X is for X-Rated

ABCs of Homeschooling - Copy

X is for X-rated. The world of children has become increasingly provocative. Girls’ dolls are made to look sleazy, as are girls’ clothes. Meanwhile, boys are encouraged to play video games and watch movies that objectify women and present them with visual images they’re far too young to handle.

One of the advantages of homeschooling is that you can limit how often and how much your children are exposed to an X-rated world. Instead, they can enjoy the once-common innocence of childhood that previous generations enjoyed.

Now available: the 3rd edition of Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers, completely revised and expanded. Check it out!

U is for Understanding

ABCs of Homeschooling - Copy

U is for understanding. When a small child comes home from school cranky and upset, he may not be able to explain what happened to make him feel that way; his parents are left to wonder if the teacher forgot to tell them something (or if she even witnessed the event).

But the homeschooling parent knows the details of a child’s day because she was there. If the child got into a fight with a sibling or a friend, the parent was there and understands what happened and how to help the children apologize to each other and forgive each other. It sure beats being unable to understand why the child is upset and wondering what exactly happened.

Do your boys like animal stories? Check out our 1908-9 wildlife novels for boys and read a few chapters while you’re there: Classic Books for Boys.

E is for Excellence

ABCs of Homeschooling - Copy

E is for excellence. Homeschooled children have the time to pursue their specific interests to the point of excellence. As writer Malcolm Gladwell famously noted in his book Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve excellence in a given pursuit. Children who spend their days in school lose eight or more hours a day to school and homework. But the homeschooled child who loves to paint or play the violin or program computers can easily carve out five hours a day for every weekday of the year and achieve excellence in their chosen area in 8 years. Imagine how many more accomplished citizens our country could produce if every child with a strong interest was homeschooled in order to have time to pursue that interest. Let’s hear it for homeschooling!

Prepare your children for the future: read my book, Thriving in the 21st Century: Preparing Our Children for the New Economic Reality.

When a Review is not a Review

Whenever I’m going to buy something, I like to look at the reviews of the product online first to see what people are saying about it. In general, I think word of mouth is pretty valuable because it’s usually someone’s actual opinion based on their experience, as opposed to hype or advertising from the company that made the item.

Traditionally, a product review is something the product’s creator never pays for (other than the cost of the review copy and shipping); in addition, it’s bad form to ask for a good review. The whole point is for the reviewer to give an unbiased opinion. Obviously, if the review copy were to arrive with a check payable to the reviewer, the review would be biased.

We started Cardamom Publishers, our homeschool publishing business, in 2003, and we’ve never paid for a review or asked for a good review. We just send out review copies and wait. We’ve been gratified to receive good reviews, and we want homeschooling parents to know that those reviews are unbiased.

There are many good homeschool websites and magazines that offer unbiased reviews. But apparently there are others who require creators to pay for something they call a product review, but which is actually an advertisement. I recently received an email from one such site, howtohomeschool.net. They’ve offered to review our products. Here are the details:

Removed at the request of the writer 7/11/17

There’s nothing wrong with advertising, but to claim that a paid ad is a product review is dishonest. Homeschooling parents love hearing the opinions of other parents about homeschool products; I valued that input when I homeschooled my four kids. But there’s a huge difference between an unbiased opinion and a paid ad, and I don’t think it’s fair to imply that there isn’t one, especially when your intended audience is made up of very busy homeschooling parents who have enough to do without trying to figure out when they’re being misled.