The Parental Intelligence Newsletter

February 2008

Hi, this is Bob Collier inviting you to 'explore the psychology of happy and successful parenting', connect with bright minds, discover new ideas and sail outside the mainstream for a while without running aground.

All that and more.

In this month's issue of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter there are links to 37 articles and 17 notices and items of news. As always, I trust you will find in my latest collection of parenting, education and personal development ideas and information from around the internet something that will make a positive difference to your life - and, through you, to the lives of your children.

Please scroll down to pick and choose whatever is of interest and useful to you.

Thank you for being here! I appreciate this opportunity to be of help to you in your parenting adventure and wish you all the happiness and success you would wish yourself.

See you next month!



"All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education." - Sir Walter Scott


ADD and ADHD mumbo jumbo - The 9 factors of poor concentration
by Mike Brescia, Chief of Research, Think Right Now International

A lot of money is being spent by supplement companies trying to get us all to believe that the only factor in our ability to focus is some vitamin deficiency.


Even more is spent trying to convince us we all have a "Ritalin deficiency" and that our brains aren't wired right. Nothing would please Big Pharma more than if we were all in drug induced fogs.

Well, I know a lot of people who have the best diets but seem completely scatter-brained, with their attention going from one thing to the next with every change in the wind or with every email coming in or with every conversation overheard in the hallway.

And vitamins and chemical deficiencies have nothing to do with it.

It's simply undisciplined minds. That's all.

In our research, there were 9 primary factors involved in the inability to concentrate fully. These 9 are the core reasons why many people get distracted easily and don't get more done in their days.

Read the complete article here


Creating More Nurturing Environments for Children
by Pam Leo

Given a choice, young children will usually choose to be in a natural environment. They want to be outdoors, in the fresh air and sunlight, barefoot and naked, surrounded by grass, trees, and flowers, hearing the birds and the wind, playing in water with sticks and rocks. If you ask most grade school children what is their favorite part of school, they say outdoor recess. When children spend time outside where they can run, jump, climb, swing, swim, and play, they eat better, sleep better and are happier. We all know that children thrive in the outdoors. Yet we often forget how much the environment can affect a child's mood and behavior. When children spend too much time inside breathing stale air, hearing the hum of all the lights, electrical appliances, and the television, surrounded by synthetic fabrics, playing with plastic toys, eating foods that contain artificial coloring and preservatives, they get cranky and disagreeable.

Read more ...

The Power of The Language of Acceptance
by Dr. Thomas Gordon
When a person is able to feel and communicate genuine acceptance of another, he possesses a capacity for being a powerful helping agent. His acceptance of the other, as he is, is an important factor in fostering a relationship in which the other person can grow, develop, make constructive changes, learn to solve problems, move in the direction of psychological health, become more productive and creative, and actualize his fullest potential. It is one of those simple but beautiful paradoxes of life: When a person feels that he is truly accepted by another, as he is, then he is freed to move from there and to begin to think about how he wants to change, how he wants to grow, how he can become different, how he might become more of what he is capable of being.

Read more ...

Should My Baby be Sleeping Through the Night?
by Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC
It's so common for mothers to worry when their babies don't sleep through the night. After all, everyone knows they're "supposed to." Some doctors recommend nighttime weaning and "cry it out" methods if your baby is not sleeping through the night by 6 months or even earlier. Even when the mom herself has no problems with baby nursing at night, she still worries that this is a problem, since American society seems to consider it one. There are books all over the bookstores with advice on solving so-called "sleep problems."

First, please ignore what everyone else says about your baby's sleep habits and what is "normal." These people are not living with you or your baby.
Read more ...

Thank you for the above three items to Jan Hunt

I swore I'd never be there, but my baby's birth was mesmerising
by Tom Sykes
A few months ago I wrote in this newspaper that I had no intention of being present at the birth of my second child.

The whole business of childbirth, I wrote, was messy, alarming, puts men off sex and was not something that I wished to witness again.

And what use would a husband be in the delivery suite anyway?

