Eva Moskowitz, founder of the highly lauded Success Academy Charter Schools, shares her advice for raising smart, successful, and intellectually engaged children.
The Surprisingly Fun Guide to Raising Surprisingly Smart Kids
by Eva Moskowitz
Harvest/HarperCollins, October 2023
Eva Moskowitz has built a national reputation as the founder and leader of Success Academy Charter Schools, one of the country’s most highly regarded networks of schools, but while most people know Eva for her success in educating 20,000 mainly low-income students who are routinely accepted to our nation’s best universities, she has also been responsible for raising three children of her own. In A+ PARENTING, Eva shares what she has learned both as a parent and an educator about raising children to be enthusiastic and successful learners.
Eva’s most important message is that parents can and should play a critical role in their children’s intellectual development. Each year, children only spend about 180 days in school; how they spend the remaining 185 days is up to their parents. Children who continue to learn when they are out of school will make far more progress than those who don’t, but parents need not attempt to recreate school at home. Instead, they can encourage their children to engage in fun activities that will have a huge impact on their creativity, intellectual curiosity, and attention span.
A+ PARENTING is every parent’s must-have guide to enriching every aspect of a child’s life, from the morning carpool to the soccer field to the dinner table—without having to hire tutors or carve out more hours in the day. Moskowitz explains how to take the time you’re already spending with your children and make it more fulfilling and intellectually stimulating for them. The book is full of practical guidance such as:
• Which extracurricular activities are best for a child’s development.
• How children can learn by watching movies and playing games—and why you should reach for chess or Monopoly over checkers or Candyland.
• How to help your child overcome a learning disability and ensure it doesn’t undermine their self-confidence.
• Why getting angry at children doesn’t work but expressing disappointment does.
In addition to advice, this book is filled with carefully curated lists of educational activities, including games to play, movies to watch, puzzles to solve, books to read, music to listen to, and experiments to perform. These activities, supported with love and joy, are all parents need to turn their children into lifelong learners.
Eva Moskowitz is the founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools and a former New York City council member. She has a PhD in American history from Johns Hopkins University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School. She lives in Harlem with her husband and their three children.