Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Book Review: What the Rest of Us Can Learn from Homeschooling

What the Rest of Us Can Learn from Homeschooling: How A+ Parents Can Give Their Traditionally Schooled Kids the Academic Edge
by Linda Dobson, (c) 2003

I ordered this book from Paperbackswap, thinking it would have some good ideas for me, a potential teacher, on incorporating homeschool-style learning in my eventual classroom.  And while it does have some ideas that could work in that setting, both in terms of philosophy and tangible activities, it leans a little more toward being a sermon on how homeschooling is the best for most children.  Dobson seems to take the view that if parents are reading this book, they are on the first step toward homeschooling.  I expected, from the title, that it was more for parents who are not willing or able to homeschool, but still want their children to enjoy the benefits of what Dobson calls the "learning lifestyle".

Again, I don't mean this as criticism, exactly.  Well, maybe a little-- of the slightly misleading title, at least.  But the ideas presented in the book are sound, if sometimes a little touchy-feely or obvious.  But maybe they're only obvious to me because I have encountered those same ideas elsewhere, either in my own experience or in formal pedagogy courses.

I found the chapter on study skills to be the most helpful at this point in my life/career.  While the other chapters included some really interesting games, activities, and events, most were geared toward the family.  As I am not married, nor do I have any children, those sections I will hold until another time.  But the study skills are applicable to all students, and could be taught (should be taught) within the context of the classroom.  ESL students in particular need the kind of structured note-taking and organizational skills presented here.

Grade: B.  Recommended for parents of young children in particular, as many of the games etc. are geared toward children under the age of about ten.

1 comment:

  1. yay i can finally comment! Basically if you ever choose to homeschool, make sure your kids spend lots of time with people, and don't make them wear jumpers and you'll be good.

    love bakk