Prufrock Press’s new book aimed at parents of gifted learners explores the ins and outs of homeschooling. The book’s author, Cindy West, both an educator and a homeschooler of her own gifted children, includes a great amount of detailed advice in one small volume.
Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners is a thorough general guide to homeschooling aimed at parents who are considering or just starting homeschooling as well as more seasoned homeschoolers who are looking to retool their approach. The book serves the former population with detailed advice from beginning to end, answering such questions as:
- What is a gifted child?
- What is homeschooling?
- How can I find curriculum?
- How should we schedule our days?
- How can I prepare my child for college?
The book contains a plethora of links to current resources, both online and in print. Not only are the resources referenced in the text according to topic, but the book contains a handy index of general and chapter-by-chapter resources. With tips and resources set off from the main text, the book is both easy to read and easy to reread when looking for specific references.
The book is clearly most useful for beginning homeschoolers. Although it promises fresh ideas and approaches for more seasoned homeschoolers, it’s unlikely that they will find a lot of new ideas unless they have been homeschooling without reading about a variety of homeschooling approaches and seeking support online. Also, on balance, the book contains a lot more information and advice about general homeschooling issues than gifted homeschooling in particular.
Finally, it is important to note that the author, writing from her own experience as a Christian homeschooler with a more structured approach, offers a relatively narrow view of homeschooling styles and theory. Although she mentions approaches like unschooling, novice homeschoolers might finish this book believing that most gifted homeschoolers run a homeschool as structured and curriculum-focused as hers. Secular homeschoolers should be aware that she mentions curriculum like Sonlight without mentioning that it is a Christian curriculum, and that she offers support of the Home School Legal Defense Association without mentioning the group’s political affiliations.
On balance, this book is a fine addition to the reading list of beginning homeschool books, but would have been improved if the target population had been more clearly stated at the outset.
Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners
By Cindy West
Prufrock Press, 2012