Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
a great early resource for beginning homeschoolers
on March 13, 2003
This book is subtitled "Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 3- to 8-Year-Old Child". It is a little less than that, since it does not contain information about specific knowledge your youngster "needs" to acquire (for that information, see The Core Knowledge series by E.D. Hirsch), but it is a marvelous book to impart the basics and instill in you a sense of confidence and enthusiasm regarding the adventure you are about to begin!
Dobson begins with a survey of 66 homeschooling parents and presents continuum information about eight variables: motivation for homeschooling, financial expenditures, level of structuredness, assessment technique, technology use, physical space, parental involvement and outside assistance. I found this interesting just to see what others were doing and, though not reported in great detail, I thought it was a promising way to begin the book.
Chapters include information on getting ready to homeschool, curriculum options, teaching reading, teaching writing, teaching arithmetic, teaching other subjects, tailoring your approach to your family, resources, computers, accommodating younger learners, running a household (and sustaining a marriage) while you homeschool, part-time homeschooling, dealing with naysayers and enjoying the experience. Each chapter ends with an outline of the major points and a list of resources, which may include books, programs, magazines, catalogues, web sites or organizations. Chapters include practical advice as well as a series of personal anecdotes from the survey respondents called "How We Did It" with specific ideas that might be helpful.
It would be simplistic to say that much of the book is cheerleading, as the author spends a lot of time telling you why this is a good idea, the benefits of your choice, and the positive effects this decision will have on your child(ren). But considering how much grief you will probably get from relatives and acquaintances, someone to cheer you on isn't such a bad thing. You won't rely on this volume for specifics, but it is inspirational and contains a lot of information about where to find more specifics. I found this book very helpful.