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136 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was looking for answers!!!
This book was so amazing I am lending it out to people who aren't even thinking of homeschooling... it was just so wonderful to read! I was about to start homeschooling my oldest and didn't have any idea where to start. Lisa Dobson addressed each of my fears and questions... and I don't even know her! This book is so down to earth that it will put anyone at ease, and the...
Published on September 7, 2003 by maestra24

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much ra ra ra, not enough substance
I'm one of those people who don't have to be convinced to homeschool. I want to badly and, even if I didn't want to, circumstances are in the process of forcing us to (which is good, given that my husband isn't enthusiastic). This would have been a good book for my husband, except that he doesn't read English well. This book claims to be about how to homeschool rather...
Published on August 12, 2012 by Arie Farnam


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136 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was looking for answers!!!, September 7, 2003
By 
"maestra24" (Mystic, CT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start (Paperback)
This book was so amazing I am lending it out to people who aren't even thinking of homeschooling... it was just so wonderful to read! I was about to start homeschooling my oldest and didn't have any idea where to start. Lisa Dobson addressed each of my fears and questions... and I don't even know her! This book is so down to earth that it will put anyone at ease, and the advice she and the many many other homeschoolers give is so practical. I started using the information immediately. There are two wonderful features I would like to detail for you: first of all, she takes nine different styles of homeschooling, explains them thoroughly, and then takes you through "A week in the life" with a family using each. As a new homeschooler, this helped me immensely by helping me eliminate those philosophies which I know would not work for our family, but find some philosophies that I will research further. The second feature are the abundance of "What I Wish I had Known the First Year" highlights throughout the book. You will not regret this purchase!
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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for parents exploring homeschooling!, January 7, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start (Paperback)
As a mom who is looking to homeschool, I am in the process of researching the subject. This book is very well and logically laid out and is objective in its approach, using both religious and secular families in its examples.
The "What I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me..." excerpts throughout the book were great, as I had some of those same preconceived ideas in mind -- what a relief to know I won't have to go overboard on expensive curriculum and extremely structured "class" time!
Ms. Dobson lays out the different homeschool approaches as well as goes through one week examples of each, most of which were interesting (although I must admit that after reading this part I found a couple of the approaches a little questionable ... it seems like class time is squeezed in between extracurricular activities (discussing topics in the car en route to/from karate or piano lessons)). Overall, I was pleased with the different approaches that are available (including online!), which has gotten me thinking about how I might want to do things, as well as eased some of my anxiety.
The only thing I did find missing from the book was that several people said they came up with non-confrontational answers to people who question their homeschool decision, but no actual answer examples were given.
I plan on going to several of the websites and user groups she has listed in the resource section.
I plan on re-reading this book several times!!!
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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peace of Mind -- a gift from Linda Dobson, May 26, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start (Paperback)
I stepped into homeschooling in 2001 as scared mom of a burned-out child. This book was not in print at the time that we began our homeschooling adventure, but I came across it several months later. What great gift it was to read! I learned that I was doing okay, that my decision to "deschool" was on-target and most of all, this book gave me priceless peace of mind that homeschooling does not have to replicate school in order to be a viable means of educating my child. I found particular comfort in the chapter on Homeschool Myths, especially the myth that all homeschool children are National Spelling Bee champions, science fair winners, etc. While it may seem contraindicated to have lowered expectations of one's children, this advice nugget helped me understand that my children don't have to confrom to society's expectations of success in order to be successful. I don't need to push them to achieve based on some artificial, media-biased standard. I can let them be -- and share the joy of learning as a family. *That* is the greatest gift of homeschooling which this wonderful book taught me to see. Thank you, Linda Dobson!
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of homeschooling, September 2, 2002
By 
R Edson (Sugar Land, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start (Paperback)
I bought this book a week or so ago and in a few days have learned a whole lot about how to homeschool, what not to fret about, and the different types of homeschooling, learning types, etc. It's given me the lift I needed to relax and ponder the thought of doing the educating of my children myself. Very encouraging in a practical and realistic way. Highly recommend!
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars look forward to a new edition, October 9, 2005
By 
This review is from: The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start (Paperback)
This is probably the best book on the subject. It covers learning styles, homeschooling myths, deschooling, learning readiness and more. A unique feature is the chapter that presents "a week in the life" profiles of families using various homeschooling methods. Scattered throughout are highlighted tips on the topic "What I wish someone had told me during my first year of homeschooling." The book includes learning resources, the "weirdest homeschooling laws" segment, and state by state legal information. Very informative.

