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Homepreschool and Beyond: A Comprehensive Guide to Early Home Education Review by Amy M. O’Quinn

By Susan Lemons
Liberty Books
PO Box 2067
Eugene OR 97402

Most homeschool moms are able to adapt quickly to teaching their school-aged children. They research curriculum, make a schedule, pull together chosen resources, and get busy. They realize that the basic subjects must be covered, and they usually create a guideline or follow a scope and sequence to stay on track.

But what about toddlers and preschoolers who also want to get involved or "do school" with their older siblings? What about their education? What is the balance between too much or perhaps not enough? Of course, every homeschool mom has her own ideas and philosophy concerning her little learners, and there is no right way or wrong approach or a one-size-fits-all plan.

For families who desire more guidance for this age group, homeschool veteran and former preschool teacher Susan Lemons has created a resource that is sure to become a handbook for home preschool education for years to come. Homepreschool and Beyond: A Comprehensive Guide to Early Home Education is a 295+ page, soft cover book that is full of great ideas and information--very comprehensive! The academic content is built on a developmental/literature approach and can be used to teach 3 to 8-year-olds.

The author covers the following topics:

Part I: The Basics

•  Homepreschool?
•  Teaching Through Parenting
•  Discipline
•  The Importance of Readiness
•  The Importance of Routine

Part II : All About Books

•  Teaching Through Reading Aloud
•  Better Than Captain Underpants: Choosing Good Books
•  Book Lists: Preschool Through Grade School

Part III: Skills

An Important Note about Skill Lists
•  Family and Life Skills
•  Goals of Spiritual Development
•  Speech and Listening Skills
•  Cognition and Memory Skills
•  Pre-Reading and Pre-Writing Skills
•  Early Math Skills
•  Physical Development
•  Learning Science
•  Social Studies
•  Music
•  Arts and Crafts
•  Holidays and Traditions

Part IV: Games and Play

•  The Power of Play
•  Playful Learning Activities
•  Learning games

Part V: Curriculum and Methods

•  Why I Flunked Kindergarten--and Why Your Child Doesn't Have To
•  Choosing and Using Curriculum--First Grade and Up
•  Homeschooling Methods and Resources
•  Keeping Preschoolers Busy While Teaching Older Children


•  Recommended Resources for Parents
•  Making the Decision to Homeschool Beyond Preschool
•  Worried About What Your Children Are Missing?
•  "The Battle for Our Children's Minds"

Mrs. Lemons does indeed provide tons of information and a plethora of excellent resources to give parents an overview of methods and curriculums, guidance, a framework for planning, and lots of ideas. Her philosophy of homepreschool (and homeschooling in general) mirrors my own. She states:

Our children are learning all the time, whether we are aware of it or not. Homepreschooling parents simply take advantage of this fact and choose to embrace a lifestyle of learning--consciously deciding to take advantage of those "teachable" moments. Life itself is the very best curriculum for preschoolers.

I couldn't agree more! In my opinion, Homepreschool and Beyond is an awesome resource, and I'm glad to have this book on my shelf to use with my two youngest children. Highly recommended!

Product review by Amy M. O'Quinn, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2010