My bookshelf has some gems on it that are excellent resources – too good not to share with you! Be inspired and informed as you encourage your students to fully own their own education.

College Without Compromise by Wrightman.  Get a bigger picture of how Credit-by-Exam can be instrumental in offering students choices in their high school and college years. The authors inspire their readers to not accept status quo (debt), but to consider the other options. The authors updated this book in 2011 … I still recommend their first one.

Handoff: The Only Way to Win the Race of Life by Jeff Meyers. Learning how to mentor our teens — a book that inspires me to be intentional in my relationship with my sons and daughter so the legacy I leave them is truly the one I want them to carry on with.  Top down! I can’t expect it from them if I am not willing to engage my own values.

Do Hard Things and the authors’ followup Start Here (great list in the back of the book!) Put it on your students’ summer reading list and motivate them to aspire to more than society expects of teens.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. Not your typical education-read, but if you want to know why New Coke fizzled but Blues Clues made it big, this is an interesting insight into what makes us change our behaviors and create those tipping points. If you like this one, try Outliers and Blink as well.

The 7 Laws of the Learner by Wilkinson. If you are interested in practical ideas to improve your teaching and delivery to hold student’s attention and get them to retain what they are learning, this is an exciting read.

A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille. Every wonder how our great nation once produced so many leaders when today we seem to produce so many followers?

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling  All of Mr. Gatto’s books shed a new light on the foundation and purposes behind mass-education. You may be shocked as I was.

StrengthsFinder by Tom Rath. Practical ideas of making the most of what your strengths are.

The Accelerated Learning Handbook by Dave Meier.  Some things just catch my eye on the shelves at Goodwill — this was one of them. The title is misleading though – this book is not just for gifted students or those who want to work ahead.It is for those who want to make their input stick, dramatically reducing the time you need to learn new material.  Who wouldn’t want to shorten their school day! Dog eared and highlighted!  — most books I don’t bother doing this to.The ideas here are fabulous, especially if you are teaching a group, any group, not just school students — practical and innovative ideas.

Every Child Can Succeed: Making the Most of your Child’s Learning Style by Cynthia Tobias. One of my favorites I hang on to and share with new homeschooling parents.  The Way They Learn — another great read from Tobias. Both are worth your time.

Resources – Career and College: Helping your Teen Define a Direction

College Without High School: A Teenager’s Guide to Skipping High School and Going to College by Blake Boles. Admittedly, not my favorite title. However, this was by far the best $10 I spend on my students’ education that year. “College Without High School shows how independent teens can self-design their high school education by becoming unschooled. Students begin by defining their goals and dreams and then pursue them through a combination of meaningful and engaging adventures.”

Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy. I gave this as high school graduation gifts one year. “Using ‘eat that frog’ as a metaphor for tackling the day’s most challenging task, Tracy shows readers how to zero in on these critical tasks and organize their time. He details 21 practical, doable steps to stop the procrastination treadmill and get more of the important tasks done.”

How to Get Any Job with Any Major by Donald Asher. Hand it off to your high school student, or read if your student is younger. An excellent book that helps students understand the avenues that they should consider and the steps they can take to be marketable in their field. “Asher debunks the myth that only brainy students with specialized majors find high-paying, visible careers after college. If you’re just graduating, you’ll learn to promote the skills you already have, recognize how employers hire and what skills they value most, and get influential people to help you.”  Anything by Don Asher is worth your time

The New Global Student: Skip the SAT, Save Thousands on Tuition, and Get a Truly International Education by Maya Frost. “This hilarious and conspiratorial how-to handbook describes the affordable, accessible, and stunningly advantageous options they stumbled upon that any American student can leverage to get an outrageously relevant global education.” Keep a notebook handy. This will give you ideas of education beyond books and institutions.

The Path to Purpose: Helping our Children Find Their Calling in Life by William Damon. One of my favorites. “Damon, one of the country’s leading writers on the lives of young people, brilliantly investigates the most pressing issue in the lives of youth today: why so many young people are ‘failing to launch’ — living at home longer, lacking career motivation, struggling to make a timely transition into adulthood, and not yet finding a life pursuit that inspires them.” His other book, Greater Expectations: Overcoming the culture of indulgence in America’s Homes and Schools, is also very good.

 Resources – Skills, Not Just Grades

Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? By Ellen Gordon Reeves. This was my reference book when I taught students the art of resume writing, interviewing and networking. Could be used in 10th grade and up as a spine as part of a Career Planning course.

ME 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future by Dan Schawbel. Students sometimes think an impressive transcript or resume is what it takes to get a job. Schawbel outlines how job seekers (aka students) need to create, communicate, and maintain a personal brand that invites opportunities.

Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens: The Secrets about Money–That You Don’t Learn in School! by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Written from students grades 6 and up. “Sidebars and quizzes promote individual ideas and concepts. Teens will be attracted by the notion of playing games to learn more about acquiring assets and managing money.”

Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are by Alex and Brett Harris. “Do Hard Things inspired thousands of young people around the world to make the most of the teen years.” The authors have written a follow up book that inspired me more than their first. Give it to your teen and see where it takes him.

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Stanley and Danko. It’s not about winning the lottery or gaining an inheritance. Wealth is a mindset as much as creating opportunity for yourself. “The bestselling The Millionaire Next Door identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. Most of the truly wealthy in this country don’t live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue-they live next door.” Teach your children they can how they can accumulate wealth and secure a future that includes financial security.