Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning

Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning

Authored by: Bonnie Lathram, Carri Schneider and Tom Vander Ark

Order on Amazon (ebook and book) by clicking here
Order on Barnes and Noble by clicking here

Order the ebook ($6.99) by clicking here
Order the book and ebook ($16.99) by clicking here

**In honor of the one year anniversary of the project, we are giving away digital copies of the book. To receive your complimentary copy of the Smart Parents ebook fill out this quick form**

ISBN: 978-1-63233-066-6

Smart Parents Blog Series

Smart Parents Podcast

Smart Parents Checklist: Is Your Child’s School Student Centered

About Smart Parents

We spend a lot of our time creating and sharing resources for educators and parents (who are often one and the same audience). Time and time again, we observe that families are left out of the equation when it comes to determining the primary audience for education reports, papers and articles—even though they are among the hungriest for informed opinions that can help them.

This is why, in partnership with The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Getting Smart has cultivated a popular parents’ blog series, Smart Parents, to share stories for parents by parents on both and on The Huffington Post. The project, hatched around the office kitchen counter in the summer of 2014, grew out of the recognition that parents need help making informed decisions, finding quality resources and providing the best supports for kids. With the 80+ parent stories we’ve gathered, we have authored our newest book: Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning, published in August 2015.

As educators and as parents, we have seen profound shifts in the way in which human beings learn—both young and old. Families face unprecedented amounts of information and education-related decisions. This often leaves parents navigating a complex maze of new learning opportunities, new standards, new assessments and new technology.

This book is a resource to guide parents in creating, choosing and advocating for powerful, student-centered learning experiences for their children. It is designed to facilitate conversation about important educational decisions parents face today. With advice on everything from picking preschools to accessing educational apps, this is the resource for parents so they can be informed, involved, inspirational and intentional.

Praise for Smart Parents

“I’ve followed the Smart Parents blog series and love having Smart Parents’ stories on The Huffington Post. This book is both an inspirational journey, full of stories from parents who are igniting their children’s passions, and a practical toolkit — complete with advice to help parents at any stage of the journey in advocating for powerful learning.” Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post

“Parents are children’s first and most influential teachers, and the environments they create shape the kind of students their children become. Smart Parents combines captivating storytelling with cutting edge research to show us how we, as mothers and fathers, can set the stage for optimal learning.” Annie Murphy Paul, learning science writer, columnist, and speaker; author of forthcoming book Brilliant: The Science of How We Get Smarter 

“The Smart Parents blog series and book offer a powerful vision for what education must become. It is a compelling call to action and a practical road map for any parent, guardian or educator. The future of learning will mean that students are increasingly in the driver’s seat. This book inspires and informs and is a must read for anyone who wants to engage young people in the process of their own learning.” Nick Donohue, President & CEO, The Nellie Mae Education Foundation

“Every parent wonders how to prepare his children to succeed in a world they will inherit but instinctively knows a good education is a central. SmartParents is the first and most practical guide I’ve seen to help parents help their children become great learners, who get the education they deserve given current schools and the many learning opportunities available today and on the horizon.” Jim Shelton, Chief Impact Officer, 2U and former Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Department of Education

“Sometimes navigating the education system isn’t as intuitive as it should be. Equipping parents to engage in their child’s learning at school, and support that learning at home, is a critical piece of national efforts to improve education. This book provides parents with quick, well-informed, inspirational ways to better champion their child’s success in school and beyond.” Bill Jackson, Founder, CEO GreatSchools

“Inspiring stories…well-researched…highly engaging. This book has something for all parents and goes beyond typical ‘parenting advice.’ The authors approach the book with humility and balance the experts’ words with practical stories by parents and for parents. It’s a great resource that can help any parent looking to navigate the explosion of decisions they make about their child’s education.” Kris Perry, Executive Director, First Five Years Fund

“Today’s students have more opportunities to learn in schools that are optimized for our modern, tech-driven world. At the same time, the wealth of choices available can sometimes seem overwhelming for parents. The Smart Parents blog series and book illuminate the path forward so that parents can make powerful decisions for and with their children that have the potential to impact children’s lives. Tom and the team at Getting Smart know the future of learning–read this book for information and the inspiration.” Nina Rees, President and CEO, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

“There is nothing more powerful than an engaged, informed parent. Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning provides all families – regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or zip code — the tools and resources they need to be effective advocates and inspiring teachers for their kids. Successful learners need smart parents supporting and encouraging them.” Patrick Riccards, Chief Communications and Strategy Officer, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

“Packed with helpful guidance from parents who are also educators, this book will support Moms and Dads who recognize learning as core to their purpose. Preparing a child for success means that parents embrace their roles as models, coaches and educational partners. Our knowledge economy of today and the future will require individuals to be creative and critical problem solvers, empathetic and kind collaborators, socially aware and well-practiced with making responsible decisions. This book prepares parents for powerful and significant contributions to our children’s learning. And it’s an honor to be a contributor.” Jennifer Miller, author and illustrator of the blog Confident Parents, Confident Kids and NBC Universal Parent Toolkit contributor

“As a parent and educator I found Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning, an invaluable resource! Given the tremendous increase in learning opportunities in the digital era, parents, now, more than ever need to understand how they can best guide and support their child’s learning. Readers, both parents and educators, will appreciate the tools to better understand how children learn and the platforms for that learning as well as inspirational stories on what learning can look like for different students.” Max Silverman, Associate Director at the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership 

 “A world class education is now within reach of every parent for every child – but parents must be informed, involved, intentional, and inspirational to make it a reality for their kids.  Smart Parents provides a framework and guidelines for doing so.  I highly recommend it for any parent who wants to make a significant difference in the quality and impact of their child’s educational experience.” Curt Allen, President and CEO, Agilix Labs

“Tom Vander Ark and the team at Getting Smart have created a critical resource with compelling stories to help parents help their children navigate these educational options.” Michael B. Horn, author of Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools

“Parents want powerful learning experiences that complement the modern realities, challenges and opportunities their children face.” Smart Parents “describes how parents can help their children access the best innovations that are transforming education today.” Heather Staker, Founder and President, Ready to Blend

“After What to Expect When You are Expecting, this should be the next book new parents pick up.” Penny Eifrig, parent of two children (ages 12 and 16)

Learn More & Share at #SmartParents

  • See Getting Smart’s Smart Parents’ blog channel for all the Smart Parents’ stories and blogs
  • See The Huffington Post Smart Parents’ blog channel
  • Follow the conversation and send out a Tweet @Getting_Smart and use the #SmartParents hashtag on Twitter.
  • We offer and facilitate Smart Parent Keynotes, Workshops and Book Signings. For more information on our speaking engagements and events, email Allison.

Purchase Smart Parents

You can now order your own copy (ebook or print version) through Eifrig Publishing and Amazon.

Sign up for all the latest news, including links to purchase the book, below.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Email Format

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

Discover the latest in learning innovations

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.