50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School

Real-World Antidotes to Feel-Good Education

Charles J. Sykes

St. Martin's Press

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Charles J. Sykes offers fifty life lessons not included in the self-esteem-laden, reality-light curriculum of most schools. Here are truths about what kids will encounter in the world post-schooling, and ideas for how parents can reclaim lost ground---not with pep talks and touchy-feely negotiations, but with honesty and respect. Sykes’s rules are frank, funny, and tough minded, including:
 
#1  Life is not fair. Get used to it.
#7  If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he’s not going to ask you how you FEEL about it.
#15  Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it “opportunity.”
#42  Change the oil.
#43  Don’t let the success of others depress you.
#48  Tell yourself the story of your life. Have a point.
 
Each rule is explored with wise, pithy examples that parents, grandparents, and teachers can use to help children help themselves succeed---in school and out of it.
 
A few rules kids won’t learn in school:
#9  Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn’t.
#14  Looking like a slut does not empower you.
#29  Learn to deal with hypocrisy.
#32  Television is not real life.
#38  Look people in the eye when you meet them.
#47  You are not perfect, and you don’t have to be.
#50  Enjoy this while you can.

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

Rule 1

Life is not fair. Get used to it.

The average teenager uses the phrase “It’s not fair” 8.6 times a day. The kids got it from their parents, who said it so often they decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When those parents started hearing it from their own kids, they understood Rule 1.









Recognizing that life is not fair is a reality check. Hurricanes, tsunamis, plagues, earthquakes, and famines are not fair. Genetics is not fair. The good guys don’t always win.

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Reviews

Praise for 50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School

"Sykes takes a hard-line but humorous approach to instilling the discipline, morals and good sense that keep kids from becoming 'sulky, self-centered, spoiled brats.'"
--Publishers Weekly

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About the Author

Charles J. Sykes

Charles J. Sykes is the author of five previous books: A Nation of Victims, Dumbing Down Our Kids, Profscam, The End of Privacy, and The Hollow Men. His columns have appeared in numerous newspapers, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. A radio and television host at WTMJ in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, he is married and has three children.

Charles J. Sykes

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Available Formats and Book Details

50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School
Real-World Antidotes to Feel-Good Education
Charles J. Sykes

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
August 2007
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312360382
ISBN10: 031236038X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 192 pages
$21.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
August 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466831278
ISBN10: 1466831278
192 pages
$9.99
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