Item description for Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense by David Guterson...
Overview In an honest, perceptive discussion of children and education by the bestselling author of "Snow Falling on Cedars", Guterson answers questions about homeschooling but also reflects on broader issues, such as family life, individual fulfillment, and community.
Publishers Description An honest, perceptive discussion of children, education, and our common life as a nation by the bestselling author of Snow Falling on Cedars. A high school English teacher, Guterson and his wife educate their own children at home. "A literate primer for anyone who wants to know more about alternatives to the schools" (Kirkus Reviews). Index.
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David Guterson is the author of a collection of short stories, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind; Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense; Snow Falling on Cedars, which won the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award, the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Award, and was an international bestseller; and the national bestseller East of the Mountains.
David Guterson currently resides in Puget Sound, in the state of Washington.
Reviews - What do customers think about Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense?
Snooze Fest. Apr 30, 2007
Ok, I a not a teacher/lawyer......but I am educated. I found this book very hard to read----big words/scientific data and so forth. It just was a big snooze for me. I can't get thru it without wishing he'd just get to the point...keep it simple I always say!
Wow, life changing and very thought provoking!!!!! Dec 16, 2006
With three children 5 and under, I don't write too many reviews. But, I wanted to write a short comment. WOW!!! I just finished this book and after reading many many books on homeschooling, this one stands out far ahead of the rest. I learned so much from this book and I consider myself well educated and well-read. What makes this book unique is it's look at our society and how public school has changed/impacted our society. It also proposes changes in public schools that embrace homeschooling as fitting in with public education - something you don't see many other places. VERY INSPIRING!! It solidified our decision to homeschool our children. My husband is a public school teacher and the point of view of the author who is also a teacher was very helpful and interesting how he straddles the fence. Wish I had time to write more.
A very useful, balanced book about why homeschooling makes sense Oct 20, 2005
An articulate, thoughtful, accessible, and refreshingly balanced examination of "why homeschooling makes sense." I've read many books about homeschooling (a number of which were cited in Mr. Guterson's book), but none have been as helpful as this one in terms of exploring the advantages and disadvantages of teaching your own, and what it means in a larger sense, not just to our children but to ourselves and the society and culture in which we live. Even-handed, the author doesn't shy away from pointing out unhelpful attitudes on some members of both sides, -- school administrations and homeschoolers -- but he also does his best to place these observations in context that the reader might have a better understanding of its underpinnings. Those seeking a better way to express their reasons for homeschooling will find many arguments in its defense.
This is a book that would serve not only parents considering homeschooling or those who have already begun to homeschool their children. I think that there is much food for thought for teachers and parents whose children attend public and private schools as well.
Good, Not Great Jul 7, 2005
I found the historical information interesting. Guterson doesn't say anything totally revolutionary (historically speaking)--he doesn't unearth all sorts of historical factoids that no one's ever heard before--but what he does say is interesting, and leastwise confirms with details what you probably already guessed. I appreciated that the book was more philosophical, but by the end I just got tired of reading it for some reason. I guess since it didn't opt for being practical or apologetical, I could only swallow so many times the same paragraph over and over; "Homeschooling is great. Public Schools shouldn't be shut down. Administrators say they will change but don't. Schools need to rethink how they educate kids. Yada yada." Don't get me wrong, the book was very good at what it was attempting to do, I just felt like Guterson (or his publisher) shot himself in the foot by making it about 20-25% longer than it should have been. I guess it particularly got on my nerves since it was coming from an English teacher, considering that I would have gotten some bad marks for not cutting out all the redundancy if I had handed in a college paper like it.
A thought-provoking, empowering read! May 22, 2005
It's been a while since I ready Guterson's "Family Matters," but it remains the single most important book I've read about homeschooling, even though we were already committed to and in the midst of homeschooling when I read it.
"Family Matters" is fair and complete in ways many similar books aren't. Guterson shares his (and others') concerns and misgivings, and his answers are not pat answers.
This isn't a gushing "it works for us" book. Nor is it a "this approach works best" book. Guterson, although he gives glimpses into his own style and approach for both institutional teaching and homeschooling, remains focused on the "why" issues from which the "how's" will come. Whether discussing family views, input from friends and relatives, or cultural issues, he raises and addresses valid arguments and concerns with humor, logic, and practicality.
It's all too easy to get caught up in the "how's" of homeschooling. Read Guterson to gain a balanced picture of the "why's" ... beyond the easy and obvious answers.
Special recogition: the experiments related to re-testing students after testing, Guterson's way of bringing in his father's quite logical (and different) views on homeschooling, and his engaged, but not too-personal, responses to a wide variety of folks who offer opinions along the way.
An excellent book for folks considering, pursuing, or well into a homeschooling way of life. And for their parents and friends, as well. :-)