Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent's Guide

Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent's Guide

Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent's Guide

Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent's Guide


The nationally acclaimed educator who transformed the way children learn to read and write in school shows how to nurture children's imagination at home, from the earliest days of babytalk to the start of school. Drawing upon her influential philosophy of active learning, as well as her personal experience as a parent, Lucy Calkins shows how to stimulate curiosity and spark creative thinking in children.


In the fairy tale story of Rapunzel, a child is born at long last to the king and queen. To celebrate, they invite the entire village to a banquet on the day of their infant's christening. Seven good fairies come as guests of honor, and at the banquet, each bestows a gift upon the baby. One gives the gift of wisdom, another, the gift of generosity.

In my ideal version of this beloved fairy tale, the good fairies would come to every family when a child is born. And in my fairy tale world, the gifts would be given not to the newborn infant, but to the parents on their child's behalf. Each of the seven fairies would sprinkle her fairy dust on us, giving us wisdom, generosity, tenacity, laughter, initiative, imagination, and love. We parents would hold these gifts in custody, and in time, would pass them on to our children. And because we were generous, they would become generous as well.

But in real life, there is no magic wand which turns us into the parents we long to become. No job requires more intelligence, knowledge, and energy than the job of parenting. Yet most of us do not take classes or attend conferences, join study groups or receive on-site supervision in this, the most challenging job of our lives. We're on our own. Sometimes it seems more support is given to people buying Tupperware than to those of us who want to parent wisely.

When a baby is newborn, friends, family, and even strangers deluge us with moral support and advice. Everywhere we turn, people inquire about our baby's progress. "Is she teething?" they ask; and everyone has suggestions for this and every other real or . . .

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