Posts tagged ‘role models’

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

Above & Beyond: How To Help Your Child Get Good Grades In School, and Position Them For Success in College, Career And Life

Written by Dr. Nicoline Ambe

Above&Beyond,pic

Quite a mouthful for a title! Most any parent would say they want all these things for a child, yet delivering them is by no means an easy task. The author of this book is not revealing new information, but organizing and structuring it in an easy to read, practical guide.

The book is divided into fourteen chapters starting with the big picture and working toward specific steps for implementation. At the outset parents must believe in their children, ensuring that they don’t feel inadequate, celebrating their successes and avoiding nagging. Parents need to understand why school is important by building up a child’s dreams, discussing the future and helping them to discover their own passions and talents. Then parents can follow through by setting realistic but high expectations and helping children move toward them.

In the later sections of the book, the author explains the importance for the child to listen to the teacher and how parents can encourage that. Ambe insists that achievement is tied to a love of reading, which spills over into all subjects of the curriculum. She explains the importance of completing homework, maintaining a good structure at home by establishing routines, doing extra credit work and practicing for tests. I found the section on math interesting. Ambe stresses the importance of mastering math skills in the early elementary grades and urges parents to visit the school to ensure those supports are in place. Other important areas for parents are teaching character and integrity through personal example, demanding accountability, and communicating empathy. Parents will help a child find balance and provide discipline by seeking the right extracurricular activities to instill motivation and leadership qualities. Above all, the parents themselves must put their best foot forward as mentally and physically stable role models who pursue their own passions and goals.

At the end of each of the fifteen short chapters, parents are give a short exercise by answering pertinent questions about their own child to help reinforce the content of that section. These can serve as a kind of notebook or reference guide. This book of approximately one hundred pages belongs on every parent and guidance counselor’s bookshelf. I found the common sense and practical guide valuable and easy to follow. Wish I had this when my children were still in school.

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A PRINCESS WITH PIZAZZ!

Sir Princess Petra: The Pen Pieyu Adventures

Written by Diane Mae Robinson

SirPrincessPetrapicAs the story opens, we meet Princess Petra who is about to celebrate her birthday on the ninth day of the ninth month on the ninth year. According to royal custom, she may request anything she wishes as a birthday gift. Petra addresses her parents and informs them that she is tired of the usual gifts of jewelry and clothes. This year she wants to become a royal knight. Her father, King Longstride cannot find anything disallowing her request in the royal rulebook. However, she must choose and successfully accomplish one of three acts of royal bravery: capture a crocodile and make his skin into a royal leather chair, quiet the howling dragon named Snarls who lives in the Forest of Doom, or eat a roomful of raw onions! The princess dislikes onions and is friendly with the kingdom’s crocodile, so she quickly decides on quieting the dragon.

Princess Petra departs the castle in a suit of armor made of pots and pans because all the royal armor is too big for her. Her weapon looks more like a cake knife than a sword. The poor princess soon meets adversity. During her adventures, she must figure out how to stop the dragon from howling and keeping the royal family awake, cope with a witch in the bog, and deal with an army of knights from a neighboring kingdom who want to challenge her. This princess has brains and common sense along with her beauty. She does not win her battles with force and bullying; Petra is a good judge of character and human nature! (even if some of those characters are not technically human)  She has a wonderful sense of humor and can turn adversity into advantage.

Petra provides an outstanding role model for young boys and girls for she has many lessons of courage, friendship and character to teach them. She and the other quirky characters in this book possess a delightful sense of humor. The black and white pencil drawings are soft and subtle complementing the quick moving text of this short chapter book which could be read in one sitting as a read aloud or in chapters for discussion in a classroom setting. Looking forward to reading more of The Pen Pieyu Adventures from this talented new author.

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