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4.0 out of 5 starsThis book is a great first step for parents who have concerns about certain ...
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2018
This book is a great first step for parents who have concerns about certain aspects of the K-12 school realm, who question the necessities of certain "traditions"- testing, loads of homework, etc.- or have a struggling child. It doesn't have all of the answers, but it provides much to think about and gives some great starting tactics for parents struggling with how to address an overpowering and intimidating administrative school system. It is definitely not trying to sell homeschooling as the be all end all solution, but rather provides parents with a starting point to advocate for their child within the system. I would consider it a very valuable resource, particularly for parents who do not have the options of simply switching schools, moving to a private school, or homeschooling. If you need advice for working (at least initially) within the system, yet being a strong advocate for your child, Rethinking School is a great starting place, and provides lists of further resource recommendations for specific issues.
5.0 out of 5 starsAmazing! I want to read more by this author.
Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2018
I read this book as research for a college class on homeschooling services in the library. I also homeschooling my children. Finally with this book, I hear a voice of logic and reason that I can get behind. My child marches to his own beat. This book assures me he is okay learning differently and not in public school. I think I will end up reviewing this book multiple times as years pass. Lots of great resources are listed and practical steps towards homeschooling well.
5.0 out of 5 starsEsssential Reading for the New Parent
Reviewed in the United States on September 10, 2018
The single most important lesson that this amazing book teaches is this: as a parent, you are not an employee of the school system, or of the school. Your child does not work for the school system. You are a contributor to it, through your taxes and participation, but it is ultimately there to provide a service, and you have every right and ability to use the full spectrum of options in that system to do what's best for your child. Your job is not to make the school "look good" or increase its funding or national standings. Your options are wider and greater than you might think. This book isn't about learning to "exploit loopholes" or "game" the system, it's about understanding how the system actually works, the and how to get the most out of it for your child(ren)'s optimal growth and development.
The second most important lesson this book teaches, through analysis and research-backed discussions of the peculiar origins and history of mass schooling in the US, is expectation management. The author helps the reader discover, perhaps for the first time, realistic assessments of what our system can and can't do. And maybe, just maybe, what to do when your child/children are just incompatible with that system, due to gifts, disabilities, age, maturity, psychological development and other factors. While not a direct advertisement for homeschooling, at least in the 2/3rds of the book, the author sets the reader with a "if all else fails, consider this" methodology if homeschooling is a viable or even preferred option.
5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic contribution to ongoing conversation about education K-12
Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2018
Rethinking School is a marvelous contribution to the conversation about K-12 education. The insights of homeschooling developed over the past 40+ years have a role to play in how we understand the failures of institutional schooling. This book is wise (measured, not a screed or a rant) and practical. Whether your children are inside or outside the school system, we have all been shaped by the institutional system in how we think about education. Bauer squarely explains how and why that framework puts our kids at a disadvantage and how parents buy into that mistaken framework when evaluating academic progress. Action steps are provided, clear criteria for evaluating a child's maturity and skills, and suggestions for being a proactive parent within the school system make this a wonderful resource! Highly recommended!
5.0 out of 5 starsSolutions for how to flex the system.
Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2018
If you are a parent, buy this book. The conventional K-12 system is not every child's natural habitat, or won't be for all times. From mild, temporary "mismatches" with the system to longer, more enduring issues, this book gives a parent the pathway to finding solutions. Bauer writes with great candor about her own walk as both an academic and a home educator in ways that resonate with any parent who has struggled with her child struggling.
I have found this book absolutely fascinating, but also incredibly practical. I had never before thought, "Why do we do school the way we do it?" When I got to Part IV of the book, "Rethinking the System," I had to set the book down many times and ponder Bauer's suggestions. I have begun the thought experiments with my children, and I have already been deeply shaken, in a good way, by their responses.
The author is persuading parents to stop and think about what we are allowing when it comes to our children's lives through education. I can foresee an awakening in many homes and hopefully a better future for our youth as we "rethink" school. Another excellent book from Susan Wise Bauer, she doesn't disappoint!
The book had several printing issues (see pictures) but thankfully, Amazon is sending a replacement.
5.0 out of 5 starsEnlightening, Liberating, & Empowering
Reviewed in the United States on March 27, 2018
SWB is just brilliant. She offers a fresh, out-of-the-box & alternative perspective to the status quo of how we as a culture think about school. It's enlightening, liberating, and empowering to know that there's more than one way of doing a thing. And when that "thing" comes to raising the tiny humans with whom we have been entrusted (and with the awareness that those same tiny humans are going to run our world in the very near future), we have a responsibility to really think about why and how we make decisions. Read this.