Aside from learning abc’s, writing, reading, and math, children need to learn all sorts of social skills and manners. Today, there are many more things we need to be teaching our children that we didn’t really have to worry about growing up. It’s hard to think of everything, so it’s nice to have a guide to help you remember things you may otherwise forget. That’s why I was excited to get a chance to review The Smart Playbook: Game-changing life skills for a modern world by Suzanne M. Wind. I was provided a copy of this book through Tomoson in exchange for my honest opinions.
The Smart Playbook is so much more than a guide to life. This book was written and organized in a wonderful family game style, putting parents in the “coach” role and children are the players. Everything you need to teach your children is set up in game fashion as they get to earn ticket (tallying points) with some bonuses at the end of each chapter.
You start by reading the introduction for the coach and player(s), then, complete “The Smart Contract “as a family, which includes deciding on a reward for your child(ren) after completing the entire playbook.
There are 5 chapters, or Game Plans, as follows:
1. Social Skills
2. Mealtime Manners
3. Art of Conversation
4. Restaurant Behavior
5. Technology Talk
I was impressed with the entire book, but I was thoroughly grateful for the technology section which covers private/personal information, selecting appropriate usernames and passwords, and avoiding spam or scams. I loved the sections that were reminders of how to set a table in different ways and conversation and posture (in regards to confidence).
Although the book is set up to cut out pages and write in others, my recommendation, especially for multiple children in the household is to copy pages that you wish to mark on. There’s a page with conversation cards. I find it more useful to copy the questions onto individual, more sturdy note-cards. Plus, it’s great to add to the questions by thinking up some of your own that you can personalize for your family.
This book isn’t for the little ones (although I’m glad I have this on hand to prepare me). There are crosswords, word-finds, and other writing assignments to complete the book. Still, we had fun with some of the questions, learning to set the table, and role playing to learn our social skills.
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