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Book Review: Why Bad Grades Happen To Good Kids

Jan 15, 2008
While short on length, it is long on information. The subtitle is 'What Parents Need To Know, What Parents Need To Do,' many parents go through the anguish of watching their children struggle in our school environment. Kids today are not 'stupid' by any stretch of the imagination, but many of them do struggle with school. One of the reasons is the information rich world that we live in. If you compare the curriculum of 30 years ago with its modern counterpart, you can see that the amount of material has increased substantially.

The Silbert's assert that there is no magic bullet to the problem, and virtually every child is different, however there are some common denominators that a parent can use to analyze and resolve their child's learning difficulties. They base their book around 6 principles contained in the acronym STRONG, Self-esteem, Trust, Responsibility, Options, Needs, and Goals.

Taking each of these concepts in turn Why Bad Grades Happens to Good Kids explores not just the resolution, but the root causes, and they can be many and varied. By using short actual case studies the reader gets to see the issues through the child's eyes, and the solutions.

Often times the resolution to a specific problem is not through punishment, it is by removing the cause of the problem.

My own children are grown and long since flown the coop, but even I learned a lot of valuable information from reading this book, and it is information that I will keep stored for when I get asked a question.

Drs. Al and Linda Silbert present their ideas in a clear and easy to comprehend fashion. There is none of the usual Medical, Mental, or Morality mumbo jumbo that forms the heart of many of these kinds of book. Even if your child is doing just fine in school and and life, Why Bad Grades Happen To Good Kids is worth a read. I can guarantee that you will learn something to make both your child and your own life even better.

Retrospect is like hindsight, and we all know that hindsight is 20/20. Much of the information in Why Bad Grades is common sense, but common sense often loses the battle with emotion, particularly when interacting with your children. Negative comments abound, either in sarcasm, or threats. It is simpler to say "well, are you are stupid or something," or "You are grounded," rather than try and offer positive reinforcement.

In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, my wife's 15 year old son found himself homeless in New Orleans, and he came to live with us for several months. It had been many years since I had had a 15 year old in the house. My wife, and to a certain extent I, were concerned that this would disintegrate into warfare within days! I treated Joey with respect and dignity, as a result I received the same in return. The Silbert's make much of respect and dignity, and I know it works!

You can get pick up your copy of Why Bad Grades Happen To Good Kids is available through Amazon, there is also a web site about these interesting authors called Strong Learning, and their goals and aspirations.
About the Author
Simon Barrett is an adult educator in Calgary, Alberta. With the 11 months a year of winter, he reads a lot of books! He is also a contributing editor for Blogger News and maintains a personal blog at Simon B
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