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—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?
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.
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