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Thriving in the Home School: A Parent's Guide Review by Amy Wilbur

By Donna Fawcett
Word Alive Press
131 Cordite Road
Winnipeg, MB R3W 1S1 CANADA
866-967-3782 ext.203

A picture of a mother kindly looking at her child as the child diligently does her schoolwork greets you from the paper cover of Thriving in the Home School: A Parent's Guide. In this handbook for parents, Donna Fawcett dispels the myth of "no effort" schooling and supplies the reader with practical knowledge on questions of homeschooling such as parents' ability to teach their own child, socialization, and legal issues. She also discusses life after homeschooling. What does the homeschool parent do when his child moves on to another stage of life? Fawcett gives some practical pointers, such as, "Start to prepare early." She took her own advice to heart by enrolling in a writing program, and she is currently a published author of suspense novels under the pen name Donna Dawson.

This guidebook to homeschooling is especially appropriate for someone just starting to contemplate homeschooling or in the early stages of the process. There are some resources cited, but the book is mainly an overview of the author's own experiences. One thing to consider is that she homeschooled in Canada, so some of details and laws differ from those in the United States.

I appreciated Dawson's opinions and ideas gleaned from years of homeschooling. One of my favorites among her bits of wisdom is how she controlled her teenage daughters' desire to shop. Her daughters were allowed to shop and spend money, but they had to put together the decor of their future kitchens. At the end of the teen years, each daughter had a nice collection of kitchen items to show for her "consumerism."

In the beginning of the book I found the details of her life distant and formal. She seemed hesitant to open-up about her family and specific details of what led them down their chosen educational path. Not until near the end of the book do you find out that one of the main reasons their family decided to homeschool was that one of the daughters suffered from seizures. As a whole, Thriving in the Home School is a good look at what it took for one family to nurture three successful contributors to society.

Product review by Amy Wilbur, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2010