homeschool for excellence

Homeschooling for Excellence
Colfax and Colfax

Today we have a book about homeschooling from the late 1980s. COVID-19 has changed the landscape of instruction for kids across the country. I can imagine that books on homeschooling, teaching, and the companion technologies might be more popular right now.

This book, which was probably fine for the late 1980s and early 90s, probably isn’t going to be helpful for our 2020 connected kids.

Other information might be outdated as well. There are some discussions of legal issues surrounding homeschooling, so that information could be suspect as well.

I have a feeling that the disruption of COVID-19 is going to be shedding light on topics from education, the workplace, health, etc. It is time to pay attention and really engage with our patrons so we are there to help.

It is a brave new world for instruction! Time to get your materials up to date for this new normal.


P.S. We featured another book on homeschooling a while back and I STILL have nightmares about the family on the cover. At least the family on this cover is more normal looking.

back cover

should you teach your children at home? alternative education

English instruction

creativity and outdoor activity

FAQ for parents

more FAQ



  1. Homeschool vs. going to school would have been a no win situation for me as a teenager. Go to school, get bullied, suffer anxiety attacks. Schooling at home, 50 more things for my mom to yell at me about, suffer meltdowns.

  2. They look a lot less scary than the previous cover family and authors too. Much less of the Stepford blondness.

    I am glad to hear all the boys turned out well — I have known a number of homeschooled kids for whom that isn’t the case, and not just the religious freak ones. I hope they’re happy as well as successful.

    While I’m sure their philosophy is sound, I am also certain that this book has no ideas on ow to get the Zoom meetings to work and make sure the little darlings aren’t on their cell phones all the time. And probably no good cocktail recipes, which my friends with kids inform me are very helpful these days.

    1. I feel like when I was a teen, back in the 80s, most of the homeschooling families I knew of were hippie-ish types or kind of progressive academic types.

      Now, it seems like they are mostly ultra right-wing people who are homeschooling almost entirely for religious reasons. Or religion-adjacent, like not wanting their kids exposed to sex ed or the knowledge that gay people exist. (That is seriously the main reason for an acquaintance of mine.)

      Maybe it’s just where I live!

      1. No, that’s how they are most places in the US. I had a friend who homeschooled in the late 90s-mid 00’s and finding materials and groups that weren’t fundamentalist was really hard for her. She occasionally had to put up with them for things like athletics and music activities and had to have many discussions with her sons. (Mostly, I gathered, of the “don’t make fun of them and don’t scare them with science” type. She writes romance novels so sex is fine with her.)

        there are more non-right-wing people now so you can find curricula that talk about evolution and gayness easier.

        I await your acquaintance’s children popping up on one of those “teen mom” shows. Except for the ones that move to San Francisco.

        1. I think my mother had similar problems. As such I had minimal group activities, though I do remember a visit to a blacksmith’s shop that also involved a woman with like 15+ children, who I think she had adopted. I was reprimanded on the quiet while there for calling “the little old lady who lived in a shoe” to a friend.

  3. I’m glad they at least attempted to deal with the two working parents and single parent realities that most families face. Very few families are two-parent, single-breadwinner anymore. But still, that question was not adequately addressed. It should have gotten its own chapter.

  4. Appendix 5 (State-by-State legal information) is almost certainly changed.

    As an aside, lists of famous homeschooled people that include those from the 1 room schoolhouse days are biased I feel. I suspect most of the early statesmen in the United States were homeschooled because there weren’t any others, especially in the southern States.

  5. i remember seeing this family on the news years ago, i think on the CBS morning news on Sunday or something like that. although back then i just remember the sons were really cute, as i was in that demographic back then.

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