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Homeschooling for the Rest of Us Review by Heather Randall

By Sonya Haskins
Bethany House
Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton Road
Ada, MI 49301

Homeschooling for the Rest of Us is a book of encouragement. The author, Sonya Haskins, strives to expose the realities of homeschooling. Her book explains that homeschooling is not a one-size-fits-all way of life. She paints a picture of the real school day while having a true respect for the differences in homeschooling from family to family. No, it isn't perfect. Yes, the children may quarrel. Tension might build, but the choice to homeschool (and our reasons for doing so) can stand against these challenges. Homeschooling for the Rest of Us gives plenty of tips for dealing with the opinions of doubters and those who question the decision to homeschool. The book tackles relational issues that rise up in close quarters and deals with the importance of teamwork. Haskins addresses possible schedules and how to work around illness and complications while also homeschooling. She also gives stress-free suggestions for meeting required instruction hours.

The book is written with a distinctly Christian point of view. The book is worded in a way that makes it useable and relatable to all homeschool methods. The picture perfect facade of homeschool life is stripped away, and our dependence on God for direction and clarity on our mission to educate is beautifully stressed. Each chapter is peppered with comments on various topics from other homeschoolers. I began by reading each chapter and then going back and reviewing the additional comments in the sidebars. You can read it in whatever way works for you. This is also a good resource book that you can refer to periodically as issues arise.

I enjoyed the transparency of this book. Haskins writes, "It's not unusual to experience homeschool burnout or get just plain frustrated with all the responsibilities. Mom's remember life before homeschooling, and it's natural to sometimes feel like you just need some space." This was extremely honest and refreshing to read. Homeschooling for the Rest of Us takes the pressure off of us to be perfect. It encourages us to break the mold of what others think homeschooling should look like. Her message is simply that our children's education is not led by other's opinions, our emotions, or our children's interests, but by God's direction on the path he marked out for each us. I felt refreshed reading Homeschooling for the Rest of Us. It would make an excellent gift for new homeschoolers. I also recommend it for the seasoned homeschool family that needs a little reminder that perfection isn't what we were called to.

Product review by Heather Randall, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2010