Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer Reading Highlights

Normally I'm not much of a non-fiction reader. I start off with good intentions, but will often get bored and walk away from a book half-way in. Brandon is the complete opposite and has been a good encourager in challenging me to dig a little deeper in the quality of books I read! That said, I've recently finished reading 2 excellent books that I had to share!

1. The Collapse of Parenting by Leonard Sax

In this book Sax, a physician and psychologist, examines the increase in obesity, anxiety, and depression in children and relates this decline in physical and psychological health to modern parenting. Sax argues that parents have become to passive in their parenting and are more afraid of what their kids think of them rather than how their children are behaving. Consequently, kids are being allowed to "call the shots", spend hours on their smart phones and playing video games, and rely on peers and figures in he media to substitute the guidance they aren't getting at home.

I loved how Sax gave concrete examples from his own interactions as a psychiatrist and how he gives practical advice as to how parents can respond to this problem. The book isn't written from a Christian perspective, but many of the parenting philosophies directly align with thoughts and conversations Brandon and I have had that stem from our beliefs. I could barley getting through a page without stopping to read something outloud to was one of those books that If I'd been highlighting important points or things I wanted to remember, the pages would be drowning in yellow!

2. The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley

If this book did anything, it affirmed Brandon and my desire to homeschool. This is a fascinating read that examines the American education system and compares it to higher performing international programs. Ripley follows several American students whom study abroad for a year and compares their experiences while she reviews national education programs and why "smarter" kids are being produced abroad. I was particularly interigues because one of the students Ripley follows was from one of the local high schools here in MN (that is highly ranked). Some of the primary areas Ripley examines are the students' perspectives towards education, the training and recognition of teachers, the importance of being taught how to think rather than how to pass a class. 

So now I'm hooked :) Any non-fiction recommendations I should try out?


  1. I'm finishing Peter Mayles memoir of his time in Provence... And loving it.

  2. Thanks for recommending The Smartest Kids in the World. I plan to pick it up and read it. Another great one (that I will review on the blog soon) is American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales.This was very eye-opening and a must read.

    Also, Gavin DeBecker's The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift.