Best Nonfiction Book Blog

Best book for mystics: “Einstein Never Used Flashcards”

Best Nonfiction Book - Einstein Never Used Flash Cards

Nonfiction books aren’t a drag anymore; they’re an indulgence. Now featured on my blog: a few notes on some of my absolute recommend-it-to-anyone favorites.

This week’s best nonfiction book: Einstein Never Used Flashcards by Kathy Hirsh Pasek and Robert Michnick Golinkoff

This is really one of the best nonfiction books out there? Why?

First of all, what a great title. And the book really delivers on it–seriously. It’s probably the starting point for homeschooling families looking for the latest information, stats and techniques on the science of learning. Whether or not you’re one of these families, read this for help facilitating your child’s education–and your own.

What will I get of this best nonfiction book that will make it worth my time?

Quite a bit, particularly if you’re a parent. And not just anecdotal stuff, but statistics, studies and cutting-edge research on how to help children help themselves learn.

A few main points:

• Play is learning.
• Asking questions and having conversations is learning.
• Memorization isn’t helpful without understanding and context.
• There are seven different kinds of intelligence. IQ isn’t everything—not even the main thing—to concern yourself with.

Where can I further investigate this best nonfiction book?

Einstein Never Used Flashcards on Amazon

Einstein Never Used Flashcards on Goodreads

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

Best book for mystics: “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell

new-thought-6

Law of attraction book: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Law of attraction author: Malcolm Gladwell
Law of attraction book summary writer: Mollie Player

This law of attraction book’s particular appeal:

Malcom Gladwell, y’all. He’s not just another writer. Please read something by him if you haven’t already, or I won’t be able to consider you a true intellectual.

This law of attraction book’s essence:

This book is about what happens when we make crucial decisions in the tiny span of time between external stimuli and logical thought. It takes you from a doctor’s office to a forest fire to a police shooting, recounting true events in vivid, journalistic detail. Love.

For more information on this law of attraction book, see:

This information to come.

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

Best book for mystics: “The Well-Fed Writer” by Peter Bowermann

Best Nonfiction Book - The Well-Fed Writer

Best nonfiction book nominee: The Well-Fed Writer
Best nonfiction author nominee: Peter Bowermann
Book summary writer: Mollie Player

Best nonfiction book? Why?

The Well-Fed Writer encourages the self-proclaimed starving artist to man up, pick up the phone and sell his work. That is why it’s among the best.

Best nonfiction book? What’s in it?

Cold calling. Lots and lots of cold calling for freelance writers.

Some of the authors’ freelance writing tips:

  • Make a portfolio.
  • Write a professional bid letter and cover letter.
  • Get a logo.
  • Save receipts.
  • Use an assistant.
  • Get a recorder.
  • Get Strunk & White, a style manual and other books of the trade.
  • Make peakerphone and microcassette recorder, color printer, etc.
  • Make a brochure or info packet.
  • Get a business card.
  • Be a standout vendor! Under-promise, over-deliver.
  • Deliver early.
  • Get referrals to new clients from every client you work for.
  • Form personal relationships with clients and check up on them from time to time.
  • Send thank you notes and Christmas cards to remind clients you’re around.
  • Include in your quote meeting time, two rounds of edits, transport time, research and interviews, etc.
  • Use job agents.
  • Learn technical writing and writing software.
  • Do pro-bono work for nonprofits and friends.
  • Did I mention cold calling? Cold call 50 businesses per day.
  • Keep notes.

Contact: ad agencies, graphic designers, marketing companies, PR firms, book publishers (for editing work), event production companies, and the communication departments, marketing departments and sales departments of corporations.

For more information on this best nonfiction book, see:

This information still to come.

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

Best book for mystics: “Nurture Shock” by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

Best Nonfiction Book - Nurture Shock

Best nonfiction book: Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children
Best nonfiction author: Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Book summary writer: Mollie Player

Best nonfiction book? Why?

In the growing tradition of recently published nonfiction, Nurture Shock is a treat for the educated, modern reader. It’s a collection of short, well-written, well-researched pieces–sort of the Reader’s Digest idea, but cooler.

Best nonfiction book? What’s in it?

Nurture Shock is a collection of pieces offering unexpected ideas about teaching children more effectively.