Elementary education is changing in this country. Public schools are raising bars on curriculum and more standard tests are introduced. So I hope to see a new edition of this book to have the trend covered. Meanwhile, I let my child use Beestar (a nice web site for weekly practice, [...] So I can see how my child is doing compared to those formal school kids.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like conversations you would love to have in person!, June 10, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start (Paperback)
This is an excellent resource! When I first began homeschooling, it was very hard to get this kind of support, because homeschoolers at park days and other get-togethers are so often distracted by thing going on in the moment. This book is full of heartfelt sharing and support that cuts through to the really important and vital parts of homeschooling. Finding resource materials for learning academic subjects is the easy part--but the deep insight provided in this book, from many people's actual experiences, is the kind of thing the beginning homeschooler is really most concerned about. I also love her newest book, The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas, in which ideas for specific educational activities are contributed by so many people. Linda Dobson's format of having so many contributors from all over the country come together with their ideas makes these books all the more valuable--they're not just one person's opinion, and I think new homeschoolers do want to hear from lots of other ordinary homeschoolers who are going through the same everyday challenges that they will be going through.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Off to a good start.., April 14, 2003
This review is from: The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start (Paperback)
An excellent source of information for those of us considering homeschooling. Wonderful insightful comments form other parents who have found themselves in our same positions. I was pleased to find the resource information so helpful and in one location! I recommend this book as reference source for anyone considering homeschooling.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much ra ra ra, not enough substance, August 12, 2012
By 
Arie Farnam (Mnichovice, Czech Republic) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start (Paperback)
I'm one of those people who don't have to be convinced to homeschool. I want to badly and, even if I didn't want to, circumstances are in the process of forcing us to (which is good, given that my husband isn't enthusiastic). This would have been a good book for my husband, except that he doesn't read English well. This book claims to be about how to homeschool rather than the decision to do it but then goes on to act like the reader must be wobbly and frightened. I was seeking (and still am) a book with a good solid discussion of the tough issues like A. HOw to go organize a curriculum for each year? What needs to be taught in the first year? And so on. B. what about real social isolation and rejection? Don't gloss over this and make it sound like every kid can find friends "somewhere". Let's talk specifics and how to talk to a child if social contact really isn't possible for geographical or sociological reasons. C. what to do if you have to fulfill stringent requirements (either state or spousal) for achievement and your child is resistant to anything involving letter-like symbols of any kind, especially if mom is the teacher? There are lots and lots of true problematic issues that homeschoolers run into. This book and many others I have encountered skirt those issues and focus on the easily answered worries. Those do tend to be the ones that uninformed society and family members quibble about, so if you don't know how to answer the "socialization question" (even while living in a nice mid-sized town without major cultural/social rifts) or you can't list solid scientific reasons for homeschooling off the top of your head, by all means, read this book. If you are feeling blue in February of your first homeschooling year and need to remember why you're doing this, read this book. If you need to convince a spouse, give them this book. BUT if you have really thought this through and are trying to find realistic answers to real questions, look elsewhere and let me know when you find something that isn't mostly homeschool cheerleading with an undisclosed unschooling bias. Thanks.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comforting, July 28, 2005
This review is from: The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start (Paperback)
This book was a great start to my homeschooling expirience. It goes over all the myths and misconceptions and puts your mind at ease. This book was one of the first books I read about homeschooling and it was really encouraging and comforting. Linda Dobson writes in an easy to read fashion, Like a note from a friend or big sister. I have since bought 3 more of her books and even more from the publishing company 3 Rivers Press. Happy Homeschooling!
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for Classical (WTM) homeschoolers, September 12, 2011
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This review is from: The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start (Paperback)
This book may be beneficial for those who chose a relaxed-style of homeschooling, such as "unschooling," eclectic, or a similiar child-led type of homeschool. I however am a Classical home educator using the Well Trained Mind method, and I found this book to be underhandedly pro-unschool. Dobson lists out the different types of homeschool and gives an extremely brief (and sometimes inaccurate) description of all of the different types of homeschooling, but most of her suggestions for setting up your homeschool talk about waiting until the child desires to do a certain subject, or excerpts from parents mostly talked of how "when I let my schedule go, every problem was solved." I was so frustrated with how much the book undermines a scheduled, rigorous curriculum. A comment made inside includes, "It's okay if your student isn't ready to read until they're 12 years old!" Sorry, not in my house.

As I said, this book may really help someone who is not looking for much structure. For anyone who is looking to homeschool in a traditional (school-at-home) fashion, or a Classical Education based on the trivium, or have any type of set-up schedule and regularity, this book will undermine you in every step.
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The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start
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