on June 28, 2006
I haven't read this one yet, I'm now "retired" from homeschooling but I wore out my copies of Cathy Duffy's 2 curriculum manuals. She is excellent, thorough and well researched.
When talking to new homeschoolers, or parents considering it, I assign 2 authors as required reading.
Cathy Duffy and Mary Pride.
These two ladies wrote two very different curriculum consumer guides, with very different points of view.
I found consulting both gave me the best chance at buying curriculum sight unseen. This is often how homeschoolers have to buy supplies and books as few local bookstores or libraries have copies to look at in advance. We buy thru homeschool resource catalogs, curriculum fairs (busy, distracting, pressured) or online bookstores like Amazon.
Most homeschoolers don't have a lot of money for expensive mistakes, so one of the best things you can do, is to find, buy and mark up your own copies of their latest in the homeschool consumer guides.
Cathy tends to focus more on learning styles, and she has mild bias towards textbook/book type curriculum.
Mary says less about learning styles (or she used to) and focuses on alternatives such as unit studies, correspondence courses and other alternative homeschool methods and materials.
Both of them give their opinions. Mary uses a panel of homeschoolers to review products,
while Cathy concentrates on products she and her aquaintences are familiar with. It's a narrower grouping of curriculum items, but Cathy was often my final say on buying a book or not.
Bottom line, don't ignore either lady if you want to make the least mistakes in ordering books, courses or supplies. Together they are required reading for new homeschoolers.
on January 19, 2007
I am currently working through this AMAZING book by Cathy Duffy (although mine didnt come spiral bound which is sad because thats what they advertised). The first half of the book is charts and questions to help the reader figure out how they want to homeschool (traditional, Classic, Charlotte Mason method etc), the type of teacher(s) and learner(s) in your family and how much you can afford (both time and money). Then she goes on to give charts of the best curriculum out there to meet your needs and reviews each one in detail.
I totally recommend this book if you still need help (like Me!) figuring out what to do about homeschooling.