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Preparing to Homeschool High School Review by Kathy Gelzer

Lee Binz
The Homescholar
17927 Marine View Dr. SW
Normandy Park, WA 98166

When people first find out you homeschool your children, do they ask how long you plan to do it? Do you want to homeschool all the way but tremble a bit at the thought? Lay your fears aside. This three-DVD set, Preparing to Homeschool High School, will tell you everything you need to know to successfully homeschool your children through the high school years and more than adequately prepare them for college.

Author Lee Binz has "been there and done that" with her two boys. They both earned full four-year scholarships at their first-choice institution. Lee shares her expertise in a conversational, informative way, filling the listener with confidence as well as information.

The over 2 1/2-hour lecture has 12 chapters. Following the introduction is a chapter called "Do Not Be Afraid," which sets the tone for the rest of the material. The author imbues the listener with the courage and assurance needed to complete the task of homeschooling through high school. Other chapter titles include "Subjects and Materials," "Planning Lessons," "Grades and Credits," "Record Keeping," "High School Tests," "Socialization and Specialization," and "Plan to Succeed." The last chapter on each DVD spotlights the resources that have been recommended in the previous chapters on the disc.

Through catchy phrases ("Do what works; change what doesn't."), Lee Binz advises you to keep progressing in your child's subjects and shows you how to move forward when you are stuck using curriculum written for homeschoolers and choosing self-taught curriculum whenever possible. She believes every child deserves a college-prep education. Her chapter on subjects tells you how many credits in each subject area your child needs and gives strategies on what to focus on in your teaching. She also gives tips on how to meet those credits in non-apparent ways. For example, CPR courses can count as PE credit.

Especially helpful is the chapter on grades and credits, which explains what exactly constitutes a high school credit. The chapter on record keeping provides instruction on organizing your child's high school records in a binder. Helpful "marketing" suggestions abound in this chapter. The section on tests contains a wealth of information about the differences between the SAT and the ACT and how to decide which one to take. Also included are some "bonus" materials, such has the author's advice on how to avoid burn-out.

On a negative note, the subtitles are distracting in the way that they jitter onto the screen. Something simpler would have been better. Also, I found the author's generalizations about community college unfair, inaccurate, and offensive. She classifies community college students as "lower functioning students who could not get into" a higher institute of learning and says that "way more than half feel that a D is a perfectly acceptable grade." My personal experience in the community college environment as well as my exposure to community college students negates her observations. Many excellent students choose the community college route for financial reasons.

Anyone planning to homeschool through high school should immediately get this DVD series. The information will give you the direction you need to prepare your children for college.

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2008