Monday, February 8, 2010

TOS Crew Review -- The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling

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Apologia has gained a significant reputation in the homeschool community for their top-notch science books and resources.

However, Apologia offers more than just science for the homeschooler. They also offer great books and general homeschool helps as well as online classes each school year.

Newer homeschoolers as well as those looking for a boost of encouragement and vision can benefit from hearing from those that have gone before them on the homeschool journey and have now taken the time to record their experiences, both their mistakes and their successes.


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Product: Apologia's The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling (newly revised and updated) by Debra Bell
Details: A comprehensive guide for homeschoolers with over 500 pages of information, advice, resources, and tips from a seasoned veteran in the homeschool community.
Price: $20.00


What we loved . . .

  • Definitely "ultimate" -- This book covers just about everything:
  1. Is homeschooling for you
  2. Choosing curriculum
  3. Organization
  4. Preventing Burnout
  5. What to teach (when and how)
  6. Homeschooling teens
  7. Computers in the homeschool
  8. Creative solution
  9. Measuring success
  10. An encouraging pep talk
  11. A 60 page collection of resources
  • Experience -- This book has already shown its usefulness as its popularity has brought it up for revision and a renewed application for another round of homeschoolers.
  • Personal -- Full of personal experiences to give you real life illustrations about how to face challenges and capitalize on strengths. You will hear about what has worked in real life, not just hypothetical situations.
  • Variety -- Author Debra Bell has a lot to share about homeschooling her four children, but she also shares information that she gleaned through research (and where she did her research) because she recognizes that no two families are identical, and many kids will not respond in the same way her children did.
  • Encouraging -- While I could easily skip over some sections, having homeschooled for a few years already, I found great encouragement in her ideas and personal insight.
  • Resource rich -- Perhaps the greatest strength of this book is the lists she includes of favorite books, websites, curriculums, ideas, etc. My reading list has grown significantly after reading this book. She summarizes some of what she has learned and points you to where you can dig into more if a certain topic grabs you.
  • An easy read -- Although long, the book is easy to read and navigate if you choose to skip around. I would recommend reading it through for the most part to begin with. Then, this is a book you will want to keep on hand to refer to in the years ahead.
Some considerations . . .
  • Long -- A comprehensive guide is going to be big, and this is no exception.Information packed, but not something you can read through in one sitting.
  • One perspective -- Homeschooling is a very individualized journey and as much as this book tries to share different perspectives and approaches it is still written largely from one person's perspective. Your experience will vary, but likely you will still benefit greatly from all that Debra Bell has to share.

Kind of like a homeschool convention on paper. This book can bring encouragement, knowledge, information, and help for those considering homeschooling as well as those heading into the high school years. You can definitely find answers to your most pressing homeschool questions in the pages of this fantastic book.


For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.


Disclaimer: This book was provided to me free of charge from Apologia as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

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