receive many requests/calls/emails/orders from homeschool moms wanting to
get this book in August, and start homeschooling their high schooler
in September!!! I feel so bad for them because they don't have a
to what this is all about! They think this book is going to tell them exactly what to do, what text/workbooks to get,
to do it, and then they can start!
not what this book is about! It's about a whole new
way of approaching education! It's about moms (and dads too,
becoming discipled to the Lord so that they can
disciple their children to the Lord!
~ true education ~ is NOT
merely doing "school at home"!
That's the world's
will only yield worldly results! If
you want more, if you want God's purposes accomplished in
your families, you have to find out HOW He wants you to do it!!!
then DO it! He
never intended for us to flounder and be fearful
through high school. Where
He calls us, He
us! And shows the way!
it takes some TIME to shed our old ways of thinking
(which are what cause the floundering and the fear) and discover
God's ways, and then start putting them into "rubber meets the
road" practice. In other words, you don't start this
month before you want to start walking in it! You
do yourself a HUGE favor by STARTING
don't take MY word for it! Cuz if Barb Shelton tells you that you
ought to get her book
what's it sound like? Yup, a sales
pitch! So with that thought in mind,
have compiled the thoughts of several
moms on this topic and share them here with
you'll hear what these very sincere homeschool
moms have to say about it!
no, I didn't pay them to say this!) Some are "short but
sweet"; others are "mini articles"! All of them
give very interesting and insightful perspectives that I could never
have given! (Cuz I wrote it!) (By the way, a few of them
allowed me to include their email addresses so that if you have further
questions, you can write to them!)
after reading the following thoughts from these 22 homeschooling moms, you
start feeling like maybe it's too late, I have some further thoughts to
share with you toward the bottom of the page, after the last
comment. (It's the part that starts "For any who are feeling
I wanted to let you know how much Senior High: A Home-Designed
Form+U+la has meant to me. I bought it last summer from CBD, not
knowing a thing about it or you, hoping it might give me some ideas
and answers. My oldest was starting high school, and even though I had
homeschooled for years I felt total confusion over what to do about
high school. No matter how much I prayed, nothing felt right. I know
now that God led me to purchase your book. It has totally changed me
and the direction of our homeschooling. I am so grateful for you and
the insights God has led you to share with others. I have such a peace
about homeschooling my children now, and I am filled with gratitude
toward you for starting
me on this amazing journey. Thank you so much! I also love your
Homeschool Oasis website, and I spend time there whenever I get the
chance. May God continue to bless you and your ministry.
~ Beth M., homeschooling
mom of 3 for 9 years, GA
I would just like to say "THANK YOU, THANK
YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!" for writing the Senior High: A Home-Designed
Form+U+la. You have become one of my heroes! Your book has freed
this family from the drudgery of "school." I cannot say THANK
YOU enough! ... I am sure that you get all kinds of
letters about your book, and I just wanted to add one more... I
have been homeschooling for 10 years, and this year we graduate our
first. When we first started homeschooling we didn't use
textbooks, and it was all unit and discovery learning ~ so much fun!!!
My kids learned so much! Then when our oldest hit sixth grade, I
was told by some well-meaning moms (who I greatly admired and still
do) that, now that my kids were older, we needed to do more "formal"
school. As you know, it was downhill from there and school
became a drudgery and something just to be done to pass a test. This
year as I watched my son struggle with the beginning of his sophomore
year (and thinking this kid is going to be a provider for a family
later on ~ and where are we going with all this?), I found your book.
I read the "jumpstart" section and "jumped" in. We sat down and
did some figuring, and changed the entire way we do school. My
daughter, who was halfway through her senior year and already enrolled
in college (which, after I read about
that in your book, is another story!) opted to stay where she was
since she was almost done. She told me that she wished that I
had found your book 4 years ago ~ so do I! But, God is
faithful, and the rest of my three children will be schooled the way
the Father wants them schooled. So again, I thank you for
allowing yourself to be used by the Lord. Tell your mom also,
from me, THANK YOU. (Barb: I DID!!!
