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The Educated Child: A Parents Guide From Preschool Through Eighth Grade
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The Educated Child: A Parents Guide From Preschool Through Eighth Grade

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  315 ratings  ·  51 reviews
The Educated Child defines a good education and offers parents a plan of action for ensuring that their children achieve it.

The Educated Child defines a good education and offers parents a plan of action for ensuring that their children achieve it. Combining the goals that William Bennett enumerated as Secretary of Education, key excerpts from E. D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge
Paperback, 688 pages
Published November 6th 2000 by Free Press (first published 1999)
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3.94  · 
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 ·  315 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent reference for what education should be. The authors' politics do come through and although they don't match mine, I found some of the differences refreshing. Rather than undermine the points made, they give some good balance to some of the other materials I have been reading.

The author is very specific about defending the idea that we must teach children certain information as part of their education. If that sounds obvious, it's in response to the idea that learning "how t
Osama Aghbar
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Educated Child defines a good education and offers parents a plan of action for ensuring that their children achieve it.

Good tips for parents, who might want to ensure that their children are getting a decent education in the public school system. They do cover early childhood education (ages 1-5), as well as elementary and middle school ages.

Very good help to those parents who want to play an important role in the education of their children or .
Part I, The Preschool Years;
Part II, The Co
Amanda Sartin
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This is a great guide for parents who want to get really involved in helping their children succeed in school. Very organized by age and subject. I see a good bit of reviews saying they were unable to read it cover to cover and lost interest. Please do not try to read cover to cover. Use this as you would an encyclopedia or a dictionary. Take what you need for the age and subject that you are in and you will not be disappointed. The author tells you in the first pages do not try to read cover to ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
What a waste of time. Gave general advice like: Reading to your child is good...Being too busy to pay attention to your child is bad. Gave no references to studies or research. Like I said, total waste of time.

Turns out this is a national best seller and written by former secretary of education (Reagan). This should have been done better.
Mark Kelley
I read about half this book and stopped. Huge waste of time from a rather presumptuous author who had a gambling addiction. I gave up when I reach the part where he analyzed the value of multiculturalism in history and then went on to put down examples he saw that put too much emphasis on exploring other cultures as a part of global history.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent reference book. The chapters are divided by school grade -- read what applies to your child and don't be intimidated by the book size. :)
Adriane Devries
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: teaching
The Educated Child reads like a dream, or a nightmare, if your school or child is not hitting the soaring standards of erudition laid out by Bennet. What an ideal, human-assembly-line world he must think we live in!

When I started Bennet’s book several years ago, I intended it to serve as a benchmark guide for our curriculum as a homeschool. As a highly motivated learner in school, I always strove to learn everything, and more, than was provided by teachers in school settings; so naturally, I tho
Use this as one of my homeschooling references, though I take some of the moralizing with a grain of salt considering that William Bennett is the source. Happy to have found this in a used bookstore so he didn't actually get any of my money. Political and religious orientations aside, the chapters about early childhood make sense, and I really like the way the book is organized. I also don't necessarily agree with all his conservative takes on controversial teaching methodologies, but there is s ...more
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book is just another "what children should learn when" title. Its long-winded, boring and only mildly helpful to a parent. It was the seed for the popular "what your ___ grader should know series" based on the CORE knowledge series. I don't find arbitrary timelines such as 'in second grade study the geography of Asia' helpful or realistic whether it comes from this book or others. My son is considered a second grader and he has no context or reason for learning Asian geography at this point ...more
Aug 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love, love, love, love this book. Written by the former Secretary of Education under Ronald Reagan, it is a clear and easy to use tool that will help you know, as a parent, what your child should be learning in each grade. It gives reading lists, tips, watch signs and ideas about how to supplement. While this book is great for home schoolers because it gives a great frame work for what curriculum should accomplish, he specifically says that it is written for the family sending their kids to fo ...more
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Out of the 600+ pages in this book there is a solid 300 worth reading. These 300 focus on the types of things a well educated child should learn during grades k-8. These pages give good insight into what should be learned, how to measure if a child is getting this information, and a good dose of practical examples of what kind of information is critical. The other 300 pages are a hit and miss as far as being of interest or help. The second half of this book is devoted to issues in schools and ed ...more
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
An absolute lifeline for me. I am going to keep it near by like one might have a medical dictionary in the home. [Side note: I was not concerned with the Author's personal direction of the book, clearly he holds certain disappointments to some of the deteriorations of our educational institutions, however there were only minor reflections in his speaking. His emphasis was presenting a realistic guide to what our expectation levels should be documented from grade to grade. This allows for an opp ...more
Mar 14, 2013 rated it liked it
As a novice home schooler from public school back ground I think this book is great in urging parents to be involved in their child's education. It tells of many red flags to watch for as well as certain teaching methods and styles that do and do not work. With research to back it up. However, some parents pull kids from public because of they don't like the gov't in control of what a child "should" learn. That is what this book does. States what a generic child should know coming off the convey ...more
Everyday QRay (Mama QRay)
Mar 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book has been a saving grace for my son's education. Yes, he is only in kindergarten, but we have already had many difficulties with his his education. With the failing Arizona school system and a teacher that is well-past-ready to retire, his curriculum was lacking. After many meetings with his teacher and the principal with little results, I turned to this book to help me suppliment his education. He has now been excepted into a prestigous advanced reading program and has just brought hom ...more
Marissa Morrison
I didn't read this cover to cover, so I can't vouch for everything Bennett says here. I nodded my head in agreement with the sections on instilling a love for reading at home, demanding high expectations from schools, and what makes a bad teacher. The middle-school English curricula he suggests seems quite sound (except for the inclusion of Bible stories), going back to a time when students were expected to spell, compose and read classics. Too bad this guy wasn't around when No Child Left Behin ...more
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For parents wondering just what their children ought to be learning -- and what schools ought to be teaching -- this book provides an excellent resource. Even families that are pleased with their student's progress and their school's programs will benefit from the suggested questions the authors offer. The insights and educational background provided by Bennett, Finn and Cribb will make parents more confident in approaching teacher conferences, as well as capable of meeting their child's needs s ...more
Jun 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my "bible" books! I love this book and it is a MUST READ for anyone who has a child! I believe this book should be put in the diaper bags they give you at the hospital. Bennett is a former Secretary of Education. He wrote this book detailing for parents what to look for in their local schools so that parents can make educated and smart decisions on their children's education. One of my all time favorite books and I tell everyone with children that they HAVE to read this book!
Jul 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a thick book with large print on the spine so it caught my eye as I was leaving the library. It is meant for parents of young children, which I am not, but I am enjoying it anyway. I don't think it is meant to be read straight through as I did, but I find a lot of the authors' points to be interesting. For example, I loved his defense of history, civics and geography as important school subjects.
Oct 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ALL parents (and any educators)
Recommended to Jessica by: my cousin
My poor copy has underlining, highlighting, etc. A great read for any parent, whether homeschooling, private schooling, or public schooling!! It does not 'bash' any method of schooling, but instead discusses what your kiddos ought to be getting out of their education. was a real bolster for me and my decision to homeschool.

