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Homeschooling: The Early Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 3- to 8- Year-Old Child Paperback – August 11, 1999

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Homeschooling: The Early Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 3- to 8- Year-Old Child + The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start + The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12 (Prima Home Learning Library)
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Product Details

  • Series: Prima Home Learning Library
  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 2nd printing edition (August 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761520287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761520283
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #594,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Nothing beats seeking the voice of experience if you want to join the estimated 1 to 3 million parents who teach their children at home. Here's a guide that comes direct from the experts: a mother of two homeschooled, now-grown children and 83 homeschooling families she surveyed. Their stories make reading this starter kit on teaching ages 3 to 7 worthwhile. For those ready to take on what author Linda Dobson calls "a natural extension of being a good parent," the manual provides at-a-glance boxes of insightful anecdotes called "How We Did It," as well as lists at the end of each chapter of helpful books, magazines, Web sites, software, and computer message boards that connect homeschooling households. The straightforward writing covers the basics on reading, writing, and math; different teaching approaches; organizing a curriculum; even how to deal with skeptical relatives and spouses. There are no specifics on each states' homeschooling requirements, which vary widely. But as a primer for parents starting out, the book serves as a confidence builder and an inspiring how-to guide. --Jodi Mailander Farrell


Discover the Rewards of Homeschooling Your Young Child

More About the Author

Linda Dobson and family began their homeschooling journey in 1985. They were having so much fun together that she wanted to share news of this educational approach with as many other families as possible. She co-founded a local homeschooling support group that now offers support and learning activities to a growing membership. She helped found and for the first two years served as coordinator of the New York (State) Home Educators' Network. Upon creation of the National Home Education Network (NHEN) in 1999 she served as its first public relations advisor as a media contact providing reporters, journalists, and researchers with background information and interviews. She was also's early years' advisor.
Linda's articles have appeared in dozens of magazines, including Good Housekeeping, but her favorite stint was as Home Education Magazine news reporter and analyst for almost a decade. She still regularly contributes a commentary column, "Notes from the Road Less Traveled," and is acting columns editor. She has authored eight books, and contributed essays and forewords to many more. She has enjoyed diversity in writing, from a children's column for an Atlanta-based alternative newspaper to mail order copy, as well as consulting and market studies for companies such as Barnes& and Grolier's. Linda is experienced with the media having provided scores of interviews for radio talk shows, feature stories, including German Public Radio, and publications including The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Reader's Digest, Better Homes & Gardens, and "Live Online" for the Washington Post.
As she became home education's most prolific author and vocal spokesperson, Linda emerged as a nationally respected conference keynote speaker. She has traveled the country, staying in touch with parental concerns and educational approaches across the U.S. and Canada. Formerly a short-term academic tutor for children, she also counseled parents of traditionally schooled children, as she believes that parental involvement is essential to educational success and can occur no matter where a child learns. She was also an online course instructor for Barnes & Noble University.
Believing that modern homeschooling's rich history lives within those who have completed the journey, Linda began the Homeschool Crones Café at and invited all her old friends to hang out there.
Life isn't all work, fortunately! She moved to be close to Florida's Gulf coast and has started a non-profit volunteer program and a non-profit economic revitalization corporation. Now, she has left all that behind to return to her passion - helping families enjoy and thrive through the homeschooling lifestyle.
To this end, Linda produces Parent at the, where parents concerned about their children's education can find information, news, resources, guest commentators, homeschooling start-up information, and monthly book giveaways to help their children succeed.
She's grandmother of three beautiful girls, including a set of twins. She is also engaged to the most wonderful man in the world.

Customer Reviews

You will be amazed at how much you learn.
Ricardo Sanchez
So, for someone just beginning to investigate homeschooling, this would probably be a great book.
This book answered a program for our kids learning style, and personality type.
T. Bunker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 96 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
Excerpts from a review I did for Home Education Magazine on this book:
Linda Dobson's book, Homeschooling The Early Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 3 to 8 Year Old, is a wonderful resource for parents of young children. It is a celebration of children's innate curiosity and eagerness to learn about their world. She has captured the essential wonder of early childhood learning.While the book is full of parents'delightful stories about how children learned one thing or another, the theme Linda deftly brings forward into the spotlight is that learning is the natural pursuit of any child - "little learning machines," she calls them.
The book is unique right from the beginning - an interesting brief overview of homeschooling diversity, building up to the comforting reassurance that "It doesn't matter where you begin - just begin!" This is a fairly radical notion for may of those in the first stage of comtemplating the move. New and prospective homeschoolers often want to have it all planned and orderly before they jump in. And yet, as Linda points out, you can expect a lot of perfectly comfortable change and admustment as you learn to tailor the homeschool to the child, rather than the child to the homeschool - it's just an onging process.
"Because it's so easy to change any aspect of homeschooling when necessary," she reassures the read, "you can get started with a minimum of worry and preparation. Once you're on the road, you'll constantly discover new information, resources, and friends to help you fine-tune your journey into the most rewarding and fun possible.
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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am thrilled to have discovered this gem of a book while my children are still young. Linda Dobson presents homeschooling the young child as the exciting adventure that it is: "On the go, morning 'til night, doing, doing, doing. As naturally as a mountain spring, the early years child bubbles with energy. Unfortunately for little ones today, childhood energy is often considered a bad thing. Interestingly, it's most often considered a bad thing in the context of school." Children are natural little learning machines, as the author describes them. Each chapter covers an important aspect of learning with young children, including reading, writing, arithmetic and Beyond the Three R's. Included in each chapter are warmth, humor, many quotes from a diverse group of homeschoolers, and sections on Simple Starting Points and Resources. If you're thinking of homeschooling little ones, this is a must-read!
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77 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Kelly VINE VOICE on November 15, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book would be a good overview for parents of young children who are considering homeschooling. The first few chapters of the book are dedicated to "convincing" the reader of how great homeschooling is. This is fine if you are just beginning to investigate the possibility, but, having already decided to homeschool, I found those chapters a little annoying and redundant.
In my opinion, the author spends too much time on general "homeschooling is GREAT! Rah! Rah!" and not enough time on the issues of substance [like, how exactly DO you homeschool an "early years" child?]. I would like to have seen more meaningful information shared - like evaluations of curriculums, more of what did and didn't work for other homeschoolers, and more practical advice. [The author goes into some of this to a very superficial degree, but does not delve deeply into any of these issues]. The advice on teaching subjects was also very general, though it was still helpful. The section on using computers and the community as resources were very good.
The "statistical" chapter that was included that places all the survey respondents on a continuum based on their homeschool style in several areas was particularly bad. The statistics are given but no discussion of why different families chose these styles or what they like or don't like about them. The chapter was also somewhat confusing - not helpful at all to me. [And I usually find that kind of stuff fascinating].
Like an earlier evaluator, I also felt that this book was unrealistically positive about Homeschooling - I agree that Homeschooling IS a great choice and overwhelmingly better than the public school alternative. However, there ARE some down sides [mother burn out for one!
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Tracy on May 2, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a decent read, but not as helpful as I had hoped. We made the decision to homeschool when our son was five. And although this book was specifically geared for the early years (ages 3-8), I felt it was written more for parents who had been thinking about homeschooling since their children were still in diapers. I can't imagine it being at all helpful to the families of 6, 7 or 8 year olds who had already attended public school. I found some useful information, but no more than I could have found for free on the internet. My recommendation: if you have a child who is already of school age, borrow this book from the library!
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