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Homeschooling: Take a Deep Breath - You Can Do This! 1st Edition

28 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1600650147
ISBN-10: 9781600650147
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Homeschooling," insists freelance writer and home-schooling mom Bittner, "is parenting in its highest form." In this down-to-earth and practical book, she guides interested parents toward confidence and success in this venture, from the preliminary stages (convincing self, spouse and family that home-schooling is possible, dealing with its legal aspects, finding support groups, gathering supplies) through experimentation (finding the best pedagogical methods, understanding children's different learning styles) to mastery (teaching reading, composition, math—even if, long ago, you flunked algebra—history and science as well as "values, religion, electives"). Her advice is sensible and direct: find out what your state requires the schools to teach at each grade level; if there's no computer at home, use the public library's. For parents worried about the "icky stuff" in science, remember that "older children frequently enjoy doing things their parents consider disgusting." Bittner also suggests answers to what she calls the "stupid questions" (Will the kids be properly socialized? What about prom?) and faces up to the "bad stuff " ("Some days you and your children will be sick of each other"). Designed to empower the novice toward home-schooling success, this book is friendly, reassuring and endlessly supportive, and, like a very well-informed neighbor, Bittner shares everything from family anecdotes to sample school-day schedules and lists of supplementary resources.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Bittner, a freelance writer, began homeschooling her three children 12 years ago. In this honest and commonsensical book, she encourages parents to try what she terms "family" schooling because of the enormous commitment required of the entire family. Though homeschooling can be accomplished by ordinary people--with or without degrees--it's not for every family, she asserts. Bittner concedes her own shortcomings, which include some learning disabilities and a lack of organization, and begins by helping readers overcome lack of self-confidence and the criticism of others, then proceeds to offer sound advice on legal issues, lesson plans, curricula, testing, teaching values, preparing for graduation, and college. Throughout each chapter, Bittner posits and answers questions she anticipates readers will have. But she is most effective at eschewing the notion that you need to be a supermom (or superdad) to homeschool your children. This is an encouraging and helpful resource for parents considering homeschooling their children. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Mapletree Publishing Co.; 1 edition (July 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781600650147
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600650147
  • ASIN: 1600650147
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a freelance writer living in Pennsylvania. Growing up in a house which had books falling from shelves, poking out from under sofas, and stacked in every odd corner, I naturally became curious about the people who wrote books. My mother taught me how to create my own stories and was, for many years, my personal creative writing coach. My father helped me learn to explore the world as an independent scholar.

I married Lincoln Bittner in 1980 and am the mother of three grown children. When I am not writing, I enjoy computers, reading, family history, teaching, and not doing housework. My husband and I own TML Seminars (, which now actually provides a wide range of business services:

I have published in various educational, religious, historical, and family publications both online and off. My publishing credits include LD Online, Education World, Homeschool Horizons Magazine, Ensign, New Era, Liahona, Feminista, Teach at Home,, and Heroines in History. I have written online columns for several sites and currently write a weekly column on family life at My husband and I own a business services company caled TML Business Services.

I began formally homeschooling my children in the early 1990s, although I had preschooled them and supplemented their educations all their lives. Early in my homeschooling career, I became frustrated by the unrealistic portrayal of homeschooling I found in most books, and later on the Internet. When I began my web page, now called Treasured Time, I was challenged by a reader to tell the truth about homeschooling. I continued that mission when I wrote a homeschooling column. My goal has been to show parents how they can successfully teach their children regardless of disability, organizational skills, lack of education or other challenges that might seem to stand in the way. I believe successful homeschooling requires little more than love and determination, and my first homeschooling book promotes this ideal.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Learning All The Time on December 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought this book a couple of months ago because I needed a pep-talk and figured this was a fluffy rah-rah type book that would give me one.

Well, the author IS very warm and authoritative, and the book DID give me the pep-talk I needed, but it was also full of very useful information -- not fluff at all!! I found the chapters on organization, record keeping, homeschooling with baby, the good and bad aspects of homeschooling, building lesson plans and turning lesson plans into units, to be VERY helpful.