Well, that noise you can hear is the sound of a man earnestly munching his way through a giant-sized portion of humble pie, because my wife Sasha has just given birth to a perfect baby girl - and I was there.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Adam Eason

Diverse Contexts of Human Infancy
by Barry S. Hewlett

American parents are rather unique cross-culturally in that they usually do not know very much about infancy until they have their own baby. In many parts of the world, individuals grow up with infants around them because of high fertility or living with extended family. Children in many parts of the world are expected to assist their mothers or female relatives with infant care, so by the time they become a parent they are aware of basic needs and wants of infants and know how to respond appropriately to them. American mothers and fathers, on the other hand, seldom if ever have had the opportunity to care for a baby, until they have their own.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Schuyler Waynforth

The 6 Human Needs 
by Mike Blissett

For many years Peak Performance Coach Anthony Robbins was in search of one of the keys to human existence; the method by which we feel fulfilled and successful, in other words 'balanced'.

Through research he noticed we generally have 6 basic human needs; Certainty, Variety, Significance, Love and Connection, Growth, and Contribution. By addressing and nurturing each can assist us in achieving balance and fulfillment in life.

Read more ...

A child-care lesson from Canada
by Steve Biddulph

For those who care about young children and their development, it was hard to even draw breath during the federal election. So much was at stake, from the nightmare of refugee families in desert detention, to the rights of working parents to decent hours and conditions.

Now that a new government is in place, managing the peace becomes the big challenge. One minefield for Labor - a legacy of 11 years of Coalition rule - is that of child care, and the underlying problem: how best to help Australia's 4 million families care for their young children and stay afloat financially.

Read more ...

Psychiatry's Unapproved Experiment on Children
by Vera Sharav

An editorial in the Daytona Beach News Journal ... acknowledges the duty to protect children from antipsychotics, among the most harmful prescribed medications: "Florida owes a more important duty to the thousands of children across the state who are taking powerful medications."

This sense of responsibility is what is lacking in psychiatry, which is the reason that millions of children are being exposed to toxic psychotropic drugs that are damaging their central nervous system, their developing brain, and their vital biologic systems.

In sharp contrast to other medical specialties, psychiatry's prescribing practices are governed by conjecture--i.e. faith--rather than scientific evidence to support clinical practice. And, as is acknowledged by Thomas Insel, MD director of the National Institute of Mental Health, psychiatry's practices have always been governed by the personal preference--i.e., bias--of the psychiatrist ...

Read more ...

Happiness: Enough Already
by Sharon Begley

The plural of anecdote is not data, as scientists will tell you, but consider these snapshots of the emerging happiness debate anyway: Lately, Jerome Wakefield's students have been coming up to him after they break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, and not because they want him to recommend a therapist. Wakefield, a professor at New York University, coauthored the 2007 book "The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow Into Depressive Disorder," which argues that feeling down after your heart is broken-even so down that you meet the criteria for clinical depression-is normal and even salutary. But students tell him that their parents are pressuring them to seek counseling and other medical intervention-"some Zoloft, dear?"-for their sadness, and the kids want no part of it. "Can you talk to them for me?" they ask Wakefield. Rather than "listening to Prozac," they want to listen to their hearts, not have them chemically silenced.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Vera Sharav

5 Dangerous Things Your Kids Should Do
by Jason Kotecki

Gever Tulley is the co-founder of the Tinkering School, a weeklong camp where lucky kids get to play with their very own power tools. He's interested in helping kids learn how to build, solve problems, use new materials and hack old ones for new purposes.

He gave a short speech at a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference. The speech was titled "5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do." Some of the suggestions? Play with fire. Throw a spear. Own a pocket knife.

Read more ...

The Sandlot 3: Baseball, but No Dad
by Glenn Sacks

Recently my daughter and I were watching her second favorite movie, The Sandlot 3. (Her favorite movie is The Sandlot 1). The movie is the story of arrogant baseball star Tommy "Santa" Santorelli who (warning: plot spoiler ahead) travels back in time to 1976 and relives his boyhood days on the sandlot baseball team. This time he chooses friendship over individual accomplishments, and ends up turning his life around, becoming a beloved baseball star instead of a hated one.

