My review of The Homeschool Handbook magazine is based on the first five issues of my subscription: the premiere issue, Nov/Dec 2010, Jan/Feb 2011, Mar/Apr 2011, and May/Jun 2011. The content of every issue is divided into ten categories: Lifestyle, Solutions, Curriculum, Organization, Christian Corner, Special Features, Health & Hearth, Extra Activities, Columns, and Resources.
Why should I pay for a homeschool magazine when there are so many free educational resources online?
Simple – trying to go through all those resources can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out, but this magazine brings together the best of those resources, saving you valuable time. Even if you have been homeschooling for years, The Homeschool Handbook will keep you up to date on all the latest changes in the homeschool community.
What if I’m not Christian, and/or I’m homeschooling for reasons other than religious beliefs?
You could always skip Christian Corner, but I’ve never found it to be proselytizing. I have found that section to have some nice ideas for instilling a strong moral foundation within any curriculum, even if you are not Christian.
How much of the content is advertising?
There are not very many ads in any of the issues, and the ones that they do have are extremely relevant to homeschooling…and – unlike many other magazines – the prices of the products highlighted are quite reasonable. (Or, you could just ignore the ads.)
What sets this magazine apart from other homeschool resources?
The content of the magazine issues are just as diverse as the homeschool community. The Lifestyle section covers issues that all homeschoolers can relate to, such as juggling busy schedules, holding discussions with public school parents, and homeschool legislation. Solutions addresses testing options, “socialization,” and teaching methods. Curriculum and Organization are pretty self-explanatory. Special Features usually covers learning challenges and other special needs. Health & Hearth has great safety tips and tasty recipes. Extra Activities has fabulous craft projects that the whole family can have fun making, and Columns ranges from expert advice to product spotlights to various reviews (books, websites, etc). Last but not least, Resources is a detailed index listing the source of every single piece of information presented in each issue. The photography throughout every magazine adds a pleasant touch without being distracting.
The Homeschool Handbook is one of the most thorough homeschool resources that I’ve ever encountered. If you happen to be an avid reader of Linda Dobson or E.D. Hirsch Jr., or a member of HSDLA, I think you will also enjoy this magazine. If you are interested, you can find out more at http://www.thehomeschoolhandbook.com/home.html