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Monday, October 13, 2008

Homeschooling Elementary

Nebel's Elementary Education at
If you were to ask me to recommend just one reference book to guide you through homeschooling the elementary years I'd recommend Nebel's Elementary Education. Keep reading and I'll tell you why.

I started out homeschooling when my daughter was due to enter 5th grade and I bought "What Your 5th Grader Needs to Know". However, I could not read that book without feeling overwhelmed and questioning the way it dictates what a child at a certain age should be learning. That approach makes no sense to me - kids are not all ready for the same facts at the same age, never mind the fact that in my mind homeschooling, especially in the elementary years, is really not about learning facts! Needless to say at that point I just headed off from books that attempted to explain what I should do educationally with my daughter and made my own path.

A couple of years later an experienced homeschool parent recommended Nebel's Elementary Education to me. She told me that it contains everything you need to know to homeschool your kids through the elementary years. Well, that sounded like a bit of a stretch, but I was intrigued enough and the price was right enough for me to get myself a copy.

So what exactly is in this book? Here is a quote from the introduction, "Nebel's Elementary Education's beginning lessons in all subject areas are designed to tie into" a child's existing knowledge or experience "and build on it incrementally and systematically. All lessons begin by first drawing students' attention to be cognizant of what they already know or have experienced and then guiding them to make further observations through demonstrations , hands-on activities, or real-life explorations. Finally they are drawn, through interactive discussion, to integrate the new lesson with the prior knowledge or experience and thus expand their structure or understanding." In other words we're helping kids to learn and build on their knowledge through observing and interacting with the world around them!

Well, I could write all morning about this book and barely cover a fraction of it. However, it's time to get to homeschooling for the day. If you are curious be sure to leave me a comment or question. You can also read a review at and see more of what it's about at

Homeschoolers' Guide to the Galaxy is an associate site. See more books on homeschooling elementary at


Jonnia said...

This sounds so good! Thanks for the recommendation - I'm off to look for a copy. :o)

Lisa said...

I was browsing through your archives and found this post. I just put the book on my wishlist for later. It sounds great. I'd never heard of it before.
I have several of the What Your ____ Needs to Know books, and I basically find them offputting, for the same reasons you stated.
Thanks for the email, by the way. I'm a new follower of your blog.
My main homeschooling question at this point is what to do with the VERY needy 1 year old while I try to teach my son....

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