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"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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Bittner, a freelance writer, began homeschooling her three children 12 years ago. In this honest and commonsensical book, she encourages parents to try what she terms family schooling because of the enormous commitment required of the entire family. Though homeschooling can be accomplished by ordinary people--with or without degrees--it's not for every family, she asserts. Bittner concedes her own shortcomings, which include some learning disabilities and a lack of organization, and begins by helping readers overcome lack of self-confidence and the criticism of others, then proceeds to offer sound advice on legal issues, lesson plans, curricula, testing, teaching values, preparing for graduation, and college. Throughout each chapter, Bittner posits and answers questions she anticipates readers will have. But she is most effective at eschewing the notion that you need to be a supermom (or superdad) to homeschool your children. This is an encouraging and helpful resource for parents considering homeschooling their children. --Vanessa Bush Copyright 2004 Booklist
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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. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.