I have admired Ellen Galinsky’s work for over twenty years…since I was a Sociology undergraduate at U. C. Berkeley in the late 80s. Founder of the Families and Work Institute, she has been a long-time intelligent advocate for work/family balance, early childhood education and so much more. Given how much the work and education landscape has changed during these years, her work is even more impressive.
Her book, Mind in the Making, focuses on children and learning — specifically, the kind of knowledge and skills they will need as they grow. And guess what: it’s not pre-algebra.
Through extensive research, both academic and in the “real world,” Ellen has come up with a list of the seven most important “life skills” kids can develop to help them forge a path in our “multi-tasking, multimedia, modern world.”
- Focus and Self Control
- Perspective Taking
- Making Connections
- Critical Thinking
- Taking On Challenges
- Self-Directed, Engaged Learning
If you’ve spent much time here, you know that I’m suspicious of a) “expert” parenting advice, and b) multi-step, one-size-fits-all lists of “essential” anything when it comes to raising kids. This book doesn’t fit into either category. What Ellen’s talking about here is bypassing the expensive, high-tech “educational” product market in favor of simple games and activities you can share with your kids that build these skills. She’s advocating balance between academic “achievement” and personal growth. Between learning for grades and learning for life. This is heady, important stuff — fertile ground for Parenthackers!
What life skills have served YOU best so far?