) I pray that
you reap one hundred fold of the blessing that you've sown not only
into me, but into all those who come in contact with yourself, your
family and your materials.
~ Robin Clifford; homeschooling mom of 4
for 10 years; Waterloo, IN
Sr. High Form+U+la last year. I only wish I had discovered you and Marilyn Howshall a couple of years ago. My boys are 18 and 16
(fourth and third years of high school). I have slowly been trying to implement the
Lifestyle of Learning "techniques" in our home. I know it's not totally too late for them, but
~ and I am not dwelling on this ~ it could have been so much better had I discovered you sooner. I do also have a 10-year-old daughter and I'm really looking forward to her
high school years because of coming into this new way of
homeschooling. I'm looking forward to my Lifestyle of Learning transformation!!!
~ Angie W.;
a homeschooling mom
started to get the hebegebes about high school when my son was in 7th
grade; wondering about transcripts and all that. So I would recommend
that the book be geared to that time-frame. (Not to mention all the
other great benefits to be gleaned from it.)
C.; homeschooling mom of 1 for 10 years in
wish I had know about Form+U+la when my oldest was in 6th grade
(he's now finishing 9th). The last two years would have been much happier
for everyone. Now I can't wait to get started with next year's schooling. I'm so blessed that I found your book, and excited, too. My two older kids
~ ages 16 and 14 ~ have stopped asking if they can go to public school!
They've never been, they were just burnt out with "textbook
~ Carol; homeschooling mom
Read it while they are still little!
I bought it because my oldest is 11 (12 soon) We have about
one year before he will be ready to start High School, and I wanted to be
prepared ahead of time. I have 5 kids total and I now feel peace about
having all of then go into High School. So I'd say read Form+U+la at least a
year before you need to start using it.
Tina W.; homeschooling mom of 5 for 4 yrs; Independence, MO
her webpage at: http://butter-cup.homepage.com)
This last year we decided to "go all the way" and homeschool through high school with our 15-year-old daughter who has just finished her
sixth year of being homeschooled. (She'll be in 10th grade next year.) I can't express to you how much I am enjoying your book, which I purchased about a month ago. Next to the Bible, it's what I want to read all the time! I wish I would have had it a year
ago, when our daughter was 14. It has been SO helpful! I love your perspectives and insights on education, probably because it is so much of what I have felt and believed, as well. You have challenged me anew to rely more on the Holy Spirit than ever before and I am grateful for that!
Melinda Ecker; homeschooling mom of 2 for 6 years;
As the mother of a 9th grader-to-be that just purchased your book this spring, ideally I would have bought and read through it at least once when she began 7th grade. I tend to like to "have my ducks all in a row" so the perfect plan would seem to be to read through the book once, chew on it a little; then read through the book again during the child's 8th grade year, making notes and plans for the high school years.
As it is, I'm reading it leisurely this summer with the idea that I'll implement the record-keeping ideas ASAP. Our "mind-set" of education follows yours very closely so it makes it a little easier than if this was an entirely new concept for us. Hope this helps!
Bev Hansen; homeschooling mom in Oregon
I wish I had
Form+U+la before my first went through High School, I could have saved myself so much trouble and WORRY!
It's laid out beautifully. My second high schooler is entering her sophomore
year... all at home ... and I've got tons of credits already and am feeling SOOOOOOOOO relieved and SOOOO excited about the future, as compared to dreading the next years!!
I have the vision back and am so grateful. I've got 12 years ahead of me with the youngest children!
This past year I didn't know if I could make it through that 14th year, and now feel energized for the next dozen, should I live so long!
Thanks Barb and family!
~ Shar Boerema; homeschooling mom of 5 for 14 years; Michigan
From Donna P.
