Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to homeschooling
The complete idiot's guide to homeschooling
Ransom, Marsha.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, IN : Alpha Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
xvii, 382 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LC40 .R36 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LC40 .R36 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LC40 .R36 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LC40 .R36 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LC40 .R36 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LC40 .R36 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LC40 .R36 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
LC40 .R36 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Homeschooling" is a step-by-step manual written for the new and inexperienced homeschooler. The explanations, resources, and recommendations apply to families homeschooling for a wide variety of reasons and to families who "afterschool" their children. If you find yourself teaching subjects you know little about, undecided about what curriculum to choose, or concerned that your children may miss out on band, drama, or sports, this guide provides practical advice from an author who has homeschooled four children.

Author Notes

Marsha Ransom , mother of 4 children and freelance writer, has been homeschooling for 12 years. Over the years, she has homeschooled all grades, K through 12. Residing with her husband, Dwight, and children in southwest Michigan, she enjoys reading, cooking, walking on the beach, and downhill skiing. She has been published in a variety of publications, as well as online, and is a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine.

Marsha is actively involved with her local homeschool support group. She served on the planning committee for their homeschool cooperative, where she teaches creative writing and coordinates field trips. She also speaks at homeschool conferences and curriculum fairs, providing support, information, and encouragement. Marsha is always available as a resource person for new homeschoolers, and is a state liaison person for the National Home Education Network, helping homeschoolers find local support in her state. She has compiled an extensive file of helpful Web sites, and enjoys linking homeschoolers with information via e-mail lists, bulletin boards, and Web sites.

After her son Ryan, an automotive student at the county technology center, became the first to be placed in a dealership through the Automotive-Youth Education Services (AYES) program, both were invited to become members of the center's AYES Advisory Board and the center's National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, Inc. (NATEF) recertification board. As homeschooling parent and student, they brought a unique perspective to discussions of new policies. Ryan is now an instructor in the automotive technology program at the center, and Marsha is a member of a subcommittee of the AYES Advisory Board which interviews and selects candidates for AYES placement.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Homeschooling in North America Todayp. 1
1 What Is Homeschooling?: How did all this begin? Why should I do it?p. 3
2 Homeschooling Facts and Figures: Understanding what the numbers meanp. 17
3 Quick Answers to Beginners' Questions: Am I qualified to teach my children?p. 31
Part 2 First Things First: Getting Startedp. 45
4 Getting Legal: Alternatives to Compulsory Attendance: Understanding homeschool regulationsp. 47
5 Approaches to Home Education: You mean you don't sit around the kitchen table all day doing homework?p. 61
6 Finding Support: Organizations, publications, and real live peoplep. 77
Part 3 Choosing/Planning a Curriculump. 91
7 So Much to Choose From: Where to begin? Consider your public library!p. 93
8 Sixth Grade in a Box: Using a Full-Service Program: Finding a program that will work for youp. 105
9 Out of the Box: Planning Your Own Curriculum: Stretching beyond school-at-homep. 121
Part 4 Taking the Plunge: What Do I Do Now?p. 135
10 Learning at Home with Three- to Five-Year-Olds: Play, educational toys, learning from life, and reading out loudp. 137
11 Home Educating Six- to Eight-Year-Olds: The basics and then somep. 151
12 Homeschooling Nine- to Twelve-Year-Olds: Building on the basics, involving your kids in planning and curriculum, and selecting materialsp. 163
13 Teenagers in the Homeschool: Goal-setting, socialization, tackling difficult subjects, and involvement in the real worldp. 175
14 Homeschooling Kids with Special Needs: Denial, acceptance, resources, and adapting a program to fit your childp. 189
Part 5 Keeping Track: Testing/Assessments/Record-Keepingp. 201
15 Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3: Pros and cons, alternatives, and other issuesp. 203
16 Other Assessments for Measuring Progress: Discussion, awards, journals, and portfoliosp. 215
17 Keeping Records: Piling or filing, commercial or do-it-yourself, official or privatep. 229
Part 6 Burnout Preventionp. 237
18 Getting a Grip: Keeping Burnout at Bay: Do you need a schedule or do you want to go with the flow? Integrate life's inevitable interruptions and distractionsp. 239
19 Self-Directed Learning: The Key to Motivation: Stave off burnout by helping your child develop techniques that worked for famous self-directed learnersp. 253
20 Dealing with Doubts: Are your doubts from within or without? Is self-doubt normal? You're on a learning curve, too!p. 263
21 Involvement in the Homeschooling Community: Reach out to others or organize the support you need to keep the burnout bug awayp. 275
22 Cyber Learning: Find online communities, distance-learning providers, and resources to make life simplerp. 287
A Glossaryp. 299
B Curriculum Winners and Selected Resources, Including Dynamite Web Sitesp. 307
C Homeschooling Support Organizationsp. 325
D Independent Study Programs and Support Schools, Publications, and Vendorsp. 341
E Bibliographyp. 349
Indexp. 359