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Haystack Full of Needles, A Catholic Home Educator's Guide to Socialization Perfect Paperback – July 14, 2008


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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Hillside Education (July 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979846951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979846953
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,183,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

What makes Haystack Full of Needles so compelling is that it is much more than an explosion of the myth that homeschoolers lack proper socialization it is a vivid, lively, and detailed account of how homeschooling families can build community and friendship. The perfect blend of personal narrative and practical advice, Haystack Full of Needles is an inspiring heartwarming chronicle of the growth of a lively homeschooling community. At first, readers will wish they could live in Alice s neck of the woods and be a part of all the marvelous events she describes, but by the book s end, they ll be overflowing with excitement to put Alice s ideas into practice in their own homes, parishes, and homeschooling communities. --Melissa Wiley, author of The Martha Years series and The Charlotte Years series

Haystack Full of Needles calls itself A Catholic Home Educator s guide to Socialization but in reality it is much more than that. This book is exactly what we need in our modern world where so many have lost all sense of the value of community. Gunther speaks from a mother s heart, recognizing the human need for community and for social support, especially among Catholic homeschooling families where feelings of isolation and not fitting in can be demoralizing and discouraging. Danielle Bean, Senior Editor of Faith & Family (FaithandFamilyMag.com) --Danielle Bean, Senior Editor of Faith and Family Magazine (FaithandFamilyMag.com)

Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
Alice Gunther is that friend, and at long last, she has written that book.
Lissa Peterson
Brimming with love and generosity, this book offers practical ideas and enthusiastic encouragement to all homeschooling mothers, novices and veterans alike.
Karen Edmisten
Socialization can be one of the most frightening words to new parents to Homeschooling.
Tamara Musella

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lissa Peterson on August 2, 2008
Have you ever had a friend so wise, so creative, so full of good ideas, such a gift to your circle of friends, that you've found yourself repeatedly telling her, "You know, you should really write a book"? Alice Gunther is that friend, and at long last, she has written that book. Even as she was writing it, her ideas were bearing fruit in my own home and homeschooling circle: inspired by her Shakespeare chapter, I organized a Shakespeare Club for my children and their friends. I've never been a natural hostess, but Alice makes it seem easy.

What makes Haystack Full of Needles so compelling is that it is much more than an explosion of the myth that homeschoolers lack "proper socialization"--it is a vivid, lively, and detailed account of how homeschooling families can build community and friendship. The perfect blend of personal narrative and practical advice, Haystack Full of Needles is an inspiring heartwarming chronicle of the growth of a lively homeschooling community. At first, readers will wish they could live in Alice's neck of the woods and be a part of all the marvelous events she describes, but by the book's end, they'll be overflowing with excitement to put Alice's ideas to practice in their own homes, parishes, and homeschooling communities.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Leticia Velasquez on December 6, 2008
Catholic Media Review [....]

Ask a mother who home educates her children, ask which question she encounters most frequently and she will undoubtedly respond, "What about socialization?" In the decade since I began teaching my three daughters at home, this question has remained, even as other questions like, "Is that legal?" and "are you qualified to teach?" have vanished due to the increasing prominence of home instruction.
Now, thanks to the experience and literary gifts of home educator and author, Alice Gunther we have not only an eloquent answer to this question, but an inspiring guide on how to help our children find friendship and acceptance outside the domestic church. "A Haystack Full of Needles" is the book we have been waiting for, the book we may give as a gift to questioning family members, but one we will also keep close as we seek opportunities to help our children develop socially.

Alice, like so many of our family members had concerns about a home educating mother's ability to meet her children's need for social interaction. She takes us back to the days when she thought home educators were doing the impossible, to her early attempts at finding companions for herself and her young daughters, to the successful support group she is a the center of on Long Island. She inspires the mother who feels alone in her decision to home educate with her fond anecdotes and down to earth suggestions on how to find other Catholic home educating families, how to build community, how to run a successful social event, and how to support one another in good times and bad.
" Home-educating mothers share a unique cultural experience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karen Edmisten on August 27, 2008
Brimming with love and generosity, this book offers practical ideas and enthusiastic encouragement to all homeschooling mothers, novices and veterans alike. There are ideas for a huge variety of social opportunities: all kinds of clubs, arts and crafts, drama (the Shakespeare play alone is hugely inspiring), and growth in the faith. This book is a beautiful guide to hospitality, for mothers as well as their children. The picture painted of the rich and happy social lives (which is what most people mean when they ask about "socialization") of these families is proof enough that homeschooling does not produce socially stunted children, but Alice Gunther also addresses the questions most of us face regarding "socialization" as "learning to interact with others in the world."

I think it will be the definitive book on the subject. A marvelous book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Carpentier Brown on August 26, 2008
This is a wonderful book, for it not only helps parents deal with the "What about socialization?" question they get whenever they mention the word "homeschool", but it also helps homeschooling parents understand the value of building up a strong community of like-minded parents and families for their family to interact with joyfully.

Practical as well as theoretical, Haystack Full of Needles helps new homeschooling parents to begin a group; helps answer the question--what are the essential parts of a gathering?- (coffee being one of them), and what kinds of things to talk about.

But Haystack is not just for new homeschoolers. I am a veteran, and found many good and practical common sense suggestions to put immediately to use in my own group.

Valuable, practical, filled with common sense, useful, uplifting and encouraging, I hope all homeschooling parents will read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Janet M. Olesen on August 25, 2009
Mrs. Gunther's Book was so valuable to me, when making my decision to homeschool my children. I quoted it when people would invariably ask me, "But what about socialization? -Janet Olesen
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