked to it, the satisfaction and sense of self-worth that came from knowing, really knowing, about something that fascinated us.
It doesn’t matter what that particular seminal idea or subject was, or if we even continued with it. What matters is that once we tasted the joys of thinking and learning, we had them for the rest of our lives. And we all remember the teacher who believed we could and so encouraged us to sit down and satisfy our hunger to learn about whatever it was.
Rick has been that teacher for so many students and parents and teachers. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his work and for his book.

 

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A huge leg-up for any parent. -Jinson

A huge leg-up for any parent. -Jinson

The author concludes that if the parent takes on this challenge as a person who is also learning, open and flexible, then the child has a true companion in their formative years. That genius will blossom, and by genius the author means only that pursuit the child is best at doing and what makes that child confident and happy. In fact, the parent is also learning just who they are as a parent…. In all, a breath of fresh air for any parent and a much needed ‘leg-up’ in the huge task of parenting today. -Jinson

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The Genius in Children - Review by Jinson
The Genius in Children –
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One that every human being should read. -Amy Tai

One that every human being should read. -Amy Tai

This is a beautiful book and one that every human being should read. How different the world would be if all of our teachers and parents had believed (or just assumed, as Rick Ackerly wisely says we need to do) in that genius in each of us; allowed us to stay in the struggle to become our full selves; acted outside of fear, and just been with us through it all, no matter how “ugly” or “bad” we may have looked or seemed to the world.

Dear Rick,
I can’t begin to tell you how useful, brilliant, wise and wonderful I found your book, The Genius in Children.

There are so many ideas, statements, observations and recommendations that you make that resonate with my thinking, questions, and deeply held beliefs. It is a beautiful book and one that every human being should read. How different the world would be if all of our teachers and parents had believed (or just assumed, as you wisely say we need to do) in that genius in each of us; allowed us to stay in the struggle to become our full selves; acted outside of fear, and just been with us through it all, no matter how “ugly” or “bad” we may have looked or seemed to the world.

I love the way that you look so carefully at important words like discipline and character, and make the distinctions between virtues that are disciplines and virtues that are aspirations…there are countless gems in your book that made me stop and think, and say, aha! Or moments where I had to put the book down to just think and process, make connections in my own mind. I read once somewhere that a truly great book is not one that you can’t put down, but one that you must put down so that you can think about everything it is saying. Yours is such a book.

Another thing that I LOVED was your observation about the way children do not have to be carefully taught the prejudices of their parents, society etc. Our job is to help liberate them. Again, the liberation process is much more simple than many believe. It is about listening to them. Listening to them when they are angry, listen to them when they are hurting, when they are frustrated, when they are heartbroken. Not just their words, but even more importantly their tears, their laughter, their deepest fears. Children are inherently compassionate and want to be connected.
You are a brilliant and wise parent/educator. How lucky all those students, parents, and teachers who get/got to be inside your air traffic controlling screen are!

Thank you so much for writing your book.

With deep respect and appreciation,
Amy Tai

 

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Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD

Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD

I just wrote a review of “The Genius in Every Child” on my blog devoted to how families, schools, and communities help kids thrive. One of the commenters said, “I love the word genius because it comes from an old word that meant ‘guardian or guiding spirit’ indicating that we all come into the world with our own genius to guide us.” – Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD

Read more of her review from her blog, Roots of Action.

So You Think Your Child’s A Genius?

55 Best Back-to-School Articles for Parents

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A Must Read for Parents and Educators – Carla Silver

A Must Read for Parents and Educators – Carla Silver

Don’t let the word “genius” in the title mislead you.  Ackerly’s book is not about children with “extraordinary intellectual power” – the definition you might find in the dictionary. He does not suggest that all children are geniuses.  Instead, Rick returns to a lesser used definition of genius: “the tutelary spirit of a person, place or institution.”

