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Treasured and Teachable: Homeschooling to College with Hope, Joy and Asperger's Review by Holly Johnson

Elizabeth Bauman
Treasured and Teachable

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This is a short book, which makes it a quick read…something that homeschool moms need.  In addition to the information about homeschooling, it contains encouragement and beauty through the chapter introductions – these are pictures and quotes that give the reader a little boost.

The author gives her family’s story and discusses their reasoning behind pulling the children from school to homeschool.  She talks about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and makes it clear that you must weigh the pros and cons and choose what is best for your family.  She looks at the financial and emotional costs of homeschooling and provides several suggestions for economizing the process.  All of her suggestions come from life lessons and things that she has learned through trial and error.

While her family is a special needs family, the lessons in this book can be applied to any family considering homeschooling.  There is actually minimal discussion about the special needs aspect of their transition, and I would have liked her to flesh out the considerations made for special needs a bit more.  She focuses a lot on social skills and socialization, discussing support groups, co-ops, community activities, and how these all contribute to overcoming the ‘socialization problem.’  Each chapter contains real-world stories from her family’s experiences.

Fittingly, the book ends with the transition from high school to college.  She discusses different options, including career track and the multiple college tracks, and strategies for comfortably making the transition, both socially and educationally.

Within the pages, I would have liked to see more on Asperger’s Syndrome, the struggles of coping with it as both a student and a parent, and ways to overcome it through homeschooling.  However, this book felt more like an introduction to homeschooling book.  One thing that was really helpful was that the end of the book is complete with weblinks and outside resources that have been vetted and will save you some time.

-Product review by Holly Johnson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August, 2018

Another Reviewer Perspective:

Treasured and Teachable: Homeschooling to College with Hope, Joy, and Asperger’s

Elizabeth Bauman

At about 140 pages, the brand new book, Treasured and Teachable: Homeschooling to College with Hope, Joy, and Asperger’s, is a short enough read that a busy mom can easily find the time to read a brief chapter without interfering with the many other things she has to accomplish on any given day. While the book, by Elizabeth Bauman, is intended for parents with special needs children, particularly those on the spectrum, who are attending public school, it is also an encouragement to moms already homeschooling their children.

The 24 chapters are only several pages each, with inspirational quotes on the separating pages. These quotes include Bible verses, comments from poets, scientists, and presidents. There are, literally, dozens of internet links to homeschool and special needs resources included throughout. While many were familiar to me as a longtime home educator, some were quite new to me. I would have liked to see these links listed in the back of the book. Since they were not, I made a point of writing each one down to follow up with easily at a later date.

Treasured and Teachable: Homeschooling to College with Hope, Joy, and Asperger’s is wonderfully positive and encouraging. The author shares her family’s experience with the public school system, the pros and cons of that environment, and how they chose to withdraw their daughter Katie to teach her at home. They eventually also brought their son home. They found many wonderful resources and supports for their family and the new journey they were on and Katie flourished.

Chapter thirteen was an especially wonderful reminder to Celebrate Your Child. In the day-to-day of caring for your differently-abled child, you may find discouragement, exhaustion, and frustration. These pages were a gentle reminder to be a cheerleader for your child, to praise more than criticize, to embrace their differences. I have reread this chapter several times over the last few weeks. While reading Treasured and Teachable, I was a bit discouraged at first that Katie’s transformation in home ed has not been our experience. It might not be your experience, either. It’s a pretty safe bet that homeschooling after public school will be a blessing for your child’s development, but there is no guarantee that your child will actually attend college. This chapter reminds me that my son is in the best place for him. He is developing as he is able. He is growing and learning in ways he is capable. And I will celebrate him, just as he is.

My one caveat is the inclusion of Autism Speaks and the use of ABA among the resources. I know that some parents with autistic children and adults on the spectrum do not support Autism Speaks or the use of ABA, although I believe some therapists are using the term ABA to mean something a bit different these days. It is a brief mention and does not detract from the message of the book, but I think it does bear noting.

The Treasured and Teachable blog listed above has even more articles worth reading.

-Product review by Jodi Galland, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2018