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.
"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?