Well worth the money for any new homeschooler.

PS: In case the author ever updates her outstanding book: The one thing she left out of her chapter about the "bad" aspects of homeschooling (things like, messy house, sometimes your kids won't want to homeschool, etc...) is that, as a new homeschooling parent, YOU might feel a little isolated. It takes time to build comfortable and strong relationships with others, and sometimes homeschooling groups are not open to having new members, especially if they are large. You will have to work harder to maintain friendships with friends from your pre-homeschooling days.

I planned my family's homeschooling journey for an entire year, but I focused my efforts almost entirely on CURRICULUM. It never occurred to me that I SHOULD have also been scouting out homeschooling groups and support groups, etc...

After three months, I have found several groups that I enjoy very much, but I still wish I had been cultivating relationships with other homeschooling families LAST year.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Biblioholic Beth TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book at a bookstore and bought it on a whim, figuring it would have more of the same basic info that most introduction books do. I was completely wrong! This book has more practical information about the day-to-day things involved with homeschooling than many of the others put together! While it has the basics, it also has more, such as: how to find and choose a support group (and why they are important), how to get things organized for homeschooling, a great chapter on record-keeping and how to do it, how to teach your child(ren), how to create a lesson plan as well as a unit plan, teaching math, and much more. I certainly feel more informed than I did before I picked up the book. This will be one I will refer to several times and will have a spot on my bookshelf from now on!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By luna oscar on May 22, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will be homeschooling my 5 year-old this fall. I have been researching homeschooling since he was born and I first checked this book out from our local library. It's one of the best books that I have come across and I just had to have my own copy! Ms. Bittner speaks from experience and a true love for the time her family spent homeschooling. She has homeschooled her three children, now succesful adults. What I love most about this book is the author's supportive, encouraging, and friendly tone. Very refreshing! Aside from that, it is full of so much practical, real-life information. From how to convince your spouse, the kids, and "concerned" family members and friends to record-keeping to how to teach subjects some of us find a bit scary(for me it would math). There are also interesting chapters entitled "The Bad Stuff No One Tells You" and "The Good Stuff Most People Won't Tell You." One of my favorites is "Stupid Questions and How to Answer Them," which, aside from being very funny, offers ideas on how to deal with common misconceptions some people have about homeschooling(i.e. the socialization issue, etc). Like I said, what I really appreciated about this book was the author's encouragement. She provides a wealth of information and reassures even the most insecure of us--you know, the not-the-most-organized or already-very-busy, that we really can do this. And, it's a relief to hear about a succesful homeschooling mom's trials and tribulations-for we will all have them. This is the first homeschooling book that I has put a smile on my face. A neat feature: each chapter offers information on resources, mostly websites and books, that you will also find helpful.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Henry Cate III on June 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just before the table of contents the author relates an event:

"One day, when my children were young, a new friend reported to me that my children had been talking to her children. One of mine said, 'Oh, you go to public school? Well, we're sure your mother loves you anyway, and she'd homeschool you if she could.'"

The humorous story helps set the stage. The author deeply cares about homeschooling. In chapter one the author introduces herself, explains how she came to homeschool her three children, and tells a bit about what her children are doing now. The author is clearly qualified to help beginners learn how to homeschool.

This is a good book for parents new to homeschooling. It is packed with information. It is not a quick read, but it is very worthwhile. I couldn't think of a single facet of homeschooling that this book missed. It explains how to deal with people who don't support the decision to homeschool. It covers different types of homeschooling. It walks the reader through the basic steps of building a lesson plan. Specific issues on math, reading, history, science, and writing are addressed. There are a lot of good suggestions on how to organize your homeschool and how to set it up. And for all of these areas there are pointers to other resources, books, web sites, and so on.

One of my favorite chapters was the one on "The Good Stuff Most People Won't Tell You." There is a list of the positive benefits of homeschool, things like having a flexible schedule and being able to go on vacation whenever you want. The chapter points out that in teaching your children you will get smarter. The last chapter of the book focuses on the benefits to the family of homeschooling.
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