Author: Neil McNerney, M.Ed., LPC
We have been reviewing books for nearly a year now and on occasion we enjoy reviewing a different kind of book, but hopefully one that will be informative and useful to our readers. Today’s review is one of those.
Recently, Neil McNerney, M.Ed., LPC contacted us to ask whether we would be interested in reading and reviewing his book, HOMEWORK: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Out without Freaking Out. I volunteered because I have 3 kids of my own (10, 13, and 15), so homework is a part of everyday. As it happened, I brought the book with me on vacation and started to read it one morning while relaxing in the sun. I thought I would give it a good skim and then write something up. Well, within the first few pages, I was hooked!! I loved this book. I finished the entire book in that one sitting and found every chapter and page to be filled with helpful information.
When I offered to read the book, I was thinking that I would get some tips for helping my daughter, the “perfectionist student”, which I did; but I also found tons of helpful information to help my oldest son. He suffered a concussion two years ago and has struggled with Post Concussion Syndrome since that time. Very recently he has begun to do well again, but over the course of those two years, he was a “disorganized student”, an “unmotivated student”, a “defiant student” and an “I don’t care student”. In fact there were many times when I genuinely worried whether he would return to the motivated student he once had been. Reading this book was quite reassuring, particularly the fact Neil continually reminded the reader that no matter what a child may say, they ALL want to improve and do well. Hearing that from someone who has worked with 100’s of kids meant a lot!
Neil’s approach in writing this book also hit my 3 R’s: Realistic, Respectful and Really well written. It is clear from reading this book that Neil really enjoys his work and in particular teenagers! That meant a lot to me as I happen to think teenagers are fascinating!
If I had to summarize the book, I would say that it provides a very helpful framework for thinking about your child’s study styles and then provides a clear framework for how best to support each style. He does this while all the while reminding us that the most important thing that we as parents can do is to remain calm and to remember that the primary goal of homework is to foster a sense of internal motivation that will serve our children throughout their lives!
Whether or not your children are struggling with homework, I would recommend this book. I found it to be filled with tips and concepts which can be applied to many aspects of parenting. Thank you, Neil, for seeking us out. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read your book!
Neil McNerney, M.Ed., LPC is a licensed counselor, adjunct faculty member, speaker, and parenting expert. He travels nationally speaking to professional and parenting groups on parenting and childhood issues. (bio taken from the cover of his book).
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