The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling – print

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The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling: A 25-Year Homeschool Veteran Reveals How to Teach Your Kids, Run Your Home and Overcome the Inevitable Challenges of the Homeschooling Life

The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling is packed full of Barbara Frank’s advice gleaned from over 20 years of homeschooling her four children, including one who has Down syndrome.

Readers will learn how they can:

  • Get past the “public school” way of thinking by customizing lessons for each child,
  • Boost their self-confidence by learning how to measure what their children have learned,
  • Reduce their stress level with “115 Organizing Tips for Homeschoolers,” and
  • Free themselves of attitudes and habits that make homeschooling harder than it has to be.

The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling will encourage current and prospective homeschooling parents alike.

The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling
Author: Barbara Frank ● Cardamom Publishers: 2008
ISBN: 978-0974218120 ● LCCN: 2008901494
Perfect-bound ● 6” x 9” ● 192 pages ● $5.95

About the Author

Barbara Frank is the mother of four homeschooled-from-birth young adults, the president of Cardamom Publishers and the author of several books including “Thriving in the 21st Century,” “The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling” and “Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers.”

Her work has appeared in publications including “Focus on the Family” magazine and “The Old Schoolhouse” magazine. She has a journalism degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Find her on the web at and

Reviews for The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling:

It is easy to start homeschooling with high energy, fresh ideas, engaging lesson plans and lots of really good curriculum and soon find our energy exhausted, our ideas stale, our lesson plans diverted, and our curriculum the wrong match for our particular learner. That could certainly prove to be discouraging and might even cause some to drop homeschooling all together. That would be unfortunate, because the truth is there is no perfect home school. Even though I know that already, how empowering it is for me to read Barbara Frank’s book The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling. Having graduated 2 children already I trust her advice is solid as I found her words reassuring. I shared some of her ideas recently with a group of moms from my local support group and one of the mom’s even went right to the bookstore to buy it. Some of the discussion points in 175+ page book include the overview of the basics, how to teach specific subjects, general teaching techniques, and overcoming obstacles. This guide is an excellent resource for both for those just starting out and the rest of us that need some good old-fashioned encouragement and empowerment. —

Ever wish you could sit down over a cup of coffee with a seasoned homeschooler, pick her brain for a few hours, and take notes on all the great advice she would pass on to you? Well, The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling, written by Christian mom and veteran home educator Barbara Frank, is just about the next best thing! This book is a goldmine of helpful information, encouragement, and practical tips on so many aspects of homeschooling–from essential tools that make learning (and teaching) more enjoyable, to dealing with various types of challenges, to preventing (or managing) burnout.

Chapters include:

Confessions of an Imperfect Homeschooler Homeschooling 101 Teaching Specific Subjects Teaching Techniques and Ideas Covering All the Bases Overcoming Obstacles to Homeschooling Coping with Changes and Challenges On the Home Front

In the chapter “Covering All the Bases,” Frank covers state standards and how to use a scope and sequence as an aid in customizing your own….She writes on page 92, “You know your children better than any so-called expert. You raised them, you know their strengths and their weaknesses, and you can tell when they’re interested in something and when they’re merely going through the motions. They can’t pull the wool over your eyes. This knowledge equips you to be their best teacher, and should empower you and give you confidence. No so-called expert, no high-falutin’ education professional and no bureaucrat can tell you how to educate your children. You need to take your knowledge of your children and consider it your Ph.D. in education. Be willing to make the decisions about what they should learn through homeschooling. Be ready to listen and act on their expressed desires of what they want to learn. You can’t pour knowledge into their heads, but you can facilitate their ability to learn.”

In the chapter “Overcoming Obstacles to Homeschooling,” Frank discusses what she terms “personality driven obstacles,” such as perfectionism, low confidence, and disorganization, and ways to minimize or overcome them. She deals with temptations, such as television watching, Internet chatting, and time on the telephone, and how those can easily and quickly become time wasters. She’s very careful to avoid sounding condemning, but she doesn’t shy away from speaking truth and giving sound instruction in time management. What homeschool mom doesn’t need that?

This is a book you can grab off the bookshelf over and over again, to re-read cover to cover or just to glean from a particular topic of interest. Frank clearly has a heart for homeschool moms, and the book often reads like a letter from a friend–one who has “been there” and knows the struggles and special challenges most of us face as we seek to faithfully teach and train up our children. For all these reasons, The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling is a great resource to encourage and aid home educators!

— Dawn Peterson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC

What would the perfect homeschooling book look like? Well…for me, it would clearly be written by an experienced homeschooler. It would also be written to me – meaning both that it would not be above my head and it would cover topics that are pertinent to me personally. It would also contain plenty of practical advice and concrete examples.

Gee…sounds like The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling.

…Honestly, this is the best I’ve read in a while.

