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Homeschooling for Excellence Paperback – October 1, 1988
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The Colfaxes don't purport to be experts; they don't prescribe a formula for their success. Rather, their experience is described as a trial-and-error effort, with some of their mistakes offered up as lessons for others. The value of critically examining textbooks in advance, for instance, is learned after one son falls behind in algebra using a schoolbook that touts "new math" principles. The Colfaxes' philosophy is that every child is gifted. Parents don't need to be certified teachers to teach them (although it does ward off doubters). But, despite the contention of some homeschoolers, the Colfaxes do caution that teaching at home requires much time and money--and they don't advise it for single parents or most working women. Any parent interested in connecting with his or her child, however, will find the Colfax take on life an enjoyable and enlightening read. The couple closes the book with an appendix of suggested references for building a family library and a delightful list of their children's favorite books. --Jodi Mailander Farrell
"THEIR EFFORTS TO TEACH THEIR CHILDREN THEMSELVES HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL BEYOND MOST PARENTS' DREAMS....Lively and clearly written, Homeschooling for Excellence provides a step-by-step guide...and will make most parents think harder about encouraging their children's interest in learning."―Chicago Tribune
Top Customer Reviews
"Homeschooling For Excellence" has been such a help. I never realized that children could love to learn as much as they do!
Don't just read this book. Take their advise! The difference it has made in our lives is amazing and wonderful!
To the authors: Thank you so much.
I loved many of the ideas they presented and we have already put one into practice - the idea of having the children write daily in a journal - or even just draw if they can't write yet. This is a big hit with our six year old who every night writes in her book something special that happened that day. What a fun way to learn writing, spelling and grammar skills and we'll be able to look back in later months and years and see how she has progressed.
Even though this book is dated - most of the information and processes are very relevant to today.
The Colfaxes present, in matter of fact fasion, how they taught their own. Their motivation for doing so was practical rather than ideological. They don't pretend to tell you how to teach your own children - just how they managed to teach theirs.
The only drawback is that some of the references are out of date - the Colfaxes taught their children in the 70's and 80's. However good sense (I don't say common, because I don't believe it is) will lead interested readers to updated references: Enyclopedias on CD-Rom rather than in book form, for example.
A great book for intelligent parents who suspect that they can teach their child(ren) more effectively than any overworked and underappreciated teacher can.
Actually, I did NOT want to homeschool. As the mother of a only child (a whip-smart boy who needed a lot of attention) I was looking forward to FREEEEEDOM and lattes with friends. Well. It was obvious that he would be bored in school. Plus, I didn't like the system telling me when I could vacation. I also didn't want to hold him back (he's doing high school math at age 9). And if my main goal was 'freedom' (a babysitting service) well then, why did I have a child in the first place??? So we started homeschooling. STILL going strong 9 years later! It's been such a rewarding, fun, amazing blessing/experience.
Read it. Try homeschooling. You can always give them back to the government if it doesn't work out ;o)
4 years later I can only say it was a wise decision. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in homeschooling AND anyone who cares about what happens to their children.
The book is small in size and 142 pages, with large font and good-sized margins. Twenty pages are comprised of lists of books and resources they like. Many of the references are from the 1970s and 1980s, since those were the times they were homeschooling their older children. I wonder how many of these books are out of print and also wonder if better books have been published since. Also these materials are simply in a list format and don't contain any opinions about why they liked that book, what the book is about, etc.
The beginning was a bit confusing to me as they go back and forth in time explaining their life experience. It jumped around from homeschooling to before they had children, and to when their children were in school. It would have been much better if they just started at the beginning in a chronological order.
A chapter on why the government education system in England and America doesn't work is a good introduction to these subjects. Both Colfax's were teachers prior to having children. The Colfax's seem to have firm opinions against government schools yet sent their children there and didn't homeschool until they moved to a rural area and had no other choice. I was surprised that they didn't homeschool from the beginning, it seemed a bit illogical to me to send your child to school when they worked in schools and didn't like what they knew of it. Also they stated they moved to a homestead area with no near school and only after moving did they realize they never considered the education issue for their children. How can someone never think about that? Doesn't every parent think about education issues, school quality, etc. before moving?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informative with a lot of good advice. The books recommended are outdated (especially the science books) since they were published in the 80s. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Leigh
Inspirational book on homeschooling that got me through my early days homeschooling in the 80s.Published 8 months ago by K. K. Burns
This is a home school must have for every homeschooling family. I read it long ago before starting my homeschooling journey and again as I was starting homeschooling and YET again... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Redneck Momma
Loved reading it, a little outdated though in terms of current available curriculum and books. But j loved reading about this family's experience with homeschooling.Published 14 months ago by Katie Christensen
A classic. Every family considering home schooling should read this book before they start. You can not find a more encouraging book about homeschooling anywhere!Published 22 months ago by L Christine Stevens
As a pre-parent looking into the concept of homeschooling (and a certified state teacher) it's a delight to get a perspective outside from people who have 1) done extensive... Read morePublished on October 30, 2013 by Leanne
exellent book for the ones that are reaserching information regarding homeschooling. I was trully inspired by their story. Read morePublished on February 25, 2012 by MarcelaBest
The Colfax parents did a thorough job compiling compelling evidence in the case for homeschooling, including excellent products of their own homeschooling efforts. Read morePublished on May 16, 2010 by ForgetMeNot