Why Do You Want to Homeschool?
by Rochelle Sutherland
House of Hadrian Press , 2006 ISBN 0977502813
Reviewed by Beverley Paine, 2007
Families beginning the homeschooling adventure are usually hungry for information. It's easy to source excellent 'how to' books on homeschooling by American authors: a quick Google search will bring up hundreds of books! Not so for Australian titles, which is why I was excited to receive Rochelle Sutherland's Why do you want to Homeschool? The Essential Australian Guide in the mail.
Rochelle begins by offering a brief examination of what is going wrong with schools, followed by a quick reference to the history of the development of schooling in Australia . Although NSW-centric the information echoes that by John Taylor Gatto in his Dumbing Us Down and Underground History of American Education . Understanding the real purpose of schooling helps to boost our confidence that home education is a wise and valid choice for our families.
The real meat in Rochelle's book begins after her concise definition of homeschooling - "education taken primarily in the child's home" and a quick review of the different approaches and methods used by homeschoolers. Some approaches are examined in more detail than others, which will satisfy some readers and annoy others, but taken together demonstrate that home education isn't simply replicating 'school at home'.
Beginning homeschooling is a huge subject: the more one dips into it the bigger it gets! Rochelle's brevity is a blessing as it allows her to cover many aspects and questions that always arise for newcomers without bogging the reader down in detail. Drawn from personal experience, the advice and information have a homely, 'real' feel without being preachy. The book includes a comprehensive sample learning program readers can use as a guide to developing their own curriculum. Readers will also appreciate the detail in the chapter on Relevant State by State Legislation.
A good book always leaves the reader hungry for more... Rochelle's book is a great opener on the subject of home education for any family interested in taking personal responsibility for their children's education.
available from House of Hadrian Press
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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