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Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end” is a quotation in this book that describes the contents well. Author Stephanie Carter shares her home education experience in the nonfictional work, Trials and Successes: Effective Teaching and Learning at Home. This is a realistic portrayal of the challenges, and joys, of this educational choice. Ms. Carter has homeschooled two sons for 11 years. She answers the “what, how, where and whom” questions for parents. She stresses the importance of learning the jurisdiction’s laws and guidelines of where you live. In Chapter 8, The Truth, common arguments against home education are addressed. Myths such as 'my child cannot play sports' or 'homeschooled children are isolated' are debunked.
The book is well-organized, making it easy for parents to return to a specific section in the future. A page for Notes/Things to Remember is included after each chapter. The addition of photographs and quotations creates interest. One compelling point she makes is how parents can develop a unique curriculum. In her case, an African-American family, the focus is on an Afro-centric curriculum, including African history and culture, as well as the African-American experience. Parents are encouraged to be thoughtful about what teaching would be most appropriate for their family. Other essential features include a description of methodologies and a robust resource list. Trials and Successes by Stephanie Carter will be invaluable for parents who choose the homeschooling path – an enlightening book that encourages parents by naming the challenges and how to meet them.