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The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling [Paperback]

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Item Number 362586  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   262
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 30, 2007
Publisher   Mapletree Publishing Company
ISBN  1600651070  
EAN  9781600651076  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Socialization may well be the single most important aspect of education today. With high and rising rates of divorce, drug abuse, youth violence, alcoholism, teen promiscuity, and so forth, we cannot afford to let this issue go unexamined.To cling to the idea that what we, as a culture, are doing now is the right and best way for all children simply because it is what we are used to is to shut our eyes and minds to other possibilities-possibilities that may well afford greater happiness, success, peace, and safety to our own children.At a time when people feel more disconnected than ever before, we cannot afford to overlook or allow ourselves to be blinded to an option which offers great benefits, including a rich, fulfilling, and healthy social life, that our children may well need for the future. Homeschooling offers great social benefits to kids and parents. And when we understand them, our children are the ones who will win.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Thorough, informative  Oct 14, 2008
This is a very thorough and well-thought-out book, covering just about every aspect of the "socialization" question that anyone might bring up, and many that I had never thought of, including questions about "real world" experience vs. school experience; the desirability of (previously) homeschooled students on college campuses; learning good citizenship through homeschooling; and many more. I especially liked the stories told by parents and children of all ages, in their own words.

There are ample citations, many from respectable sources. There are, however, some weaknesses in Gathercole's research. I'm not sure she was thorough in her fact-checking. One researcher is introduced as "A man whose name is Dr. Montgomery . . ." I'd say her writing is somewhat flat, though for me the subject matter was of enough interest to keep me reading to the end. It didn't thrall my MIL, however. She barely cracked it before quitting, and she was the main reason I bought the book.
A Great Resource for Families  Oct 6, 2008
I currently don't have children but have known people who are very secure and socially well adjusted because they were homeschooled. I've gone through this book for a girlfriend of mine with 3 young children and am impressed. The key is to make sure the family has access to a support network, balances home school time with social actvities in a peer group, and is aligned with their state curriculum. If I had kids right now I would definitley home school them and expose them to other kids to ensure they have developed interpersonal skills.
Bravo!   Sep 5, 2008
Rachel Gathercole's book, "The Well Adjusted Child-The Social Benefits of Homeschooling" sorely needed to be written. As a long time homeschooler, I have talked to countless parents who say that they would like to homeschool their children, but don't due to fear of social isolation. My anecdotes and assurances sometimes tip the scale, but not always. If you or your spouse or extended family are on the fence about homeschooling, please do yourself a favor and buy this book. The author builds a brilliant case for the positive social aspects of homeschooling, in a clear and logical manner. I also appreciate the fact that she does not actively bash schools, and appears sensitive to the tough demands that today's institutional teachers face.

Home education is an incredible opportunity for children to learn at their own pace and in their own way. It is well known that homeschooled kids are often winners and finalists in national level competitions, such as the geo bee and spelling bee. Individualized education is quite simply a better fit for many children, and gifted children especially, who may be several different "sizes" at once. Would anyone care to argue that a tailor made suit would not fit better than one purchased off the rack? Sure, there are good schools out there, just as there are some people (both parents and children) who simply would not do well as homeschoolers. But for the great majority, homeschooling can be whatever it needs to be to fit the individual child. I believe that it is well documented that kids can benefit academically from homeschooling. The question then, is how do these home educated kids do with peers, and will they be able to interact well with people as adults?

Ms. Gathercole answers this and puts to rest the image of the awkward and isolated homeschooler. She explains in detail how homeschooling socialization is not merely an adequate replacement for the social lessons of institutional schooling. It may be surprising to many, but homeschooling is often a superior lifestyle for learning positive social interaction. Homeschooling actually allows kids to have more time with friends, less time with bullies and those who don't play nicely with others, and the chance to really get to know people of all ages and from all walks of life. Homeschooled kids are more apt to follow their own hearts and consciences, and less likely to be swayed by negative peer pressure.

Here's an excerpt from page 168, "A great deal of evidence supports the claim that homeschoolers end up very well prepared for the 'real world'. One study of adults who had been homeschooled as children found that none were unemployed, none were on welfare, and the vast majority believed homeschooling had helped them to become independent individuals and to interact with people from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds." Gathercole interviewed homeschooled kids and parents from all over the country and included many of their comments as well. One college student and former homeschooler shares her opinion on the "real world" question, " It was a really comfortable situation and that led to me being really comfortable with who I am and my choices. And I don't see that necessarily in most other people my age. I think that a lot of that has to do with how our public school system takes personal choice out of most of it. You do things because you have to do them..."

