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Education a la Carte: Choosing the Best Schooling Options for Your Child

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Every parent wants the best possible education for their child--one that fits their child's unique needs, challenges them to grow, and equips them to succeed. But there are so many options--public, private, and charter schools, plus homeschooling and online schooling--that it's easy for parents to feel overwhelmed and, well, undereducated about the choices. What's more, wh Every parent wants the best possible education for their child--one that fits their child's unique needs, challenges them to grow, and equips them to succeed. But there are so many options--public, private, and charter schools, plus homeschooling and online schooling--that it's easy for parents to feel overwhelmed and, well, undereducated about the choices. What's more, while one schooling option may be right for one child, it may be challenging for another. And sometimes the same child will thrive in one environment in elementary school but falter in that same environment in middle school. What's a parent to do? Parenting expert and longtime educator Dr. Kevin Leman can help. In this practical book, he clearly explains the pros and cons of various schooling options so that parents can make an informed choice about the kind of education that will help their child thrive. He shows parents how to stay involved and engaged with their child's education every step of the way, knowing that the choices they make about school now will reverberate long into that child's future.


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Every parent wants the best possible education for their child--one that fits their child's unique needs, challenges them to grow, and equips them to succeed. But there are so many options--public, private, and charter schools, plus homeschooling and online schooling--that it's easy for parents to feel overwhelmed and, well, undereducated about the choices. What's more, wh Every parent wants the best possible education for their child--one that fits their child's unique needs, challenges them to grow, and equips them to succeed. But there are so many options--public, private, and charter schools, plus homeschooling and online schooling--that it's easy for parents to feel overwhelmed and, well, undereducated about the choices. What's more, while one schooling option may be right for one child, it may be challenging for another. And sometimes the same child will thrive in one environment in elementary school but falter in that same environment in middle school. What's a parent to do? Parenting expert and longtime educator Dr. Kevin Leman can help. In this practical book, he clearly explains the pros and cons of various schooling options so that parents can make an informed choice about the kind of education that will help their child thrive. He shows parents how to stay involved and engaged with their child's education every step of the way, knowing that the choices they make about school now will reverberate long into that child's future.

30 review for Education a la Carte: Choosing the Best Schooling Options for Your Child

