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“Practical Wisdom for Parents” Everything you wanted to know about the preschool years but were way too embarrassed to ask


Practical Wisdom for ParentsI typically have very low expectations for most parenting books, so when I first picked up Practical Wisdom for Parents I predicted it would be yet another trite, boring book preaching the parenting style du jour. Instead what I found was a book that I wish I had had when my first child was about 6 months old.

Now that I have 3 kids and the youngest is almost 3, much of what is in this book is not news to me, but I am not the target audience.

Are you trying to figure out whether or not to send your child to a Montessori school, traditional daycare, an in-home daycare, or keep them home with you? Are you so confused that you no longer feel like you can make a good decision anymore? This book is full of lists, bullet points, and other easy to read and understand descriptions of things that you may assume you should know already. But you don’t. And you feel inadequate.

You don’t have to feel that way because now you can refer to the Cliff Notes version of educational knowledge. Can I say again how I wish I had this book 5 years ago? For example, in the How to Choose a School section, there are notes about elements you may want to watch for when visiting the schools in person.

There’s a chapter called “What is Preschool?” and it isn’t a fluff piece — it actually tells you in depth what to expect from a typical day at a typical daycare. And they don’t stop at age 3, the advice and tips will take you through preparing for Kindergarten and beyond.

Written by the Directors of the 92nd Street Y Nursery School in New York City, Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum, these two women clearly have not only a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips, but the organizational skills to present it clearly and without condescension.

Knopff sent me my copy, but you can get your very own at Amazon for $16.

Or even better: Win a copy of your very own!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post before 5pm Pacific time on Friday, September 21 and you’ll be entered to win. I’ll randomly choose TWO winners and you’ll each get your book in the mail. (Note that the books are the very tiniest bit stained from the extremely cute but ultimately slightly leaky sunscreen swag the publisher included in my package. It isn’t terribly noticeable, but you know… I just thought I should mention it.) U.S. addresses only this time. Details

This contest is now closed.

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  • Discussion

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    On September 10th, 2007 at 11:27 pm, lornadoone said:

    I’m really enjoying your new blog. I am currently expecting my first, so I feel like I’ve gotten in on the ground-floor of something really useful here!

    Please enter me in your contest if it is appropriate!

    On September 13th, 2007 at 9:02 am, Thien-Kim said:

    This book sounds perfect for me! I have a 2 year old and I guess I need to start seeing what options are out their for preschools.

    On September 13th, 2007 at 11:34 am, Hot Librarian said:

    I love reference books. I think this counts.

    On September 20th, 2007 at 7:58 pm, Jen said:

    I’m a sucker for parenting books. Especially now that my youngest is hitting the terrible twos …. hard.

    On September 21st, 2007 at 3:39 pm, Laura @ Laura Williams’ Musings said:

    Count me in too!

    On September 21st, 2007 at 5:01 pm, Erika Jurney said:

    OK, this contest is now over, but stay tuned to hear who won!

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