ate yourself before school starts: books to help you help your childA new school year is a lot like New Year's Day; it offers the chance to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start, the chance to move ahead in new and productive ways and the chance to work harder and do better than you did the year before. If you've made a new school year "resolution" to help your child succeed in school this fall, you'll need to do some homework.Michael Gurian's Boys and Girls Learn Differently! explains the biological factors behind male/female learning, what these differences consist of at various developmental stages and most importantly, how this information can be used to build a student's self - esteem and facilitate learning. Gurian points out that there are no hard and fast "gender rules," but that brain - based research indicates certain tendencies. For example, he writes, "Boys tend to be deductive in their conceptualizations . . . girls tend to favor inductive thinking." Gurian outlines what he calls the "ultimate" learning environment for both boys and girls from preschool through high school. He reminds us what it is like to be a sensitive nine - year - old or a turbulent teen and points out that by understanding what our children are going through at different stages in their lives, adults can more effectively help them achieve in school.Linda Stankard has been a public school teacher and a homeschooling parent. She currently teaches at a community college in Tennessee.