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When Homeschooling Gets Tough Review by Dena Wood

By Diana Johnson
Home-Designed Schooling
PO Box 133044
Tyler, TX 75713-3044

When Homeschooling Gets Tough is written by 20-year homeschooling veteran Diana Johnson, who reminds us that it's not "if" homeschooling gets tough but "when." Mrs. Johnson shares her homeschool experiences and lessons learned with honesty and humor as she comments on those "other" moments in the journey of homeschooling (the less-than-glowing ones no one likes to talk about).

I really enjoyed this book, an easy read that is chock full of solid advice and encouragement. The author's voice is knowledgeable yet unpretentious. She writes with a perfect mixture of honesty, experience, and encouragement. While she lets us in on her past mistakes and shares complete understanding of the difficulties of teaching at home, she urges us on to do our best.

Yet she does not paint a picture of the "perfect" homeschool family as something we should strive for. In fact, the second chapter is titled "Trusting God for Who We Are." In it the author encourages us to learn how God has created us and to find contentment with our teaching style, our husband's involvement, and our children's accomplishments by understanding our worth in Christ. Throughout the book, Mrs. Johnson reminds us to reflect on why we are homeschooling and the need to keep Christ central to that endeavor.

With Christ as the center, the book covers "Planning a Realistic Program," "Defining the Basics," "Controlling our Commitments," "Scheduling," "Dealing with Difficult Children," and "Looking Toward Eternity." This is one of those books that should probably be read once each year just to get us back on track. Fortunately, such a requirement would be a pleasure since the book is as humorous and encouraging as it is pertinent and helpful. This book is sure to be enjoyed by seasoned and rookie homeschoolers alike.

Product review by Dena Wood, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2007