REVIEW: Growing Up Without School – Bernice Zieba

This is a really useful and interesting book written by Bernice Zieba, who has home educated some of her seven children for six years. The book covers the different approaches that home educators choose to take and shows that home education can be adapted and suited to the individual needs of your family and child(ren) as well as some ideas for informal learning. A particularly fascinating read are the interviews with other homeschooling families in the United Kingdom (where homeschooling is legal), all with various reasons for home educating and different ways of doing it. The book then moves on to interviews with families from other parts of the world, including Germany, where homeschooling is not legal, yet families have done what they think is the best thing for their child.

You will be interested to find the out about famous people that have been home-schooled; Venus and Serena Williams, Beatrix Potter, Thomas Edison and Williard S. Boyle (a Nobel Prize winner) amongst many others. These are people who have gone on to be hugely successful without a formal school education. The book also covers the questions that almost all people will ask those who homeschool and the author has given in depth answers which are well explained and backed up with examples. Towards the end of the book are reasons why you might want to consider home education based on experiences from other families; this is followed by practical hints and tips from setting up a work space to documenting what your child has done.

If you are a home educator or considering it then this book is definitely worth reading; it is informative and practical and finding out about how other families have found the home education journey is insightful, especially if you don’t know any other home educators to talk to about what to expect. The book is written in a very open and non opinionated way and although the author draws upon her own experiences she looks as all aspects and the points of view of others to create this comprehensive handbook. I also believe that those who are a little sceptical about homeschooling would benefit from reading this as they would understand it so much better.

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