I started homeschooling my 3.5-year-old boy in the middle of September, and really appreciate materials (books, apps etc) that relate to homeschooling topics. So here goes my review for the The ABC’s of Homeschooling book…
Firstly, I love guide books like this! It explains to you from A to Z what you need to know if you are contemplating a journey into homeschooling. I would have to say this book helped me understand more of what I am doing and cemented our decision about this life-changing choice.
I received this book a few hours before we left for our short weekend family trip up north and I decided to bring it along so I could read it in the car when our kids nap (and yes, they did for two hours!) The book is not too thick and just at the right size to be easily carried around. (I slotted it into my diaper bag during my family trip.)
When I read about Laura’s experience and methods in using TV and other children’s bad behaviour to teach her children about the importance of good behaviour, I can’t help but to agree completely, as I use the same methods.
For example, sometimes I need my mother-in-law to watch my kids for a while when I need to rush some accounting and invoicing for my hubby and if it is night time, she will definitely be watching TV in the living room. When I see them watching fight scenes (like a policeman fighting with robbers), I will explain to my boy that he must not get into fights like these people, and I will also explain the consequences of doing bad things, which lead to police catching and putting the bad guys into prison.
Of course, some of you might think too much TV is no good for children. Yes, everything in moderation. I have cut down TV and iPad time for Ben (currently TV only during mealtimes and after 6pm, sometimes no TV during daytime too).
It doesn’t mean that everything is bad, we as parents must know how to make use of the opportunity to teach our child. There are times I even use scenes from TV shows to remind my boy not to misbehave or to maintain his cool and I can clearly see him thinking back (mind running hyper speed, no doubt!) before he nods his head in agreement and understanding.
I also appreciated the brief history on how schooling came about. I felt it supported our decision to homeschool.
I love some of the key points shared by the author when it comes to homeschooling, such as “W=We The People” (page 103). When I first announced to people around us that we decided to homeschool Ben, the questions most posed to us was “How about his social skills?”
As I wrote in a post in early September, Ben threw a tantrum in Sunday school, and a friend suggested we send Ben to a preschool or kindergarten so that he could learn discipline and not easily throw tantrums. I would like to take this opportunity to explain that my boy does not throw tantrums without a reason and I do trust that being a 3.5-year-old, his actions were justified though yes, I do believe my boy needs to learn to control his tantrum outburst (but then again… he’s just 3.5?!)
So anyway, what about social skills for my homeschooled child? When I read this book, I couldn’t help but agree as well that things weren’t like this long, long ago. I feel children need to mix with people of all ages, not just with the same age group. My 13-month-old girl learns everything by observing her surroundings, her brother, my hubby and I, her grandma, her cousins, through our Bible action songs video on TV and people around us. Every moment she is learning things. Iif she is placed with children of the same age as her, what can she learn? Think about it…
I do appreciate the inspiring quotes that comes with every keypoint and the author’s personal experience and her sharing of her childhood memories. Reminds me of my own childhood memories too!
One thing that I would like to recommend is to include some illustrations in this book as I personally feel all text and explanations will not keep my attention for long. I need books with pictures so I can rest a bit from reading too much text.
Another observation I noted (which I have also highlighted to the author as well) is one of the websites she suggested, pbskids.com, cannot be found. I can only see pbskids.org Turns out it is a typo, which the author said she will be rectifying.
In summary, this is a must-have book if you are contemplating homeschooling or having doubts whether you are going the right path in your homeschooling journey.