The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide To Homeschooling

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Overview

"The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling" is packed full of Barbara Frank's advice gleaned from over 20 years of homeschooling her four children, including one who has Down syndrome.

As an eBook, it won rave reviews since it was published last year. Now, Cardamom Publishers has expanded the book, doubling it in size, and bringing it out in a perfect-bound edition. Readers will learn how they can:

. Get past the "public school" way of thinking by customizing lessons ...

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Overview

"The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling" is packed full of Barbara Frank's advice gleaned from over 20 years of homeschooling her four children, including one who has Down syndrome.

As an eBook, it won rave reviews since it was published last year. Now, Cardamom Publishers has expanded the book, doubling it in size, and bringing it out in a perfect-bound edition. Readers will learn how they can:

. Get past the "public school" way of thinking by customizing lessons for each child.
. Boost their self-confidence by learning how to measure what their children have learned.
. Reduce their stress level with "115 Organizing Tips for Homeschoolers."
. Free themselves of attitudes and habits that make homeschooling harder than it has to be.

"The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling" will encourage current and prospective homeschooling parents alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Eclectic Homeschool Online
What would the perfect homeschooling book look like? Well...for me, it would clearly be written by an experienced homeschooler. It would also be written to me - meaning both that it would not be above my head and it would cover topics that are pertinent to me personally. It would also contain plenty of practical advice and concrete examples. Gee...sounds like The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling. ...Honestly, this is the best I've read in a while. Frank approaches her topic openly and honestly, with a voice that sounds more like your best friend's than some vaunted homeschool speaker's.
—Larissa McKay
Otherways Magazine
I recommend her guide to new homeschooling parents. It's neither dryly theoretical nor boastfully self-congratulating. It's practical, encouraging, and unintimidating, without
underestimating all that homeschooling involves. If you're not new to homeschooling, but low on energy and enthusiasm for it, this guide is for you, too.
—Carol Goudie
Homeschoolbuzz.com
....(T)he truth is there is no perfect home school. Even though I know that already, how empowering it is for me to read Barbara Frank's book The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling.... This guide is an excellent resource both for those just starting out and the rest of us that need some good old-fashioned encouragement and empowerment.
—Kathy Davis
Kathy Davis
(A)n excellent resource for those starting out and the rest of us that need some good old-fashioned encouragement and empowerment.
Dawn Peterson
Ever wish you could sit down over a cup of coffee with a seasoned homeschooler, pick her brain for a few hours, and take notes on all the great advice she would pass on to you? Well, The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling, written by Christian mom and veteran home educator Barbara Frank, is just about the next best thing! This book is a goldmine of helpful information, encouragement, and practical tips on so many aspects of homeschooling.
Larissa McKay
What would the perfect homeschooling book look like? Well...for me, it would clearly be written by an experienced homeschooler. It would also be written to me - meaning both that it would not be above my head and it would cover topics that are pertinent to me personally. It would also contain plenty of practical advice and concrete examples.

Gee...sounds like The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling.

…Honestly, this is the best I've read in a while. Frank
Carol Goudie
I recommend her guide to new homeschooling parents. It’s neither dryly theoretical nor boastfully self-congratulating. It’s practical, encouraging, and unintimidating, without
underestimating all that homeschooling involves. If you’re not new to homeschooling, but low on energy and enthusiasm for it, this guide is for you, too.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780974218120
  • Publisher: Cardamom Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/8/2008
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,220,024
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Frank has been homeschooling for over 20 years; she has four children, ages 15-24. Mrs. Frank is a freelance writer/editor and former newspaper reporter whose recent work has appeared in Focus on the Family Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. She is also the author of Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers. She has a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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Read an Excerpt

Changing My Game Plan

(excerpted from The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling by Barbara Frank, published by Cardamom Publishers, April 2008.)
Like many people, I began homeschooling by imitating the schools of my youth. I bought a boxful of curriculum, divided it into daily assignments, and taught my kids right out of those books.

And there wasn't anything especially bad about that, except that after the initial excitement wore off, my kids started to get bored. Instead of being excited about doing school, they ranked it right down there with making their beds and setting the table-something we have to do, so let's get it over with.
That was not in my game plan. I didn't want them to be bored. I was bored in school, and I still recalled how bad that felt. I wanted my kids to enjoy school.
What I soon realized was that while they might have been bored with school, my kids still loved learning. They enjoyed visiting museums. My daughter read through stacks of books without my telling her to do so. And my son drew beautiful, detailed pictures that were not assigned by me.

I even became bored by the assignments I was teaching the kids, and it must have been around that time that I came up with the idea of playing store. I labeled some items in our pantry (using prices written on sticky notes), then dug up all the spare change I could find.

I became the storekeeper, and the kids became the shoppers. They'd choose an item from the pantry and pay me for it. Often I had to make change for them. Soon they were buying more than one item at a time and figuring out how much they owed me. Before long, they started taking turns being thestore-keeper. This became a game they enjoyed for a long time, but I think I probably learned the most from that experience, because I saw that homeschooling didn't have to be boring, like formal school was for me as a child.

