"If my parents had had this goldmine of a book, I'd be a brighter and happier person. Buy it, read it, and sprinkle your child's life with its wisdom"- Professor Guy Claxton, Co-Director, Centre for Real-World Learning, University of Winchester.
"C.J. Simister's The Bright Stuff provides a really excellent resource for parents looking for imaginative ways to illuminate young minds. Lots of simple, easy things to do with your kids in one handy package. I will be using it with my own children." - Dr Stephen Law, Editor of the Royal Institute of Philosophy's journal: THINK
Many of those I most admire have few formal qualifications, but do exhibit all the qualities that are the focus of C. J. Simisters book. As a parent and a risk-taker, I applaud her work. - Luke Johnson, entrepreneur, columnist and Chairman of Channel 4 and the RSA
From the Author
Having spent 15 years teaching children of all ages, in both state and independent schools, if I could give you one message, it would be this: that, as parents and teachers, we can make the most amazingly positive difference to the way our children grow up - probably vastly more than most people realise.
And it's got almost nothing to do with grades! As no doubt you'll have heard, exam results and university entrance figures are improving every year - on the surface, things are looking good. However, my concern is that this isn't telling the whole story - that if we look a little deeper, our kids are in need of a very different kind of help.
At school, children soon learn that they can pass their exams by repeating what they are taught without bothering to think for themselves. They're spoon-fed and it works. However, teachers, colleges, employers - and most recently, parents - are realising that, even with 'A' grades, something is missing. That something is real thinking - independent thinking. And it's real-life qualities that underpin this. Things like persistence, curiosity, initiative, originality and flexibility of mind are the hidden ingredients that can make a world of difference to how a child gets on in life.
Over the years, I've tried all sorts of ways to help the children I teach to learn to think for themselves. I've gathered and developed hundreds of games and practical activities that encourage kids to think critically, to sort out sense from nonsense, to solve unforeseen problems, to come up with their own ideas, to persevere - and not to be set back by failure. These children are going to have a huge head-start in life - a level of self awareness and an understanding of how they can shape their own potential that most of us probably never had at their age. And they'll need it - because they're looking ahead at a very different world to the one we faced, one that will require very different attributes and skills.
Along the way, I've always been struck by how many parents have asked me for advice about what they can do at home to help. This is when it gets really exciting. Because there are all sorts of easy little things that parents can do - things that will radically affect how children grow up, how they look at the world - and how the world looks at them. Parents are, in fact, in a far better position than teachers are to make this difference. So that's where this book comes in. In it I've gathered together the best of the playful games, quick activities and practical advice that I have figured out - all in a format that, I hope, busy parents will find interesting, reassuring and tempting to dip into.
We can't imagine the changes that lie ahead - all we can do is help our children as much as possible to develop the sort of mindset that will enable them not only to cope, but also to adapt, to flourish and to shine. This guide can put you, the parents, in a powerful position to change your child's future.