Asking Questions Finding Answers: A Parent's Journey Through Homeschoolingby Tamra B. Orr
True to its name, Tamra Orr's newly updated and expanded book, Asking Questions, Finding Answers is arranged in an engaging question and answer format that provides information and perspective about nearly every imaginable
Asking Questions, Finding Answers: A Parent's Journey through Homeschooling, by Tamra Orr (2008, HEM Books) ISBN 978-0-945097-31-0
True to its name, Tamra Orr's newly updated and expanded book, Asking Questions, Finding Answers is arranged in an engaging question and answer format that provides information and perspective about nearly every imaginable homeschooling issue. Orr complements her own considerable knowledge and understanding with well-wrought essays by homeschooling parents and teens. Their voices provide further authenticity and first-hand evidence of the diversity of approaches and philosophies among homeschoolers.
The result is a book that provides the kind of support a good homeschool group provides at its discussion meetings, complete with Orr as the humorous and insightful discussion leader. Orr's thorough book is ideal for new homeschoolers, addressing the choice to homeschool, how to get started, finding support, coping with doubters, and the legalities of homeschooling. In plain language, she asks and answers such questions as How much does homeschooling cost? How much time does homeschooling take? What if my child never learns to read?
But Orr goes further than answering these and other questions I've heard asked by new and prospective homeschoolers. She also digs into homeschooling teens and preparing for college, as well as providing perspective on other choices teens may make to work, volunteer or travel. Not shy about offering alternatives to the alternative, Orr also includes an essay by a formerly public schooled teen who wanted to unschool but did not out of respect for her family's wishes. However, the teen attended Not Back To School Camp and considers herself a post-high school unschooler. Orr also allows us to hear from a homeschooling family who adopts a foster child with the intent to homeschool him, but found public school to be a better ultimate fit after an important period of having the child home with them for healing. We hear from high achieving teens and traveling teens, all having forged unique and satisfying lives where homeschooling has played an integral part. Orr also addresses homeschooling children with ADD/ADHD, special needs, and special gifts. Orr's inclusion of Melanie Walenciak's essay about her impulsive "divergent thinking" son is a gift to all of us who have loved and learned with challenging children.
Some parents coming to homeschooling from a school setting flush with labels may quibble with Orr's complete non-pathologizing of ADD, which leans heavily on a point of view such as that espoused in Thomas Armstrong's book, The Myth of the ADD Child. Still, I can't help but personally agree with her assessment that the "vast majority of parents who have made this decision (to homeschool) report the same thing: within weeks of coming home, nearly every symptom of ADD disappears. . . .The problem was not the child. The problem was the child being put into an environment that was damaging, difficult, and draining."
Orr doesn't stop with that assessment of ADD; she backs it up with strategies that homeschooling parents can indeed use to help cope with a child who has exhibited behaviors associated with ADD.
And that's the pattern of this helpful book. Orr's answers provide both theoretical insight and practical techniques, resulting in a book that can help homeschoolers analyze their concerns and implement day-to-day strategies for the benefit of their children.
Jeanne Faulconer, Book Reviewer, Home Education Magazine (May-June, 2008)
- Home Education Magazine
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)
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