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Even though we're several years out from the start of formal education with our young family, I was nevertheless interested to read the information and perspective put forward in Education a la Carte: Choosing the Best Schooling Options for Your Child by Dr. Kevin Leman, psychologist, radio and TV personality, educator, and author of more than fifty books (including The Birth Order Book, which I've heard of). This book outlines very generally the pros and cons of public, charter, magnet, vocatio Even though we're several years out from the start of formal education with our young family, I was nevertheless interested to read the information and perspective put forward in Education a la Carte: Choosing the Best Schooling Options for Your Child by Dr. Kevin Leman, psychologist, radio and TV personality, educator, and author of more than fifty books (including The Birth Order Book, which I've heard of). This book outlines very generally the pros and cons of public, charter, magnet, vocational, virtual/online, military, private, and home schools; but, it also addresses top concerns of parents regarding education and schooling options today; factors unique to each child, such as learning style, birth order, and "natural bent," that impact his education and what option is the best fit (which may change over the years!); factors from a parental aspect that also affect a child's education, such as parenting style, personality, birth order (again), view of education, beliefs, and expectations; preschool and kindergarten; homework and grades; and top traits of the best schools. In my opinion, Education a la Carte is not so much a detailed discussion of schooling options as it is a broad exploration of many factors that influence a child's education, and questions and considerations related to education (e.g., when is she ready for preschool or kindergarten?). In this sense I was both disappointed and intrigued (respectively): I was expecting more comprehensive information on the school options themselves, rather than simply a short chapter with very brief, often generalized basic points with seemingly minimal distinction among the options (granted, if you are unfamiliar with the options, the explanations are simple and will provide a high-level overview of what's available—but be aware there is a clear bias against home schooling and private schools, especially religious-oriented); yet, the additional information was interesting (the sections, both child and parent, on birth order do sometimes end up feeling too much; I would have preferred a simple reference to his book on this subject!) and I think would be helpful for thinking about a child's education. Note if you are interested in this book but don't have time to read it, just skip to the last chapter, "Your Personal Menu for Educational Success," which I found to be the most helpful and straightforward because it basically condenses the previous chapters into a well-organized outline form, pinpointing the factors and issues to think about and questions to ask about each in determining the best schooling option for a child. As with any book, there were some more specific aspects of Education a la Carte that I appreciated, some that I disliked. I personally agree with Leman's emphasis on the role of parents, not only for and in education (having a positive attitude about learning; making an informed decision about schooling options; helping motivate a child's learning), but also being responsible for teaching values, compassion, work ethic, skills, etc. in the home (what Leman refers to as a child's "primary school"). Also, I resonate with the idea of setting high standards while keeping expectations realistic, so as to instill the value of learning and hard work rather than perfectionism. On the other hand, I do not agree with Leman's assertion that "you have to go to some sort of college these days in order to make a decent buck" (p 30)—while college has certainly become ubiquitous, there are undeniably many highly successful individuals who do not have a four-year degree or even any college education—or his implication that, more fundamentally, success is defined by income and our ultimate goal as parents is for our children to be "top dog" (p 28). Lastly, I found the subtly pompous tone throughout the book (e.g., "Not every child has a parent who cares about her enough to read this book" (p 32)) to be distracting and therefore took some things with a grain of salt; for instance, I don't think it's necessarily realistic or a right/wrong issue to suggest parents should consider unique schooling options for every child (unless, of course, it's simply differentiation within a home school!). All in all, Education a la Carte is a thought-provoking book that explores not only schooling options, but also the myriad factors that influence a child's education, and much more. After reading this book, I feel I would need to do my own research on school options, and their pros and cons, but at least have a better understanding of what to consider in the final decision. While there are some concerns with the philosophies and suggestions articulated, I would still recommend this book to parents who are interested in thinking critically about "choosing the best schooling options for your child." Disclaimer: This book was received for free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. Note as with all reviews and references, I do not necessarily agree with (or am even aware of) any or all of the beliefs, views, etc. of the author; please read my disclaimer here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Vanderpool

    Profoundly meh. No new info or original insight. Well-intentioned psycho babble that became overt advertisement for the author's charter school. Profoundly meh. No new info or original insight. Well-intentioned psycho babble that became overt advertisement for the author's charter school.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sadia

    The author is a psychologist, radio and TV personality, educator who has written more than fifty books. In this book author addresses the common concerns of parents regarding their child's schooling and education. Author has dedicated a whole chapter written about how to identify your child's strengths, natural talents and curiosity. Which I think extremely important for all parents. I enjoyed specifically this portion of the book most, as it discusses about learning style, how to recognize your The author is a psychologist, radio and TV personality, educator who has written more than fifty books. In this book author addresses the common concerns of parents regarding their child's schooling and education. Author has dedicated a whole chapter written about how to identify your child's strengths, natural talents and curiosity. Which I think extremely important for all parents. I enjoyed specifically this portion of the book most, as it discusses about learning style, how to recognize your child's natural bent (talent), how a person's parenting style, his/her view on education, personal belief even child's birth order(!) has Impact on choosing proper schooling options for a kid. Also, in the book a general outlines along with pros amd cons of different schooling options has been discussed. As an educator, I am not satisfied with less comprehensive information on that part. In my opinion, this book is amazing read for parents and I agree 100% with the author's idea of 'home is child's primary school'. But me as an educator's point of view would say this book is 'not up to the mark'. Another aspect of this book which I think most people will dislike, but I really find that feature effective one!! In the last chapter, author summarize all main points and a short note on his own biases for a specific school system. And at the end of the book author answered most important and common questions asked by parents regarding schooling options for their children. In a nutshell, Education a la Carte is a thought-provoking book that I must recommend to parents who are confused about choosing schooling options for their children or just curious to understand their kids learning styles more deeply.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Liles

