Monday, September 27, 2010

Product Review-The League of Homeschool All-Stars

The League of Homeschool All-Starss, Bentley Boyd, 2009, Williamsburg VA: Chester Comix, ISBN-10: 1933122404, ISBN-13: 978-1933122403, 32 pages

Medium: Hardcover book

Age/Grade: 9-12/4-7

Secular/Religious: Inclusive-contains references to some of the featured personalities' religious beliefs as part of their biography where appropriate, without proselytizing

Rating: ****

* I hate it
** I don’t like it
*** It’s about average
**** I like it
***** I love it

I purchased The League of Homeschool All-Stars along with the Chester Comix series of historical comic books by the same author, as it looked like it might be an interesting read. I thought my children might enjoy reading about famous people who were themselves home-schooled.

The book is a collection of short (one page) biographies of twenty-two (22) famous people whose education was primarily completed at home. It is divided into several chapters: science, the arts, politics, and business, with several examples of homeschoolers who have made significant contributions in each area. Some of the people included are Ansel Adams, George Washington Carver, Thomas Edison, Woodrow Wilson,Charlotte Mason,and one of my favorites, Beatrix Potter.

The biographies are not detailed enough to provide a real history lesson of each person, but rather are designed to inspire home educated children to excel, and provide role models for them. In this, it succeeds reasonably well.

The drawings are attractive, if busy, and colorful, while the text gives key points of each character's life. I like the time line at the top of each page that not only tells when each person was born, but includes major political events that occurred around the same time-it helps to put things in some historical perspective. I also like that this book includes more modern people like Venus and Serena Williams, as well as more historical personages.

I wouldn't recommend this book for use as a lesson in itself, but I think it would be of interest to older elementary and middle school aged home-schooled students as an interesting read. I suppose that it might be an interesting adjunct to other more traditional resources when studying the various included historical figures, as a kind of side bar. It certainly has some inspirational value for the home educated child.

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