Thursday, July 21, 2011

So You're Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel

As a matter of fact, I am. And, after reading this book, I'm thinking more seriously about homeschooling. This book transforms homeschooling from the daunting, unknown into feasible and attainable.

Lisa Whelchel (a.k.a Blair for those of us who grew up in the 80s) has put together conversational encounters with 15 homeschool families, including her own homeschool story. Each chapter is devoted to one family. The family describes their homeschool situation and the method they use. The family circumstances vary from Dad as teacher, to grandparents as teacher, to traveling the country in an RV. Each family uses a different method, such as, the principle approach, traditional textbooks, classic approach, unschooling, and others.

What I like best about So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling is how real it is. That sounds strange but I felt like I was meeting these families face-to-face and given an opportunity to see what homeschooling really looks like. Whelchel doesn’t gloss things over or paint a rosy picture attempting to win you over. This book introduces you to people who approach homeschooling very differently and who teach very differently. Everyone decides to homeschool for their own reason and everyone settles into a way of “doing school” that fits their family.

Whelchel chose the perfect writing style for this book, conversational, not confrontational. The format of meeting a new family with each chapter worked well with the subject matter. As I read I could easily determine aspects that would fit our circumstances, methods that would suit or kids and other details. When I completed the book I felt like I had a better sense of what homeschooling would look like at my house. Homeschooling doesn’t seem like such a scary thing anymore.

I highly recommend So You're Thinking About Homeschooling to anyone who has even had one minute thought about homeschooling. This book would also be good for those who tend to be critical of homeschooling or who don’t understand homeschooling because it presents many approaches and lifestyles.

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