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Customer Review

on May 14, 2014
This book is not a homeschooling how-to guide. This family reverse engineered the college admissions game and made their own efficient path to get there. They eschewed the standard government (public) school path, which would have involved common core standards, long school days of which 80% of the time is wasted, mind-numbing worksheets, and violence for something different.

There is no rule book or standards for homeschooling. People looking for such a thing are on a fools errand, and perhaps missing the point of homeschooling completely. The best homeschooling path involves the parents seeking out the best quality instructional materials and resources, and using them. If something doesn’t work, try something else, just as they explained in the book. One example: the Brainy Bunch used Editor in Chief, which for intellectual homeschoolers is one of those “gems”. Every homeschooler knows that for math, Saxon and Singapore are the best. There are other gems in every category, and have been reviewed in full on Cathy Duffy’s website. This book does not go there, and doesn’t need to because these resources are documented elsewhere.

Instead, the Hardings provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the method they iterated over the years to work for their own family. It’s enormously useful in that sense. Young homeschooling families can learn the pitfalls of trying to replicate “school”, what the challenges of homeschooling are, that working parents can homeschool too, and how to hack education so that real learning happens.

I can understand the reviewers who were digging for concrete, specific details about their routine and were disappointed. These details are there, but they exist sporadically, rather than a bulleted list or some other digestible format. Therefore, it’s important to read this book thoroughly. Take your time. Have the internet ready to look up resources.

For all of those who are outraged over their references to religion and becoming a stay-at-home mom, read the book as if you are studying someone else’s culture. Yes, it’s different from yours. Intelligent people don’t get offended. It’s not fair to judge the Hardings for their religious slant or views on feminism. They aren’t stealing; they aren’t hurting anyone. They are raising honest, smart kids who are adding value to our society. Think about it; these people aren’t the enemy.
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