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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
When Joe Gauld opened the first Hyde campus in Maine, he believed education should encompass more than the basic academic fundamentals; he wanted his students to develop character. More than two decades later, the Hyde schools have garnered many accolades for helping "problem" students turn around and attend college. This phenomenal success is due in part the curriculum's requirement that parents be deeply involved in their children's academic and moral education. Most parents would agree that they value honesty, responsibility, and accountability in their family life. But are those expectations being met? This is the challenge extended by The Biggest Job We'll Ever Have.
Gauld's son, Malcolm, and daughter-in-law, Laura -- both Hyde teachers -- have outlined the basic Hyde philosophy to help parents and their teenagers learn character together, in the home. Even if you have an idea of what perfect family life looks like, the Gaulds warn that you aren't looking at the big picture. The first step, they write, is to "let go of the Hallmark fantasy."
Each chapter addresses one of the school's Ten Priorities, which include "Attitude over Aptitude," "Value Success and Failure," and "Allow Obstacles to Become Opportunities" and includes family exercises to help these priorities become part of the home. At times, some of their suggestions seem quite rigorous, but the authors state loudly and clearly that "this book will not appeal to the parent seeking a 'quick fix.' Parenting is hard work." And so is building character. Armed with the information provided by the Gaulds, readers will find that becoming a healthier, better-functioning family is certainly worth the effort. And the payoff is raising children who are fully engaged in their education as well as their personal development. (Jessica Leigh Lebos)