Overloaded and Underprepared

Strategies for Stronger Schools
and Healthy, Successful Kids

100% of the authors' proceeds from the book will directly benefit Challenge Success.


During our first decade, we have learned what works and what doesn’t when trying to make changes in schools and in homes. At the urging of those who have worked closely with us, we decided to write a book of best practices that we hope will be shared widely so that more schools and families can benefit from what we have learned.

Our society’s over-emphasis on grades, test scores, and rote answers has stressed out some students and marginalized many more. We know that these students have lost their enthusiasm for learning and aren’t retaining important concepts and skills. Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids provides the tools needed to begin making immediate changes at school, in the community, and at home that will benefit all kids.

Our current fast-paced, high-pressure culture works against everything we know about healthy child development. While there is content that must be mastered, our singular focus on results has led to a lack of attention to other components of a successful life — the ability to be independent, adaptable, ethical, and motivated critical thinkers. Based on over 10 years of work in the field and over 20 case studies from Challenge Success schools, Overloaded and Underprepared serves as a guide for change, offering practical solutions that can be implemented in a single classroom or on a school-wide scale. The book describes in detail the research-based SPACE framework, providing best practices on:

  • Students’ schedule and use of time
  • Project and problem-based learning
  • Alternative and authentic assessments
  • Climate of care
  • Education of parents, students, and faculty about well-being

Overloaded and Underprepared helps educators and parents better prepare students — mentally, emotionally, and academically — to handle the challenges they will face in school and in life.