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Creative Home Schooling: A Resource for Smart Families Review by Katherine Averill

Lisa Rivero
Great Potential Press
PO Box 5057
Scottsdale AZ 85261

Parents of gifted children need look no further when seeking a resource to fill their unique needs. Lisa Rivero has drawn on her own experience, as well as that of many other homeschooling parents, to put together this extensive book. Full of information for parents just starting out on the homeschooling path, it also covers a wide range of topics for the seasoned homeschooling parent hoping to find support, encouragement, and tips.

This hefty text is extremely well organized. Rivero begins with a chapter titled "The Decision." Some of us always knew we'd homeschool; others come to it out of necessity. The author eases the concerns of those new to the idea by giving a history of homeschooling and sharing quotes from a variety of others in the home education community. Wasting no time, she goes into depth with intellectual needs and the dreaded socialization issue in the very first chapter. After covering traits of gifted students, the book discusses the unique social emotional needs of gifted children, as well as learning styles and intellectual needs. Rivero suggests that the reader keep a homeschool journal to help sort out questions and concerns.

Each chapter ends with the same three sections, "Questions for Reflection," "Resources," and "At Home with Home Schoolers." "Questions" gives the reader time to reflect on the chapter and ponder ways to apply the information. Each "Resources" section gives an extensive list of books, articles and websites for finding more information. Finally, "At Home with Home Schoolers" provides a glimpse into different homeschools, with comments from both children and parents.

Part 2 includes chapters on getting started, choosing curriculum, and teaching methods. If you've already found the approach for your family, Rivero offers insight into why one method may work better than another to help you solve challenges you may be facing. Giving advantages and disadvantages of several approaches, the author evaluates unschooling, unit studies, classical home schooling, and studying individual subjects.

Having been homeschooling for nearly eight years, I found Part 3, "Your Creative Home School Toolbox," to be the most useful part of the book. Record keeping, college, resources for teens, special needs and giftedness, and siblings are all covered in this section. Part of record keeping is setting goals, and Rivero gives examples of how to set this up in a simple yet thorough manner. Sample logs are given for the reader to copy and adapt to personal needs.

This extensive resource will guide those new to homeschooling and also assist veteran teachers on their journey of educating their children. The "At Home with Home Schoolers" section at the end of each chapter was enlightening, supportive, and encouraging. Rivero offers a realistic approach that will meet the needs of teachers and learners of all styles. I highly recommend this book and will continue to reach for it when I need support or when guiding others on the path.

Product review by Katherine Averill, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2010