The Homeschooling Handbook is a solid, honest, and basic
guide for those who are considering or just beginning to homeschool. The
author Mary Griffith leans a little towards favoring unschooling as the
method of choice, yet I feel the book provides a genuine feel for the
overall homeschool experience.
In the beginning of the book, there is an introduction to homeschool
vocabulary and a short, but solid overview of homeschooling. Next they
cover if homeschooling is right for you, the statistics, and the legalities.
Examples of the more complicated state laws and their explanations are
given in this section. Chapter 3 covers various theories and methods,
or styles of learning, while highlighting both the advantages and disadvantages
of each. Chapters 4 and 5 define assisted homeschooling, and explore
the different levels of parental involvement combined with the cost
of home educating. Chapters 6, 7, and 8 deal with changes that naturally
occur in the Primary, Middle and Secondary years. Evaluations, record
keeping, finding resources, support information, coping strategies,
special circumstances (learning delays, physical disabilities, etc.),
and a chapter on life beyond homeschooling wrap up this neatly written
package. As if this weren't enough, the price of the book alone is worth
the Appendices - A (Resources), B (Homeschooling Organizations - National
and State Level), C (Selected Learning Resources by Subject), and D
(Colleges Which Accept Homeschoolers).
I especially enjoyed the "Afterward" in which Mrs. Griffith
puts it all into perspective with the question of all questions - "What
if I make a mistake?" The answer is that all the worry and anxiety
basically turns out to be unfounded. Homeschooling is about trial and
error. If something doesn't work, change it. It is all part of the adventure!