Coloring Outside the Lines
Raising Smarter Kids by Breaking All the RulesBook - 2000
So begins this controversial and enlightened book by Roger Schank, a world-renowned expert on learning who believes that every day of the school year our children are being failed by an academic system that does nothing to stir a lifelong passion for learning. In this lively, sometimes alarming book, Schank shatters the myths about how children learn and offers candid advice for parents who want to raise kids with gumption, ambition, creativity, inquisitiveness, and analytic and verbal proficiency--the six traits of practical intelligence that kids need, not simply to get good grades and citizenship awards, but to succeed in life.
Known for his provocative and trendsetting views on education, Schank, who is also a parent, bases his approach on decades of cutting-edge research. Fueled with day-to-day examples from the lives of his own children, Schank explains that being smart does not necessarily mean getting straight A's. It means speaking convincingly and eloquently; it means being able to think on your feet; it means creating original ideas that push the boundaries; it means being able to size up situations and come to logical conclusions; it means being curious, being able to set meaningful goals, being willing to risk failure; and it means feeling free and confident enough to color outside the lines. Since schools are not nurturing these skills--in fact, they work against most of them--proactive parents who care about the intellectual development of their kids and want to guide them toward a bright future have to take action.
Amid all the talk about getting back to basics and the need for testing and accountability, Schank's irreverent voice is refreshing and inspiring. See the world through the eyes of your child, he says. Stand up for your daughter and don't always assume the teacher is right. Don't badger your son into spending long hours struggling over his math homework if he hates math. Put things into perspective. You want a kid who does well in life, finds his true passions, is willing to innovate and take risks. Scoring high on the SATs doesn't guarantee a bright future if there is no love of learning. As this wonderful book reveals, these goals may not be the measure by which schools judge success, but for a parent they are--or should be--the most meaningful report card of all.