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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Kevin Swanson believes that a successful education is achieved when a child is prepared to make maximal use of his God-given talents and abilities in the accomplishment of the child's calling. With great passion, he writes a series of 10 principles for achieving the best education for our children. Swanson's list of "10 Time-Tested Secrets for a Successful Education" are:

1. The preeminence of character

2. Quality one-on-one instruction

3. The principle of protection

4. The principle of individuality

5. The routing in relationships

6. The principle of doing the basics well

7. The principle of life integration

8. Maintaining the honor and mystique of learning

9. Build on the right foundation

10. The principle of wise, sequential progression

It is obvious that Mr. Swanson favors homeschooling as the best option for living out the ten principles. However he is still able to challenge those whose children are in other schooling environments as well as teachers themselves. Some of these principles would have really helped me out when I taught in a Christian Academy a few years ago.

This book gives adequate critique of the problems in modern education, and also supplies many solutions to those problems. There is an obvious indebtedness to the teaching of Doug Phillips of Vision Forum Ministries. Although he only references them one time, he gives the same analysis and historical understanding of the sickness of modern education. You may not agree with all of Mr. Swanson's conclusions, but you will appreciate his passion for providing students with a distinctively Christian education that captivates the mind and heart of the students. I heartily recommend this book as a resource for Christian parents in determining how they can best educate their children.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a concise, highly readable description of ten principles to guide the education of children. One of the great strengths of this book is that by stating principles the author mostly avoids making recommendations in terms of curriculum, teaching styles, or other specifics. In fact one of the principles is the "Principle of duality" which states that any one method or focus will not work with every child.

This book is written from a Christian perspective, although I believe that all parents and educators could learn from the principles of this book. If you are a Christian you will appreciate the Scriptural foundations provided for each principal.

The author, Kevin Swanson, is the Executive Director of Christian Home Educators of Colorado. Although he certainly encourages home schooling as an advisable option for most families, I feel that he does not go over the line on pushing this as an agenda and even acknowledges that home schooling is not the best option for every family and situation.

As a Father with his first child entering preschool next week, I found this book to be very beneficial in providing a focus and clarifying my thinking on educating my children. I highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you are a teacher or a parent who is passionate about the education of your children, you must read this book. His definition of education as "the preparation of a child intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically for life and for eternity" made a lot of sense to me, as a homeschool mom of five, and to my husband who is a school headmaster. We are not just looking for our children to ace the SAT, but we are preparing them for so much more- life here and life in eternity. What will that kind of education look like? Read this book and find out. Encouraging and challenging. One to go back to over and over.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book has a lot of great content and a message that Christian parents and educators need to hear. It also has a lot relevance to those who many not be Christians but want the best education for their children. The author lays out universal principles that are applicable over the board, not a specific curriculum that will be outdated in five years. I would definitely recommend this book to others. I gave it four star only because I reserve five star for the best of the best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
As Kevin Swanson clearly states in the Introduction, "parents have a committed interest in their children's education; and they must, therefore, be equipped to make intelligent, well-informed choices concerning that education." Admittedly I rate this book highly since I myself am a home educator to my 6 year old son. Like most home educators, and parents in general, I care deeply about the education of not only my child (and future children), but also about the education of other people's children.

Each chapter is laid out in a simple and consistent manner with helpful subheadings and a clearly written conclusion reminding the reader about the key concept of that chapter, providing them with ample opportunity to assess their own conclusions from what they have just read. Mr. Swanson clearly lays out data from National Assessment and Evaluation Program results for education and shows how well students perform in Public vs. Private Schools as well as discusses how both Public and Private schooled students compare with home schooled students.

In addition to his personal stories, Mr. Swanson provides examples from history and uses Scripture throughout to illustrate his points and to point the reader to the purpose of education which he defines as:

"...the preparation of a child intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically for life and for eternity."

While this book and the author clearly supports and encourages home education, this book is not making the claim that the "best" education for your child is necessarily home schooling. That is left for the reader (i.e. parents) to decide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Good reminders about what is really important. My favorite tip so far is that the quality of the education is directly related to the quality of the relationship.
I also thought it was interesting that the author grew up removed from American culture; society, music media... all of it, and yet he became a student body president of a college.
The author's writing style has been enjoyable. I feel like he his sitting next to me telling me how to make my children's education better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book teaches about the raising of a child in the Paideia "of the Lord". It examined the modern educational system - from God's perspective. It validates a parent who is seeking the best future for their kids. It points out benefits of homeschooling, more than just the child, but the whole family. If your child attends a traditional school it offers objectives to rounding out your child's education & relational needs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Buy it! Buy it! Buy it! This book completely exemplifies what teaching our children is all about. I just finished it and am buying a copy for our headmaster and my child's teacher to read. I pray the concepts and philosophies in this book will be well headed by the American public- our kids are just to valuable to continue learning in a failed system!
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on October 6, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book was a tremendous help in understanding why homeschooling was the best choice. Well written and easy read. Would recommend.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
Upgrade:10 Secrets To The Best Education For Your Child by Kevin Swanson (Executive Director of Christian Home Educators of Colorado) is a "parent friendly" study of the definitive modern education process of home-schooling. Informing its readers of the many intricacies and understandings of the home-schooling process which Swanson has come through years of experience and expertise to knowledgeably grasp, Upgrade offers an invaluable and instructive reference which focuses on the preeminence of character development, one-on-one instruction, the nurturing of individuality, and establishing a fundamentally competent knowledge of the basics. Upgrade is very strongly recommended reading, particularly for parents of homeschooled children for its uncompromisingly useful information.
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