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Genius in Children Reveiw by Carla Silver
5 out of 5 stars. A Must Read for Parents and Educators, December 6, 2012
By Carla Silver
This review is from: The Genius in Children: Bringing out the best in your child (Paperback)
Don’t let the word “genius” in the title mislead you. Rick Ackerly’s book, The Genius in Children, is not about children with “extraordinary intellectual power” – the definition you might find in the dictionary. He does not suggest that all children are geniuses. Instead, Rick returns to a lesser used definition of genius: “the tutelary spirit of a person, place or institution.” He makes the case that each child has a genius, a spirit, spark, or as Rick call it, “a unique me that is becoming.” By nurturing that genius, we can help children to “maximize their potential academically, socially, physically, and personally.”
Reading Ackerly’s book resembles a conversation with the author himself. The Genius in Children is full of engaging personal stories from Ackerly’s forty-plus years as a teacher, principal, and parent of young children and young adults. Each of these stories illuminates the underlying values of the book which include personal responsibility and accountability, self-discipline, perseverance, and resilience. His primary message is that parents and teachers who display these characteristics and provide children with an environment that offers space for self-discovery will end up with adult children who are also responsible, disciplined, resilient, self-reliant, and who know their own genius.
Rick Ackerly is in the same camp as Wendy Mogul, author of Blessings of a Skinned Knee, and “Free Range Kids” blogger Lenore Skenazy in his belief that children need to be allowed to take risks, make mistakes, chart their own paths, and self-advocate without the constant intervention of well-meaning but meddlesome adults. In addition, he provides clarity on how parents and teachers can divide and conquer rather than duplicate the roles they play in kids lives. Parents should be parents. Teacher should be teachers. Children should be children with their own authority. Rick adamantly tells the adults to “play position.”
The Genius in Children deserves to be on schools’ recommended reading lists for parents and teachers not because Ackerly shares groundbreaking new insights on children, but because his book is filled with common sense, experience and a deep understanding of the relationships between adults and children. In a world of increasingly anxious, hovering parents, this book reminds readers to back off, give children some space and authority to make their own decisions, to fail, make mistakes, to succeed on their own, and discover their genius.
What about the members of the administrative team? Yes, this is a read for them as well. This book is as much about leadership as anything else. Knowing when to act, when to speak, or when to do nothing at all – these are essential skills for all leaders. Having the self-discipline and insight to know when to take action or when to not engage – these are challenges for parents, teachers or leaders of any sort. But skilled leaders balance this tension.
This week at a birthday party, all of the messages of Ackerly’s book played out before my very eyes. I watched as my son’s school classmate clocked my child, hard, in the head. I didn’t see what had transpired before the punch, but my son is no angel, so I assumed there had been some provocation. My son came charging towards me crying. The parent of the other child rushed towards us, dragging his son behind him. “Apologize!” he demanded. There was a part of me that wanted to hear the child apologize, but another part of me that wanted to see what would happen if I “played position” and let the kids work it out – gave them the authority to decide what happened next. I poured them each a cup of lemonade and said, “It seems like you two have been making some bad choices with your bodies. Can you work it out?” They each whimpered, took the lemonade and nodded reluctantly. By the time the lemonade had reached their lips, they were back to playing as if nothing had happened. It might not have been the resolution that most parents would have liked to see, one that included “talking it out” or exchanging apologies or “learning lessons,” but it was the resolution that made sense to them. They were over the argument without needing to exchange messages, hug, accept blame or follow the decorum that adults might impose on them. It was one of many “Rick Ackerly” moments I hope to have as a parent and educator.
Carla Silver, Executive Director, The Santa Fe Leadership Center

 

 

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A great gift for new/young parents. – Review by Sally Morris

A great gift for new/young parents. – Review by Sally Morris

Review by Sally Morris : What better gift for new parents? None…….

Thanks to Rick Ackerly for such a great resource for those who are looking for support and inspiration. Wish it had been available 30 years ago when I was going through this special and sometimes confusing time in parenting.

The Genius in Children - Review - Sally Morris

A great gift for new/young parents, December 6, 2012
By  Sally Morris
This review is from: Genius in Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity, And Creativity In Children (Paperback)
What better gift for new parents? None…….
Thanks to Rick Ackerly for such a great resource for those who are looking for support and inspiration. Wish it had been available 30 years ago when I was going through this special and sometimes confusing time in parenting.

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