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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading For Parents and Educators, September 3, 2008
This review is from: Deschooling Gently (Paperback)
I've read many school and homeschool "guidebooks." It's my job, as a parent and home educator, to find out about the best practices and resources within school settings, as well as the diversity of options outside of traditional or alternative schools.

Unfortunately, so much information can leave a bewildered parent educator frantically trying to make one perfect choice amongst a forest of great options.

This is where Deschooling Gently is invaluable. Before addressing the concerns of new, or experienced homeschoolers, Tammy counsels the reader to:

Use what works, and leave the rest. Find the part of yourself that might be afraid, but moves forward anyway. Everything you need to make homeschooling work is already inside you. It's my hope, that this book will help you find the fearless homeschooler that you have in you, and let it shine through.

In each chapter, Takahashi describes the following steps to relaxed homeschooling:
1. Create a Foundation before Deschooling
2. Redefine Curriculum
3. Exploring Options in the Real World
4. A New Kind of Schedule
5. Teach Your Child As If No Other Exists
6. Creating Family Educational Goals
7. Get Hooked Up, Get the Kids Hooked Up
8. Become a Student of the World
9. Don't Keep Records, Keep a Journal
10. Evolve Gently Into a New Homeschooling Life
11. Step Away from "Deschooling"

Each of these chapter is a gem, but there were a few items that truly resonated with me.

On doubts and fears:

Among others, Tammy hit on my greatest fear: What If My Child Misses Something?

Fortunately, she also provides a sensible response. Basically, she reminds readers that there are many paths, but you can only follow one at a time. She advises them to embrace whatever choice they make and realize that "whichever path they take, they are going to be OK."

On Educational Goals -

I especially agreed with Deschooling Gently's emphasis on family as the starting point for setting any goals, including educational goals. Your family goals can provide the framework necessary for your educational goals.

I highly recommend this book to anyone considering homeschooling or who just needs permission to relax, and enjoy learning with their family.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!, September 2, 2008
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This review is from: Deschooling Gently (Paperback)
I bought this book because it was highly recommended by both a friend and a homeschool magazine that I greatly respect, not because I had a particular interest in the subject of deschooling. My children have never been to school so the subject wasn't at the forefront of my thoughts. After reading Tammy Takahashi's wonderful book I realized that maybe my children don't need to deschool, but I sure do! Through her book Ms. Takahashi helped put to rest some of my uneasy feelings about homeschooling. She gave me the power to really put into practice some of my ideas about homeschooling, unschooling in particular, that I've been too insecure to implement thus far.

Here's an overview of just some of the chapter titles (these were my personal favorites) - "Exploring Options in the Real World", "Teach Your Child As If No Other Exists", "Creating Family Educational Goals", and "Become A Student Of The World".

I highly recommend this book to homeschoolers both new and old who may or may not think they need to deschool. Even if you know all there is to know on the subject you'll get something out of stepping into Tammy Takahashi's fantastic book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relax and Enjoy Homeschooling--D.G. Shows You How, December 24, 2008
This review is from: Deschooling Gently (Paperback)
I have to start by saying that I've really enjoyed this book. The tone is very readable and it's knowledgeable without being dry.

As for the content, this book is unique in that to covers one aspect of homeschooling--deschooling--in greater depth than most homeschooling books I've seen (some touch on it, but here it's really well-covered), but it touches on broader issues of homeschooling, parenting and family balance (even inner balance) through that lens, and shares something valuable that I believe most homeschooling families (even 'veterans'!) can benefit from. Where many other books share a new paradigm that should be followed, quoted, and adhered to fairly strictly, this book really does help you find your own way and feel good about what you're doing. (It's like the difference between being in school and told what to think, and being homeschooled and encouraged to think for yourself!) Tammy offers guidelines, information, resources, and new ways of seeing things, but she also offers support and an open attitude that encourages the reader to trust her instincts and find her own way. (Kind of reminds me of the Sears books on baby parenting.)

I think that one thing that's most difficult for new homeschoolers is knowing that what they're doing is 'okay', that they're doing it the right way, and this book really addresses that. But another thing that I've found with homeschooling for a few years is that the way I thought we might do it ended up not being the way that worked best for our family; that we continually alter the way we're doing things, and are constantly changing things up to find the right balance, the 'ingredients' that work best for our particular mix of needs and personalities; that no matter WHAT you do, there's a bunch of schools of thought that tell you what you're doing is wrong and will lead to certain doom for yourself and your family (I've found that with many general parenting philosophies as well). What I love about this book is that it's compatible with many different philosophies of schooling--from unschooling to using a government-funded charter, and can even apply to traditionally schooled children to a certain extent as a supplement--and that it offers something for everyone.

Elizabeth
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed, June 24, 2011
This review is from: Deschooling Gently (Kindle Edition)
I found this book when just beginning homeschooling. It was just what I needed to ease my worries. With just the right amount of encouragement and tips it really helped me get started. I've suggested it to a few other homeschoolers who were experiencing anxiety to help them out, too.

Everyone with children should read this book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good reminder, December 26, 2013
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This review is from: Deschooling Gently (Paperback)
I think for me the information wasn't as relevant because I tend to do all those things anyway. But I do believe they are important tips so I passed the book on to my daughter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, practical and encouraging, November 14, 2013
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This review is from: Deschooling Gently (Kindle Edition)
Excellent! This book was instructive and thought provoking. The author gives much concrete guidance on how to gently approach the transition to homeschooling, as well as comforting and encouraging food for thought regarding how to deschool/homeschool according to the needs of your family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gave me real understanding, March 24, 2013
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This review is from: Deschooling Gently (Kindle Edition)
This was the first book that gave me my aha! moment for HOW to deschool and HOW that would/could lead into unschooling/relaxed schooling approach. I'm grateful I found this book. So many others were just 'philosophy', this book gave practical understanding and guidance how to begin your deschooling journey - not only for your children but for yourself!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful, October 21, 2012
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This review is from: Deschooling Gently (Paperback)
Fantastic book, a great help in preparing me for the challenge of homeschooling my 10 year old son. I feel that I know what to expect, and I have more confidence choosing a style of homeschooling that suits my son and our family. Highly recommend this sensible and gentle book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars what I thought of reading Deschooling Gently, March 10, 2009
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This review is from: Deschooling Gently (Paperback)
This book was amazing. It was a big help in my style of homeschooling. She answered questions, gave suggestions and did it in a way that was non-threatening, and encouraging. She relieved fears, and gave me great suggestions on things. I would recommend that book to anyone, even those who don't homeschool, but are curious. She gave great listing of websites, including her own for further understanding and direction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anyone beginning to, or thinking about homeschooling, March 3, 2009
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This review is from: Deschooling Gently (Paperback)
My wife and I really appreciated this book. We are new to homeschooling and were trying to find a way to homeschool our kids and provide enough education but not be too structured in our approach. This book presented a very well thought out and practiced method - deschooling - that meets our, and our kids, needs.

It clearly takes the reader through the process of deschooling and helps with recognizing the good and the bad aspects and how to work with them. We used some ideas directly from the book to deal with doubting friends and parents.

I would highly recommend the book!
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Deschooling Gently
Deschooling Gently by Tammy Takahashi
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