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How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life (Educator's Edition) Review by Cari Young

Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph. D.
Gallup Press
1251 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 2350
New York, NY 10020

The educator's edition of How Full Is Your Bucket includes the book itself, plus an instructional guide, classroom activity workbook, student handouts, staff development handouts, and colorful sample drops for your bucket, all with permission to copy for the students in your classroom. Additional resources are available for download at

This bestseller describes how, statistically speaking, positive reinforcement improves marriages, families and workplaces. Using the simple, concrete metaphor of a dipper and a bucket, the authors show us how to increase positive interactions in our lives and tell us why this is so important. In a little over a hundred pages, you will learn how to improve the world around you by filling other people's buckets.

As a homeschooling mom, I found this book to be a valuable reminder of the power of my words. For example, research described in this book suggests that we should have five positive interactions for each negative interaction we have with a person. As you proceed through your day of teaching and training children, do your interactions fit this ratio? How Full Is Your Bucket explains why your children will become more productive learners when you make a point to fill their buckets.

I think this title would also be useful for students preparing for marriage or the workplace or students who help in a family business. Although designed for a classroom rather than homeschool, the activities in the educator's edition can easily be applied to a variety of ages and schooling styles. The student handouts are particularly educational because they require the application of the book's teachings, rather than mere summaries or restatements.

Although this book does not refer to God or the Bible, it is clearly aligned with Scriptural principles. An interesting assignment would be to have a student find Bible verses that could have been used throughout the book to confirm the eternal truth of the bucket-filling strategies.

I believe that this book would be an excellent addition to any homeschool library, useful as both a reference and as curriculum, and would also be a beneficial wedding or graduation gift.

-Product review by: Cari Young, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2008.