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The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5: How to Support Your Child's Education, End Homework Meltdowns, and Build Parent-Teacher Connections

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Finally, a book that demystifies our daunting education system by giving parents the insights and strategies they need to build positive relationships with teachers and connect to their children’s learning in productive ways.   Involved Parents = Better Students How do you ensure your child gets the best education possible when U.S. schools have become overburdened, test-dr Finally, a book that demystifies our daunting education system by giving parents the insights and strategies they need to build positive relationships with teachers and connect to their children’s learning in productive ways.   Involved Parents = Better Students How do you ensure your child gets the best education possible when U.S. schools have become overburdened, test-driven institutions that rank only average worldwide? Decades of research confirm that when parents engage with their children’s learning, kids do better in school—and life. This straight-talking guide helps you: • understand the critical role you play in your child’s education, • connect with educators in respectful ways, • encourage a love of reading in your kids, • minimize homework meltdowns and disorganization, • support students who struggle academically, • help children navigate social situations and bullying, and • fuel your child’s mind and body for learning. Parent involvement looks different for every family and every child. Packed with real stories and tested strategies, The Parent Backpack demystifies our complex education system and gives you the insights you need to help your kids thrive.


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Finally, a book that demystifies our daunting education system by giving parents the insights and strategies they need to build positive relationships with teachers and connect to their children’s learning in productive ways.   Involved Parents = Better Students How do you ensure your child gets the best education possible when U.S. schools have become overburdened, test-dr Finally, a book that demystifies our daunting education system by giving parents the insights and strategies they need to build positive relationships with teachers and connect to their children’s learning in productive ways.   Involved Parents = Better Students How do you ensure your child gets the best education possible when U.S. schools have become overburdened, test-driven institutions that rank only average worldwide? Decades of research confirm that when parents engage with their children’s learning, kids do better in school—and life. This straight-talking guide helps you: • understand the critical role you play in your child’s education, • connect with educators in respectful ways, • encourage a love of reading in your kids, • minimize homework meltdowns and disorganization, • support students who struggle academically, • help children navigate social situations and bullying, and • fuel your child’s mind and body for learning. Parent involvement looks different for every family and every child. Packed with real stories and tested strategies, The Parent Backpack demystifies our complex education system and gives you the insights you need to help your kids thrive.

30 review for The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5: How to Support Your Child's Education, End Homework Meltdowns, and Build Parent-Teacher Connections

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Hughes

    I really was expecting more, but I recognize that while there aren't any surprises and each topic is not really in that much detail, it is a great resource and overview for how to handle different areas of your child's education. The title and the book is geared through fifth grade, but really the information is good through middle school. I think it's a great first book for a parent looking to support their children through the public school system and will definitely give parents an idea of wh I really was expecting more, but I recognize that while there aren't any surprises and each topic is not really in that much detail, it is a great resource and overview for how to handle different areas of your child's education. The title and the book is geared through fifth grade, but really the information is good through middle school. I think it's a great first book for a parent looking to support their children through the public school system and will definitely give parents an idea of where to begin further research if they need more info on a particular topic. There are a few issues that I had with the book. One is that it was way too optimistic about a teacher and staff's willingness to help you, but regardless of that, it certainly has the best method of dealing with them. Another issue I have is that it doesn't really tell you how to deal with the reluctant teachers of kids with disabilities and the inevitable help you will need or direct you to sources of such (http://www.wrightslaw.com/). A third issue that I have is that it assumes that you are going to always make the best decisions for your child using these methods and therefore need no guidance on how to correct problems or even how to recognize them when they arise. The last thing that slightly irritated me is that the government changes are all assumed to be fantastic improvements and that the only issue with them are the parents and teachers that have a hard time adjusting to change. Overall, I would recommend the book though, especially for parents that are new to the system or whose children have just begun to have issues at school. It is filled with good advice, while most of which is common sense, is very useful and important to parents and because of the parent's emotional investment in their children might be having a hard time seeing on their own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Thomasin Propson

