The following is my review on HomeSchooling The Rebel, Part Two, by Deborah Wueler, Senior Editor of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.
Written in answer to the multitude of letters received in response to HomeSchooling the Rebel, Part One, this sequel contains an extensive and intriguing update on how the author's parenting solutions played out over time.
The introduction starts of with a BANG as Mrs. Wueler puts words to the feelings that she and other parents of “rebels” feel but are afraid to say. She wrote: “These are the types of children that aren't supposed to belong to good Christian homeschool families...We train them up in the way they should go and they go the opposite direction-on purpose and with fury.”
I found this edition of HomeSchooling the Rebel, to be even more helpful than Part One as it flooded the page with numerous examples of how to help a willful or distractable child stay on track. In addition, the reader is able to “hear” straight from the horse's mouth-the grown up rebel himself-which of his mom's ideas worked and which didn't work to provide the needed discipline.
One idea the “rebel” said helped him to concentrate on school work or assigned chores was the use of an MP3 player loaded with music or an audio book. This helped him to block out distractions. His parents also made re-usable checklists with step-by-step instructions for regular responsibilities. When the child did his bookwork, they secluded him in a quiet room away from the rest of the family. The “rebel” seemed to think that it really helped him.
As for the author, she stressed to the readers the importance of showing the offending child a vision of how his or her “negative” personality traits can be directed toward positive ends. I really liked that idea and have used it myself for children with A.D.H.D. or O.D.D. This approach gives hope to a child who might otherwise suffer from depression due to perceived failures.
The author also encouraged parents of children like this to set the tone of the home by being pro-active in managing the child's schedule and diet to maintain even blood sugar levels and happier moods. The parents should also actively search for ways to intentionally show love and kindness to the child, thus softening the child's spirit toward them and vice-versa.
This reviewer only found one aspect of the book that might be difficult to apply for many homeschooled families who often live on restrictive budgets because of having only one income.
The suggestion was made that parents find respite care for the challenging child, allowing both the parents and the child to have a break from the stress of interpersonal struggle. It is an excellent idea that would extend to the child practice time being obedient to the authority of another person of good influence but in some cases, it may be improbable or even yet, nigh to impossible for some families to afford for the length of time necessary. Nonetheless, homeschooling families are just the type to be able to find a way to make it work via co-operatives or church associations.
Other than the content of the book, the other positive elements relate to the layout. Both HomeSchooling the Rebel, Parts One and Two are written in a larger font with pop-out boxes holding quips and quotes from the text. This made it easier to read and faster from which to learn.
Though both books were excellent, HomeSchooling the Rebel, Part Two receives five stars for readability, layout, spiritual/other helpful content, and anecdotal humor. This reviewer says she has found yet another book by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine that parents who homeschool and/or have special needs children can't do without!
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