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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I picked up at the library on the subject of homeschooling and it was powerful enough in its message to sell me on the idea. I was quite sure that this was how I would educate my son but I needed to have some of my big questions answered - and they were. The only thing that I didn't like about the book was the heavy negative tone that is taken when discussing "the institution of shool". I don't want to be a homeschooling parent who puts down the choice of other parents, I think it makes us homeshoolers look bad and besides more people will join us if they don't feel bullied. Anyways the book got me started on the right track and I am now excitedly reading many more books on the subject.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I always enjoy the homeschooling books when I'm getting down or need inspiraton. This one I was looking forward to as it was highly recommended by several people. While overall I did enjoy it, there were several things that did not sit well with me. First, I'm going to focus on the positive: This book is written in question and answer format with the answers supplied by a panel of homeschoolers, homeschooling experts and even homeschooled students. It is a very nice style, and often a particular question will have an answer by 2 or 3 different panelists. This gives several experiences and viewpoints. Often the answers share personal antecdotes and experiences, making this read like sitting down to a chat with a few friends about homeschooling. I also have to stay that this particular book appears to a wide range of audiences, covering questions from "Is it legal?" and the question of socialization, curriculum choice (generalized, not specifics), family dynamics in homeschooling and more all the way up to how homeschoolers can and should be involved in political activism to continue to ensure homeschooling remains an educational alternative in the United States. Few if any other books I have read on homeschooling covered such a breadth of topics so well, while at the same time not being cumbersome and too fact-filled to be read easily. I really give high praise to the layout, writing and scope of this book. It is appropriate for newcomers to homeschooling while at the same time sharing many things relevant and interesting to veterans as well.

What I did not enjoy about the book is it is overtly pro-unschooling in methodology. If you use a boxed curriculum, school at home or other more structured styles, this book may not be for you. It is also decidedly against charters for various reasons, going so far as to question whether using a charter is actually homeschooling (see question #89), "But is it homeschooling? You decide. Homeschooling, by its very definition, implies that parents do it all and pay for it all." I do not utilize a charter, but I do know parents who do and feel this is a bit insulting to them, especially as charters continue to change and some allow great flexibility while offering benefits many parents enjoy.

So overall I do recommend this book as a wonderfully researched and interesting book. However, I do caution those of you who utilize charters or are towards more structured forms of homeschooling that some of what you read may feel a bit critical, especially if you used boxed curriculum, do formalized testing or "school at home" styles.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Homeschooling can be an intimidating undertaking, but I think this book helps to ease many fears and also gives you lots of research data and professional opinions to really encourage you in this endeavor. Homeschooling; I can't think of a better way to raise your children.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
While the book does have lots of information and answers many questions, it is told pretty much entirely from a secular point of view. It is heavily supportive of the "unschooling" method of homeschooling, and beyond giving brief definitions of each, it barely mentions other methods. It is highly critical of using pre-packaged, or even structured, curricula. While not outright saying it, "school-at-home" homeschooling is painted as inferior, burdensome, overly restrictive, unnatural, and barely preferable over public school. I did, however, find the chapter concerning socialization to include helpful information and arguments to ease a parent's anxiety about how a homeschooled child can and does learn socialization.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
The first book I read on homeschooling was "Home Sweet Home-School: A Survivor's Guide to Giving Your Kids a Quality Education" by Sue Maakestad. This is a wonderful book which gave me a vivid, educational, and entertaining glimpse into the home of a homeschooler of eight children. The second book I read was "The Homeschooling Book of Answers." I am so glad I stumbled upon these books and in this order. They gave me a view of the incredible spectrum available to homeschoolers. Whereas Maakestad uses a "school at home" aproach, the participants in Dobson's project are virtually all unschoolers. Both books showed me approaches to homeschooling I'd never known of before and also showed me that wonderful, intelligent, well-socialized, and successful young adults emerge from both appraches. Though, as other reviewers have mentioned, the Dobson book is decidedly anti-public school, if one takes that as it may generally be intended, as attacks on an outdated SYSTEM, and not necessarily upon the teachers or even upon people who send their children through the system, it is a very valuable read for all people considering homeschooling or just getting started or leaning toward a more relaxed homeschooling style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
A book showing all the sides to homeschooling...quite informative and can be used as a reference book as well...I would recommend this to all who have thought about homeschooling.
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on December 27, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is the second Homeschooling book I've read and I have realized that what I was subconsciously looking for will not and cannot be answered. I could read 10 Homeschooling books and still not get my answer. I think I've been looking for an epiphany-inducing quote to finally convince me whether or not to homeschool. It is a decision that will have to come from me, and me alone, no matter how much I educate myself on the matter.

With that said, this book helped in alleviating some feelings of self-doubt. It even has a chapter that touches on just those issues; self-doubt, fear, the unknown, etc. My thoughts on "socialization" have been quashed. There are really great arguments as to why "socialization" is such an absurd concern. My major concerns that remain are those that I will probably have to learn through trial and error. I am a creature of habit when it comes to organization and punctuality. I am very uncomfortable with the term "unschool" (which you will see A LOT if you are researching homeschooling) and the chaos that seems to imply. I don't do fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants well, and that's what that term makes me envision.

I enjoyed the way this book incorporates the opinions of dozens of veteran homeschoolers. Some I naturally bonded with, while others I enjoyed, but didn't relate to their answers at all. I did find it humorous, and predictable, that the two authors I felt most akin to were John Taylor Gatto and Ned Vare (who has sadly passed). Somehow I can always pick out a Libertarian, as I realized both men were once I researched them outside of the book. Don't get me wrong, this book is NOT political. There was just something in their worldview that I found appealing and did some extracurricular reading on my own.

I know what I DON'T want in education. Being publicly educated and two years of student-teaching in the public school system was plenty for me. How to narrow down what I DO want is a job. It's not for the faint-hearted. It's something that I know will test my convictions. It's something that will require sacrifice on my part for many years to come. Yes, I'd like to read a book a day and exercise my heart out to a size 0, but my kids come first. That's what I signed up for when I had them. I know what is awaiting them in public school. I keep telling myself that I may fail them, but then I think of the alternative. If you too are looking for someone to tell you what to do, you won't find it here. This book will answer most questions, except the most important one, are you going to do it or not? Fortunately, for me, I still have enough time to read 8 more Homeschooling books.

"You may believe that you can purchase someone else's concern for your children through tax-payer supported schooling or private-fee schooling, but then you may believe in the tooth fairy, too. Don't." -John Taylor Gatto
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Homeschooling book of answers were as described and moore. Put my mind at ease and made me more comfortable with home schooling my grandson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
HAS A LOT OF INFORMATION ANSWERS SOME OF THE QUESTIONS ABOUT REQUIREMENTS
HOW TO FOLLOW UP ON UNANSWERED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have been reading a few other books and none of them compare to this one. It has helped me so much. Its rare to find an informative book that covers things so thoroughly. It has answered EVERY single question I had. This book has completely changed the way I feel about education. It has helped me realize that I CAN homeschool my children. It has given me so much confidence! Not only does it answer every question you might have and answer it well, but it also lists TONS of resources in the back of the book. And it has a full list of State laws that is very helpful. I am so grateful to have found this book! If you want to homeschool and are nervous or feel overwhelmed pick up this book and start reading. You will not be disappointed!
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