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Paperback Motivated Minds: Raising Children to Love Learning Book

ISBN: 0805063951

ISBN13: 9780805063950

Motivated Minds: Raising Children to Love Learning

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

A practical guide to ensuring your child's success in school.

What makes children succeed in school? For the past twenty years, the focus has been on building children's self-esteem to help them achieve more in the classoom. But positive reinforcement hasn't necessarily resulted in measureable academic improvement. Through extensive research, combined with ongoing classroom implementation of their ideas, Deborah Stipek, Dean of the School...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Credible, useful and practical advice for parents!

While it is true that the schools play a central role in developing the love of learning in children, the role of the parents is crucial too. It is true that parents cannot spend the same amount of time as teachers in helping their children learn. But there are some very simple non-time-consuming strategies that the parents can use with their children which will help to increase their children's motivation to learn better at their schools. Making parents' aware of such strategies is the focus of this book, "Motivated Minds - Raising Children to Love Learning". Deborah Stipek, one of the authors of this book is the dean of the School of Education at Stanford. The co-author is Kathy Seak who is a journalist and has written about education and psychology for many years. The authors offer a lot of practical wisdom which most importantly are also proven by research. While everything they have to offer in this book has been proven by research, the book is by no means a boring list of evidence from research which the parents have to plough through to find what they need. It is filled with many interesting examples and anecdotes from their own life about situations which commonly occur with children and how parents can overcome them. I enjoyed reading the book thoroughly. I myself had developed many strategies in the past few years to deal with situations where my daughter was at the risk of losing interest in a certain activity if appropriate action was not taken. This book helped me confirm some of my strategies and went a step further in helping me learn more of them. For example, the book talks about how "nothing motivates children more than competence". I have seen this happen with my daughter many times. When she takes up a new type of activity which is hard to learn, she sometimes gives up after a few tries and is afraid to go back and try the same fearing that she will not be able master it. For example, this used to happen often when she tried to play a new song in violin which was above her current skill level. Each of those times I have had to walk a fine line of not being pushy yet convincing her to practice enough to be able to play the song and develop a healthy attitude of perseverance. Each time, when she was able to play the song after some practice, she has derived motivation to play the violin even more due to her successes and her competence in the skills needed. The parents' role in helping children develop this persistence is crucial I feel, and this book talks about that. This book goes one step further and says that not only does competence motivate children to learn something but "feeling competent is as important as competence itself". For, a child may be very good at doing something but may not feel confident about it. Feeling confident about being able to do something is of extreme importance because the child may otherwise not try on his/her own to learn tougher skills in that area, otherwise. This book gives strategies t

Great tips for all ages

This is an all ages book on how children learn and how parents can help them -- what to do and not do. Let me quote: "Although this book focuses on children from babyhood through elementary school, its general principles and recommendations apply to children of all ages, and even to adults. Everyone can follow the self-motivation model you will read about in upcoming chapters: the cycle of working hard, persisting to overcome obstacles, and being energized to do more by the feelings of pleasure brought by newly gained confidence." It's based on the latest research. This book opened my eyes to the inadequacy of my own education: I worked for grades, not to learn. I made great grades, but what did I learn? Not much. Even now, I have bad "learning" skills. My curiosity has been quashed by the desire to perform and get the job done. This book also covers choosing schools, toys, "getting smart" instead of "being smart," the harmfulness of grades and competition. Also included is what to say and not say to your child. This book will stay on my shelf for years!


This book is, without question, the best book available for anyone who is a parent (or intends to eventually become a parent) and wants to preserve or increase their children's intrinsic motivation to learn. If you want children to WANT to learn, to learn WELL, to ENJOY learning, and to CONTINUE learning even after their schooling has ended, there is no finer book than this one. It also will be a fantastic contribution for any person who teaches or intends to eventually teach. I recommend this without question!!


This book answers a lot of questions I've had about parenting. It has good sections on how and when to use rewards, when and how to praise your kids, when you should tell them "Do this now!" and when you should let go. I especially liked a chapter on intelligence where they explain why it's better to emphasize that intelligence isn't a fixed quality. I had never thought about this before but found that it is useful for keeping your kids encouraged in school.I found that I already do some of the things this book recommends - like reading to my children -- but that they also suggested interesting ways to "stop nagging" my kids yet still have them do their homework, ways to help them do well on standardized tests yet face them calmly, and ways to ensure their self-esteem. One thing I found especially useful was two chapters on choosing schools. They give very specific instructions on how to judge a preschool and what to look for when you visit elementary schools. It gave me a list of questions to ask take when I looked at a preschool for my son recently, so I feel now that I can make decisions based on research and not just instinct.The best thing about this book is that is a good read. There are lots of examples and suggestions for what to do and what to say, even a quiz to give yourself. This is a book I would definitely give at baby showers, because it's a guide you can refer to from babyhood onward.

Motivated Minds

This book should be required reading for all parents. Carefully researched, this book lets you know how a child can learn to love learning and how a parent can help that process. The book is written in a beautiful flowing style so there is not a minute of boredom. Research facts and stories intertwine to demonstrate exactly what children need to succeed.
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