Book Review: Homeschooling Your Child Step-by-Step

My daughter isn’t speaking in sentence fragments yet, but it is time to be thinking about her schooling. I have just the book to jog my thoughts. I am finding Homeschooling Step-by-Step by LauraMaery Gold and Joan M. Zielinksi valuable even though we may send Little Miss to a public school.

Cover of the book Homeschooling Step-by-StepMy daughter is 20 months old, but some of her younger playmates are already on preschool waiting lists – prepared for a wait of two years or more. Montessori preschool? Waldorf preschool? Huh? Those are two of 50 teaching approaches touched upon in this book.

At 352 pages, I just get an overview, but it seems like it will address all of my initial questions and curiosities.

Here is my interpretation of the table of contents with selected highlights (also see the official listing):

Chapter 1: Getting Started.  Twenty-nine reasons parents choose homeschooling. Many of the points pertain to how you can excel in areas where public schools are failing our children.

Chapter 2: Legal Gauntlet. State-by-state overview of regulations. Is outside testing or a specific curriculum required? What records must I keep? Can my kid enroll in some public school courses?

Chapter 3: Teaching Strategies. Summary of sixty methods of teaching broken down into these categories: administrative, cognitive, experiential, input, output and motivational.

Chapter 4: Approaches and Philosophies. Fifty ideas of how education should be structured… accelerated learning, Montessori, Waldorf, etc.

Chapter 5:  Curriculum and Materials. What supplies do I need? Do I buy commercial curriculum? What teaching materials are online?

Chapter 6: Gaining Confidence. Am I qualified to teach? How will I teach difficult subjects?

Chapter 7: A Learning Environment. Issues which impact learning such as individual learning styles and environmental factors.

Chapter 8: The Balancing Act. How do you manage house maintenance with a home-based school and juggle financial responsibilities?

Chapter 9: Dealing with Challenges. How do you handle objections about homeschooling from other family members?

Chapter 10: Finding Support. Using other homeschoolers, and commercial and government organizations for assistance.

Chapter 11: Graduation Guidance. This chapter speaks to teenagers. How do I get a diploma? A transcript? How should I prepare for college admission?

I am excited by the idea of "after-schooling," the supplementing of a formal school education. I believe learning should be fun, so I identified with this quote in the book: "Good teaching is three parts enthusiasm, one part strategy, and one part knowledge."

Educational opportunities present themselves at every turn, at every hour of the day, so I want to think like a homeschooler even if I’m not one. This book answers a lot of questions and sparks even more.

Amazon book page []

Publisher’s book page []

P.S. Thank you to the Freecycler who gave me this book free! From Freecycle is came, to Freecycle it will go.

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