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This excellent primer on homeschooling, by journalist and homeschooler Isabel Lyman, presents a history of the movement and an exploration of
the variety of issues confronting parents who may wish to teach their kids themselves.  In the book, which grew out of an essay for the Cato Institute, HOMESCHOOLING : Back to the Future?, she looks at legal issues, the size and shape of the homeschool movement in America, questions about socialization of kids and meeting educational standards, resources that are available for families who choose this option, and even what kind of social acceptance or pressures folks may face.  Ms Lyman also uses copious real-life examples to show how others have met and overcome these challenges, as well as sharing her own experiences.  In all, it's an excellent overview of an emerging phenomena.

My one quibble is actually with the manner in which she tells the true stories.  It may be a function of the book being a couple years old, and that we're more used to the notion of homeschooling now, or of the aftereffects of battles Ms Lyman may have had to wage personally, or maybe I'm just naive, but the tone of some of the book, especially in these vignettes, is more defensive than it needs to be.  There's a quality of here of "look this kid was homeschooled and..ta-da...he turned out fine."  There may well have been a time in this country where homeschooling was so shocking that these
kinds of assurances were necessary, but hopefully we're long past that day.  Ms Lyman and her fellow homeschoolers have exciting stories to tell, stories of which they are, and should be, immensely proud.  They need not justify the choices they've made.  The achievements of their children are ample justification.  If anything it is many of those who run our public schools who need to explain what they've done to education in the last few decades.

Ms Lyman is an effective proselytizer for a movement she obviously cares deeply about. If you are one of those folks who are still dubious
about the efficacy of homeschooling, she'll more than allay your doubts. If you have kids she'll make you think hard about the options available
to you.  If you're thinking about homeschooling she'll more than likely convince you to do so.  But always, as befits someone who is advocating
freedom of choice, she encourages parents to do what they think is right for their own kids.  Perhaps most refreshingly, Ms Lyman writes on behalf of a social/political movement that does not ask for anything from the rest of us--no tax money, no special favors, etc.--except that we accept their decisions to homeschool as a viable alternative for educating American kids.  As she argues convincingly and as test scores and other data demonstrate, homeschooling is not only viable it can be a fabulous choice for families with the determination to succeed.


Grade: (B+)


See also:

Book-related and General Links:
    -AUTHOR BLOG : The Homeschooling Revolution
    -BOOK SITE : The Homeschooling Revolution
    -EXCERPT : Chapter 1 of Homeschooling Revolution (Isabel Lyman, October 18, 2000,
    -EXCERPT Chapter 1 of Homeschooling Revolution (Isabel Lyman,
    -ARCHIVES : "Isabel Lyman" (Find Articles)
    -ARCHIVES : "Isabel Lyman" (Mag Portal)
    -ARCHIVES : GazetteNET's archive of Isabel Lyman
    -ARCHIVES : Isabel Lyman (Homeschool World)
    -ESSAY : HOMESCHOOLING : Back to the Future? (Isabel Lyman, 1/07/98, Cato Policy Analysis)
    -ESSAY : Homeschoolers Pass the Torch (Isabel Lyman, July/August 2002, Family Times)
    -ESSAY : Resolve this: Know your country (Isabel Lyman, July 1, 2002, GazetteNet)
    -ESSAY : Imagining bias where none exists (Isabel Lyman, May 31, 2002, GazetteNet)
    -ESSAY : Author scores one for the West (Isabel Lyman, May 1, 2002, GazetteNet)
    -ESSAY : Mr. Yates no real homeschooler (Isabel Lyman, March 27, 2002, GazetteNet)
    -ESSAY : Pushy feminists dominate the college town I live in (Isabel Lyman, April 15, 2002, Enter Stage Right)
    -ESSAY :  Honoring Amherst's professors (Larry Kelley and Izzy Lyman, February 18, 2002, Enter Stage Right)
    -ESSAY : Let Me Tell You About My Flag (Isabel Lyman, September 19, 2001, the Massachusetts News)
    -ESSAY : Back to School-In the Dining Room (Isabel Lyman, September 2001, The American Enterprise)
    -ESSAY : On sappy tributes to motherhood (Isabel Lyman, May 14, 2001, Enter Stage Right)
    -ESSAY : Motherhood Gets a Face-lift (Isabel Lyman, April 23, 2001, New American)
    -ESSAY : Ward Connerly visits Umass (Isabel Lyman, April 30, 2001, Enter Stage Right)
    -ESSAY : The shrew gets tamed (Isabel Lyman, March 19, 2001, Enter Stage Right)
    -ESSAY : Impaired VISION (Isabel Lyman, Ph.D., February 2001, OCPA Think)
    -ESSAY : An inauguration diary (Isabel Lyman, January 29, 2001, Enter Stage Right)
    -ESSAY : Happy New Year (Isabel Lyman, January 1, 2001, Enter Stage Right)
    -ESSAY : Christian Courtship (Isabel Lyman, January 1, 2001, New American)
    -ESSAY : Presidential Elections 101 (Isabel Lyman, 14 November 2000, The Edmond Sun)
    -ESSAY : The socialization question (Isabel Lyman, October 30, 2000, Enter Stage Right)
    -ESSAY : Regulators In Search of a Problem (Isabel Lyman, Ph.D., July 2000, OCPA Think)
    -ESSAY : A word from the Third Party (Isabel Lyman, August 20, 2000, Edmond Sun)
    -ESSAY : Kissing dating good-bye (Isabel Lyman, June 12, 2000, Enter Stage Right)
    -ESSAY :  Home Schooling and Histrionics (Isabel Lyman, May 31, 2000, Cato)
    -ESSAY : The Grinch who returned Christmas (for the sake of money) (Isabel Lyman, 12/23/98, Daily Hampshire Gazette)
    -ESSAY : What's behind the growth in homeschooling. (Isabel Lyman, September 1998, USA Today Magazine)
    -ESSAY : Not home alone (Isabel Lyman, Sept 14, 1998, National Review)
    -ESSAY : Home-Spun Schooling (Isabel Lyman, July 1997, New American)
    -ESSAY : 4-H and the Homeschooler (Isabel Lyman, 1993, Practical Homeschooling)
    -ESSAY : Greetings From New England (Isabel Lyman, The Link)
    -ESSAY : A Mother's Day of Home Schooling (Isabel Lyman, Eagle Forum)
    -FAQ : Frequently Asked Questions (Isabel Lyman, Home School Times)
    -REVIEW : of The War Against Boys : How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men By Christina Hoff Sommers (Isabel Lyman, Enter Stage Right)
    -REVIEW : of The Pocket Patriot : An Introduction to the Principles of Freedom  By George Grant  (Isabel Lyman, Enter Stage Right)
    -REVIEW : of The Unquenchable Thirst By Michael John Howard (Isabel Lyman, Enter Stage Right)
    -INTERVIEW : IZABEL "IZZY" LYMAN - The Homeschooling Revolution  : Isabel Lyman is an author, freelance journalist and one-woman think tank. (Internet Relay Chats, February 6, 2002)
    -INTERVIEW : Embracing quality education :  Geoff Metcalf interviews home-schooling expert and author Isabel Lyman
    -INTERVIEW :  Isabel Lyman on the Reform Convention : "[The Republican convention]... just seemed like such a touchy-feely, bland convention." (Kathryn Jean Lopez, 8/15/00, National Review)
    -REVIEW : of The Homeschooling Revolution by Isabel Lyman (Paul Moreno, the Massachusetts News)
    -REVIEW : of The Homeschooling Revolution (Michael Wagner, B.C. Home School Association)

