Homeschooling: Take a Deep Breath - You Can Do This!

Overview

You don't have to be a professional teacher, a genius, or a structured person to homeschool well. Many people believe they can't homeschool because they are lacking some magical quality or skill successful homeschoolers have. The truth is that homeschooling can be done, and done well, by most ordinary people.Terrie Lynn Bittner's book will take you by the hand and show you how. She breaks the job down into doable chunks and carefully explains each part, giving you the confidence you need to get it done. Her ...
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Overview

You don't have to be a professional teacher, a genius, or a structured person to homeschool well. Many people believe they can't homeschool because they are lacking some magical quality or skill successful homeschoolers have. The truth is that homeschooling can be done, and done well, by most ordinary people.Terrie Lynn Bittner's book will take you by the hand and show you how. She breaks the job down into doable chunks and carefully explains each part, giving you the confidence you need to get it done. Her explainations are clear and thorough.Down-to-earth and practical ... sensible and direct ... Designed to empower the novice toward home-schooling success, this book is friendly, reassuring and endlessly supportive ... like a very well-informed neighbor. (Publishers Weekly)In this honest and commonsensical book ... Bittner ... offers sound advice on legal issues, lesson plans, curricula, testing, teaching, values, preparing for graduation, and college ... This is an encouraging and helpful resource for parents considering homeschooling their children. (Booklist)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Homeschooling, insists freelance writer and home-schooling mom Bittner, "is parenting in its highest form." In this down-to-earth and practical book, she guides interested parents toward confidence and success in this venture, from the preliminary stages (convincing self, spouse and family that home-schooling is possible, dealing with its legal aspects, finding support groups, gathering supplies) through experimentation (finding the best pedagogical methods, understanding children's different learning styles) to mastery (teaching reading, composition, math. . . . Her advice is sensible and direct: find out what your state requires the schools to teach at each grade level; if there's no computer at home, use the public library's. For parents worried about the "icky stuff" in science, remember that "older children frequently enjoy doing things their parents consider disgusting." Bittner also suggests answers to what she calls the "stupid questions" (Will the kids be properly socialized? What about prom?) and faces up to the "bad stuff" ("Some days you and your children will be sick of each other"). Designed to empower the novice toward home-schooling success, this book is friendly, reassuring and endlessly supportive, and, like a very well-informed neighbor, Bittner shares everything from family anecdotes to sample school-day schedules and lists of supplementary resources."

—Publishers Weekly, Nov 22, 2004

"What a wonderful resource! This book could have saved me buckets of frustration had it been around when I began homeschooling. What a gift to any parent who doesn't feel they're up to the task of homeschooling. Instead of sharing yet more "Super Mom" stories, Terrie addresses real concerns in a way that disarms the fear and boosts the confidence. It is like sharing a cup of tea with the successful, resourceful "homeschooling friend" you always wished you had."

—Carol Barnier, author of How To Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and on to Learning and If I'm Diapering A Watermelon Then Where'd I Put the Baby?

Publishers Weekly
"Homeschooling," insists freelance writer and home-schooling mom Bittner, "is parenting in its highest form." In this down-to-earth and practical book, she guides interested parents toward confidence and success in this venture, from the preliminary stages (convincing self, spouse and family that home-schooling is possible, dealing with its legal aspects, finding support groups, gathering supplies) through experimentation (finding the best pedagogical methods, understanding children's different learning styles) to mastery (teaching reading, composition, math-even if, long ago, you flunked algebra-history and science as well as "values, religion, electives"). Her advice is sensible and direct: find out what your state requires the schools to teach at each grade level; if there's no computer at home, use the public library's. For parents worried about the "icky stuff" in science, remember that "older children frequently enjoy doing things their parents consider disgusting." Bittner also suggests answers to what she calls the "stupid questions" (Will the kids be properly socialized? What about prom?) and faces up to the "bad stuff " ("Some days you and your children will be sick of each other"). Designed to empower the novice toward home-schooling success, this book is friendly, reassuring and endlessly supportive, and, like a very well-informed neighbor, Bittner shares everything from family anecdotes to sample school-day schedules and lists of supplementary resources. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Bittner, a freelance writer, mother, and homeschooler, makes no bones about the challenges of homeschooling. Convincing family and friends that homeschooling is a viable option, planning and carrying out curriculum, finding the confidence to tackle the role of formal teacher, and locating social and academic support for oneself and one's children are all topics to consider; Bittner does a good job of encouraging realistic expectations. Her perspective, however, is old-fashioned and may put off some readers. She assumes that mothers will be doing all of the homeschooling (in addition to the housework). At one point, she advises: "If it's nearly time for your husband to return, comb your hair, and then head for the kitchen to take care of dinner and look busy." Despite such remarks, this book does offer useful resources (print and web) and explores "afterschooling," laws, evaluation, and lesson planning with a child-centered approach. For public libraries in more conservative communities.-Heather O'Brien, Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, N.S. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780972807159
  • Publisher: WindRiver Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/10/2004
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Terrie Lynn Bittner is a freelance writer who has been published in various educational, religious, historical, and family publications. She currently writes a weekly column on family life at BellaOnline.com. She has homeschooled her children since 1992 in several different states and maintains a homeschooling Web site at www.terriebittner.com.
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Read an Excerpt