This success led me to become more creative with our homeschooling. Since my first two children were only 18 months apart, they studied most subjects together, and that made it easy to come up with math games. Their favorite math game came about by necessity. I was pregnant with our third child, and spending a lot of time on the sofa. While beached there, I'd hold up a flash card, and throw it to whichever child gave the correct answer first. The child who collected the most cards won. Since the kids were very competitive with each other, they soon learned their math facts (which I'd been unsuccessfully trying to force into their heads by using written timed drills, as advised by our curriculum). This way was much easier and a lot more fun.

Making learning fun started to seep into other areas of our homeschooling. I made a little game out of putting the books of the Bible in order. I made small cards with the name of a book on each, and then let the kids put them in order. This way they were using their hands along with their minds, which is always a good way to learn. Soon they could get those cards in order pretty quickly, so they began timing themselves. Naturally, they began comparing their best times, and that led to me making two sets of cards so they could compete directly against each other. Before long, they could quickly find any book of the Bible. And they'd had a lot of fun getting to that point.

Such successes led me to loosen up in our homeschooling, and to be open to using games and other activities. More importantly, I soon came to see those things as at least equal in importance to bookwork. I bought Cuisenaire rods for math, which worked so well that I ended up giving up the formal math cur-riculum we'd been using, and buying the Miquon Math series instead (you use rods with them). Three of my kids eventually worked through Miquon with the rods, and then went straight into Saxon 54 or 65 with no difficulty.

I also used treasure hunts to teach them, first to follow directions (they were small then so I put pictures on the clues instead of words), and later to read (I switched to clues in short sentences). They begged me to do this all the time. There was no boredom or sighing in this kind of school!

Of course, as they reached their teen years, our use of games decreased, and they had to buckle down to more bookwork. I was concerned that at some point they might have to go to school, and I wanted to keep them at approximate grade level in case that happened. Fortunately, it never did, but by high school, they had regular bookwork and the games had run their course (other than playing educational games like Rummy Roots™ or ElementO®). But while they were younger, we had lots of fun learning through play and games, and I think I learned a lot from seeing that. Maybe that's what it takes to get a formally schooled mom to let go of that old training and accept that learning doesn't have to be boring for kids, and shouldn't be boring, either.

It's a good thing I learned that lesson too, because playing games has become the backbone of Josh's homeschooling experience. I've used games to teach him the alphabet, sight words and numbers. He can't just sit and learn easily from formal schoolwork. I've had to get creative when it comes to teaching him: letting go of my overdependence on bookwork with my older kids prepared me for working with him.

Barbara Frank has four children, ages 15-24. "The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling" is packed full of Mrs. Frank's advice gleaned from over 20 years of homeschooling her children, including one who has Down syndrome. Learn more about this book at http://www.cardamompublishers.com/guide-to-homeschooling.htm

Copyright 2008 Cardamom Publishers/Barbara Frank
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Table of Contents

Preface

Confessions of an Imperfect Homeschooler
Why the Imperfect Homeschooler?
What I Know About Homeschooling

Homeschooling 101
Where's the Schoolroom?
How Many Hours?
What I Did On My Summer Vacation . . . . . . School?
Top Ten Tools for Homeschooling Parents
Oldies But Goodies
Have You Heard About That Book?
Keys to a Successful Homeschool Convention Experience

Teaching Specific Subjects
Does It Count As School?
Incorporating Nature in Your Homeschool
Current Events and Homeschooling
Making Friends and Projects with a Homeschool Sewing Class
Teaching Your Children About Disabilities

Teaching Techniques and Ideas
Patience
Rewind, Please
Boosting Problem-Solving Skills
Testing Your Homeschooled Child
Homeschooling a Child with Special Needs

Covering All the Bases
What are the Bases?
Who Determines the Bases?
The Scope and Sequence
Obtaining a Scope and Sequence
Using a Packaged Curriculum
Designing Your Own Curriculum
What Should Your Children Learn?
Using Your Own Experience
Looking at Today's Children
What Are Your Goals for Your Children?
What Do Your Children Want to Learn?
A Customized Scope and Sequence
The State and Your Customized Scope and Sequence
How Much Time Should Be Spent On Each Subject?
But What If They Don't Want to Learn About ____ (fill in the blank)?
Which Subjects Are the Most Important?
Beyond the Basics
Is Timing Really Everything?
Watching for Signs of Readiness
What If We Leave Something Out?
Achievement Testing
A Final Bit of Encouragement

Overcoming Obstacles to Homeschooling
Personal Habits
Personality-Driven Obstacles
Circumstances as Obstacles
Once the Obstacles are Gone

Coping with Changes and Challenges
Changing My Game Plan
If It's Going to Be, It's Up to . . . Who?
Reclaiming Your Child
When Your Friend Has a Child with Special Needs
Taking a Break to Prevent Homeschool Burnout
Scheduling Time for Yourself
The Freedom You'd Have If You Sent Your Kids to School

On the Home Front
Do You Know Where Your Math Manipulatives Are?
Top Ten Tools for Homeschooling Homemakers
The Homeschooling House
115 Organizing Tips for Homeschoolers

Index
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