I was sent the above book authored by Debra Bell and it is Big and Ultimate in it’s description. I have taken a long time, at least 6 weeks to complete this review due to all the members of my family being ill since Christmas. My apologies to the author for being so late in this review and my fellow Crew mates too.
This book is over 500 pages long but includes a tremendous amount of information for the Homeschooling Parents who are willing to knuckle down and read it, or even just parts of it. I wanted to read the whole thing through thoroughly as I would really like to absorb the information as much as possible to review this item well.
For a new Homeschooler this book may be overwhelming but for someone who has been in the game one or two years it is a good find, and one to keep for reference on the bookshelf. I have 3-4 other books on Homeschooling on my bookshelf that I have hardly looked at since I begun this journey and so will possibly sell those and stick with this one. I do know there are some parts of “The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling” that I will not really use until my son is at least 14 or 15 years old which will be here before I know it. For example like the Chapters on ‘Navigating College Admissions channels’ and ‘College-at-Home.’ I will check on updates of this book before plunging into that arena.
This ‘Ultimate Guide’ is just that, a well rounded book on all aspects of Homeschooling from using the Library resources; the Internet; Homeschooling on a Shoestring; how to navigate the Curriculum Fair; how to avoid Burnout; learning your child’s different learning traits; to being a single Homeschooling parent; and Subject by Subject guidelines. The book is published by Apologia who are an incredible Homeschooling resource company already.
On reading through the chapter on determining your child’s learning styles I was challenged to look deeper into my 8 year olds needs right now. He is an auditory and visual and hands on learner more than anything else. Debra Bell outlined resources on the Internet and in catalogs that I could find that would benefit my son’s learning more than what I am doing right now. I am particularly interested in the resources for Living Books as we move over to a more ’Charlotte Mason’ orientated curriculum. These are there for me to research with the contact websites and/or phone numbers all given in the book.
I realized also that Debra says that Homeschooling is definitely a lifestyle to be taken seriously and if you can not do it all the way then it is hard to do at all. I know there will be sick days and days when you have appointments you can not avoid but these all have to be taken into account in your schedule that you set up. She pointed out that some children need a specific schedule for those days even when you are not schooling but just home and doing chores and errands. I grasped that idea and am working with it. I like the idea she presented of taking time off to plan the school year. I have never had the opportunity to do that. I pray this summer I will take the much needed time to get away and plan the 2010/11 school year so that it is more successful than past years.
The Subject-by-Subject guidelines helped me to see the age appropriate life lessons I need to be focusing on instead of what the government schools teach. There are a couple of chapters in the book with Resource companies included as well as all the contact addresses, phone numbers and websites of the State Homeschooling Organizations. The International Organizations in the United States and Canada are mentioned too. Special Interest, Missionary organizations, special Needs and Worldview Resources are all incorporated into this chapter.
I have enjoyed this read and so delighted to have been blessed with this book to keep in my library. Of course there are at least 90 other reviews on Debra Bell’s book “The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling” found at the Homeschool Crew Blog. Here is the link to that : http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/HomeschoolCrew/752857/ .
I will also include the link to Apologia’s website where you can purchase “The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling” for a mere $20.00 plus shipping and handling. ( https://apologia.securesites.net/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=12&products_id=142 .) Apologia is an amazing site to browse too, and they do send out a catalog of products with minimal reviews in if you would like to not be online to read about the products.
I have reviewed this product on my blog for TOS Crew 2009/10, and received the product for free in exchange for my opinion.