Your Child's Strengths: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

Overview

With this groundbreaking work, renowned educator Jenifer Fox argues against the flawed and maddening paradigm that "fixing"kids' weaknesses is the way to achieve success. Rather, Fox promotes focusing on kids' natural inclinations in three interdependent areas: Activity Strengths, Relationship Strengths, and Learning Strengths. Pairing inspiring firsthand accounts of success with practical workbook tools, alongside an outline of the award-winning strengths-based Affinities curriculum Fox has implemented in her ...

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Your Child's Strengths: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

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Overview

With this groundbreaking work, renowned educator Jenifer Fox argues against the flawed and maddening paradigm that "fixing"kids' weaknesses is the way to achieve success. Rather, Fox promotes focusing on kids' natural inclinations in three interdependent areas: Activity Strengths, Relationship Strengths, and Learning Strengths. Pairing inspiring firsthand accounts of success with practical workbook tools, alongside an outline of the award-winning strengths-based Affinities curriculum Fox has implemented in her own school, Your Child's Strengths is a user-friendly and indispensable guide for parents, teachers, and administrators alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
There is never any question that this author is an advocate for kids, teens, and, when it comes right down to it, for adults. She believes schools, and society in general, focus too much on identifying and trying to "fix" deficits rather than helping children, teens, and adults identify and optimize their strengths. The book is divided into three parts: "The Weakness Habit," "A Strengths Awakening," and "Create Your Future, Play to Your Strengths Workbook." Author Fox, a school principal, argues the pressing need today and in the future for people who can adapt and innovate, be creative, and flexible; she asserts that people who have a clear idea of their strengths—in activities, in relationships, and in learning—are the ones who can fill the bill. Her intention is to offer guidance for parents and teachers in helping children discover their strengths so they can become fulfilled and vital adults. Short case narratives are liberally sprinkled through the text, illustrating Fox's strengths-focused approach when working with "problem" students over the years. She provides very detailed workbook activities and inventories in the final third and appendices of the book to help parents, teachers, and children/teens develop their observation and reflection skills so they can begin to identify their strengths. Focusing on strengths is a habit of mind that must be cultivated consistently over a period of time, and the author offers realistic options for working with kids at different ages based on their cognitive development levels. Although this is clearly a book targeted for general readership, it is nevertheless frustrating that sources of claims and statistics are not consistentlyidentified. In the positive column, the book offers a good index and an extensive list of resources in addition to all the other practical guidance already discussed. Anyone who has grown weary of teaching to the test and trying to fit all children into an inflexible educational machine will surely resonate with this approach. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143115175
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/24/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 386,538
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jenifer Fox, M.Ed., has worked in day and boarding schools, single-sex and coed schools, as a teacher and administrator for twenty-five years. She is currently head of the Purnell School in Pottersville, New Jersey. She holds a B.S. in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and M.A. in English from Middlebury College, and a M.Ed. in school administration from Harvard University. She lives in Pottersville, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xiii

Introduction 1

Part 1 The Weakness Habit 5

Chapter 1 The Face Of Weakness 7

Chapter 2 Standardization And The Weakening Of The Individual 29

Chapter 3 The High Cost Of A Brand-Name College 37

Chapter 4 Learning Disabilities For Dummies 46

Chapter 5 The Myth Of Adolescent Rebellion 60

Part 2 A Strengths Awakening 69

Chapter 6 Your Three Types Of Strengths 74

Chapter 7 Setting The Stage For Discovery And Development 96

Chapter 8 Strengths Are For Younger Kids, Too 119

Chapter 9 Barriers And Bridges: Making The Strengths Life Possible 138

Chapter 10 This Approach Is For Life 154

Part 3 Create Your Future, Play To Your Strengths Workbook 161

How It Works 171

Activity Strengths 178

Relationship Strengths 196

Learning Strengths 217

Looking To The Future 232

Is This The Answer To Our Future? 236

Acknowledgments 238

Appendixes

A My Strengths Inventory: Hat, Vest, Shoes 243

B The Affinities Program 259

C Resources 328

Index 335

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