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How to Tutor Your Own Child Review by Marisa Corless

Marina Koestler Ruben
Ten Speed Press
The Crown Publishing Group
A Division of Random House, Inc.
1745 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

I was offered the opportunity to review How to Tutor Your Own Child, by Marina Koestler Ruben. At first I wondered how much I would get out of the book, since I have children who tend towards more advanced resources and I, like many people, have associated tutoring with remediation. Boy, am I glad I was wrong! This book, although mostly geared towards parents with children in school settings, was full of fabulous information and tips for a homeschooling parent, in order to help make the learning environment better and more inspiring.

Ruben, a professional tutor, writer, and editor, also works as the in-house writing tutor at Sidwell Friends School. Given her vast experience with tutoring, she starts her book with a chapter called, "Why Tutor?" and delves into the differences between tutoring, remediation, and teaching. I was so glad she did this as it really increased my interest in her book. After explaining tutoring, she goes into everything from workspace, to what words to use (and not use), to ways to make subjects come alive. Throughout her book, she has little boxes with tips called "Tutor Toolbox" and at the end of each chapter is a bullet point highlight of the chapter called "Tutor Take-Away."  

Although this book seemed to be written with the public or private schooling parent in mind, Ruben speaks highly of homeschooling, and lists several references for homeschooling books which she says all parents should read. She also does an excellent job of encouraging the parent in wanting to inspire a love of learning in the child, rather than just plowing through the curriculum. During the course of my homeschooling journey, I have noticed many overlaps in philosophies of homeschooling, that at first sight seem very different. As a result, I think any homeschooling parent would benefit from this book, whether they prefer classical or unschooling. No matter what methods you use, we, as homeschooling families, desire to help our children really understand whatever it is we are presenting to them. We want them to own the knowledge, not just regurgitate it. This book will help you learn those skills.

Product Review by Marisa Corless,MH, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2012