When Santorelli goes back to his childhood he is reunited with his mother, who died when he was about 12. The boy's bond with his mom is touching and sad, no question. However….Santorelli's father is not mentioned.

Read more ...

Two Angry Moms: The Genesis Of The Movie And The Movement
by Amy Kalafa

When I set out to make a documentary on school food several years ago, I was advised to steer clear of involvement in my own school district. Why? Because, my advisors advised, I would get so bogged down in local politics, that I would never have time to make the movie.

I heeded their counsel and stayed under the radar in my hometown, choosing instead to travel the country with my camera, weave a website and foment revolution on a national scale. After three arduous years of research, production, editing and promoting, Two Angry Moms is now available in living color for all to see.

Read more ...

Education's Rotten Apples
by Alfie Kohn

Like other people, educators often hold theories about how the world works, or how one ought to act, that are never named, never checked for accuracy, never even consciously recognized. One of the most popular of these theories is a very appealing blend of pragmatism and relativism that might be called "the more, the merrier." People subscribing to this view tend to dismiss arguments that a given educational practice is bad news and ought to be replaced by another. "Why not do both?" they ask. "No reason to throw anything out of your toolbox. Use everything that works."

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Deborah in Illinois via Always Learning

F for Assessment: Standardized Testing Fails
by W. James Popham

For the last four decades, students' scores on standardized tests have increasingly been regarded as the most meaningful evidence for evaluating U.S. schools. Most Americans, indeed, believe students' standardized test performances are the only legitimate indicator of a school's instructional effectiveness. Yet, although test-based evaluations of schools seem to occur almost as often as fire drills, in most instances these evaluations are inaccurate. That's because the standardized tests employed are flat-out wrong.

Read more ...

As the World Learns: Education as a Vital Global Marketplace Represents the Future
by Owen Edwards

Much is made of the idea of the global marketplace, and few of us are unaffected by it. But the expansion of trade between the world's nations, for all its far-reaching effects, is a phenomenon involving commodities, products, and money. In other words, stuff, and the prices paid for it.

Another vitally important global marketplace exists, however, in which ideas rather than things are what count ...

Read more ...

Parents, teachers must mould children
from Ghana News Agency
Nana Agyen Frimpong II, Tafohene of Kumasi, has called on parents not to shirk their responsibility of seriously supporting teachers in their efforts to impart quality education and knowledge to their children.

He said, training and educating children involves the collaborative efforts of both teachers and parents at all levels, explaining that as soon as one of them fails to perform, it becomes a problem for the other.
Read more ...

A school breaking all the rules
by James Rampton

It has been called the school where almost anything goes. Summerhill - where, famously, pupils are not obliged to go to lessons if they don't feel like it - has been characterised as everything from a version of Lord of the Flies to a 21st-century answer to Lindsay Anderson's If. Critics perceive it as some hopelessly misguided, impossibly idealistic, hippyish experiment doomed to failure. So why does this small school with a mere 78 pupils and 17 staff provoke so much hostility?

Read more ...

Education vs. Training vs. Learning
by Steve Rosenbaum

I was once told that there are two kinds of people in this world.  Those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don't.  Anyway, I've heard the discussion a lot about the difference between education, training and learning.  Some see sharp distinctions and other see them as the same.

Read more ...

Parents urged to embrace new tech 
by Stephen Crowne

It seems that every week a new report is published revealing the negative impact technology such as the internet, computer games and television is having on young people.

A Childwise report revealed that a generation of children were living their daily lives in front of a television or computer.

According to the report, British children spend an average of five hours and 20 minutes staring at a screen each day, while reading continues to decline as a regular pastime.

Read more ...

Parents crashing online party

Scott Seigal was awakened one recent early morning by a cell phone text message. It was from his girlfriend's mother.

