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One-to-One, A Practical Guide to Learning At Home Ages 0-11 (revised 2nd edition) -
Once again, a customer  introduced us to a marvelous book. I asked her if she'd write a review of the book for us and sent away for a copy. As soon as One-to-One came in, I flipped through its pages. The comics written and drawn by the author's children caught my eye right away and soon my children and I were captivated. I decided I had to read this book myself before I sent it off to be reviewed!

I enjoyed it immensely. Unlike our reviewer, we haven't followed the “Waldorf” approach to homeschooling, so I was less aware of its influence on the book. The author has some very good ideas about learning and has combined them with practical applications. Since the book was written and published by a British author living in France, there are some European influences (such as calling Math, “Maths,”) which made the book more interesting for me.

Well, here's Lisa's review!:

Gareth Lewis' book One-to-One, A Practical Guide to Learning At Home Ages 0-11 is a comprehensive outline of education for homeschooling children and is full of practical suggestions for helping children who are in traditional schools learn at home evenings and weekends. One suggestion for parents of public-schooled children is to lobby the teacher for no homework and if that does not work, to do the homework yourself, as the child needs to rest and follow his own interests when not in school. This book is written from a Waldorf perspective, and he places arts, cooking, music and exploring the natural world on par with reading, math, writing, foreign languages and history during the primary years. The directions for gardening, crafts, and vegetarian cookery are the most clear, easy to follow and thorough I have ever seen. The book is a family project, with Mr. Lewis' wife, Lin, writing the cooking and crafts sections and their three children providing the illustrations. Peppered throughout the book are Mr. Lewis' thoughts on the value of play, appropriate toys, television and computer use and institutional schooling based upon his perspective as a math teacher in both public and private schools and as a homeschooling father. He writes, "School can never be flexible enough to meet the real needs of each child. The frustration and boredom children inevitably experience in school has a negative impact on their ability to learn... everyone knows a young child learns best in a one-to-one situation."

John Taylor Gatto, author of Dumbing Us Down says: "One-to-One is far more than a splendid How-To guide, although it will repay its modest cost ten times over on that score; from its graceful plainspeak language and its intelligently inventive assemblage of good ideas you will be able to induct a philosophy of a better life -- for yourself as well as your children. This is a gem."

Author's Note: I wrote One-to-One over the period from 1997 to 2001. It was a collaborative effort based upon extensive discussions with my children in which they gave their opinions about the various things that Lin and I had done with them over the years. The result is, I hope, an honest attempt to describe the things that worked and how to avoid the things that don't work. - Gareth Lewis

About the Illustrators: One-to-One is illustrated with 344 line drawings by the author's children, Bethan, Wendy and Samuel. They are self-taught artists - putting into practice the principle laid out in the book, that given time and a certain amount of encouragement, children (and adults) are capable of learning without being subjected to the rigours of the school system.

Unqualified Education: A Practical Guide to Learning at Home Ages 11-18 is the follow-up to One-to-One.

Paper, 318 pages Table of Contents

#0560 $24.99 Currently out of stock.


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