    Every parent considers ways of teaching their children. Should they allow the public school system? Maybe some consider private school. Others go with a more nontraditional route: home-schooling. With the rise of threats being made to children in the school system, parents have more ways of thinking of how to give their children the best education available. Dr. Kevin Leman provides that way in his book Education a la Carte. What parent doesn't want their child to be excited about learning? To Every parent considers ways of teaching their children. Should they allow the public school system? Maybe some consider private school. Others go with a more nontraditional route: home-schooling. With the rise of threats being made to children in the school system, parents have more ways of thinking of how to give their children the best education available. Dr. Kevin Leman provides that way in his book Education a la Carte. What parent doesn't want their child to be excited about learning? To see something and experience it in a different way? Often times children aren't challenged enough to want to give education their best. As I was growing up, I wasn't challenged by the public school system. While part of it was due to some of the teachers not engaging me well enough, it was also due to those in my age range who I felt held me down, making comments such as, "You're always reading a book, you nerd!" Children have a right to an education, to learn how to interact with one another, to learn how to deal with stress and the possibility of being bullied. And yet there's also a way to allow children to go through certain aspects of life, before they see it firsthand and feel torn down. It's why I advocate for home-schooling myself. I mean even in the arena of the private school system bullying happens, we just don't hear it as much. I have tried to read Kevin Leman's book and had a hard time in keeping it in front of my face. So, in regards to this, I don't fault him for it. Some things I find fascinating and wanting to learn. Others I don't care much for. That being said, I don't want to turn people off from reading this book. He does an incredible job educating parents to do right by their children's educational needs. Is it written well? I believe so. Does he make his points and hold to them throughout? Exceptionally well. I received this book from Revell in the hopes of my honest feedback.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jaymie

    Interesting overview of educational options for parents. Includes checklists of things to look for when checking out a school or how to determine if your child is ready for preschool or kindergarten. Includes some "sales" pitch for his own school (in Arizona), including information on why they run the school the way they do. Example questions in the back matter explore not only educational issues but also general parenting boundaries and techniques. Interesting overview of educational options for parents. Includes checklists of things to look for when checking out a school or how to determine if your child is ready for preschool or kindergarten. Includes some "sales" pitch for his own school (in Arizona), including information on why they run the school the way they do. Example questions in the back matter explore not only educational issues but also general parenting boundaries and techniques.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Coaty

    Good book that challenged the way I thought about schooling my boys. The biggest challenge to my thinking was the idea of sending different kids (within the same family) to different schools depending on their characters and their likes. Had never thought about that before. Also encouraged me to really look into the school choices around the area and not just assume that I have to send my kids to the local public school if I can’t afford private school.

  7. 5 out of 5

    victoria

    This book was a unique had an excellence writing and compelling to read that offering us the chance to education specializing the idea and show you how to choose the best schooling options wisely that will provide and academic excellence with real life application and a perfect match for your child’s uniqueness. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. “ I received complimentary a copy of this book from Revell Reads Blog Tour program for this review”.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily Schmader

    Great resource for parents! Leman covers the wide spectrum of educational options, pros and cons, things to consider, etc. He encourages parents to seek what is best for their child individually. The Q&A section was helpful too.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    This book was worth a skim. Some good encouragement and reminders for parents, decent summaries of the various types of schools, and of course some of Dr Leman’s teaching on birth order, etc, but nothing groundbreaking.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amory Skaggs

    Lots of good information about picking schools and examining your child's learning. There are a goood about of generalizations, so you have to go to the schools in your area to fully know if your child can excel in that specific environment. Lots of good information about picking schools and examining your child's learning. There are a goood about of generalizations, so you have to go to the schools in your area to fully know if your child can excel in that specific environment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lovely Loveday

    Education a la Carte is a book that parents should read. It offers you lots of insight on the education system and the choices that parents have for their children. This book breaks down some of those choices and gives you an easy to understand view.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Holloway

    Great information.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mary Taylor

  14. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Richards

  15. 4 out of 5

    Erica Almond

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marabelle

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Nelson

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kat Escobales Lauf

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Jurgensmeier

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leah McGowan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Phillips

  25. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth Gross

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Broseh

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Daugherty

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erika Lau

  30. 5 out of 5

    William

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