His friends' parents have posted greetings on his MySpace page for all the world to see. And his 72-year-old grandmother sends him online instant messages every day so they can better stay in touch while he's at college.

"It's nice that adults know SOME things," says Seigal, an 18-year-old freshman at Binghamton University in New York. He especially likes IMing with his grandma because he's "not a huge talker on the phone."

Increasingly, however, he and other young people are feeling uncomfortable about their elders encroaching on what many young adults and teens consider their technological turf.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Sandra Dodd

The "Google generation" not so hot at Googling, after all
by Nate Anderson

A new UK report on the habits of the "Google Generation" finds that kids born since 1993 aren't quite the Internet super-sleuths they're sometimes made out to be. For instance, are teens better with technology than older adults? Perhaps, but they also "tend to use much simpler applications and fewer facilities than many imagine."

Read more ...

Programming: The New Literacy
by Marc Prensky

Already, various thinkers about the future have proposed a number of candidates for the designation "twenty-first-century literacy." That is, what are the key skills humans must possess in order to be considered literate?

Read more ...

Hip-Hop High: Rhythm and Lyrics Teach Everything from English to Algebra
by Eric Hellweg

Like many sixteen-year-olds, Amir Ali spends a lot of time after school talking with friends about sports, girls, and music -- specifically, hip-hop music. But last year, during his sophomore year at Lynwood High School, in Lynwood, California, Ali noticed a drastic shift in these spirited afternoon after-school conversations.

"Suddenly, everyone wanted to talk about English class," Ali remembers. "A friend even said she was looking forward to English class the next day. It was never a class you looked forward to."

Read more ...

Online Schooling Grows, Setting Off a Debate
by Sam Dillon

Weekday mornings, three of Tracie Weldie's children eat breakfast, make beds and trudge off to public school - in their case, downstairs to their basement in a suburb here, where their mother leads them through math and other lessons outlined by an Internet-based charter school.

Half a million American children take classes online, with a significant group, like the Weldies, getting all their schooling from virtual public schools. The rapid growth of these schools has provoked debates in courtrooms and legislatures over money, as the schools compete with local districts for millions in public dollars, and over issues like whether online learning is appropriate for young children.

Read more ...

Class Dismissed
by Rachel Tennenbaum

Imagine waking up on a Monday and driving up to Berkeley to check out a new art gallery opening. That night you play some video games and crack open a book before hitting the hay. Think this sounds like a day off for a college student? It's actually the school day of a 9-year-old. No, it's not a fantasy Ferris Bueller-style: It's a daily reality for thousands of young learners who call themselves "unschoolers."

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Arun Pradhan

Wild Child
by Glenna Whitley 
When Quinn Eaker dropped out of a Colleyville high school in the second month of his senior year, his mother was so happy she threw him a huge party. A hundred guests descended on their home to celebrate Quinn's return to the freedom in which he'd been raised: days on end without classes, tests or grades, days free of any schedule, days for Quinn to learn what he wanted, when he wanted and how he wanted.

He returned to being unschooled.

Read more ...

15 Minutes of Fame: Horde of Unschoolers
by Lisa Poisso

What would happen if you let your child stay out of school to explore whatever she is most interested in doing, for as long as she wanted to do it? Would she end up playing World of Warcraft all day long? This week, meet a mom who not only lets her kids play WoW whenever they want to - but many days, she's the first one to log in. For the members of The Venture Co. server's Horde of Unschoolers, it's a lifestyle and educational approach that's not as outlandish as it might sound. It's called "unschooling," and thousands of families find it just the ticket to a creative, individualized education.

Read more ...

Getting It Wrong: Slaying Myths About Video Games
Lee Wilson

Two years ago I began to play World of Warcraft as a way to stay in touch with my teenage sons while I was on the road.