The advice:

  • Don’t praise kids for smarts, or they’ll be afraid of failure. Instead, praise them for effort and for other things that are under their control. This will motivate them to take on difficult challenges.
  • Teach kids that intelligence is a muscle and can be developed.
  • Kids who get even fifteen minutes more sleep do much better in school.
  • Talk about race. Kids are always looking at differences. If you don’t talk to them about the differences, they will draw their own conclusions. Kids want to belong so they exclude others unless told not to.
  • Deal with lies calmly. All kids lie.
  • Teach kids to see and interact with siblings as they would a friend—someone whose loyalty isn’t taken for granted.
  • Play-based learning is extremely important. Tools for the Mind classes incorporate: (1) Sustained play. Kids write out a play plan for imagination games. (2) Self-criticism, self-reflection. Kids are taught to pick out the best examples of their own work and the work of their peers. (3) Buddy reading.

To help child learn how to talk:

  • Words should accompany interaction, especially facial cues. This is why TV doesn’t help babies learn.
  • Follow baby’s lead. Say words for items he’s showing interest in already, when the motivation to learn it is already present.
  • For small babies, wiggle a toy or object to draw attention to it before naming it.
  • Incorporate common sentences with new words.
  • Say the same idea in several different ways.
  • Respond to almost all vocalization in some way, teaching the child they affect you by their sounds.

For more information on this best nonfiction book, see:

This information still to come.

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

 

 

Best book for mystics: “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes

Best Nonfiction Book - Good Calories Bad Calories

Best nonfiction book: Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

Why Good Calories, Bad Calories is one of the best nonfiction books out there:

Gary Taubes is a pretty awesome scientist-rebel. It’s fun reading good evidence that the establishment (including the government) is wrong.

What you’ll get out of Good Calories, Bad Calories
that truly makes it worth reading:

Taubes handily disproves at least the following:

• The fat-cholesterol hypothesis (the idea that dietary fat raises cholesterol levels in the body);
• The calorie hypothesis (the idea that we can control our weight by counting calories); and, most significantly,
• The pro-carbohydrate hypothesis (the idea that a diet high in the right carbs is good for you).

Where to learn more about Good Calories, Bad Calories and Gary Taubes:

This information still to come.

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

 

 

 

Best book for mystics: “Neanderthin” by Ray Audette

Best Nonfiction Book - Instead of Education

Best nonfiction book: Neanderthin: Eat Like a Cave Man to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body
Best nonfiction author: Ray Audette
Book summary writer: Mollie Player

Best nonfiction book? Why?

Put simply: science. It’s cool, even when it’s not.

Best nonfiction book? What’s in it?

Neanderthin makes a very convincing, research-based argument that meat is still good for us. It advocates paleo-style eating: eating natural- or near natural-state fruits, vegetables and meat but no dairy or grains.

Paleo rules: Do eat meats, fish, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and berries. Do not eat grains, beans, potatoes, dairy or sugar.

On why certain foods are unhealthy: Many grains are inedible without human agricultural practices (milling, long cooking); legumes filled with aflatoxins, alkaloidic (toxins), etc. Must be cooked. Dairy not available till farming, or sugar. Potatoes not edible until fire.

The Paleolithic Era is the time in human history when we were hunter-gatherers. It is also the time when we were healthiest.

“Indeed, if we look at the skeletal remains of man prior to 10,000 years ago before the technological innovation of the Neolithic (Agricultural) Revolution—we find no evidence of obesity and very little evidence of the plethora of other immune system diseases that are so common today. When we examine the remains of humans immediately following the Neolithic Revolution, we see at once evidence of the obesity and diseases common in the modern world.”

The physical characteristics of humans shows that they are natural carnivores.

“. . . More than 95 percent of primates have a single-chambered stomach incapable of digesting most complex carbohydrates as they occur in nature (in the absence of technology).”

“Within this savanna environment, man is the only primate . . . There are few of the trees whose fruit and leaves provide the bulk of food for the creatures of the forest. Life on the savanna is dominated by grasses, grass-eating animals called herbivores, and the carnivores and omnivores that, in turn, prey upon these herbivores.”

