Managers of Their Schools {Review}

One of the things we hope we have conveyed is that among the many ways we can teach, tutor, train and mentor our children there is only one right way — and that is the way the Lord leads us as a family. You will find that is exactly what Steven and Teri Maxwell recommend in their book, Managers of Their Schools: A Practical Guide to Homeschooling.

Most parents who choose to educate at home make use of the many textbooks and workbooks available on the market. The key to effectively using traditional materials is the confidence and flexibility to tweak the materials so that they fit our children and family. This is what we can learn from Managers of Their Schools: how to practically use traditional materials in a homeschool setting.

While we use textbooks as the basis for our children’s education, we don’t run our homeschool like a classroom. One-on-one instruction and independent learning are the key ingredients to our homeschooling.

Steven and Teri Maxwell, Managers of Their Schools

Those who lack the confidence will find words of wisdom, practical tips, and loads of encouragement from a homeschooling mom of 23 years. Those who lack the flexibility will get a look at prayerful planning and scheduling sessions, and detailed examples to help them see that it can be done. You will see in action the thought processes that help us serve our children rather than pushing them through books — critically examining publisher’s lines and choosing those materials that fit our goals, identifying and omitting busywork, skipping tests when they are not necessary, adding and subtracting subjects to fit the family’s needs, encouraging the individual interests of our children by making time for vocational pursuits, and slowing down when it serves the child.

Having graduated four of their eight children, the authors are candid in their assessments of what worked and what didn’t. They begin by prayerfully setting goals as a family and for each child. By knowing in advance what they hope to achieve, they are able to quickly assess benefits and needs. They then walk us through the process of setting up a homeschool that will meet their goals including teaching their children to be independent, skilled, lifelong learners, and good communicators.

As the authors stress, each family needs to trust God’s direction in the education of their children. With that in mind, you may not agree with everything the Maxwell’s describe. However, Managers of Their Schools provides a much needed, inside look at how homeschool families can take any educational approach and modify it to meet the needs of their family.

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