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Summer Reading - books for all ages.
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McGraw-Hill Homeschooling Companion, The (Second Review)


McGraw-Hill Homeschooling Companion, The (Second Review)

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Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Author: Laura Saba
Julie Gattis

List Price: $19.95

Ages: Adult

Reviewed By: Deborah Deggs Cariker

An easy read with plenty of highlight-able information, The McGraw-Hill Homeschooling Companion is a good "first book" for those considering taking the leap and making the sacrifice to educate their children at home. Yet Laura Saba and Julie Gattis have also penned a book worthy of the shelves of homeschooling veterans, covering subjects like standardized testing, the BIG "S" (socialization), how to buy curriculum, and teaching tips on core subjects ranging from Language Arts to Social Students, as well as the extras like Art and Foreign Language. I really liked Laura's "map idea" on pages 106-107.

The authors include helps and special strategies for single parents and working parents. Don't skip this chapter if you're married and living on Dad's income. The chapter speaks to balance, and creatively finding that place - good fodder for all homeschoolers. Plus, consider this: "Another good reason to have dad involved is because it avoids having a little boy coming to believe that school is `a girl thing.' Dad's involvement demonstrates that males love learning, parenting, and teaching, as well."

Laura and Julie are both veteran homeschoolers, and KNOW what they're talking about when they address criticism ("What will the neighbors say?"), legal requirements, and finding a college that will accept homeschoolers. You should spend time lingering over chapter 7: Learning Every Minute. You don't have to partake in unschooling to realize and cherish the FACT that your child is always learning something (uh- that would be for good or not!). Dig that impulse learning, too. Kinda' "child directed" and "child motivated", if you like the lingo - but real life begets all sorts of learning adventures throughout the school day. Laura and Julie encourage you to get out of the box when it comes to thinking school; it's WAY more than textbook and matching workbook!

And, while you're basking in the glow of changing the world one child at a time, read and re-read the chapter titled Avoiding Burnout. It's worth reading a couple of times, and dog-earing the pages.

You'll need a new highlighter by the time you get to the appendices. Here you'll find great info on web sites, as well as generalized scope-and-sequences by grade level. Remember, these are SUGGESTIONS; your homeschool will be as different as your family.

Here's my ONE gripe: Page 220 SHOULD include South East Texas Home School Association information. but the gripe is greatly overshadowed by the hugely responsible way these first-time authors address the complex subject of homeschooling. Great job, ladies!
More Information
Available From: Julie Gattis
Address: 241 South Main Street, Wendell, NC 27591
Phone: 800.KID.HUGZ
Other Notes: Available in bookstores
Purchase Now From the Eclectic Homeschool Resource Center
Deborah Deggs Cariker
A Houston-area veteran journalist, Deborah Deggs Cariker is a ninth-year homeschooling mother of two, and Assistant Editor of the EHO Product Reviews Department. Cariker and fireman husband, Bill, make their home near Montgomery, Texas.
Copyright © 2004 Eclectic Homeschool Association
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