I can vouch for the positive aspects of homeschool socialization with two examples from my own family. One of my sons is an extreme introvert. He had few friends in his years of school attendance, despite all of the extracurricular activities he tried. He simply didn't find it easy to expend the energy to socialize, when it took so much from him just to sit hour after hour in a crowded classroom. When he came home to learn, he appeared to blossom. From a comfortable home base, he was able to venture forth and make social connections that ran deeper and lasted longer than any he'd made in school. My second son and social butterfly was a different kind of kid. My husband and I worried that we wouldn't be able to meet his high need for social contact. That fear was short lived though, as we soon found that he let us know when he needed a play date. Too much time away from others and he'd get cranky. He's eleven now, and gets more phone calls than any other family member.

This book is organized into chapters that each tackle a specific question or concern.

1.The Socialization Question
2.What Do Homeschoolers Do?
3.What Is Good Socialization, Anyway?
4.Friends and Peer Contact
5.Independence and Strong Family Relationships
6.Safety, Adversity, and Bullying
7.Freedom and Time to Be a Kid
8.Being Cool
9.Relationships with Other Adults
10.Diversity and Minority Socialization
11.Preparation for the "Real World"
12.Citizenship and Democracy
13.Teenagers, Identity, and Sense of Self
14.The Homeschooling Parent's Social Life
15.Socialization and Success

Appendix A covers practical matters such as recommended resources and tips. It also has a list of state homeschool organizations and other helpful web sites. Appendix B has an impressive list of famous homeschoolers, including such diverse talents as Frankie Muniz and Yehudi Menuhin, Fred Terman and Sandra Day O'Connor.

What more can I say about this book? If it doesn't ease your fears about the "s" word, I don't know what will. Rachel Gathercole has done an amazing job pulling together studies, real life stories, and heartfelt advice and inspiration that make a most convincing argument for homeschooling.

Great Answer to the "Socialization Question"  Aug 20, 2008
What about socialization? That is the question asked of every homeschooler. It may even be the reason some would-be homeschoolers decide to send their children to school. How will your children learn to function in society if they don't go to school? Rachel Gathercole offers a definitive answer to that question in "The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling." The answer is that homeschooled children not only learn to function in society, but they may actually learn to do it better.

Gathercole delves into what it actually means to be "socialized" and offers a historical take on how society managed to function for thousands of years before the start of compulsory education. She counters the idea that homeschooled children are friendless loners, emphasizing that homeschooled children take part in many of the same extra-curricular activities that school children do, such as sports, dance classes, scouts, religious programs, etc, as well as homeschooling group activities. She uses the testimony of both homeschooled children and their parents to bolster her research.

While some may be willing to admit that it is possible, after all, for children to have friends outside of school, Gathercole pushes the argument one step farther. She maintains that homeschooling provides a better environment for children to grow up and learn how to be part of the adult world. Unlike children who spend the majority of their lives in a classroom with many other children the same age and one or two adult figures, homeschooled children live in the "real world." They interact with both children of different ages and adults on a daily basis. They are involved in the daily role of running a house and perhaps a family business. They have the opportunity to get real world work experience (whether paid or volunteer) at a younger age because they have more time. They also have more time to simply be a kid. They have the time to daydream and play and figure out what they are good at. Homeschooled children also tend to have stronger family relationships. With that secure footing, they are better able to spread their wings and step out into the world as adults.

"The Well-Adjusted Child" is a must-read for anyone considering homeschooling. It can help alleviate the fear that comes from stepping off the usual schooling path. It is also a great resource for those interested in education in general because it forces one to consider what the true goal of education is and what it really means to be a functioning and productive member of society.
Outstanding Job Rachel Gathercole: Excellent For Minorities  Jun 13, 2008
Thus far, this book has been extremely: informational, detailed oriented, and reassuring. It gives you an opportunity to know and understand just what socialization "looks" like in the day to day of lives of homeschoolers versus these false assumptions many have about home schooling being isolated endeavor.

I also like that fact that's it's not bogged down in any religiosity from any tradition. Many home school writers loose creditability with many in the public because; so much of their work is steeped in religiosity. Unfortunately, there are people who believe that religion can't co-exist with science, logic, and reason thus turning off potential home schoolers. I really appreciate the evidence, research, and field interviews presented here versus a sermon. Being in the early stages or preparation phase this book has been a major blessing.

Never did I ever question what "socialization" or "childhood" was. This writer has encouraged me to question, and to observe. I always considered myself an independent thinker, but after reading just the first three chapters I realized I'm not.. I just automatically adopted the fast food approach to "socialization" or "childhood".

I'm a triple minority--black, Muslim, and female. I encourage other African Americans, and other Muslims who are also in the preparation stage to read this book. The chapter on diversity is excellent, and is not based off the traditional Eurocentric view of diversity: "color blindness" but rather color, ethnic, and tribal consciousness.

Outstand Rachel Gathercole, outstanding.

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