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An inspirational and practical book for parents who are trying to create a warm learning environment in their homes. No worksheets, no flashcards, just authentic learning experiences.  This book is meant for parents whose children will go on to traditional school, but homeschooling parents will benefit as well.

My two favorite quotes:

Referring to a class of 5 year olds: “I need my kids to talk.  After all, these kids can’t think with their mouths closed.” (p.9)  My son is constantly talking, muttering, and whispering to himself.  But that’s just how 4 year olds think!

“The love of reading and the ability to lose oneself in another world are gifts we give our children when we read aloud to them.” (p. 34)  My parents gave me this gift, and my husband and I are giving it to our kids as well.

The Millman family made the decision to homeschool when their daughters were young.  To date, they have homeschooled their three older daughters all the way through to college, and are still homeschooling their three younger sons.  As with all of the books I review, I just don’t have the time to do this one justice.  However, here are a few quotes that stuck with me:

One of the most portentous decisions we made on the road to homeschooling was the decision that our children should have a very costly “luxury”: a full-time mom.  It seemed to us that a two-income lifestyle, then the norm among families in our age and education bracket, would require our children to make a sacrifice we didn’t want to demand of them–namely, the sacrifice of a mother at home.  p. 20

I love the idea that I am a “luxury” to my children, and I’m so thankful that I enjoyed that “luxury” when I was a child.

One of the greatest advantages of homeschooling is that it allows a parent to develop a curriculum tailored to the child instead of tailoring the child to the curriculum.  p. 48

I was a teacher for 8 years before I quit to raise my children.  I believe that there is a general body of knowledge and set of skills that children should learn.  But I also know well the limitations of the classroom setting.  How awesome and amazing would it be to teach your child what he needs and wants to learn, instead of teaching him what he needs to know to do well on a standardized test!

We don’t yet know what form our children’s education will take.  The Millman’s book was the first of many that I hope to read about homeschooling, and their story was an inspiration and encouragement to me.