Getting the Most Out of Your Homeschool This Summer Book Review by ChristineMM


Title: Getting the Most Out of Your Homeschool This Summer

Author: Lee Binz

Genre: Nonfiction, Homeschooling High School

Publication: self-published

Format: Kindle eBook

My Star Rating: 4 stars = I Like It

My Summary Statement: Many Ideas, Not One Recipe for All, Encouraging Tone

In this short book Binz gives many suggestions for ways for teens to spend their summer. She begins with a call to use the summer to relax and have fun, which I agree with. She suggests families can spend the summer catching up on postponed home organization (not so much fun). Once those ideas are aside she spends the rest of the book talking about productive ways to spend the summer which involve studying academic subjects that count toward high school credit towards graduation or for a college application.

The most surprising advice was that if summer arrives and you are 75-80% finished with a course to call it done and abandon it. Stopping and calling a course done is also advised if the student hits burnout. Those recommendations may directly conflict with her other advice that a full credit course must be at least 120 hours of instruction or a half credit class needs to be at least 60 hours. Binz also suggests calling a course done when mastery was attained, thus ending a class earlier if mastery is obtained before 120 hours. I won’t argue with that other than to say you need to have a way to figure out if mastery has been obtained (how do you measure that with a non-clear cut class)?

I like Binz’s chapter on delight driven learning, in which she suggests using the summer for mentoring or just learning things they are interested in. Binz likens delight directed learning to play for teenagers.

For the school loving kid Binz suggest doing regular school-y learning such as reviewing math material, doing standardized test prep work, and filling gaps in learning. She recommends outsourcing teaching to hired teacher.

Binz also suggests filling summer with activities that were not done during the year such as focusing on PE or paid employment which she terms “occupational education” and makes it a course.

There is a chapter on CLEP tests with a focus to read the prep book then take the test. She tells how one son took one or two tests every week. I’m impressed. For passing scores she also wrote that up as a full class having been taken and gives it an honors designation.

Lastly the book contains some common high school literature suggestions and she says to use summer to read ahead for the upcoming school year.

I enjoyed this book, mostly for the many suggestions and for the upbeat and positive tone. So many different ideas are shared here and she is non-judgmental about each. She does not recommend doing just one thing for every kid. Although there are many school-y ideas here she repeatedly emphasizes finding time to relax and a way to homeschool with peace as the attitude to strive for. This book was like talking with a comforting friend.

I rate this book 4 stars = I Like It

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