Our K–12 school system is an artificial product of market forces. It isn’t a good fit for all—or even most—students. It prioritizes a single way of understanding the world over all others, pushes children into a rigid set of grades with little regard for individual maturity, and slaps “disability” labels over differences in learning style.
Caught in this system, far too many young learners end up discouraged, disconnected, and unhappy. And when they struggle, school pressures parents, with overwhelming force, into “fixing” their children rather than questioning the system.
With boldness, experience, and humor, Susan Wise Bauer turns conventional wisdom on its head: When a serious problem arises at school, the fault is more likely to lie with the school, or the educational system itself, than with the child.
In five illuminating sections, Bauer teaches parents how to flex the K–12 system, rather than the child. She closely analyzes the traditional school structure, gives trenchant criticisms of its weaknesses, and offers a wealth of advice for parents of children whose difficulties may stem from struggling with learning differences, maturity differences, toxic classroom environments, and even from giftedness (not as much of a “gift” as you might think!).
As the author of the classic book on home-schooling, The Well-Trained Mind, Bauer knows how children learn and how schools work. Her advice here is comprehensive and anecdotal, including material drawn from experience with her own four children and more than twenty years of educational consulting and university teaching.
Rethinking School is a guide to one aspect of sane, humane parenting: negotiating the twelve-grade school system in a way that nurtures and protects your child’s mind, emotions, and spirit.
Reviews and Endorsements:
A detailed look at how modern schooling can be a mismatch for students’ needs … very straightforward and informative. — Library Journal
A welcome operator's manual for parents of school-age children, inside or outside the K-12 paradigm. — Kirkus
Bauer makes a passionate case for why the K-12 system desperately needs to be rethought . . . comforting and instructive. — Publisher's Weekly
Bauer makes a passionate case for why the K-12 system desperately needs to be rethought…comforting and instructive. — Publisher’s Weekly
About the Author:
Susan Wise Bauer is a writer, teacher, and historian. Her books include The Story of Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, the History of the World series (W. W. Norton) and the Story of the World series (Well-Trained Mind Press). She has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William & Mary in Virginia, as well as an M.A. in seventeenth-century literature and a Master of Divinity in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Literature. For fifteen years, she taught literature and composition at the College of William and Mary. She lives in Virginia.