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Summer Reading - books for all ages.
Featured Resource


Tips and Tricks for Homeschooling Survival

 

Tips and Tricks for Homeschooling Survival

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Publisher: Know More Publishing

Author: Ann Lloyd

List Price: $10.95

Ages: Adult

Reviewed By: Virginia Jones

 
Here's a down-to-earth "toolkit" for the new or struggling homeschooler that is chock-full of homey advice, practical tips, and time-tested suggestions. The author is obviously a veteran home educator who has "been there" and "done that" and figured out ways of coping with everything from chores to toddlers, choosing curriculum to keeping records, keeping the family in socks and keeping yourself from being driven to distraction.

There's a lot of common sense here, things I've learned myself from trial-and-error or workshops at conferences or coffee sessions with other moms.

The book is divided into three parts: Home, School, and Mom. (Hah, catchy! I just realized that spells out "homeschool mom"! Sometimes I amaze even myself, to quote an old movie.)

The author starts with the home environment, which, come to think of it, makes a good starting place. It's pretty hard to homeschool if you, for instance, cannot find a pencil, or your books go missing day to day, or all you can find of one child's foot-wear (when you're five minutes late in leaving for a music lesson) is five shoes, none of which match. (Been there. Not a pretty sight.) In this section you'll find lots of info on bringing order out of chaos, with a little planning, delegating, organizing, list-making, and the like. I like the author's honesty: for example, in the subsection of tips on feeding your family, she admits that she doesn't like to cook, and suggests that people who enjoy cooking might want to skip ahead.

Part 2, "School," starts, appropriately enough, with "Siblings." One of the things I've noticed about homeschooling is that siblings are thrown into each other's company a lot more than, say, if they were separated into classrooms all day long. (Sometimes I separate mine into "classrooms" for the sake of peace, as a matter of fact, with one in each bedroom, another in the dining room, etc.) Tips regarding "The Home Environment" follow, with a lot that is familiar to us, namely, that our kids don't learn well sitting at a desk listening to a lecture. The tips in this section address creating and maintaining an environment for learning. This section, plus those that follow, "Curriculum," "Record Keeping," "Dealing with the Schools," and "Fieldtrips and the Community" contain plenty of information that I've learned the hard way, or heard from veteran home educators.

The author rounds out the book with Part 3, "Mom," though it might have been subtitled "preventing burnout." The homeschool mom is the weak link in the chain: If she doesn't take care of herself, nurture herself, the whole thing will fall apart when she does.

The eighty tips to be found within the book are short and succinct, often taking no more than a page for each. At the end of each subsection (for example, "Home" consists of "Home" - general housekeeping tips, "Laundry," "Toys and clutter," and "Food") is a quick summary of the tips in that section. If you're in a real rush, you can go right to the summary, and then if you're wanting more, seek out the specific tips in that section.

Word of caution: The author quotes Kahlil Gibran, "The Prophet," which may give some readers pause. It is only in one place, and the words are good thoughts to ponder, regardless of the source.

The book concludes with an appendix containing resource lists: national homeschool organizations, statewide support groups, websites, and homeschooling magazines and books. The lists are by no means exhaustive, but contain lots of good information and a starting place for new homeschoolers to learn more.

If you are a veteran home educator you could probably have written this book yourself, but if you are just starting out, you'll find lots of encouragement, food for thought, and practical suggestions in Tips and Tricks.
 
More Information
Available From: Know More Publishing
Address: www.knowmorepublishing.com
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Purchase Now From the Eclectic Homeschool Resource Center
 
Virginia Jones
Virginia Jones hails from a small town in the Midwest, where "Nothing ever happens, thankfully!" Her family's interests include horseback riding, cross-country skiing, swimming, and, when they can manage to sit still, reading.
 
Copyright © 2007 Eclectic Homeschool Association
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