“Our unique characteristics include a large lopsided brain, bipedalism, eye dominance, a lack of fur, and a unique variety of sweat glands. None of these physical traits (except bipedalism in some bird species) is found in other animals.”

Big brains are necessary for hunting large animals, and not as needed for gathering.

Social dependence is most often seen in pack animals that are carnivorous and protective.

Brain size increased as humans developed tools for hunting and therefore ate more meat. Big brains need more nutrition.

Humans also have a “relatively small lower gastrointestinal tract,” making concentrated calories like meat, fruit and nuts much easier to digest.

Bipedalism is only found in humans and some flightless birds. “As a human, when walking or running your hands are free to use a weapon which, if thrown while moving, greatly increases the weapon’s velocity . . . Bipedalism also allows us to use our hands to carry over large distance more efficiently than other primates. The long-distance carrying ability allows us (through sharing) a highly efficient division of labor in our hunting and gathering efforts.”

The human is the best long-distance hunter, partly because there’s no fur and therefore less overheating. The ability to hunt other animals when tired and hot in mid-day also helps. Head hair protects humans from the sun.

Handedness, which developed thanks to eye dominance, helped us learn to “throw an object with accuracy. This ability is what has allowed humans to become the most efficient hunters on earth.”

Our long-time relationship with dogs helped humans hunt, too. Dogs circled the prey and humans shot at them from afar.

On vegetarianism: “All the plants and animals that once inhabited the cultivated land must be killed to provide space for vegetable crops.” Kills ecosystem that naturally provides balance for all. “In fact, it is for this reason that the person wearing a fur coat has killed fewer than 10 percent of the animals killed by the person wearing a cotton coat.”

There are no vegetarian primates.

“Since ancient times, the most destructive factor in the degradation of the environment has been monoculture agriculture. The production of wheat in ancient Sumeria transformed once-fertile plains into salt flats that remain sterile . . .”

For more information on this best nonfiction book, see:

This information still to come.

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

 

 

Best book for mystics: “Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl” by Carrie Brownstein

best nonfiction book - guitar

Best nonfiction book: Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir  
Best nonfiction author: Carrie Brownstein

Book summary writer: Mollie Player

The particular appeal of this best nonfiction book:

I’m no indie band afficianado. Or feminist. But I like Carrie Brownstein’s style, her ability to philosophize in a succinct way. Fans of Chuck Klosterman, take note.

The essence of this best nonfiction book:

This book follows the career of the author, a well-regarded musician.

Notable quotes from this best nonfiction book:

  • My story starts with me as a fan. And to be a fan is to know that loving trumps being beloved.
  • It was about knowing you were going to be underestimated by everyone and then punishing them for those very thoughts.
  • They were like really loud librarians. And as the audience, you better shut the hell up because you’re in the library of rock right now.
  • My entire style of playing was built around somebody else playing guitar with me, a story that on its own sounds unfinished, a sonic to-be-continued, designed to be completed by someone else.
  • The more comfortable you get, the more money you earn, the more successful you are, the harder it is to create situations where you have to prove yourself and make yourself not just want it, but need it. The stakes should always feel high.
  • Laura had dimples and an infectious, conspiratorial laugh. She was a sprightly, elfin Scot who had grown up in Perth and played drums and guitar and sang. Unlike the ruddy surfer Australian stock, her hair was dark and her skin was light. She had a way of darting through a room.
  • I love being a new onlooker, a convert. To become a fan of something, to open and change, is a move of deliberate optimism, curiosity, and enthusiasm. Touring with Pearl Jam allowed me to see how diminishing and stifling it is to close yourself off to experiences. It was a tour that changed my life.

For more information on this best nonfiction book, see:

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl on Amazon

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

Best book for mystics: “The Child Whisperer” by Carol Tuttle

Best Nonfiction Book - Overcoming Emotional Overeating

Best nonfiction book: The Child Whisperer: The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children
Best nonfiction author: Carol Tuttle
Book summary writer: Mollie Player

Unique appeal of this best nonfiction book:

Personality tests are one thing–energy profiling, quite another. The Child Whisperer and other books by Carol Tuttle offer a paradigm-changing understanding of onesself and others. Notably, the book isn’t just about kids.

This best nonfiction book’s essence:

Each of us are characterized by a particular energy that influences almost everything we do–even the way we walk, eat and dress. Personalities can be taken on and off, like clothes. Energy is what’s underneath.

