As a school administrator, I always found it amusing when parents threw out these words as the school year came to a close: “So, I guess you look forward to three months of vacation!” Little do parents fathom just how much work it takes to prepare for the next school opening.
That said, summer is a welcome break from the exhausting daily schedule of school life. It is a calmer pace, and, in the midst of book orders and maintenance tasks, we need to make time for renewal and reflection. I always welcome summer as a more leisurely opportunity to indulge my favorite passion: reading. While fiction is my first love, I also find books about the culture of schools and families both interesting and helpful in working with students and parents.
Here are a few books that I recommend for your review this summer:
- Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age by Dan Kindlon. It includes a national survey of suburban teenagers and offers wisdom to educators and parents about the kinds of practices that develop healthy, emotionally mature young people.
- Parents Do Make a Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character, Strong Minds, and Caring Hearts by Michele Borba. Developed for teachers and parents of children to age 12, this book is full of practical tips to teach kids these eight indispensable skills: self-confidence, self-awareness, communication, problem solving, getting along, goal setting, perseverance, and empathy.
- The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. It describes the five ways that children receive and feel love, and ways the reader can discern each child’s preferred style. The chapters on discipline, learning, and anger are particularly worthwhile.
And finally, one recommended by a school head that is now on my bedside table and next on my reading list: A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting by Hara Estroff Marano. The title intrigues me.
What book do you recommend as a must-read? I welcome your suggestions.