I feel wretched because my cousin sent it to me July 2001 and I didn't read it till spring of 2005. i'm very grateful to her for sharing it with me!!
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
This is written by a former Secretary of Education, and it's a comprehensive reference guide. Offers curriculum benchmarks and "readiness" lists, Core Knowledge guidelines, comparisons of different methods and approaches in school design and classroom instruction, rationales and practical tips for character education, and principles and practices for parents who want to raise an educated child. This is the best book of its kind that I have found, and I will come back to it frequently.
Tami Romo
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
not a pro-homeschool message...
pro standardized testing, for which i have mixed feelings.

a great guide for helping benchmark homeschooled kids with excellent reading lists... Hirsch's book would be a great companion guide.

this book is the reason we decided to homeschool... the tremendous gap between what our 8th grader knew and what he "should" know... it was a dismal commentary on his time spent at school.
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, education
An extremely useful tool for parents and educators. This book describes problems in the current public education system and empowers parents to become responsible for the education that they receive. The various sections and lists of what students should be learning serves as an easy reference, and yet the entire book can be read front to back. This is an important work from trusted authors and should be required for all parents.
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bought several copies, no longer have one myself. It was so helpful as the kids were growing up to have a standard to compare with the curricula that each child was being taught as we moved around in public, private or home school settings. Love this man's philosophy of education and respect his knowledge of history. Bill Bennett's radio show continues to be a source of civil discourse with respect to all those engaged in the dialog.
Mara Sundwall
Mar 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Wow! William Bennett apparently has a lot of free time. I couldn't believe how much information is in this book. It's a great check-up for determining where your kids are academically. I also checked where was academically, and let's just say it ain't pretty. (Did I just say ain't???? Case in point...)
Apr 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Informative! Helpful and terrifying at the same time. A great resource for parents to work alongside your school. Made me really think about what is best for our kids while keeping a balance between reality and what I wish schools could be. Worth a glance through if you don't have the time to read the whole thing.
Sep 16, 2008 marked it as to-read
I'm holding off on reviewing this. I did not read the whole thing. I neglected to notice that the library copy I have had apparently been dropped in water. (at least I hope it's water). The first 50 pages are gross. Having said that, it does look like something I want to own. I was impressed by what I had read before I decided I couldn't read anymore!

May 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is among my stacks of books I use to add to what my children learn in school. Our public school is lacking greatly in educating our children. This book gives some idea on when and what children should learn.
Feb 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
I am a sucker for anything related to our kid's education. This book gives very good direction on important concepts our kids should know and what books they should read. It does it in a grade by grade format. The author is Bill Bennett, former sec. of education and a brilliant man.
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredible book for anyone interested in helping out their kids' education. Not a pessimistic view of the educational system, but rather, a good idea of how & with what you can supplement your child's education.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a book I have referenced many times over the past 10 years. A great guide for parents - I'd be interested on Bill Bennet's views on the Common Core - perhaps a sequel or new edition?
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William J. "Bill" Bennett is a politician and author who served in the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, as chief of National Endowment for the Humanities and later Secretary of Education under Reagan, and Drug Czar under Bush. He is a nationally well-known figure of political and social conservatism and authored many books on politics, ethics, and international relations.