–Eclectic Homeschool Online – Larissa McKay

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read for all Homeschooling parents! June 7, 2008

By Purplemommy

I am what most would consider a “veteran” homeschooler – 10 years into it, but I always love learning new things! I truly enjoyed Barbara’s book. The title is what caught my attention – I suffer from perfection-itis. If I can’t do something perfectly, I usually try and avoid it – bad habit and one I am trying to break. Like my favorite mentor, Flylady, says: “Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family” – well, after reading Barbara’s book, I realize that “Homeschooling done imperfectly still creates a bond with your children, is taylored to fit their needs, and is really probably better than the alternatives!” I especially was grateful for her insight into special needs homeschooling. Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your heart with us!

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!August 26, 2009

By Rachel

Have you thought about homeschooling your kids? Are you a grandparent who doesn’t want your grandkids homeschooled? Have you been homeschooling your kids, but are wondering whether or not to continue doing so? Do you wonder if you’re doing the right thing for your kids? If any of these apply to you or if you just wonder how in the world anyone could homeschool their kids……….this is the book for you.

The title of the book lives up to all it promises. The author writes in a friendly, highly positive, down-to-earth and encouraging style. Reading it is like sitting down for a cup of coffee with a good friend. A friend who knows what you’re going through. And she has. She has homeschooled her own children, including a “special needs” child with Downs Syndrome.

She covers: *Confessions of an Imperfect Homeschooler *Homeschooling 101 *Teaching Specific Subjects *Teaching Techniques and Ideas *Covering All the Bases *Overcoming Obstacles to Homeschooling *Coping with Changes and Challenges *On the Home Front

She makes it clear that you don’t have to be perfect….all you have to be is what your child needs. She gives the the tools, the confidence and the pep talks to do so. I wish I had found this book when I first started homeschooling, but her help is still invaluable even now.

Homeschooling is not right for everyone. But it is right for a LOT of people. Know yourself, be honest with what you want for your kids. There is not one right way to teach your kids (and the public school system doesn’t want you to realize that). Children are not cookie cutter kids and they deserve more than a cookie cutter education. It’s not easy some days. But it is very rewarding and a wonderful option. Read more ›

5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and encouraging September 23, 2008


I’m in my 5th year of homeschooling and I was looking for some encouragement to renew my enthusiasm about homeschooling and help me balance homeschooling and the rest of our lives better.

I found that and more in this book!

When I first got the book in the mail, I was a little worried looking at the table of contents that it was more for beginning homeschoolers and that I wouldn’t find much help in the book. I was *wrong*.

The author has lots of fresh ideas to make homeschooling work well no matter what obstacles we face. I thought many of her ideas were pure genius and she helped me look at things in a different way than I had before, which was very helpful.

She also helped me renew my commitment to homeschooling and she helped me remember all the great reasons I started this crazy journey to begin with – which is important to remember to avoid burn out.

I think this book is well worth the money and any homeschooler will find ideas and information inside that will be helpful to them – no matter how long they’ve been homeschooling!

5.0 out of 5 stars June 11, 2008

By G. L. Quetel

This is a book for anyone who thought that all homeschoolers were perfect and could do anything without even trying. I loved it, because this was our first year homeschooling ( middle, elementary, and preschool ), and I thought that I wasn’t “doing it right”.

The advice is easy, and she is in a word: realistic. You won’t feel like a failure on a bad day, or like you haven’t done enough on a good one. She talks to you, not at you, and she also doesn’t insult your intelligence if you don’t completely agree with her.

There’s a great section about special needs children and how reactions to them affect the entire family, and she does it by promoting empathy not manipulative guilt. In fact, the whole book is about making you feel guilt-free while educating your children, and raising your family ( no matter how little you get done in a day ).

This book is for the rest of us who don’t have families that look like, or act like the ones on the cover of homeschooling magazines. The overall message of the book is: nobody’s perfect.

5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book June 4, 2008

By E. Doty

I’m a newbie and slightly timid (will I do it right?) homeschooler. This book was very reassuring and helpful to me. The author has years and children’s worth of experience to share with those of us who are contemplating homeschooling or just starting out, and I’m sure even a veteran homeschooler would gain insights from her book. I even learned a few “Heloise-type” hints for household management that I haven’t known before! The book is easy to read and rich with information. The title says it all, great title, and the right audience should find this book easily.

… I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book,”The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling.” I read it all yesterday and recommended it to my homeschool co-op group.  I have three girls, 14, 11, & 9.  My oldest will be doing 9th grade work next year so reading up on all things high school has been my priority last and this summer.  Not all homeschool help books are interesting.  Yours was easy to read and gave help in a positive and encouraging way.  I laughed out loud relating to some areas of my own homeschool experiences over the last 10 years.  I was touched by your Reclaiming your child chapter and recommended your book to friends who have pulled older children out of public school and those with disabilities.


I recommend her guide to new homeschooling parents. It’s neither dryly theoretical nor boastfully self-congratulating. It’s practical, encouraging, and unintimidating, without

underestimating all that homeschooling involves. If you’re not new to homeschooling, but low on energy and enthusiasm for it, this guide is for you, too.

Carol Goudie Otherways Magazine