WoW is the market leader of a new generation of computer games characterized as "massively multiplayer" - more than 9 million people around the globe play Blizzard Entertainment's WoW together on the Internet. In the evenings my sons and I would meet online, playing and chatting about our day and the things we were doing in the game.
Massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft help users engage complex thinking skills.
After a few weeks something about the underlying structure of the game began to look very familiar. When you look past the Orcs, Gnomes, and other fanciful inhabitants and elements, you find Blizzard has built an elegant and engaging learning management system.
Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Meghan via Always Learning

Revenge of the Right Brain
by Daniel H. Pink

When I was a kid - growing up in a middle-class family, in the middle of America, in the middle of the 1970s - parents dished out a familiar plate of advice to their children: Get good grades, go to college, and pursue a profession that offers a decent standard of living and perhaps a dollop of prestige. If you were good at math and science, become a doctor. If you were better at English and history, become a lawyer. If blood grossed you out and your verbal skills needed work, become an accountant. Later, as computers appeared on desktops and CEOs on magazine covers, the youngsters who were really good at math and science chose high tech, while others flocked to business school, thinking that success was spelled MBA.

Read more ...

The Brain Game
How Do We Run Our Own Brain?
by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.

So you want to run your own brain? Good for you. What a wonderful objective! And so rare. Many people talk about running their own brain and taking charge of their own mind, but just watch them when criticized or insulted. They go to pieces. Let one of their closely held beliefs be questioned, and watch out. Suddenly it becomes semantic reaction time. They explode with rage, anger, stress, fear, shock, etc. If they truly "run their own brains," how is it that they lack state management skills in the moments when managing one's reactions really counts?

Running our own brain, and thinking freely in independent ways apart from rehashing worn-out or spoon fed thoughts necessitates several things.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Jamie Smart

Interview with Daniel Siegel, MD
by Cynthia Levin, Psy.D.

Daniel J. Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics, general adult psychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry. He has served as a National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow at UCLA, studying family interactions with an emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions, behavioral regulation, autobiographical memory and narrative processes.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Julianne Idleman of Hand in Hand

Scientists Say Everyone Can Read Minds
by Ker Than

Empathy allows us to feel the emotions of others, to identify and understand their feelings and motives and see things from their perspective. How we generate empathy remains a subject of intense debate in cognitive science.

Some scientists now believe they may have finally discovered its root. We're all essentially mind readers, they say.

Read more ...

Watch Your Language!
Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling
by Judith Lloyd Yero

In their first book, The Structure of Magic, Richard Bandler and John Grinder probed the source of the "magic" described by Freud. They explained that when people use language, they are creating a model or representation of their experience. That experience, in turn, is based on their perceptions of the world. Completing the cycle, those perceptions are shaped and limited by the model.

If a person says, "Life is just a rat-race with one hurdle after another," that person is giving the listener a peek into his internal mental landscape. He expects hurdles, so his perceptions are tuned to notice more hurdles. It's the old "if all you've got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" syndrome.

Read more ...

The Essence of "The Secret"
by Lori Radun, CEC

The marketing agents behind "The Secret" are brilliant.  I just recently bought the DVD called "The Secret".  I don't watch much TV, but even I've heard all the hype regarding "The Secret".  When two of my best friends started raving about this movie, I got a little curious and spent the $30.00 to own this popular DVD.  In the last 30 days, there have been 440,599 internet searches on the word "secret", 26,518 searches on "DVD secret", 24,654 searches on "movie secret" and 17,423 searches on "oprah secret".  The Secret is sweeping the world!

Read more ...

The Missing Secrets in The Secret
by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.

If you have seen the movie of The Secret or read the book by the same title, then you have heard about the so-called "law of attraction," the power of thoughts being magnetic, goals being magical, and life destiny being totally within your control. All sounds pretty promising, eh? Yet how accurate and how realistic are these things? What do you think? Is there any over-selling here? Any over-promising that life will under-deliver on later? If you have an open mind and are willing to explore things, then come with us.

Read more ...

Thank you for that item to Jamie Smart

Learning to Dream.... Again
by Peter

There is something wonderfully simple about the way young children see life. It is a way of seeing in which anything is possible, and this means that they see no reason why they can't grow up to be an astronaut or a cowboy or a princess.