    I wasn't part of the public school system and find myself deeply distrustful of (and perhaps hostile to) the entire idea. The value I found in this book was not a "Hurrah, now school is going to be awesome!" way, but instead learning more about what is considered "good" parent/teacher relations. I agree with Ms. Nichols' valuation of effective written communication (she provides ineffective emails/letters as contrast), but anyone familiar with business writing will already know those basics (not I wasn't part of the public school system and find myself deeply distrustful of (and perhaps hostile to) the entire idea. The value I found in this book was not a "Hurrah, now school is going to be awesome!" way, but instead learning more about what is considered "good" parent/teacher relations. I agree with Ms. Nichols' valuation of effective written communication (she provides ineffective emails/letters as contrast), but anyone familiar with business writing will already know those basics (nothing new). According to The Parent Backpack, we should all accept that our children will have 15 mins of homework an evening for every grade level (next to none for Kindergartners, 15 mins for a 1st grader, 30 mins for a 2nd grader, etc.); if it takes them less time, we should be concerned that our kids aren't being challenged. That seems like FAR too much homework to me. I don't believe in homework at all, though. I am anti homework and am not comforted by knowing what to expect as the years progress, but instead feel angry at the very thought that my girls may never know the joy of a three hour "school" day as I enjoyed in my own child-led/unschooling history. I am not sure how to reconcile the fact that they will be in a public school and I hope they learn all they can and love learning with the fact that I dislike nearly everything about public schools and the manner in which they will be taught and fully expect them to hate it too. I am fearful of the system, and while The Parent Backpack has some encouraging thoughts on how to connect with teachers and work in an imperfect classroom, I remain dubious about this entire situation.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    (probably, 3.5) As a child of a teacher, I found a lot of this to be common sense. Still good reminders and it was interesting to learn a bit about how the standards have changed since i was in grade school. I did really like the take aways at the end of each chapter, since this made it helpful for skimming.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Solid advice for interacting with schools and supporting kids in their academic journey through elementary school. The content is well organized so it's easy to skip over familiar content. The section on supporting your child's learning at home was focused on nurturing skills valuable in academic, personal and professional settings.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marc Geraldez

    Lots of good advice to try and incorporate. Definitely bookmarked and highlighted a lot of passages here for future reference.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ross

    Decent overview of K-5 grades and what to expect (since, yes, so much has changed since we parents were in school...). Bottom line - be a good parent and care about your kids. If you're reading this book, you're at least interested in being a good parent for your kids, so props! Good for some pointers, what to expect and how to begin to handle various situations like bullying and technology.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I won this books on Good Reads. I so far have just briefly skimmed through it. As an educator, I definitely think it will be helpful for parents that need to add consistency and stability to their family life. I'll write a more concise review when I'm finished reading it! I'm sorry school started and then I was ill. I think this book makes the important point that education isn't just about sending your child to school but as parents you have responsibilities also. Find ways of bonding over home I won this books on Good Reads. I so far have just briefly skimmed through it. As an educator, I definitely think it will be helpful for parents that need to add consistency and stability to their family life. I'll write a more concise review when I'm finished reading it! I'm sorry school started and then I was ill. I think this book makes the important point that education isn't just about sending your child to school but as parents you have responsibilities also. Find ways of bonding over homework instead of making it punishment. Parents need to be involved in their child's education especially at this time when they are forming a foundation.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    While there were no major surprises, this book does a good job describing good practices for a parent with elementary age kids. It was very timely for me as my oldest just started kindergarten. The information covered was also very up to date especially where it discussed recent changes in teacher evaluations.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    Really modern and helpful resources for parents of elementary age students! Wish I'd had this when my son started kindergarten but am grateful to have found it before my daughter began her journey through elementary school. Highly recommend for any parent trying to think about the type of school and activities for children entering or in K-5.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Troncin

    I entered in a goodreads giveaway contest and did not win a copy of this book. I was (and still am) interested in this book as my son just started kindergarten. I am studying to be a secondary education teacher - but there's a big difference between a high school student and an elementary school student (despite what some research implies).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Finally, a parenting book stressing the school journey is a partnership with child, parent, teacher, school. When school shopping, parents should put this book on the must read list. Clear, concise, info bubbles and written to be understood and thought about. Highly recommend this work. Excellent job!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kit

    The Parent Backpack is a nice template if it is your first rodeo with your child and formal school system, but if you're looking into real insight on how and why a school (administrators, district, teachers) makes the decisions it does I don't think you're going to find it here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda Gordon

    This is a great book by one of my fellow Mom Congress Delegates. Every parent should have a copy of the Parent Backpack before their child begins school. This book is chocked full of valuable information.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura Kay Bolin

    Filled with Common Core propaganda.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cami

    I didn't feel like I learned anything from this book, though I agreed with her approach.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amberwood0202

    Very helpful- a great insight into where educations is today and what is expected of our kids and parents.

  17. 4 out of 5

    David

    A lot of this book is common sense, but I thought some of the final chapters on facilitating quality study habits, attitudes and responsibility useful.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Schlicher

    Very informative for parents of elementary students.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I found this book helpful as my son starts First Grade this year.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Excellent reference for anyone with school aged children, this will be on the shelf and I am sure used many times over the next few years.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Good read about guiding your child through the elementary school years. It gave the basics for learning, interacting with teachers and how to build a solid foundation for your child's school years.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joann

    A useful "common sense" approach to guiding your family through the elementary years. I thought the info about learning styles, how to study and some of the more tip based information was valuable.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tawni

    Great ideas of how to deal with elementary school-homework, teachers, politics. Proves to me why it is good to be involved with your children's education.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Martinez

    this book didn't necessarily give me new information but helped confirm that I am parenting in a way that will help my children's education.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarabjit

    This book is helpful for me to learn a lot of things as a parent of first grader .

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I thought this was an excellent overview of the educational system today and a parent's role in it. Worth a read if your only experience in public education is your own schooling.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Mills

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jen

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