Considering Education | Social Sciences Reviews

Bauer, Susan Wise. Rethinking School: How To Take Charge of Your Child’s Education. Norton. Jan. 2018. 256p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780393285963. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393285970. ED

Bauer, coauthor of The Well-Trained Mind and an advocate for a classical education through homeschooling, offers a detailed look at how modern schooling can be a mismatch for student’s needs. For those with a disability, a developmental delay, or giftedness, the structure of age-based classes focused on a single way of understanding and behaving may not work. Bauer breaks down ways in which the system is failing these students and offers advice on how to work around the system to find better options for students. While Bauer does advocate for ways to help the system accommodate individuals, including having frank discussions with principals and teachers, she also advocates for getting out of the system entirely. This bias toward homeschooling influences everything Bauer presents, however, even with this partiality, the balance of firsthand stories of school failure combined with the author’s own experiences and practical tips make this book very straightforward and informative. VERDICT For parents seeking support and advice for ways to address their discontent with their children’s schooling. —Rachel Wadham, Brigham Young Univ. Libs., Provo, UT

Robinson, Sir Ken & Lou Aronica. You, Your Child, and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best Education. Viking. Mar. 2018. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9780670016723. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780698142855. ED

Robinson, a highly respected author and lecturer who has tackled many elements of education reform, now directs his attention to parents and other caregivers. It is clear that adults play significant roles in how their children are educated, and Robinson uses this work, coauthored with Aronica, to encourage adults to be active and critical participants. Throughout, Robinson offers sound advice on what counts as a good education and provides practical ways to help make sure any child gets one. The focus on understanding who each child is as an individual and helping them to find their own spark of genius is an empowering stance for parents to embrace. Discussions include outlines of adult expectations and children’s needs given in a conversational, approachable tone. While Robinson’s biases toward creative schools and whole-child programs are evident, he offers an honest view of all the options available, giving adults the tools and insights they need to find schooling that is the best fit for each individual child. VERDICT For adults who are looking for ways to use schooling to help their children achieve happy, constructive lives.—Rachel Wadham, Brigham Young Univ. Libs., Provo, UT

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