I personally remember a time when I truly believed that I would grow up to be a famous tennis player competing on the world stage. As I grew older, this dream changed to being a critically-acclaimed movie director. Somewhere along the line, though, this dream faded and for a long time I never properly replaced it.

Read more ...


Guiding Stars of the New Parenting Movement

Be sure to download your FREE copy of my Guiding Stars of the New Parenting Movement e-books while you're here if you haven't done so already.

There are two volumes so far. These e-books are FREE with my compliments and are packed with valuable insights and useful ideas to help you in your parenting adventure.

Volume 1 - an introduction to the work of Michael Mendizza, Robin Grille, Laura Ramirez, Jan Hunt, Pam Leo, Pat and Larry Downing, Alfie Kohn, Marc Prensky, Kali Wendorf and Jan Fortune-Wood:

Download it from here

Volume 2 - an introduction to the work of Aletha Solter, Kim Wildner, Naomi Aldort, John Travis and Meryn Callander, John Breeding, Scott Noelle, Beverley Paine and Alan Wilson

Download it from here

Kindred Magazine

In the latest issue of Kindred magazine:

Ultrasound Scans: Are they Worth the Risk
Plastics in our Home and our Child's Toys: Which ones are Safe?
Teenagers and Sex: Are they ready?
How to Talk with your Teenager about Tough Issues
Grade Wool and Wheat, not our Kids
Are there enough Fish in the Sea: Sustainable seafood consumption
Why I love to Vacuum
When a Child is Shy

For more information and to subscribe please visit the Kindred Magazine website

Connection Parenting

A standout book by parent educator Pam Leo recommended by the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children.   

"Connection parenting is parenting through connection instead of coercion, through love instead of fear."

The complete book is now on audio CD, read by the author.

Sign up for Pam Leo's newsletter Connecting Connection Parents:

Click here and scroll down

Connection Parenting Connects with the Consciously Parenting Project Online

Click on the link below to listen to a one hour teleseminar with Pam and Rebecca Thompson, M.S., MFT, executive director of the Consciously Parenting Project.

Parenting For A Peaceful World

Owing to strong demand, Australian psychologist and psychotherapist Robin Grille's Parenting For A Peaceful World has gone into its fourth print run!

Find out more about this exceptional book at Robin's website Our Emotional Health.

I Worship at the Altar of Alfie Kohn

That's the name of a Facebook group I joined recently. Okay, worship might be going a little far, but I'm definitely a huge fan. Take a look at the group if you're on Facebook and/or visit and explore the website of this 'living legend', writer and speaker on human behaviour, education, and parenting and author of the book Unconditional Parenting:

Family and Home Network

"Family and Home Network is a grassroots organization founded by three at-home mothers over twenty years ago. We offer mothers and fathers our award-winning publications and this website as communication tools. Through them, we exchange information, offer each other support and understanding, learn together about public policy and join forces to speak up for our families."

Find out more about the Family and Home Network's philosophy at

Future Families

"Future Families is a non-government, not for profit community association commenced in March 2007 by a group of Adelaide (South Australia) mums.

We inform and support parents on the vast array of greater options to raise children holistically via conscious parenting."

To find out more about conscious parenting, please visit the Future Families website

Toddler Tactics

A new book from Pinky McKay, author of Sleeping Like a Baby, Parenting By Heart, 100 Ways to Calm the Crying and How do we Tell the Kids?

"Toddler Tactics is bursting with practical strategies and hassle-free advice for making the toddler years the exhilarating experience they should be ..."

Visit for all the exciting details

What Women Want

"What Women Want (Australia) is the only political party dedicated to advancing issues affecting Australian women. We want our parliaments to be more representative. We believe that the male domination of politics limits and negatively impacts on decisions and policies. What Women Want (Australia) will dedicate its work to giving women more of a say in the direction of our country and the important policies that shape it."

Thank you for that item to Belinda Moore


A meeting of the moms

"Momference is the first global expert resource created especially for Moms seeking the best information to help them in their efforts as women and mothers.