    -American Homeschooling Resource Center
    -Eclectic Homeshool Online
    -Education Reporter : THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS (Eagle Forum)
    -BLOG : Education Weak
    -Home School Central
    -Home School Channel (Crosswalk)
    -Home School Foundation
    -Home School Legal Defense Association
    -Home School Times
    -Homeschool World
    -Homeschooling (Beverly Hernandez ,
    -Homeschooling Today
    -John Taylor Gatto
    -Learn in Freedom
    -The Link: The Nation's Homeschool Newspaper
    -National Home Education Research Institute
    -Palmetto Independent Educators
    -ARCHIVES : Civics and Politics : Public Education
    -ARCHIVES : Education and Child Policy (Cato)
    -ARCHIVES : Homeschooling in the News Archive (California Homeschooling Association)
    -ARCHIVES : Hot Topics in Education:  Homeschooling
    -ARCHIVES : THE NEW AMERICAN: Issues in Focus :  Education
    -ARCHIVES :  Articles About Education (TechnoMom)
    -LINKS : Links for Liberty : Homeschooling
    -ESSAY : The World According To Gatto (David Ruenzel, March 2001, Teacher Magazine)
    -ESSAY : An A for Home Schooling (Brian C. Anderson, Summer 2000, City Journal)
    -ESSAY : Homeschool comes of age : As the movement matures, it expands to include a diverse array of families  (Carolyn Kleiner, 10/16/00 issue of USN&WR)
    -ESSAY : Battling for the heart and soul of home-schoolers : Conservative fundamentalists have set the agenda for kids taught at home -- now they're aiming to influence public education. (Helen Cordes, October 02, 2000, salon)
    -ESSAY : Homeschooling comes of age (Patricia M. Lines,  July 1, 2000, The Public Interest)
    -ESSAY : SINGING THE PRAISES OF HOME - SCHOOLING  : North Bay kids find freedom, motivation outside of traditional classrooms  (Tyra Lucile Mead, 1/29/99, SF Chronicle)
    -ESSAY : HOME IS WHERE THE revolution IS  : When they forsake the revolution to raise children at home, smart women fear they've made a
stupid choice. (Cecelie S. Berry, Sept. 29, 1999, Salon)
    -ESSAY : School Choice in Michigan: A Primer for Freedom in Education (Mr. Matthew J. Brouillette,  July 16, 1999, MacKinac Center for Public Policy)
    -ESSAY : Home-schoolers say 'the public education system has failed us'  (Vin Suprynowicz, September 1998, Enter Stage Right)
    -ESSAY: 20 Best Websites to Help Kids Learn From Home in 2021 (Julia Olech, March 06, 2021, Wiz Case)_