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The Genius in Every Child: Encouraging Character, Curiosity, and Creativity in Children
Rick Ackerly
Globe Pequot Press / Softcover / Aug 2012
9780762780839 (ISBN-10: 0762780835)
Families and Parenting / Education
price: $21.95 (may be subject to change)
256 pages
Not in Stock, but usually ships within 2-3 weeks

Genius is not just about intelligence and aptitude, it's also a word that embodies our inner soul, nature, or character. In this illuminating book, a former principal and father shares heartwarming stories and wise advice that offers a rare insight into children and the process of education. The Genius in Every Child celebrates the moments in the lives of children, their parents, and their teachers. The stories of unique characters in action illustrate some of the principles of education and the disciplines we need to be good stewards of our children’s character and intellect. The vignettes provide both delight and enjoyment in the miracle of it all, and perspective and solace in the difficulty of it all, encouraging parents and teachers to work hand-in-hand.

This book urges parents to focus on the long run, entrusting the trials, struggles, and sufferings of the short run to the kids. It proposes a shift in focus from test scores to enthusiasm, from perfect behavior to learning from mistakes, from measuring up to making something of yourself, from independence to interdependence, from goodness to integrity, from fear to love. The value of this experience to hundreds of children, parents, and teachers derives from the depth of Rick Ackerly’s perception and the subtlety of his understanding. He offers perspective and guidance on a wide range of challenges faced by parents of today’s school-aged children, including: self-confidence, discipline, boundary-setting, building character, integrity, taking responsibility, facing challenges, handling disappointment, peer pressure, reading, testing, homework, academic achievement, failure, and success.

[Excerpt]

Mr. Rick's Words of Wisdom

• Children need teachers at school and parents at home.
• Failure is at least as powerful an educator as success.
• Kids need consequences and they need forgiveness
• We put our kids at risk by trying to engineer their success.
• Our children need us to have confidence in them.
• The core of building character is taking responsibility.
• If we are open to the surprise, we can let them educate us.

Reviews:

“In my work I am constantly reminded how an emphasis on achievement rather than on developing an authentic sense of self is creating an educational, emotional, and spiritual crisis in today’s teens. In his remarkable book, The Genius in Every Child, Rick Ackerly shows how a focus on character, curiosity, and creativity at a young age light the path to a successful life that includes, but is not limited to, academic achievement. The heartfelt examples in the book show how parents and teachers build self-worth and confidence in children when they allow them to take on challenges, to learn from disappointment, and to take responsibility. When we partner with our children's genius or inner spark, we create the conditions for success. When we try to engineer their success, we put them at risk.”
—Madeline Levine, Ph.D., author of The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids and Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success

“Rick Ackerly’s journey through the travails and triumphs of parenting both as a parent and as a principal/father-confessor to parents is captured exquisitely in this book. . . . A vivid portrayal of how smart parents let their children discover their own genius and path.”
—Pat Bassett, President, National Association of Independent Schools

“Drawing on a lifetime of experience with children, Rick Ackerly has written a lively, engaging, practical book that captures the dilemmas and joys of raising and schooling children.”
—Robert Evans, Ed.D., clinical and organizational psychologist and author of Family Matters

“The accounts and learnings in The Genius in Every Child are so deep and layered, you feel in your bones Rick Ackerly’s forty years of teaching kids and parents how to grow their brilliance. This book, and Rick, have so much heart and wisdom, you’ll not only read their words gratefully, you’ll return to them again and again. This just might be the only book on parenting you’ll ever need.”
—Rebecca Lawton, author of Reading Water: Lessons from the River

About the Author:

Rick Ackerly is a nationally recognized educator and speaker with forty-five years of experience working in schools. He has served as headmaster of four independent schools, and he speaks to parent and school groups across the country and presents at numerous education conferences.

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