Ready to Learn
Learning has several components: attending, understanding, storing information, retrieving information, and usage. Parents are typically the first to sense that one or more of these components aren't functioning at appropriate levels. They know instinctively when their young child's learning "wiring" is different. Typical responses to this knowledge includes 1) worry without knowing what to do; 2) ignore it and hope it won't cause a problem; 3) assume the school is prepared to accommodate the problem; 4) seek professional help; and 5) try to do things now so differences won't become problems. While this book assumes that public school is in the child's future, it presents a thorough and very pragmatic collection of learning strategies, detours, and "new holes" designed to correct or minimize the "faulty wiring" at the earliest possible time - the preschool years. Starting from the assumption that parents armed with knowledge and skillful techniques can partner with their children in order to ensure ultimate learning success, Dr. Goldberg counteracts the marginalization of parents that routinely infects professional treatises on learning. And it's a refreshing change!
Starting early creates a bridge between the supportive home environment and the increased demands of institutionalized learning as well as lessening the emotional problems that often result from being a square "peg" in the round institutional learning "hole". Rather than addressing the question of whether to continue the child's educational experience in the supportive home environment (we have other books which do that), Dr. Goldberg provides step-by-step suggestions on how to effectively counteract the various types of informational processing problems. These strategies give parents powerful tools. While the targeted scope of this book is the preschool years, an astute homeschooling parent can easily see the applications to later educational challenges (i.e. elementary years). The strategies themselves read like a lesson in common sense - a good design, advance instruction, making learning positive, doing it often, using little steps, monitoring, and providing feedback. Nevertheless, an incredible wealth is contained in each of the three chapters that detail specifics for each aspect of learning - attention, understanding, and storage, retrieval, and usage. As one who prefers to have things translated from "here's the idea" to "here's what it looks like," I appreciate the many illustrating examples that are used.
So, who will find this book useful? A parent who suspects that her child will face educational challenges because of the way she or he is wired and is looking for ways to be proactive during the preschool years. Or any parent who wants to prepare her child to be an active and successful learner. ~ Janice