This weekend I was on the beach reading The Book Thief. As I read, I noticed a young father with a child about the age of 3. I observed them for nearly 2 hours, and during that time they talked, built things, engaged in imaginary play. As I watched them, I reflected about the findings of Geoffrey Canada and how important it is to talk to our children. What I observed on Saturday is commonplace in our lives, but lacking in so many of our impoverish children's lives. So much of what I am reading is a reinforcement of what we know or are experiencing in school. In chapter 2, it is interesting to see how the pendulum as swung from the writings of Moynihan to the Coleman report. Although, I don't want to get involved in a political discussion- poverty and how we address it in schools is very much a political issue. Canada saids if we want poor kids to compete with their middle class classmates we need to change everything from neighborhoods to thier parents child rearing practices. That is a big task and requires a gargantuan effort on our part. Although I am enjoying this book very much, I'm hoping Canada can answer some questions- for example, Why don't impoverish people use more language with thier children.? Is it because the stress of living in poverty, in fact, impoverishes the human spirit? Chapter 3 is even more eye opening as the parents in Baby College discuss thier viewpoints on child rearing. All very eye opening.

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When I read the part about Canada wanting to change everything from the neighborhood attitudes to "promising success", 2 things struck me. The parents he had signing up for the lottery wanted and valued an education and were willing to make sure it happened as in "do their part". The other was, how was he measuring success? Throughout the second chapter they keep asking, "Why are poor people poor?". I know there is not a simple or single answer to this question but the ideas and studies done, certainly made interesting reading .



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