Review: Apologia Press and The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling

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Quick! What comes to your mind when you hear the words Apologia Press? If you said, “homeschool science curriculum,” you’re not alone.  That was always my first thought whenever I heard Apologia. 

However, although science may be Apologia Press’ main focus, it’s certainly not their only focus.  In addition to offering science texts with a Christian worldview, they also offer a wide variety of resources for parents, designed to equip and encourage homeschooling moms and dads.  One of those titles is one I bet you’re familiar with, regardless of whether or not you’ve ever read it, The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling, by Debra Bell.

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling is one of those books that I’ve heard about since my early days of homeschooling, but, for some reason or other, had never read.  I didn’t know what I was missing!  This book will definitely go on my list of books to recommend to new or potential homeschoolers.  And, even though it would be on my list of “newbie books,” I still picked up quite a few nuggets of wisdom myself.

This book begins by asking the question, “Is Homeschooling Right for You?” and proceeds all the way through planing for college.  One of the things that I loved best about the book is that it doesn’t assume the answer to that first question is yes.  A lot of people seem to think that homeschooling families think that every family should be a homeschooling family and, for the majority of us, that’s simply not true.  I like that the author addresses the pros and cons of homeschooling without sugar-coating things.

Here are the section headings, so that you’ll know what to expect from the book:

  • Homeschooling: Is it for You?
  • Choosing a Curriculum
  • Organizing and Planning
  • Preventing Burnout (this section was very timely for me…I think burnout may just be a February thing)
  • What to Teach — When and How
  • Homeschooling Teens
  • Computers in the Homeschool
  • Creative Solutions (addresses issues such as homeschooling with toddlers in the house, transitioning from school to home, and motivating the reluctant learner)
  • Measuring Your Success
  • Resource Guide (Fantastic lists covering homeschool organizations and publication, recommended suppliers and products, and academic/athletic contests and competitions

I think there’s something for everyone, veteran or newbie, in this comprehensive and newly revised edition of The Ultimate Homeschooling Guide.  Even veteran homeschoolers may be newbies when it comes to navigating the high school years, and that’s covered thoroughly with loads of advice and encouragement.

True newbies will appreciate the author’s inclusion of her boys’ third grade evaluation, which includes her list of planned objectives for the year, along with notes on if and how the objectives were met.  Many homeschooling moms will be reassured to see that not all of the objectives for the year were met…and the author’s kids still went on to enjoy very successful post-homeschool lives.

Readers will appreciate the personal stories peppered in throughout the book from homeschooling moms and homeschooled students.  You’ll also enjoy suggested reading and websites, along with buying and resource information and details about the companion website to the book.  The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling is available from Aplogia Press for $20 and is one homeschooling book that you’ll probably refer to many times over the course of your homeschooling years, leaving you a dog-eared and tattered copy to pass along to a future homeschooling family.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it.  I received no other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.  Your experience may vary.

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5 Comments

  1. I've decided to homeschool my kindergartener next year and checked this book out of the library. I didn't get all the way through it, by any means, but I got from it what I needed to feel like I could do it. It was really great. I'm totally going to buy it so I have it on hand.

    Thanks for your blog, by the way, and the homeschooling showcase. It's great to have so many inspirations in one spot.

  2. As a non-homeschooler (although I did teach my daughter to read and write at home before she started kindergarten) I'm curious as to why homeschool families don't believe all families should homeschool. What would be some factors that would make homeschooling the wrong choice?

  3. @ Vanessa — Well, the main reason for me is that homeschooling is a lifestyle. It's an individual family choice. Kids, as we all know, are unique individuals and how they are educated should be a personal decision made by each individual family. I know some families who homeschool some of their kids, but not all because homeschooling is not the best choice for each of their kids.

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