Here is a secret, one hardly anyone—even other homeschoolers—will tell you: Homeschooling parents do not need to be smart to teach their children. They don't even need to be educated as teachers. Many public school teachers say that the majority of their training is in discipline or multiculturalism, not education, and many teach outside their majors. Many of them also teach without a credential. While it's probably best to be reasonably literate, you can teach your child even if you have no idea how to multiply fractions or use a microscope. How can this be true?

Homeschooling parents need the ability to learn, not the ability to teach or even the ability to do the subject matter. If you don't know how to use your new microscope, read the directions and figure it out. Let your children read the directions and figure it out for you. Invite someone over who does know how to use a microscope.

Very few of us remember every detail of our own educations. However, our counterparts employed by the public schools don't remember either. Many professional teachers have scrambled to find a literary analysis of Shakespeare before they could teach it to their students, possibly because they were history majors who found themselves assigned to an English class. No one knows everything. . . .

Stop worrying about what you don't know. If you and your child spend a few hours struggling over three different math books and a Web page until you both understand how to multiply those fractions, you can count it as the best of quality time. My children still talk about some of those days, especially the times they were the ones who figured it out and explained it to me. They didn't think less of me because I didn't already know. They just thought more of themselves for participating in the solution.

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Table of Contents

vii Acknowledgments

1 Chapter 1: Homeschooling and the Supermom Syndrome

7 Chapter 2: Overcoming Your Lack of Self-Confidence

19 Chapter 3: Convincing Your Spouse, the Grandparents, the Kids, and Other Concerned People

43 Chapter 4: Laws and Support

51 Chapter 5: Organizing Your New Life

65 Chapter 6: Recording Weird Things in Respectable Ways (Record-Keeping)

79 Chapter 7: Homeschooling One, Many, and the Baby

93 Chapter 8: Homeschooling Part-Time

101 Chapter 9: Getting Supplies When You're Cheap...ummm...Frugal

107 Chapter 10: How Am I Going to Teach? How Are They Going to Learn?

123 Chapter 11: When Your Child Is Behind or Ahead of His Peers

139 Chapter 12: Using Ready-Made Lesson Plans

145 Chapter 13: Building Your First Lesson Plan

157 Chapter 14: Turning Lesson Plans into Unit Studies

165 Chapter 15: Teaching Math When You Can't Even Do Percentages

177 Chapter 16: Reading, Phonics, Sight Reading, and Other Scary Words

187 Chapter 17: History: Time Machines for Homeschoolers

197 Chapter 18: Science: You Mean I Have to Touch That?

205 Chapter 19: Writing Things Down: Compositions, Reports and Stories

217 Chapter 20: Slipping in Values, Religion, Electives, and Other Treasures

223 Chapter 21: Opening Your School

241 Chapter 22: So, Did They Learn Anything?

249 Chapter 23: What Do You Do in School? Nothing!

253 Chapter 24: Homeschooling Until Graduation

269 Chapter 25: Stupid Questions and How to Answer Them

279 Chapter 26: The Bad Stuff No One Tells You

287 Chapter 27: The Good Stuff Most People Won't Tell You

299 Chapter 28: How Homeschooling Will Strengthen Your Family

303 Glossary of Common Homeschooling Terms

307 Index

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