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Homeschooling for the Rest of Us: How Your One-of-a-Kind Family Can Make Homeschooling and Real Life Work Paperback – January 1, 2010
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From the Back Cover
Wonder how others do it all?
Not sure you're cut out for homeschooling?
It's time to break a myth: Homeschooling families aren't perfect. In fact, real-life families like yours can be--and are--successful homeschoolers! That's the life message of Sonya Haskins, who is dedicated to helping everyday families meet the challenges of home education and enjoy its countless benefits.
In this practical, encouraging guide, Haskins shares tried and true ideas for how to:
Discover a realistic vision of homeschooling for your family
Help your child get excited about learning
Find a routine that fits your goals and lifestyle
Nurture a biblical worldview in your child's heart and mind
And much more
Whether you are already homeschooling or just considering it, this book offers the support, answers, and flexible strategies to help you succeed.
About the Author
Sonya Haskins is a veteran homeschooling mom of five children and an active homeschooling consultant and advocate. She is the author of several books, including The Homeschooler's Book of Lists, and her articles have appeared in Homeschooling Today, Educational Dealer, and other magazines. She lives in the Tri Cities region of northeastern Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their children.
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When we first started homeschooling 4 years ago, I didn't realize it then, but we had a long road ahead of us. Along the way, we have tried several curriculums, many schedules, and I have dealt with (in some cases unsuccessfully) concerns regarding our decision. In my quest to find answers, I've read alot. (That doesn't surprise you, though, right?) I've learned so many different ways to teach, curriculums that work and don't work, classroom sizes and types and how far to go in decorating-but to tell you the truth, I never read a book that addressed the heart of the matter.
The more answers I got regarding curriculum and other aspects, the further I felt from getting the most crucial answers. As in, am I doing enough? What about the pressure I put on myself and pressure from extended family members that just don't support our decision? What can I do if my child falls behind? What does my schedule look like compared to others? What is a reasonable time to spend on each subject a week? Those were the questions that kept me awake at night, staring at the ceiling.
Chapters titled Pressure, Perfection and Progress, and Nurturing Your Childs Heart jumped out at me right away. But then I see Developing Positive Relationships that points out young children need to learn to obey, how to interact in relationships and be read to more than they need a strong academic schedule. That totally made sense! The chapter regarding Dealing with Relatives gave me a game plan for the next visit when I was most apt to overhear someone ask my child "When are you going to real school?" Oh, and that clutter that drives you nuts? It's addressed in the chapter Living in a Very Messy House. It's not about excusing the mess, but rather in finding ways to get it to an organized mess you can live with.
Written from a Christian perspective aldo helped. At the end of the day, Haskins points out, if you lack wisdom, that's when you pray for direction. How can any homeschooling parent leave it to luck and destiny when it comes to their childs academic and social future? Speaking of socialization, be prepared to be WOWED as you read that chapter. You won't stress over whether your kids are getting proper interaction ever again.
As a homeschooling Mom, I recommend this book be read first if you are on the fence about homeschooling. If you are already educating from your living room or playroom, you still need this book. So many fears and concerns are addressed that you don't realize come with the package until you are nose deep in the adventure. Haskins answered my questions and calmed my fears. I realize now, it's really not that hard!
Haskins says that there is no right or wrong way to home school (as long as education is taking place and the children are loved and cared for). And while a strict schedule with a set curriculum works well for some, the author prefers a more relaxed style of teaching:
"We refer to our approach as `relaxed schooling,' where parents are considered the guides, but the child's interests, desires, and abilities are always taken into consideration."
Some aspects of Haskin's approach are too relaxed for me, but the point she makes is an important one: each family should find what works best for them.
This short, easy to read book is full of practical and useful advice. Haskins gives real examples of home school schedules, advice on how to deal with a (very) messy house, how to help your children develop social skills, and how to home school on a tight budget. These are just a few of the helpful topics.
The book also has a lot of good, general parenting advice. Any parent, even those not considering home schooling, will find something useful. Though I disagree with the author on a few minor points, I both enjoyed and learned from Homeschooling for the Rest of Us, and I don't hesitate to recommend it.
I received a review copy of this book from Bethany House.
In the 30+ years I've been involved in homeschooling, the perfect homeschool family is MOST unusual. Instead, just like traditional schools, there are good days and bad days. Some of our kids turn out to be auto mechanics; others become college professors. Some of our kids live to please their parents and others keep us on our knees. And most of our houses are far from spotless!
Haskins' book gives a realistic picture of the typical homeschool from academics to housekeeping and from socialization to budgets. She shows you how you can succeed in homeschooling and not be picture perfect. She shows you how to focus on relationships with God, family and others in the community. She explains the variety of routines that homeschoolers have and how you can find one that works for you. She clarifies how to choose extracurricular activities and academics based on your child's individual gifts and goals. Most of all, she helps you relax so you can homeschool your family knowing this is what God called you to do. It's not your job to be perfect, just obedient.
5 STARS for a book we can read and be encouraged to do what God called us to do! Thanks, Sonya.
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