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The Call to Brilliance: A True Story to Inspire Parents and Educators
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The Call to Brilliance: A True Story to Inspire Parents and Educators

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  107 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews

In an engaging memoir, award-winning educator, Resa Steindel Brown is drawn to the astonishing discovery that all children are born brilliant. With insightful commentary, she recalls her own trials as a student and teacher in our industrial, one-size-fits-all educational system. Then she encounters the needs of her young son. Finding a fit is like trying to stuff an odd-s

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Paperback, 311 pages
Published January 28th 2007 by Fredric Press (first published January 11th 2007)
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Gretchenmora Mora
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
I thought this book would be about how this woman figured out the right path for homeschooling her kid. Basically, it was more metaphysical and philosophical than I needed. yes, there is an interconnected circle between intelligence and life and we can all enjoy reading the philosophical statements ad nauseum, but I really only enjoyed the parts about her actual school and the things the kids learned. and that part was highly glossed over. There were a few details, but not much, and not much giv ...more
Charity
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Loved the quotes, loved the insightful thoughts, loved the story! It changed some of the ways that I teach my children for the better.
Rachel
May 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
The author is surely a nice person, but she spends way too much of this book quoting other people. This book is a nice overview of the philosophy behind the unschooling and free, 'risky' play movements, but as a story, it's only so-so. The author jumps from the past to the present a lot, and while she makes it clear what she's doing so it's not confusing, it is annoying. I just wanted to read the story of the company school, that's why I picked this book up again. Unfortunately, that is only dis ...more
Wendy
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My interview with Resa Steindel Brown -

Book Title: The Call to Brilliance by Resa Steindel Brown
Published by: fredric press.
Release Date: January, 2007

What inspired you to write the book?
My children inspire me. They have shown me who we are at birth and how we can bring that miraculous divinely inspired being into adult life. They encouraged me to document our experiences so that others may benefit from our journey.

What is your favorite chapter in the book – and why?
“Stephen,Just Stephen” I enjo
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Tamsyn
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic! When I first checked it out I thought it was going to be more of a "how to" book, but it was more of her personal journey with her children through Montessory schools, homeschooling, and a private school which resulted with many gifted children going to college in their early and pre-teens. The Private school was founded by her cousin and her husband for their employees, and was offered as a benefit. It was very child- oriented, the children worked together on many proje ...more
Dawn
Apr 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: I don't think I would recommend it.
I was torn whether to give this book 2 or 3 stars so I guess it's 2.5.

I was somewhat disappointed with this book. I had heard really good things about it in home education circles and I had the impression that the author was a home educator. I expected this book to give me lots of information about how she home educated her children. My disappointed was probably largely due to the fact that I had a specific purpose for reading this book - namely to find out about the home education philosophy an
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Alexis
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A friend and trusted homeschooling companion recommended this to me...

As I had just finished Howard Fast's historical novel "Spartacus" when I picked this book up, my reading of it was affected by a sort of pseudo-utopian/communist lens. I typically bristle at the naivete of utopian thinkers, so the timing of this book was really rather fortuitous.

I saw "Spartacus" in Brown's analysis of the failures of our contemporary education sytem that stem largely from a misconception of what it means to b
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Amy
May 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book affirmed all that I believe about education. It is not about the pouring of knowledge into a pail, but the lighting of a fire! The word "education" is derived from the latin word "educo" which means to draw out. I have always believed that each of us comes to earth as a unique being blessed with talents, skills, and abilities. As parents and educators, our goal should be to help draw out, or educe these gifts from each individual to best help each child develop into a purposeful, well ...more
Kris Irvin
Jul 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
I was excited to read this book as I have been doing lots of research on schooling in America.

I really do not like this book. I mean, I am all for small homeschool groups, but holy crap lady, get over yourself! It's like she wrote this for the express purpose of bragging about how brilliant her kids are and how advanced they are and holy crap they got into college at age 11 and aren't they geniuses? What I want to know is, if your daughter is such a genius, why are you hanging around at her stu
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Amy
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Here's another book that makes me wonder if I've been doing my whole life wrong. This book tells the story of one family's journey to educate their children outside the confines of the traditional system. It's kind of a funky read, in that it is part biography/memoir, part poetry, and part bibliography of educational philosophy. At times I was drawn to the touchy-feely aspects of the books, and other times it felt sappy. But I was absolutely intrigued by the idea of letting children pave their o ...more
Stephanie
Jul 02, 2008 rated it liked it
If I could give a rating in two categories, I would rate a 5 for content, but a 3 for perseveration in writing. I loved the central idea in this book that all people are born with brilliance in certain areas; the challenge is finding those areas and then giving children the tools to shine. I thought, however, that the commentary on this idea was a bit laborious at times. If you want to be inspired and think about your children in a new light, this a great read. Just skim through the monotonous p ...more
Andrea
Mar 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: homeschooling
Lots of inspirational language not particularly practical. If you like the ideas of Maria Montessori, Charlotte Mason, etc you will find that this author is right down that alley. She gives her own experiences mixed with lots of quotes from other like-minded authors. We can all do better to appreciate the unique strengths of our children and those we teach especially if they have learning disabilities that make it hard for them to integrate into a traditional classroom.
Hannah
Jun 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very inspiring; just wish it gave more practical details of HOW they carried out this inspiring vision. Like, nuts and bolts. Hard not to be convinced that every child is gifted and just needs to not be messed with too much. :-) Most important take-home message, I think, was to put the relationship with your child above every detail of their education.
Jill
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'm only a few chapters into this book and already I have disagreed with vehemence and agreed passionately. The constant quoting and referencing to other books and authors is getting old very quickly, but I appreciate the views all the way around. I'm interested enough to keep going but bugged enough to skim when needed.
Marci
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is an incredible story of what kind of an education we all deserve. We are all meant to be brilliant and this book shows us one way a family nutured their 3 children to shine. There are so many gems in this book. It is a must read. It changed the way I look at my children and the way they learn. I would highly recommend this to anyone.
Trace
Dec 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-booklist
2012 Booklist

I found it difficult to follow the author, as she jumps from present to past without (it seemed to me)rhyme or reason.

I did find the description of the G.T Water school to be hugely inspiring; and descriptions of her eldest son (when he was younger) reminded me of my own son - so I found his particular path to be quite encouraging...
Kate
Apr 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was written by a woman who says she homeschooled her 3 children though it sounds like she started a small school in her family's small factory and hired a Montessori teacher. In any case, she has a wonderful attitude toward children and life and the book spoke to me. She quoted many familiar and unfamiliar writers and sources.
Sara
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: homeschool, self-help
This book was a great read for me right now. I recommend it to any parent who seeks direction in helping their children find their true greatness, their mission in life. The only disappointment is that it is nearly impossible for me to give my children the perfect environment to discover their potential, however, I gained some good insight into how I can communicate with them and mentor them!
Sara
Aug 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
I just started it, but it is very thought provoking. It is a book on how to educate. It seems to add to and really deepen my thoughts on education. I am looking into home schooling my kids, and it is a gread read so far.
Shannon
Jan 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My favorite quote from this book is "to educate means to 'draw out' not to 'put in'". This book taught me the importance of listening to our children as we try to help them discover some of their God given gifts and passions.
Kerri
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Parents, Educators, Policy Makers
AMAZING! So well researched, but yet it is most akin to a memoir. Really, there's nothing like it. It is the capstone to all the reading I've been doing about the education system and alternatives. The BEST. I'm so inspired!
Dawn
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it not just to homeschoolers, but also anyone who would be interested in letting children pursue their passions. I really appreciated the thought that children are not empty vessels to be filled but already complete.
Rebecca
Mar 16, 2008 is currently reading it
I saw this book on the morning news when they were doing a story on homeschooling and the Thomas Jefferson Education. So far, it's very good. It seems to be a must read for parents who embrace the Thomas Jefferson Method.
Kara
Jul 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Some really wonderful insights about love and caring for children. Often a little extreme points of view regarding the wrongs of public schooling and I didn't really like the format of going back in time then present etc.
Franziska
Sep 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Another book I didn't finish. This was really strangely written. There may have been a good message in there, but it was so odd, and poorly written, I couldn't move past the first few pages/chapters.
Shannon
Feb 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: homeschool
Inspiring memoir about one family's unorthodox journey in education. I don't know that I agree that *every* child has the potential to be *as* brilliant as the author's children...
Sally
Mar 26, 2008 rated it liked it
I wasn't expecting a memoir, but more of a why/how-to inspire brilliance in ourselves and children. But it is mostly a memoir, so I was a little thrown off. I'll have to read it again.
Rana Burr
May 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I truly could not put this book down! If you are homeschooling or have ever thought about it, you have to read this book.
Julia
Jul 23, 2008 is currently reading it
I just saw the author speak today and she was amazing - I am starting it today!
Jode
Mar 06, 2008 marked it as to-read
I ordered this book today. Have any of you read it? Do you know anything about the Thomas Jefferson and Mason methods/curriculum?

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Resa Steindel Brown’s expertise is in building educational processes and environments that enable children to find their passion and develop their individual and innate brilliance. She has been involved in alternative education since 1970 and homeschooling since 1987. She homeschooled her own three children from kindergarten to college.

Resa is credentialed by the State of California through the Un
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