Guest Review – A Parent’s Playbook for Learning

Recently I was asked to review a book of advice for helping your child learn and I immediately thought of asking my mother to review it because of her experience homeschooling me and my siblings. Today I’d like to share her excellent review with you. 

No matter how your child is educated—home, public, private—this book holds the key to academic success: Jen Lilienstein’s A Parent’s Playbook for Learning.  It gives you the tools to recognize your child’s learning personality and the strategies to use that information to help your child succeed in school.

When my children were younger, I taught them at home.  As the years progressed, I found myself constantly challenged to find just what would work for each of them—they were all three different and methods that were an outstanding success with one would be a miserable failure with another.  I did lots of research, mostly coming up with techniques for learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic etc.).  None of my children seemed to fit any of these boxed definitions and using the recommended strategies was just as “hit or miss” as anything I was doing on my own.

Most people are familiar with using personality profiles to help make life decisions—career advisors use them as do dating sites.  I used them to help guide my children when they were teens and needed to choose a college major and potential career paths.  What an “ah ha” moment (and an “I wish I had known that!”) when I started reading this book and realized that the author has come up with a way to use that same kind of personality profiling for young children that lets us teach each child according to his or her personality—not just what sense they use most when learning!  Had I had this book 15 years ago, I could have solved my teaching challenges in very short order.

The author starts off with a series of thoughtful questions to ask yourself about your child and uses those to identify personality type.  From there, she has sections on approaching new concepts, homework and test preparation, group learning, enrichment activities, motivation, and handling success and failure.  You don’t need to read every word—it is easy to find the information that pertains to your child’s personality type.  I identified (in retrospect) each of my children and then read the strategies suggested for each one.  I found the advice amazingly accurate. Years of trial and error could have been saved if I had been given this information.

I highly recommend this book to any parent.  The tools you will find here are worth much more than the price or the time it will take to read. You will be much better able to help them get organized, tackle challenges, plan ahead, communicate effectively and solve problems—skills that will enable them to succeed not just in school but in life.

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