Posted on January 25, 2016
Book Review of Think Outside the Classroom
Since I wrote my reading list for 2016, I have finished reading the e-book of Kelly Crawford’s Think Outside the Classroom: A Practical Approach to Relaxed Homeschooling, and I thought I would post a book review here.
Kelly Crawford is a Christian wife and homeschooling mother of ten, who was previously an English and Drama teacher. She writes at Generation Cedar. I read the e-book version of Think Outside the Classroom, but it is also available as a paperback.
What is the book about?
Mrs. Crawford describes home education as a ‘lifestyle of learning’, where ‘everything in a day has teaching merit’. I have found this to be true in our own family, and this was also confirmed in a recent encouraging post by Sherry Hayes, entitled How We Create a Learning Atmosphere in Our Home.
Think Outside the Classroom has helpful ‘Ideas’ sections at the end of each chapter, with practical tips that can be put into practice in our own homeschool. A couple that I have already started doing are things that we had originally done when we started homeschooling, to encourage inquisitiveness and self-teaching, but I had somehow forgotten about over the past few years.
I was encouraged as someone who likes to have structure to our days, that the kind of relaxed homeschooling of which Kelly Crawford speaks is totally compatible with our way of doing things. In fact, reading this book has made me realise that maybe our style of homeschooling is a wee bit more relaxed than I had previously thought!
Who is this book for?
Think Outside the Classroom would be an excellent book for the parent who is considering or just starting home education, from the point of view that it helps you to think about what real education is, and what the goals of education should be in our families.
However, as someone who has already been homeschooling for over 8 years, I found Think Outside the Classroom just as helpful. It is written in such a way that it is easy to read in small ‘bites’, if that’s all you have time for, and it is not a long book. It has not only given me practical ideas which I shall be implementing to make our homeschool a bit more relaxed, but it has also served to remind me of the kind of homeschooling atmosphere that I would like to have in our home, with an emphasis on reading, real learning rather than ‘busywork’, and developing a love of learning in our children.
Something which Kelly Crawford says in Think Outside the Classroom which really resonated with what I had recently gleaned from re-reading Keeping Our Children’s Hearts, by Steve and Teri Maxwell, was that ‘no academic goal is worth losing the precious relationships with our children’. I want our children to be diligent, and pursue excellence in what they learn, but never at the expense of their hearts.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Think Outside the Classroom by Kelly Crawford, and I will be looking forward to putting into practice more of the ideas it has given me.
Are you currently reading a good book? What is it, and which home education books would you recommend for my future reading?
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