Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for reviewing and promoting it. I do not get money if you buy it. I agreed to review it because I enjoyed Volume One.

What is The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas?

If you’re unfamiliar with The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas let me just tell you it’s a wealth of information put out by iHomeschool Network. It’s a collection of homeschool moms sharing their experiences on a variety of homeschool topics. Volume 1 is written by 55 moms and covers 103 topics. Volume 2 is written by 38 moms talking and covers 58 topics. In their product description iHomeschool Network lists the following topics for Volume 2:

  • Need ideas for getting Dad or grandparents involved?
  • What should you do if you have anti-homeschool family members?
  • Need help creating socialization opportunities for your homeschooled teen?
  • Are you confused about how to assign high school credit for courses and electives?
  • Would you like to make back to school time special for your kids?
  • Are you a city dweller who longs to go outside for nature studies?
  • Need ideas for raising tomorrow’s thought leaders and entrepreneurs?
  • Do you have a child who is a chronic worrier?

What this book is not, is a straightforward “how to homeschool”. It’s a reference guide in which you pick and choose which sections are relevant to your life or a source encouragement that there is another mom who’s been where you are.

First thought – this really is a BIG book

There are 360 pages in this ebook. I’ll be honest, I had every intention of reading this book cover to cover but there is so much in it I haven’t finished it yet. I have read all the sections that are relevant to my life as a homeschool mom right now. I have also scanned the headlines of all the sections I was curious about. Anything related to middle or high school I have completely skipped for now. By the time B gets to high school there might be a newer addition. If not, I can still come back to volume 2.

Second thought – I follow a lot of these women online

I subscribe to a number of different blogs. Belong to a ridiculous number of Facebook groups. Am addicted to Pinterest and stalk people on Twitter. For me, it was encouraging to know that the women in this book were truly in the trenches of homeschooling. Furthermore, they are also women that I respect and secretly look up to over the interweb. I’ve chatted with some of them; used their printables and one of them I’ve emailed with on numerous occasions.

My Top 3 Favourite Sections

My list of favourite sections is long and I could go on and on about why; so I’ve decided to limit myself to 3 and not bore you to tears. I do, however, want to give you a glimpse of why I can honestly say, “This is worth more than $3.99!”

7 Things I’ve Learned from Raising A Gifted Child

I don’t like using the term “gifted” with B. Mostly because he’s never been tested. What I will say is that apart from math, B is tackling curriculum that is recommended for fifth graders. It is the main reason why we homeschool. He was bored in public school because it wasn’t challenging enough and it wasn’t interesting for him.

After reading this section I thought, “This woman gets me!”. Because there is more to life with an exceptional child than just giving them curriculum. There is a disconnect from what their brains can handle and what their emotions can handle, amongst other things.

Adapting Your Homeschool for Your Sons

B is a boy. I’m a girl. I am almost 40 years old and I still don’t understand guys. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life being the token girl but have learned to just shake my head or throw up my hands when a guy does something I can’t comprehend. As a homeschool mom, I need to know more about how these differences matter to teaching. I found some good insight in why certain aspects of our homeschool weren’t working in this section and how to approach it better.

Helping Your Children Become Entrepreneurs

Since leaving full-time employment as a paralegal in 2013, I have been a part of three businesses, two of which I owned fully and one that I was a partner of. I am also getting ready to launch my next business – online unit studies (more details to come soon, leave me a comment if you want to be a tester). B was a part of my yoga business. He did yoga alongside many of my clients or sat in the corner quietly and coloured. My social media business is a big mystery to him. Mostly because it’s work I did when he wasn’t around. He also couldn’t tell when I was working or just checking Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest for fun. But being apart of the business and knowing how to run one are two completely different things.

What I got from this part of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas was mostly taking the teachable moments. I felt like the advice that was given was saying, “You’re on the right track.” I could encourage B to have a lemonade stand or bake sale but why? He’s more interested in creating YouTube videos. And yes, you can make money creating YouTube videos. You just have to know how; which I do. Another teachable moment is making B more a part of launching my online unit studies. We talk about what I’m doing; why I’m doing it; and he’s been a part of some of the webinars that are relevant to both our projects. We’ve also discussed some of my reasons for me not working outside of our home.

Final Thoughts

Get both volumes. Seriously. While the first volume has a good chunk of it devoted to early years of homeschooling there is still a lot of info in it for all years. The first part of Volume 2 focuses on middle and high school. But as a mom of an 8-year old, I found a lot of useful information in it. It’s well worth the minimal investment. Even if you’re just thinking about homeschooling. In fact, if you’re thinking about homeschooling I REALLY recommend getting both because it’s a one-stop shop for advice on aspects of homeschooling you probably won’t think of.

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