Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TOS Review: The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling

Even though I've been at this whole homeschooling thing for nigh on a decade, I still read nuts ad bolts primers. Do you do this? Is it just me?

Call me strange, but I like to keep my hand in the game. Yes, I definitely make the time to dig deeper and read more in-depth and even subject-specific books. But I like to also know what's new out there in the basics boot camp. Because I don't know about you, but not a week passes by when someone doesn't ask me about homeschooling ... and I like to steer them towards good resources.

In that vein, Apologia has revised and update Debra Bell's The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling. This $20 book is an in-a-nutshell look at getting started, planning, keeping going, and finishing well. There really is a good bit of content aimed well beyond the beginning homeschooler--which may just make this book slightly overwhelming for a mom just wanting to know what she should do with her 5 year-old. But more likely, this is a reference book that you'll come back to time and again as you struggle to incorporate yet another toddler into your school time, ponder the logistics of putting together a high school transcript, or even consider curriculum choices.

Don't get me wrong: there's plenty here for the newbies. Tips on identifying your child's learning style, managing the day-to-day of homeschooling, and even specific read-aloud suggestions are all included. Along the way, there's refreshing, encouraging advice that takes you by the hand and assures you that no, you are not screwing them up ... no matter what the clerk at the grocery store thinks.

This book is going on my go-to shelf, where I keep those things that encourage and remind me most of exactly why I'm doing what I do. It'll probably end up being loaned out, too, because it really is a great quick start guide for the uninitiated. I just hope that it doesn't stray too far ... because I really do want it back!

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this product for review purposes. Refer to my general disclaimer for more information on my policies regarding reviews.

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