The four major energy types correspond to the elements of wind, water, fire and earth. They also, and more significantly, correspond to four underlying life purposes that affect many of our decisions and at times make it hard for us to understand each others’ decisions.

These life purposes are as follows:

  • Wind – Type 1 – To enjoy life
  • Water – Type 2 – To love and connect with others
  • Fire – Type 3 – To accomplish goals
  • Earth – Type 4 – To see that things are done in the correct way

Important quotes from this best nonfiction book:

  • Understanding your child’s true nature will help you better recognize their natural gifts and talents, more clearly see their personal challenges, and know how to guide them more easily.
  • When honored for who they really are, children will cooperate more easily as a by-product of parenting efforts, and you will experience increased cooperation and harmony in your parent-child relationships.
  • As a result, you will develop a unique parenting approach that honors and supports your child, eliminating a high percentage of conflict and discipline.
  • “Child Whispering” is my philosophy of working with children based on the model of Energy Profiling. Energy Profiling is an assessment tool that considers body language, communication, learning processes, personality, physical characteristics, and numerous other qualities. This model provides parents with an intuitive understanding of how their children see the world and innately express themselves.
  • As a result of identifying your child’s true nature—or Type—based on my Energy Profiling system, you will become your own “Child Whisperer.”
  • The most powerful gift you can give your child is the permission to be their best.
  • Every person alive has their own unique Energy Profile—a natural movement that expresses itself in body language and earliest sounds from the day a child is born. In fact, it even starts earlier than that. 
  • Personality is actually just a by-product of something much deeper, much more innate in a child’s expression. I suggest that a child comes to this life with a natural expression of movement that profoundly influences personality. If this natural expression is ignored or stifled, children’s personalities can develop in contradiction and conflict with their true nature.
  • Energy Profiling is not a personality test.  
  • Each Type is labeled with a number—Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4.
  • Type 1: The Fun-loving Child Primary Connection to the World: Social Primary Movement: Bouncy and random Primary Need: To have fun and happy parents May be described as: animated, fun, bright, light-hearted, friendly May be negatively judged as: flighty, hyperactive, unreliable
  • Type 2: The Sensitive Child Primary Connection to the World: Emotional Primary Movement: Subtle and flowing Primary Need: To have feelings honored and everyone in the family feel loved and connected May be described as: tender, gentle, kind, thoughtful May be negatively judged as: wimpy, shy, hyper-sensitive
  • Type 3: The Determined Child Primary Connection to the World: Physical Primary Movement: Push forward and determined Primary Need: To be challenged and have new experiences with support of their parents May be described as: Strong, active, persistent, energetic May be negatively judged as: Pushy, loud, demanding, rambunctious
  • Type 4: The More Serious Child Primary Connection to the World: Intellectual Primary Movement: Straightforward and exact Primary Need: To be respected by their parents and family members and respect them in return May be described as: Thorough, efficient, responsible, analytical May be negatively judged as: Critical, judgmental, know-it-all . . .

For more information on this best nonfiction book, see:

The Child Whisperer on Amazon

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

Best book for mystics: “Aspects of the Novel” by E.M. Forster

Best Nonfiction Book

Best nonfiction book: Aspects of the Novel 
Best nonfiction author: E. M. Forster

Book summary writer: Mollie Player

Unique appeal of this best nonfiction book:

Could the author of A Passage to India, Howard’s End and A Room With a View possibly have anything to teach us about masterful novel writing? I’d say so. I heard several of the quotes below long before reading this book, and little wonder: they’re unique, revealing and succinct.

Selected quotes from this best nonfiction book:

On story:

  • What the story does do in this particular capacity, all it can do, is to transform us from readers into listeners, to whom ‘a’ voice speaks, the voice of the tribal narrator, squatting in the middle of the cave, and saying one thing after another until the audience falls asleep among their offal and bones. The story is primitive, it reaches back to the origins of literature, before reading was discovered, and it appeals to what is primitive in us. That is why we are so unreasonable over the stories we like, and so ready to bully those who like something else.”

