Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Homeschooling Book Review: The Imperfect Homeschoolers Guide to Homeschooling

The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling
by Barbara Frank
Published: 2008, Cardamom Publishers
192 pages

Imperfect. It's one of those words that we know applies to all of us (nobody's perfect, right?) but it still carries that connotation of just not quite measuring up. So to see it there on the cover of a book, as if to recognize that yes, we are all in the same boat -- that was what made me want to read this book in the first place.

And it delivered. Barbara Frank is a veteran homeschooler. With over 20 years of experience, she provides a treasure-trove of advice for those of us who are still novices (though I imagine that I will still look back at this book a few years from now, and say "Oh, that's right. I don't have to be "perfect.") She tells about how, in her family, school was sometimes difficult because of pregnancies or new babies, or other family issues, but that kids learn anyway -- just TRY to make them not learn. It's not possible!

Aside from general inspiration and virtual hand-patting (it feels like there's someone by your side saying "it's OK, dear. This too shall pass...") Frank provides a lot of specific advice for homeschoolers, including:

  • Developing a homeschool schedule to fit your family
  • Tools for homeschoolers
  • Attending homeschool conventions
  • Tips for teaching specific subjects
  • Testing
  • Choosing a curriculum
  • Meeting state-mandated requirements
  • Record-keeping
  • Developing a scope and sequence
  • Dealing with homeschool burnout
  • Organizing your home 
  • Taking care of yourself

It's amazing that she fits so much into a book that doesn't weigh five tons, but she did. Each section is short and to the point, and she provides plenty of resources to check out for further information.

A side note: Frank writes from an obviously Christian perspective. This does not bother me, but I thought I should mention it so there are no surprises for anyone who decides to pick this book up.

This is a book that just about any new homeschooling parent could benefit from -- check it out from your library, get a hold of a copy, download it for your Kindle -- whatever. And when you need to be reminded that imperfection is just a way of life, this is the perfect book to reach for.

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