Saturday, February 13, 2010

Homeschooling For The Rest of Us Part II

I recently recommended Homeschooling For the Rest of Us by Sonya Haskins after skimming over the media release and reviews. I thought it was a great resource for homeschooling families. Since then, I have read the book and can offer my thoughts and a review. They begin with the word Excellent!

When we first started homeschooling 4 years ago, I didn't realize it then, but we had a long road ahead of us. Along the way, we have tried several curriculum's, many schedules, and I have dealt with (in some cases unsuccessfully) concerns regarding our decision. In my quest to find answers, I've read alot. (That doesn't surprise you, though, right?) I've learned so many different ways to teach, curriculum's that work and don't work, classroom sizes and types and how far to go in decorating-but to tell you the truth, I never read a book that addressed the heart of the matter.

The more answers I got regarding curriculum and other aspects, the further I felt from getting the most crucial answers. As in, am I doing enough? What about the pressure I put on myself and pressure from extended family members that just don't support our decision? What can I do if my child falls behind? What does my schedule look like compared to others? What is a reasonable time to spend on each subject a week? Those were the questions that kept me awake at night, staring at the ceiling.

Chapters titled Pressure, Perfection and Progress, and Nurturing Your Child's Heart jumped out at me right away. But then I see Developing Positive Relationships that points out young children need to learn to obey, how to interact in relationships and be read to more than they need a strong academic schedule. That totally made sense! The chapter regarding Dealing with Relatives gave me a game plan for the next visit when I was most apt to overhear someone ask my child "When are you going to real school?" Oh, and that clutter that drives you nuts? It's addressed in the chapter Living in a Very Messy House. It's not about excusing the mess, but rather in finding ways to get it to an organized mess you can live with.

Written from a Christian perspective also helped. At the end of the day, Haskins points out, if you lack wisdom, that's when you pray for direction. How can any homeschooling parent leave it to luck when it comes to their child's academic and social future? Speaking of socialization, be prepared to be WOWED as you read that chapter. You won't stress over whether your kids are getting proper interaction ever again.

As a homeschooling Mom, I recommend this book be read first if you are on the fence about homeschooling. If you are already educating from your living room or playroom, you still need this book. So many fears and concerns are addressed that you don't realize come with the package until you are nose deep in the adventure. Haskins answered my questions and calmed my fears. I realize now, it's really not that hard!

Paperback: 172 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (January 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764207393
ISBN-13: 978-0764207396
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches

NOTE-A copy of Homeschooling For the Rest of Us was provided by Bethany House for review.