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Getting Our Kids Back on Track:
A highly readable and practical guide to achieving that delicate balance of academic excellence and high self-esteem, Getting Our Kids Back on Track is a realistic look at today's families and their frustrations in trying to "do it all." Full of stories from all kinds of families, examples abound of different parenting styles, teaching methods, and children's personalities. None of these is presented as being "right" or "wrong"--but the author doesn't hesitate to offer suggestions. From homework battles to overbooked sports activities, everyday occurrences are examined and questioned: is it necessary, for example, to spend four hours each day shuttling kids to sports practice, or is there a better way of spending that time? Topics are relevant from kindergarten through the teens, and tend to focus on clear communication and regular examination of priorities to help families stay on track. For quick reference, author Janine Bempechat includes an appendix of questions that relate to each chapter--questions to ask both yourself and your children's teachers. While Back on Track is an excellent starting place for longer dialogues, there are no quick answers to questions like "How much importance am I placing on my children's education relative to other activities in their lives?" and "What do you think are my children's strengths, and how do you think I can encourage their development in those areas?" Still, the stories are warm and humorous, and the book as a whole is encouraging. --Jill Lightner [via]