On characterization:

  • “And now we can get a definition as to when a character in a book is real: it is real when the novelist knows everything about it. He may not choose to tell us all he knows—many of the facts, even of the kind we call obvious, may be hidden. But he will give us the feeling that though the character has not been explained, it is explicable . . .”
  • “The test of a round character is whether it is capable of surprising in a convincing way. If it never surprises, it is flat. If it does not convince, it is a flat pretending to be round.”

On point of view:

  • “The novelist who betrays too much interest in his own method can never be more than interesting; he has given up the creation of character and summoned us to help analyse his own mind, and a heavy drop in the emotional thermometer results.”
  • “May the writer take the reader into his confidence about his characters? Answer has already been indicated: better not. It is dangerous, it generally leads to a drop in the temperature, to intellectual and emotional laxity, and worse still to facetiousness, and to a friendly invitation to see how the figures hook up behind. ‘Doesn’t A look nice—she always was my favourite.’ ‘Let’s think of why B does that—perhaps there’s more in him than meets the eye—yes, see—he has a heart of gold—having given you this peep at it I’ll pop it back—I don’t think he’s noticed.’ ‘And C—he always was the mystery man.’ Intimacy is gained but at the expense of illusion and nobility. It is like standing a man a drink so that he may not criticize your opinions.”
  • “It is not dangerous for a novelist to draw back from his characters, as Hardy and Conrad do, and to generalize about the conditions under which he thinks life is carried on. It is confidences about the individual people that do harm, and beckon the reader away from the people to an examination of the novelist’s mind. Not much is ever found in it at such a moment, for it is never in the creative state: the mere process of saying, ‘Come along, let’s have a chat,’ has cooled it down.”

On plot:

  • “Let us define a plot. We have defined a story as a narrative of events arranged in their time-sequence. A plot is also a narrative of events, the emphasis falling on causality. ‘The king died and then the queen died,’ is a story. ‘The king died, and then the queen died of grief’ is a plot.”
  • “If it is in a story we say ‘and then?’ If it is in a plot we ask ‘why?’ That is the fundamental difference.”

For more information on this best nonfiction book, see:

Aspects of the Novel  on Amazon

E.M. Forster on Wikipedia

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

Best book for mystics: “Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling” by John Holt and Pat Farenga

Best Nonfiction Book - Nurture Shock

Best nonfiction book: Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling
Best nonfiction author: John Holt and Pat Farenga
Book summary writer: Mollie Player

Highlights from this best nonfiction book:

  • One morning in Boston, as I walked to work across the Public Garden, I found myself imagining a huge conference, in a hotel full of signs and posters and people wearing badges. But at this conference everyone seemed to be talking about breathing. “How are you breathing these days?” “Much better than I used to, but I still need to improve.” “Have you seen Joe Smith yet—he certainly breathes beautifully.” And so on. All the meetings, books, discussions were about Better Breathing. And I thought, if we found ourselves at such a conference, would we not assume that everyone there was sick, or had just been sick? Why so much talk and worry about something that healthy people do naturally?
  • If there were no other reason for wanting to keep kids out of school, the social life would be reason enough. In all but a very few of the schools I have taught in, visited, or know anything about, the social life of the children is mean-spirited, competitive, exclusive, status-seeking, snobbish, full of talk about who went to whose birthday party and who got what . . .
  • Years ago I read that one or more inner-city schools had tried the experiment of letting fifth graders teach first graders to read. They found, first, that the first graders learned faster than similar first graders taught by trained teachers, and secondly, that the fifth graders who were teaching them, many or most of whom had not been good readers themselves, also improved a great deal in their reading.
  • We can sum up very quickly what people need to teach their own children. First of all, they have to like them, enjoy their company, their physical presence, their energy, foolishness, and passion. They have to enjoy all their talk and questions, and enjoy equally trying to answer those questions. They have to think of their children as friends, indeed very close friends, have to feel happier when they are near and miss them when they are away. They have to trust them as people, respect their fragile dignity, treat them with courtesy, take them seriously. They have to feel in their own hearts some of their children’s wonder, curiosity, and excitement about the world. And they have to have enough confidence in themselves, skepticism about experts, and willingness to be different from most people, to take on themselves the responsibility for their children’s learning. But that is about all that parents need.
  • During his early years, my wife and I and a couple of friends taught him all he wanted to know, and if we didn’t know it, which usually was the case, it was even better for we all learned together. Example: at 7, he saw the periodic table of elements, wanted to learn atoms and chemistry and physics. I had forgotten how to balance an equation, but went out and bought a college textbook on the subject, a history of discovery of the elements, and some model atoms, and in the next month we went off into a tangent of learning in which somehow we both learned college-level science. He has never returned to the subject, but to this day retains every bit of it because it came at a moment in development and fantasy that was meaningful to him.
  • A very important function of institutions of so-called higher learning is not so much to teach people things as to limit access to certain kinds of learning and work. The function of law schools is much less to train lawyers than to keep down the supply of lawyers. Practically everything that is now only done by people with Ph.D.’s was, not so very long ago, done by people with no graduate training or in some cases even undergraduate training.
  • Q. I don’t want to feel I’m sheltering my children or running away from adversity. A. Why not? It is your right, and your proper business, as parents, to shelter your children and protect them from adversity, at least as much as you can. Many of the world’s children are starved or malnourished, but you would not starve your children so that they would know what this was like. You would not let your children play in the middle of a street full of high-speed traffic. Your business is, as far as you can, to help them realize their human potential, and to that end you put as much as you can of good into their lives, and keep out as much as you can of bad. If you think—as you do—that school is bad, then it is clear what you should do.
  • Q. I value their learning how to handle challenges or problems. . . . A. There will be plenty of these. Growing up was probably never easy, and it is particularly hard in a world as anxious, confused, and fear-ridden as ours. To learn to know oneself, and to find a life worth living and work worth doing, is problem and challenge enough, without having to waste time on the fake and unworthy challenges of school—pleasing the teacher, staying out of trouble, fitting in with the gang, being popular, doing what everyone else does. Q. Will they have the opportunity to overcome or do things that they think they don’t want to do? A. I’m not sure what this question means. If it means, will unschooled children know what it is to have to do difficult and demanding things in order to reach goals they have set for themselves, I would say, yes, life is full of such requirements. But this is not at all the same thing as doing something, and in the case of school usually something stupid and boring, simply because someone else tells you you’ll be punished if you don’t. Whether children resist such demands or yield to them, it is bad for them. Struggling with the inherent difficulties of a chosen or inescapable task builds character; merely submitting to superior force destroys it. 
  • This is the opposite of the “charisma” that we hear so much about. Charismatic leaders make us think, “Oh, if only I could do that, be like that.” True leaders make us think, “If they can do that, then by golly I can too.” They do not make people into followers, but into new leaders. The homeschooling movement is full of such people . . .
  • The elephant in the jungle is smarter than the elephant waltzing in the circus. The sea lion in the sea is smarter than the sea lion playing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” on some instrument. The rat eating garbage in the slums is smarter than the rat running mazes in the psychology lab. The crawling baby, touching, handling, tasting everything it can reach, is smarter than the baby learning, because it pleases his mother, to touch his nose when she shows him a card with NOSE written on it.
  • Intelligence, as I wrote in How Children Fail, is not the measure of how much we know how to do, but of how we behave when we don’t know what to do. It has to do with our ability to think up important questions and then to find ways to get useful answers.
  • This ability is not a trick that can be taught, nor does it need to be. We are born with it . . .
  • For instance, a British study, described in the book Young Children Learning, compared tapes of the conversations of working-class parents with their four-year-old children to those of nursery school teachers with four-year-olds. It revealed that the children who stayed home asked all sorts of questions about a diverse number of topics, showing no fear of learning new words or concepts. The children under the care of professional teachers had much less range of thought and intensity, and they asked much fewer questions . . . 
  • One thing I’ve found useful, when helping kids go through this process, is to make three lists. One list is for things that come easily, things that you would do anyway, whether or not you sat down and made a plan about them. The second list is for things that you want to work on but feel you need some help with—maybe suggestions of ways to pursue the activity, or maybe some sort of schedule or plan regarding it. The third list is for things you want to put aside for a while, things you don’t want to work on right now.
  • Nonetheless, we continue to raise the level of fear of failure in our schools as the best means for creating “good citizens,” which is the ultimate legal reason that society compels children to attend school.

For more information on this best nonfiction book, see:

Teach Your Own on Amazon

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories