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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