Title: School Struggles-A Guide to the Shut-Down Learners Sucess
Author: Richard Selznick, PhD
Review: I have two school strugglers in my family of seven. My 2nd and my 5th child, both boys, struggle with reading. The problem with reading is that it is in every subject. They take extra time to decode unfamiliar words and they get frustrated and then just guess making the whole thing they are reading useless. They both struggle with liking school and the youngest calls school a huge waste of his precious time. Also I'm in school to get my license to teach Special Education and so this book was extremely informative for me.
I have dealt with teachers telling me that they will get it, or just be patient everyone learns at their own pace, or they will learn to do it, that thing you want them to do, when they feel the need to do it. Well it has gotten a bit better, but my 11th grader still struggles and yet isn’t low enough for extra help at school. The author explained that low enough is below the 30 percentile. Well that is low and neither of them are that low. Average is what the teachers call them, but they are in a family of above-average learners and so it is difficult for them. My other 3 children are soaring at school and only don’t do as well as they could because they have other more important things to do(this is according to these 3 of course not me.)
My strugglers feel the difficulty at school and then again at home. We have a designated home-work time after school I think that helps them realize that school is important. No computer(except for school assignments), no video games, and no TV are allowed during this time. Last year it was only an hour, this year it is until after dinner. They can go outside and play with friends once homework is done, but no screen time until after dinner. Now I just have to stay strong when the, “I’m bored,” starts.
I found this book had great information for parents who have kids that struggle, or ADHA, or other issues that make learning difficult. The day after finishing this book I called up the stairs to to my slow-poke son, “Time to get up, if I have to tell you again you will have no computer time after dinner tonight.” He was up and dressed in record time and I didn’t have to yell at all. That is one thing I have taken from this book and if that is it, it was worth it. This morning I told my daughter it was time to take the dogs for a walk(Saturday), she told me she would when the show was over. I told her no she needed to do it now. She repeated her statement and I shut of the TV. I didn’t yell, but I got my point across(she had already watched two episodes and it was on-demand so she could start where she left off the next time, not a huge deal.) I think she will listen better going forward. If I cut down my yelling I will thank this book.
If you teach, or if you have a child that hates school or struggles this is a fantastic book for you. Relax and enjoy the kids is hard for me, but maybe with less yelling and more consequences for not doing what they are asked…things may go better around here. Also I will watch their progress at school closer and try to keep disasters from occurring around report card time. I have had my 2nd son even hide the report card when it comes. With Parent-portal(web-site provided by our schools) they let us know how each child is doing and after reading this book I am going to keep better track of that information. Also I am better able to keep them on task and hopefully help them realize how important learning is and avoid end of the quarter meltdowns(for both of us.) Get this book if your kids struggle at all....he covers tons of topics that I found interesting and I could put these topics to several kids I have and several I teach.
Publisher: Published August 16th 2012 by Sentient Publications (first published July 16th 2012)
Quick Review: 5 Stars out of 5
Why I Read It: Sent by the author for review.
Synopsis: Richard Selznick is a child psychologist who has helped parents with their children’s struggles in school for more than 25 years. His first book, The Shut-Down Learner, identified the problems faced by spatial learners and recommended ways that parents and teachers can help them learn. School Struggles offers aid, comfort, and perspective to parents whose children have difficulty in school for a multitude of reasons. Selznick addresses reading and writing issues, task analysis, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, difficulties with organization, social skills, medication, parents’ interactions with teachers, and more, in a practical, down-to-earth manner. The book is filled with takeaway points, surprising insights, and new actions to try with your child that are a godsend for families struggling with school and behavioral issues.
Through his work with thousands of academically struggling kids and their families, Dr. Selznick has developed techniques and easily applicable tools on pretty much any topic that plagues parents and children alike, including the excessive use of technology, parental indulgence of their children, and the difficulty of being patient with a frustrating situation. This is an indispensable guide for any parent who stays awake at night worrying about their child’s school experience, whether the issues are academic or social, or both.
Author Biography: Dr. Richard Selznick ("Dr. Selz") is a psychologist, nationally certified school psychologist, graduate school professor and university professor of pediatrics. He is author of the "The Shut-Down Learner: Helping Your Academically Discouraged Child" and the soon to be released "School Struggles." You can learn more about Dr. Selz on www.drselz.com and on Twitter: @DrSelz.
As Director of the Cooper Learning Center in Voorhees, Dr. Selznick oversees a program that assesses and treats a broad range of learning and school-based academic and behavioral problems. The Cooper Learning Center is a Division of the Department of Pediatrics, of Cooper University Hospital. Dr. Selznick presents nationally and internationally to parents and educators on a variety of topics related to school struggling.
A down-to-earth presenter who looks to discuss difficult topics in non-jargon terms, Dr. Selznick recently presented to educators in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on issues related to struggling children. Among the topics that he presents include "Relationship: The Key Variable in School Struggling," "Myths & Realities of Dyslexia," "Understanding the Shut-Down Learner Formula," "Stages of Reading Development: Signposts That Guide Instruction," "We Keep Telling Him You Have to Get Organized: Executive Function Deficits."