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Building Our Children’s Character and Achievement for School and Life
"MegaSkills is a remarkable achievement . . . what it means is that parents across the country are willing to stand' shoulder to shoulder with teachers in ensuring that our children have the best...
"MegaSkills is a remarkable achievement . . . what it means is that parents across the country are willing to stand' shoulder to shoulder with teachers in ensuring that our children have the best...
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  • "MegaSkills is a remarkable achievement . . . what it means is that parents across the country are willing to stand' shoulder to shoulder with teachers in ensuring that our children have the best possible education." - Don Cameron, former Executive Director, National Education Association

    The classic guide to childhood achievement, taught in more than 4,000 schools. Specially designed for school-aged children, this cornerstone guide provides you with hands-on techniques and kid-friendly activities to teach children the MegaSkills that are essential to success in school and life:










    Common Sense


    Respect NEW!

    Along with the age-specific activities, this guide contains academic objectives for each MegaSkill, tips for getting the best from technology, MegaSkills report cards for parents and children, research notes, and a wealth of additional resources.

  • From the book Raising and Educating Children Today
    Being a parent has never been easy, but it wasn’t always this hard either. No longer can most of us command, “Do this or do that” and expect our kids to just obey, no questions asked.

    The twenty-first century is a time for thinking learners, and that’s what our children will have to be. While children may not be listening (as we’re told they once did) to their elders, they’re listening to advertisers, to peers, and to others who may not have their best interests at heart and who may not be offering the best advice. That’s why it’s especially important for children to have what it takes to build their self-discipline.

    At the same time, as parents, we have to put across the sense of standards and limits that children need for stability, for reassurance, and for the real freedom that comes with selfdirection.

    This is no easy assignment, and that’s why MegaSkills are so important.

    In the midst of the headlines about the Information Age and the Computer Revolution, it can get very confusing to figure out what is really important in our children’s education. How we wish we knew all the answers right now.

    It’s an exciting time and an anxious one. In many ways, we’re caught in the middle—we don’t know all the answers and we don’t even know all the questions.

    There’s long been a saying that the only two things we can count on are death and taxes. Today I add a third: change. Around us and to us.

    Coping with change takes a new and higher level of competence and understanding. We have to deal with the expected and the unexpected. Knowing the level of change we face today, we can only imagine how much more our children will face in the years ahead.

    Some experts tell us to get computers and all will be well. I wish I could believe that we can solve our education problems that easily. There’s no doubt that computers open up brave new worlds for many students. But they are still machines. While machines can get us to places faster, we still have to know where we are going.

    MegaSkills: The Inner Engines of Learning
    In school, test scores tell us that students today are scoring about as well as they did in the 1970s. With increased technology demanding more know-how and increased global competition demanding more effort, what was good enough for the seventies just isn’t good enough anymore.

    In the workplace, employers are alarmed. Today’s graduates, they say, are only marginally prepared for job success. The problem is not just literacy. Students have trouble giving their best to their work and in having disciplined work habits.

    At home, parents see children struggling to deal with the growing complexity and often overwhelming choices in their daily lives. Younger and younger children face emotional and dangerous problems such as sex, drugs, and AIDS. They are asked to be grown up when they are still children.

    It is generally agreed that children need certain basic skills (usually called the three R’s) in order to succeed. But for children to keep learning basic skills at school, they need to learn another important set of basics at home. “MegaSkills” are our children’s inner engines of learning. Though reinforced in the classroom, they get their power from the home.
About the Author-
  • Dorothy Rich, Ed.D, is founder and president of the nonprofit Home and School Institute (HSI), based in Washington, D.C. An acclaimed expert in family educational involvement. Dr. Rich is the author of the original MegaSkills publications and the developer of the MegaSkills training programs, used by more than three thousand schools across the United States and abroad. In her lifetime of work in the field, she has focused on helping families and educators team together to build achievement in school and beyond.
Table of Contents-
  • MegaSkills: Information-Age Basics

    More Than Ever, Our Children Need MegaSkills

    The Joy of Learning: A Message from Dorothy Rich

    A Message from Bill Bradley

    What’s New in This Edition

    Opening New Doors


    MegaSkills: The Stuff Achievement Is Made Of

    1. MegaSkills and Our Children

    2. First Steps: The MegaSkills Program and How It Works

    3. Knowing What We’re Teaching: MegaSkills and Academics


    Teaching MegaSkills at Home: What to Do and How to Do It

    (For a chapter-by-chapter listing of the MegaSkills “home-learning” activities, with academic objectives and children’s ages indicated, see Appendix E, beginning on page 319.)

    4. MegaSkills and the TechnologyConnection

    5. MegaSkill One: Confidence

    6. MegaSkill Two: Motivation

    7. MegaSkill Three: Effort

    8. MegaSkill Four: Responsibility

    9. MegaSkill Five: Initiative

    10. MegaSkill Six: Perseverance

    11. MegaSkill Seven: Caring

    12. MegaSkill Eight: Teamwork

    13. MegaSkill Nine: Common Sense

    14. MegaSkill Ten: Problem Solving

    15. MegaSkill Eleven: Focus

    16. MegaSkill Twelve: Respect


    Readiness to Learn: Translating “Educational Goals” into Practical Action at Home

    17. Getting Ready for School: We Have a Little List

    18. The Three R’s: Before School


    Strengthening the Three R’s at Home

    Introduction: MegaSkills and the Three R’s: The Chicken and the Egg

    19. Reading: Moving Along with Books

    20. Writing: Everyone Can Do It

    21. Math: No More Excuses

    22. Transitions: To the Teen Years


    The MegaSkills Support Network: People Helping People

    Introduction: Beacons in the Fog

    23. Parent to Parent: Looking to Each Other for Help

    24. Grandparents: MegaSkills Across the Generations

    25. Parents and At Home Child Care: Making Sure Sitters Do More Than Sit

    26. Parents and Teachers: Superpowers, Not Superhuman

    27. Single Parents and the Schools: Making the Connection

    28. Parents and Students: Helping Children Feel More at Home in School


    Creativity: The Spark and theSatisfaction

    Introduction: A Sense of Balance

    29. The “Right Brain” at Home

    30. Inspiration and Perspiration


    MegaSkills: Powerful and Surprising

    31. Secrets of MegaSkills

    32. Critical Resources for the Twenty-first Century— Schoolabilities and Employabilities


    A: Seeing Children’s MegaSkills in Action

    B: MegaSkills Measure: A Quiz for Parents

    C: The MegaSkills Library for Children

    D: Internet Resources and Help for Parents

    E. MegaSkills “Recipes,” Chapter by Chapter, by Age Range and Academic Objective

    F. MegaSkills’ Impact Over the Years



    About the Author

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Dorothy Rich
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Dorothy Rich
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