It’s widely known that there is a direct connection between a child’s home life and how well he/she does in school. Researched and written by longtime educators James Reed Campbell and Brenda Williams Harewood, Parents as Talent Developers explores this critical link in a rare guide for minority parents and extended families.
The book includes 92 practical ideas, or “kernels,” many gleaned from the parents of high-achieving African American and Latino students, and all known to work: “Every night ask about homework.” “Know your children’s friends.” “Teach the child how to find answers; don’t give the child answers.” The kernels are also compiled in an easy-to-review appendix at the end of the book.
Parents as Talent Developers urges parents to begin early by getting children library cards, teaching them how to create a routine, and mentioning college before first grade. Chapter 6, titled “Communication,” includes some terrific advice on how to listen and talk to your children, and how to really get to know them through the subtlety of their words. The book also explores the important role of grandmothers in some minority families and delves into the history behind such myths as “acting white is selling out” and “smart kids don’t have to work hard,” which may undermine a minority child’s success. The final, research-heavy section is designed for educators to use in collaboration with parents.
The book’s logical flow and excellent writing make it a swift read that not only helps prepare children for good grades but builds character, too. Long before the authors point it out at the end of the book, readers may have picked up on the fact that most of the advice also applies to non-minority families. Good parenting, after all, knows no racial or cultural boundaries.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.