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The Homeschooling Book of Answers : The 88 Most Important Questions Answered by Homeschooling's Most Respected Voices Paperback – June 10, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This how-to guide offers the collective wisdom of six dozen homeschoolers, their children, and noted writers on the subject. Written in a question-and-answer format, it leaves no stone unturned, with chapters on everything from socialization ("But what about the prom?") to the tricky teen years ("How will my child learn the tough subjects, like algebra and chemistry, if I don't understand them?"). There's also practical advice on how to handle critical relatives and friends, how to succeed at the college admissions process, and how to correspond with the governmental agencies that may oversee homeschooling in your state. The writing is authoritative and often humorous, with anywhere from two to five responses to each question from different homes across the country. One chapter exclusively features responses from homeschooled children. A lengthy appendix of resources provides national and state support groups, books, magazines, sources for learning materials, Internet sites, mailing lists, and newsletters. And, unlike many books on this subject, a helpful list of state-by-state requirements for homeschoolers is provided.

Linda Dobson, the author who corralled these voices, is the news editor and columnist for Home Education Magazine, and a homeschooler since 1985. Primarily written for families considering homeschooling, the guide would also benefit educators, researchers, politicians, and writers. Despite its comprehensiveness, however, the book does gloss over the subject of minorities in homeschooling (only one parent of color is among the contributors), and traditional schools come in for quite a bit of abuse at homeschoolers' expense. But for someone looking for advice from those in the know, this is the book. --Jodi Mailander Farrell

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Complete Homeschooling Support at Your Fingertips!
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Product Details

  • Series: Prima Home Learning Library
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Prima Lifestyles (June 25, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761513779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761513773
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,805,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 Homeschool.com'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&Noble.com 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 ning.com 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 Helm.com, 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

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Pamela J. Sorooshian- on April 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book to those people who are either just considering or just starting out on a homeschooling journey. There is a wide variety of homeschooling styles and attitudes represented in the book and they are provided in a very friendly, easy to absorb and understand, format. I truly believe that the best way to learn about homeschooling is by listening to other homeschoolers, drawing upon each other's experiences, thinking about how we want our own families to be. This book will allow you to have a glimpse into the lives of many long-time homeschoolers, as they give their own, very personal, answers to the questions. No expert and no single author could possibly provide such stimulating ideas and such a variety of opinions. You may not agree with some of them, but the ideas expressed in the book are guaranteed to help you realize how very very much homeschooling can allow a family to develop its own distinct style of living and learning. I hold information talks for new homeschoolers on a regular basis and this is one of the two books I most often recommend.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
I loved the book and how it was layed out in question form with answers from other homeshoolers and their parents. The questions raised were all ones I had concidered, but couldn't find answers to in such a open form. I loved reading others opinions and how things are going for them. I found that most of answers were enough to help me out although about HOW to do things were not answered explicitly enough for me. eg: HOW to get info. They say go to the internet, go to the library, but never specifically WHAT to look up which is something I would have appreciated as a new homeschooler, and HOW to find out about the laws in each state. They did say what the laws were for each state, but nowhere did I find specifically how to find them out for myself, and the addresses they gave did go to the libraries of the state, but from then I was lost on how to find specific laws etc. All around the content was what i was looking for and was very good and helped me develop and find my own answers to pertinent questions I had. I went through the book with a marker and underlined all the things I found really interesting, and I will refer back to these often as they are helpful reminders of what and why I am homeschooling. It will now be my reference Guide to homeschooling. Overall I loved the book and am thankful that I found it when I did. Another wonderful book is THE homeschooling handbook, by Mary Griffith
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a support group leader, e-mail list moderator and conference coordinator, Linda's book answers the questions I get asked daily. Her books helps new homeschoolers gain perspective in moving away from the school environment (students, recess, tests, homework) and back to the family environment children were meant to be raised in. Her collection of voices is remarkable and her ability to speak to the heart of the movement is powerful. I recommend this book to every new homeschooler I speak with on the phone, at support group meetings or on teh internet. I've even found it hard to put down after 9 years of homeschooling my own children. It felt so good to know I wasn't alone in my opinions and to find the words to explain some of the more difficult concepts. Linda was a speaker at a conference held here in Columbus, Ohio a couple years back. Her workshops were the best received and her warm and friendly attitude captured the hearts of many. Her book feels just the same.. like you have the pleasure of sitting down with Linda as your host to a whole slew of generous, caring folks who give of themselves so wonderfully. I can't imagine a better beginning resource.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
These are *excerpts* from my review published in Home Education Magazine
Linda Dobson explains that what she calls "The Bright Idea" came from a summer spent speaking and presenting workshops at homeschooling conferences. She thought it would be wonderful to be able to bring the collective energy and knowledge of "some of the most dedicated, practiced, knowledgeable, and commonsensical voices on homeschooling" to people who can't get to such conferences. Soon she had recruited 39 people to contribute responses to the 88 questions that seem to come up most frequently.
What you'll find in this book is helpful, warm, and thoughtful support, but certainly not an attempt to give expert answers. As a matter of fact, if you're looking for such answers to how it should be done, read this book, and you'll probably soon find yourself comfortably letting go of that need. One of the fun things about homeschooling is that the most commonly voiced inner personal experiences are startlingly similar, although almost unheard of in the broader educational world. Those experiences are generously shared in The Homeschooling Book of Answers - that is both the heart and the guts of why it works so well.
The key to the unique character of The Homeschooling Book of Answers is in the introduction, where Dobson says: "Looking at homeschooling as an odd educational choice, or even as a valid educational choice, for that matter, places it in a very narrow context. This narrow context is unfortunate because it abruptly ends just where homeschooling begins. Considering homeschooling this way is like looking at someone's finger as it points toward a beautiful sunset.
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