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To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool:
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Written by Jelena Hasbrouck   

 

Growing Up in Santa Cruz is proud to feature the following review of Suki Wessling’s new book From School to Homeschool. Readers of Growing Up know Suki from her many practical, informative and engaging articles over the years, and will see the same type of down-to-earth writing in her book. The Growing Up family congratulates Suki on her work and recent book release.

 

Parent Educator and Writer Suki Wessling has focused on a number of topics in her career and written for a variety of print and online outlets. With her first book, From School to Homeschool: Should You Homeschool Your Gifted Child, Wessling hones in on homeschooling in a remarkably clear and informative manner. Framed as a guide for parents considering homeschooling, her book does just that– providing useful knowledge, answering questions, and linking to important resources an accessible and intellectually sound manner. From School to Homeschool is well-written, informative and engaging, and serves dual purposes as both an initial guide for parents considering homeschooling and as a reference volume to support homeschooling families throughout their journey.

 

From the beginning of Wessling’s book there is an obvious real-world approach that readers will appreciate. Wessling introduces From School to Homeschool by letting us in on her own personal journey with homeschooling. Admittedly a “reluctant” homeschooler, Wessling’s own experience is what led her to write a book in the first place.  While she enjoyed reading homeschooling books, she found that many of them came from an anti-school perspective that she does not share and were written for parents who were eager to homeschool. In contrast, Wessling writes with candor about her own reluctance to homeschool in a way that parents can easily connect with.

 

Integral to Wessling’s book is the idea that parents know and understand their child, and focusing on this knowledge can help a parent determine the right educational choices for their child. From the outset, she presents the option of homeschooling as not a “one-size-fits-all” approach but as an array of options that provide parents with flexible opportunities. Echoing this flexibility, Wessling addresses a number of issues families will face as they consider homeschooling, from household income concerns to college applications.

 

Perhaps most helpful in making the book accessible to a wide variety of parents is the intuitive weaving of theoretical information with anecdotes from actual homeschool parents. She presents theoretical research, but Wessling knows her audience – approaching theoretical information as she does the rest of the book: with an open-mind, taking the time to explain the theory not as a recommendation for or against, but as an option to consider. Complementing the more academic elements of her book are the down-to-earth examples provided by parents and Wessling herself. The result is an easy to read resource guide that engages parents and acknowledges important educational research.

 

From School to Homeschool acts almost as partner to a parent considering homeschooling. From the very outset, the organization of the book itself serves parents’ needs, with an introduction that is almost a “how-to-read-this-book” guide and a comprehensive table of contents that allows readers to easily find sections they wish to refer back to. Wessling also makes the somewhat unusual choice of placing resources throughout the book instead of just in a section at the end. Some authors resist this approach for fear of “interrupting” the flow of the writing. However, the approach works quite well in Wessling’s writing, adding to the intuitive and guide-like nature of the book itself.

 

From School to Homeschool is not intended to advocate for homeschooling nor to discourage it. Instead of being prescriptive, Wessling skillfully navigates the considerations parents face as they consider what is best for their child’s education. Her candid depiction of the realities of homeschooling coupled with the informative resources and accessible educational theories make From School to Homeschool a must-read for potential homeschoolers.

 

In addition to the book itself, which can be bought through the author’s website, Wessling maintains an up-to-date website full of resources, which you can access at www.sukiwessling.com.

 

Jelena Hasbrouck has spent the past ten years as an educator and social worker. She is currently a graduate student in Public Policy and Practical Politics at the University of San Francisco.

 
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