Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Book - A Review


Product: The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling

Author: Debra Bell

Price: $20.00

Where to buy: Apologia Press - Resources for the Heart and Mind

Other Products Available:
- Curriculum such as "Around the World in 180 Days" and "Jump In"
- Resources for parents such as "Beyond Survival" and "Reaping the Harvest"
- Tools for parents such as "TranscriptPro Software" and "Transcript Boot Camp"

Brief Overview:

This updated and revised homeschool resource was named "One of the most useful and readable books on homeschooling" by Cathy Duffy in "100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum".

In-Depth Look:

Debra Bell is a former public school teacher. She homeschooled her own four children all the way through high school. She has a degree in Communication Education and English. Mrs. Bell is pursuing a PhD in education psychology. She teaches AP English online at Debra Bell's Home School Resource Center.

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling was sent to me free of charge to read and review for the TOS Crew. I will go ahead and say it right here at the beginning of my review: This is the BEST homeschooling book I have ever read. It is my new FAVORITE.

This book covers every topic imaginable. The first step is to decide that you want to homeschool. The book tells the many advantages of homeschooling. But it also tells the struggles, not sugar-coating the commitment that it will require of you. It also covers special situations , such as single parents, special-needs and working parents.

Mrs. Bell has included a 4-page family worksheet to help you decide if homeschooling is for your family. It will help you evaluate your relationship with your spouse and your children, among other things.

The next big step is choosing a curriculum. A big part of this is determing your child's learning style. Debra goes into great detail about how to determine this. And then tells you the best way to teach to this learning style. I found this to be very interesting and informative. Tons of helpful tips were included. There are 4 categories.
- Actual-Spontaneous Learner
- Actual-Routine Learner
- Conceptual-Specific Learner
- Conceptual-Global Learner

One of my favorite chapters is about using the library. It reminds us of what a wonderful and FREE resource the library is. Debra Bell goes into great detail listing dozens and dozens of books by CATEGORY. Are you looking for a book for your art lesson? Here is one of many she lists.
- Globok, Shirley. The Art of Colonial America (1970) and others. Integrate Globok's books into your history program. OP. Grade level: all.

How about a math book? Just one of many.
- Pappas, Theoni. The Joy of Mathematics (1989). Mathematics the way it ought to be learned! Many titles worth your time. Grade level: 4 - 12.

Another good chapter discusses how to set up a learning environment. Again, so much detail. Books, magazines, items for educational and imaginative play, basic skills materials, music CDs, audio recordings, art supplies, durable toys. etc.

The list just goes on and on and on. I am thrilled to have this book and the wealth of knowledge that it contains.

The resource guide at the back of the book is worth the $20 all by itself. It is 60+ pages! You will find lists of homeschooling organizations and publications, recommended suppliers and products, and academic/athletic contests and competitions.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is great for those new to homeschooling, but also a big asset to those who have been doing it for a while. I have been doing this for 5 years and am learning a lot from this book.

Here is a sample chapter. Here is the table of contents.

To read other crew members reviews, click here.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Apologia free of charge to review, as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

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