Demystifying the Preschool Years
a book by Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum, published by Alfred A. Knopf

Practical Wisdom for Parents
Demystifying the Preschool Years
Written by Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum
Family & Relationships - Parenting; Family & Relationships - Infants & Toddlers

Hardcover July 2007$24.95
978-0-307-26354-4 (0-307-26354-1


The directors of one of the country's most admired preschools, the 92nd Street Y Nursery School in New York City, draw on their fifty years of combined experience—as educators, admissions directors, parents, and respected leaders in early education—to give parents of children between the ages of three and five the guidance they need to feel confident and empowered. Authoritative, comprehensive, and tremendously reassuring, here’s a no-nonsense guide to navigating nursery school life both at home and in the classroom, and a celebration of a very special time in the life of a child.

The early years of childhood are a singular time in the life of a family, a period of unparalled growth and discovery for parents as well as for children. It's a time of unique closeness, of physical and emotional intimacy and intensity. And it's at precisely this time that a child today takes his or her first steps into the world beyond the cocoon of home and family. This can be exciting, gratifying, glorious; it can also be a source of ambivalence and anxiety. For many parents, letting go of our children is one of the greatest challenges we’ll ever face.

Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum's Practical Wisdom for Parents is a response to the hunger for practical information that accompanies this incomparable epoch in the life of a child, the result of thousands of relationships with young children and their families. What should we look for in a preschool? How can we best assess what kind of preschool is right for our child? How can we help our children prepare for the increasingly pressurized interview process, and how can we prepare for it ourselves? What are the most effective and painless strategies for separation, discipline, toilet training, and bedtime? How can we stimulate our children without overscheduling them, and where should we draw the line? What are the best books, toys, and activities at every stage, and how can we best support and encourage a child’s early social and intellectual development, at home as well as at school?

In the classroom, in parent workshops, in the admissions office, and as parents themselves, Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum have devoted their lives to listening to and understanding children between the ages of three and five. Practical Wisdom for Parents is as warm and humorous as it is reassuring and wise: a marvelous resource from two experienced, knowledgeable educators.

website: Judith Motzkin
Author photos: Elena Seibert