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Posted April 14, 2003
It's a forum of homeschooling's best voices- and you can take it home!
Finally! A book with more answers than questions. How can that be? Drawing from years of experience homeschooling her own family, time spent helping other homeschoolers through workshops, and her written work about homeschooling, Linda has posed the most important frequently asked questions about homeschooling and asked more than 80 of homeschooling's most respected voices to contribute answers. Issues of structure, expense, socialization, dealing with officials, resources, and many more are all answered here. Reading this book is like attending a homeschooling forum and hearing the most experienced people in the field express their ideas and opinions. Best of all, each question is answered by at least two people so you can consider differing points of view and form your own conclusions. I found it interesting to see where contributors agreed (without any consultation) and where they differed. The greatest value of this book lies not in the number of questions that are answered, but in the rich diversity of answers. You will come away from this book knowing that there are as many ways to homeschool as there are homeschooling families. These expert answers come from a combined total of more than 500 years of personal experience, experimentation, observation, and the courage to pursue personal dreams and values. This is a book for all homeschoolers. Reading it will empower you as you experiment and find the best learning style for you and your family.
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Posted May 23, 2010
excellent resource for beginning and veteran homeschoolers
For several years I was a subscriber to Home Education Magazine and always enjoyed Linda Dobson's columns. My decision to discontinue my subscription was simply a matter of finances and time. I recently picked up this book edited by Linda at a used curriculum sale. It has a ton of interesting, encouraging, and useful information in it. Some 53 individuals involved in homeschooling, either as parents, students, or researchers, answer 88 questions that are divided into twelve chapters. Be forwarned that there is a decided tilt towards the promotion of "unschooling" or John Holt's "child-directed learning," and many, though not all, of the writers express strong opinions against planned curricula or anything that might even appear to resemble "school at home." However, even if we do not choose to "unschool," there are things that the rest of us homeschoolers can learn from the unschoolers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Also, even though it is not mentioned by name, there is a subtle yet definite anti-HSLDA bias. And one writer does refer to "fundamentalist right-wing intolerance." Like any other work by human beings, you can take that which applies to you and use it, while leaving what does not apply to you for others to whom it might apply. However, the observations made by John Taylor Gatto and the section on socialization alone are worth the price of the book. Two appendices contain a voluminous list of resources and a summary of homeschooling requirements in the United States. I appreciate Linda's conclusion. "The value of educational freedom is a lesson too important to keep to ourselves. Throughout this book we have freely shared it with you. If you appreciate your home, you may be forced to keep supporting the system with your money, but you don't have to support the system by feeding it your children. You can choose to allow them to remain in the world. And this will make all the difference."
Of course, any book of this nature is outdated even the day it comes off the presses in some regards. In 1998, many homeschoolers did not yet have home computers; now nearly everyone does. There is an updated edition available, The Homeschooling Book of Answers: The 101 Most Important Questions Answered by Homeschooling's Most Respected Voices. Linda Dobson began homeschooling her three children in New York in 1985. A nationally respected conference speaker, article and book author, she worked with Home Education Magazine as a news editor and columnist for many years. Linda has served as a library board of trustees vice-president, town council person, "early years" advisor for Homeschool.com, and the editor for Prima Publishing Home Learning Library. She continues to write on topics about education. Her latest book is: The Learning Coach Approach Inspire, Encourage, and Guide Your Child Toward Greater Success In School and In Life. Other books by author Linda Dobson include What the Rest of Us Can Learn from Homeschooling; The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas; Homeschooling the Early Years; Homeschoolers' Success Stories; The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child; and The Art of Education.