Saturday, December 8, 2012

Book Review :: Project-Based Homeschooling

There are only a handful of books that I can honestly say have changed my life. This book, Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners, in the form of bits and pieces from blog posts and e-mails with Lori, is one of those books. Before it was even published the ideas it contains shaped the way we homeschool. Lori has been a mentor in our homeschooling adventure for the past four years and her knowledge has been invaluable to me mentoring our young learners.

I am beyond excited to have all that knowledge in book form that can be held in my hands, highlighted, written in, dogeared and poured over while I sit on the couch with a hot cup of tea. While it has been amazing to read blog entries, and Lori's detailed comments on her blog and e-mails are above and beyond helpful, having this book really is a dream. 

In the book Lori goes beyond an educational philosophy and expands the idea of learning to a lifestyle. A lifestyle that begins by creating a family culture that places value on following passions, trusting children, encouraging problem solving, learning from mistakes, wondering, finding, and learning together where the parent is the mentor not the teacher. 

By integrating these ideals into our lives we have had the opportunity to dive deep into topics the kids may have only grazed in school... if they would have even been covered at all.

What I have found over the years is that not only do the kids have the freedom to pursue the topics they are truly passionate about, they also have the freedom to revisit topics of interest. Old projects are pulled out, blog entries are reviewed, books are read again, ideas are expanded on, new knowledge is layered on the foundation that remained. Along the way they learn skills in goal setting, research, refining ideas, collaboration, implementation, and so many more skills that go well beyond the topic of the moment. They are gaining skills that will serve them as they grow into adults who will become confident innovators, creative entrepreneurs, and leaders who think outside the box.

Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners gives detailed information on helping children identify interests that could become projects, setting up work spaces, tools and materials to have on hand, creating a family culture, helping children research and create representations of their ideas, how to be a mentor, and strategies for extending learning to deepen knowledge. It also covers important topics such as working with restless learners, teens and the all important finish, or helping children wrap up a project.

To go along with her book Lori also launched a new web site, Project Based Homeschooling, with a blog and growing forum for sharing ideas and getting feedback from Lori herself and other Project-Based Learning families.

Project-Based Homeschooling is now on sale over at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. A great chance to check out!!

Even if you are not a homeschooling family, or use a more traditional curriculum in your homeschool, this book can still be a valuable resource in helping your children follow passions and deepen their learning.

I can't thank Lori enough for taking the time to put all of her amazing knowledge into this book. And for all of the e-mails and posts over the years that have been so instrumental in helping to nurture the love of learning in my little people.

This review was first published on the now private To The Outskirts blog.

You can also read praise for Lori's book from Annie & KC!


  1. I'm going to have to write to you and pick your brain. I'm still struggling with hour to best encourage S. She just runs away at the very idea of focusing on anything.

    And thank you for the link up!

  2. I got this book for Christmas :) I still have to dive into it...soon.