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Book J371.04 BITTNER, TERRIE Children's Parent/Teacher Collection

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You don't have to be a professional teacher, a genius, or a structured person to homeschool well. Many people believe they can't homeschool because they are lacking some magical quality or skill successful homeschoolers have. The truth is that homeschooling can be done, and done well, by most ordinary people. Terrie Lynn Bittner's book will take you by the hand and show you how. She breaks the job down into doable chunks and carefully explains each part, giving you the confidence you need to get it done. Her explanations are clear and thorough. But this book does more than give information--it also reassures parents who may be disorganized, shy, insecure, less educated, or otherwise not the "ideal" homeschooling parent, and shows them how to succeed.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

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

Publisher's Weekly Review

"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

Library Journal Review

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.



Here is a secret, one hardly anyone--even other homeschoolers--will tell you: Homeschooling parents do not need to be smart to teach their children. They don't even need to be educated as teachers. Many public school teachers say that the majority of their training is in discipline or multiculturalism, not education, and many teach outside their majors. Many of them also teach without a credential. While it's probably best to be reasonably literate, you can teach your child even if you have no idea how to multiply fractions or use a microscope. How can this be true? Homeschooling parents need the ability to learn, not the ability to teach or even the ability to do the subject matter. If you don't know how to use your new microscope, read the directions and figure it out. Let your children read the directions and figure it out for you. Invite someone over who does know how to use a microscope. Very few of us remember every detail of our own educations. However, our counterparts employed by the public schools don't remember either. Many professional teachers have scrambled to find a literary analysis of Shakespeare before they could teach it to their students, possibly because they were history majors who found themselves assigned to an English class. No one knows everything. . . . Stop worrying about what you don't know. If you and your child spend a few hours struggling over three different math books and a Web page until you both understand how to multiply those fractions, you can count it as the best of quality time. My children still talk about some of those days, especially the times they were the ones who figured it out and explained it to me. They didn't think less of me because I didn't already know. They just thought more of themselves for participating in the solution. Excerpted from Homeschooling: Take a Deep Breath-You Can Do This! by Terrie Lynn Bittner All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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