The Momference mission is simple: celebrate, empower, and educate women who are moms in all aspects of their lives. More than just a place where experts share information with mothers, Momference is a community of women and mothers interacting in virtual environments to gain insight and support from the most powerful group on the planet: each other!"

Thank you for that item to Dr. Caron Goode

Salena's Mommy Rave

"I would love to share solutions to some of the big issues new moms face in their first year of motherhood. Discover ideas to help you powerfully rebuild your body, create more energy, rekindle the flames with your husband, feel confident and grounded and generally get your life in order!"

Sign up for Salena Kulkami's newsletter and a receive a free New Mommy Guidance audio.

Bad Dad

Have you blown it with your kids?

"Discover 10 Actions You Can Take To Earn Back Your Children's Trust... Guaranteed!"

My unsolicited testimonial:

"It's never too late to be a wonderful dad! That's the inspiring message in David Perdew's painfully honest story of his disasters, gradual recovery and ultimate triumph in the world of modern fatherhood. This book is sure to be of great help and encouragement to every dad who's ever struggled in his relationship with a son or daughter and I'm more than happy to recommend it to my readers."

Get the details at

Teens! Change Is Your Choice

A book by Julie Jenkins Sathe.

"Teens! Change Is Your Choice is an empowering, hands-on book specifically created for teens. This book recognizes the wisdom within each person. It guides the individual teen to make changes to their own life, in tangible, subtle steps...and only as he or she chooses."

Find out more about Teens! Change Is Your Choice: Solutions From Within

When Traditional Reading Methods Don't Work

You, Yes YOU, Can Teach Someone to Read, using a new concept in literacy training

Learn about a revolutionary new method that walks both the prospective tutor and the seasoned literacy professional through an approach to literacy that is engaging, simplified, accelerated, inexpensive and mutually enriching for both the tutor and learner."

Visit for more information

Thank you for that item to the International Association of Learning Alternatives (IALA)

Home Ed Connect

A new Australian based Yahoo! group for all home educators.

"This group is for those who seek support online or those who are looking to make connections with local home educating families. This group is all inclusive, that is, all home educating philosophies and all personal belief systems are welcome here."

Visit the group here

The Unschooling Unmanual

This new book from The Natural Child Project features writing by Nanda Van Gestel, Jan Hunt, Daniel Quinn, Rue Kream, Kim Houssenloge, Earl Stevens, and Mary Van Doren.

"Through engaging personal stories, examples, and essays, the writers offer inspiration and encouragement for seasoned and prospective unschoolers alike."

Read a review by Arun Pradhan of The Parenting Pit

And finally ...

Are you afraid of science?

Chemistry, biology and physics.

When I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s, they were subjects that you weren't expected to get serious about until high school - by which time, I found, they had become quite abstract and seemingly irrelevant to daily life. I remember science at high school as a monumental task to understand and I flunked big time (probably 90% of what I know today about chemistry, biology and physics has been acquired from the internet since I turned 50!).

The other thing was that girls were not expected to get serious about chemistry, biology and physics at all. They had 'more important things' to think about.

Maybe the situation has improved somewhat over the years, especially in the latter respect, but it still seems to me that science is viewed generally as a preserve of specialists. It's not thought of as everyday knowledge for ordinary people.

Yet what could be more fundamental to our understanding of life than learning about how we and the world we live in are constructed?

Meet former high school science teacher and now homeschooler Teresa Bondora. She's a lady on a mission.

She thinks children should be learning the Periodic Table of Elements around the same time in their life as they're learning to read, write and figure out 2+2. I agree with her.

Are you afraid of science?

You need to visit Teresa's most excellent website How To Teach Science!

Thank you for reading the Parental Intelligence Newsletter!

The next issue of this newsletter will be published on or about 14 March 2008

Copyright © Bob Collier, except where indicated otherwise

Published by Bob Collier, Canberra, Australia  

Email: bobcollier[at]parental-intelligence[dot]com  

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