Form+U+la at our homeschool convention and have finally had a chance to
sit down and read it. I'm only able to read it in snatches here and there but it's
enough because then I can chew on what I've read so far.
mom mentioned that she has a relative that believes her oldest should now go into
the real world. After all, no one can teach high school except the experts.
I also get that from relatives. Homeschooling during the "elementary" years was
fine. After all, how much do you REALLY need to know to teach those grades?
;-D Isn't it amazing how people "change their
tactics"? First it was "socialization" but when that didn't pan out, it's how can you possibly teach these advanced
courses? You're not able. Well, I can't. So I learn along with them, if not a little ahead of them.
what point should a parent read this book? If you decide to homeschool, you might as
well prepare yourself and your family early on to take it all the way "through" high
school. People who have homeschooled for many years typically place their children in high school because they don't
feel prepared, or are under pressure from so many different sources. Those
who do so (give in and put their kids in high school) usually don't really
want to do so because that's the time kids need their parents the most for guidance and wisdom
~ even if they (the kids) don't realize it!
;-D So, as soon as one decides to homeschool is a good time to start looking into
reading this book, if not just borrowing it to "check things out."
Chances are it will convince parents that they really can do it
~ despite the "experts" who say they can't or shouldn't!
Barb's book takes all the panic out of it for me. That was the worst part, you
know. All the "requirements," the paper work,
etc. If they want to go to college, will they be ready, etc.?
After reading a good portion of this book, I'm not so concerned anymore.
My problem will be how am I going to fit in everything these kids want to know?
Notice I said want! ;-) Music to our
Pheneger; homeschooling mom of 3 for 3 years, in Indiana
her web page at http://sites.netscape.net/phenpharms/homepage
I would say
that Form+U+la should be read when their oldest is in 5th grade, 6th at the latest. This is when
most people are deciding on their direction for Middle School, as a preparation
for High School. It gives them time to transition to the Form+U+la
approach High School with a completely different mindset. I got my book when I
my son was entering 6th, I was a basket case with worry over the future. I had
had a clear vision for elementary and felt completely overwhelmed by
Middle School and High School. Barb's book gave me vision and excitement over the
Maybe I am slower than average but there is so much mindset changing about what
High School is and so many wonderful ideas in Form+U+la that it takes at least a
year or two just to digest it all. (I am still getting so much out of it
two years later.) When I first read it I would say "Wow Barb has so many great
ideas!" Now that I am changing, the Lord is giving ME some great ideas that are
tailor-made for my own children. I think if I had waited until High
School to get it, I would not have had the time to implement my own plan. This is why I
LOVE Barb and her book so much. Her joy is in freeing us to follow the
Lord's plan for us, not squishing our children into her plan. I still have some
butterflies at times but at least now they don't send me tossing to and fro on
the curriculum sea.
For those with younger children, Barb's Jumpstart Navigator and
Booklet Building Book are great. Now, I wish I had had those from the beginning,
like from the time they were born!
~ Karen; homeschooling mom of 2 in Florida
I bought the book only about a month
ago ~ after our homeschool convention. I took a week off of doing anything else in my life, so I could read and concentrate on this book.
This was necessary for me to do because of my learning style. I am now in the process
of "re-digesting" the book. It has truly been a life changing experience for
me. Like so many others, I too wish I had read this book earlier. I think this book would
be very beneficial any homeschooler. The reason for this is because Barb puts so
much emphasis on "seeking God." In fact, I have been
reading it like a devotional! If I had read ~ and received
~ the message of
this book when my children were younger, I truly believe that they would have enjoyed
school more, and we would probably be farther a long in our studies. The forms
provided in this book could easily be adapted to any child's age, provided they
can read and write. I believe that my daughter would much rather have had this
type of writing and reporting than what we have been doing in the past.
you, Barb, for your obedience to the Lord in writing this book. It truly is a
blessing to those who read it. I am sure it was a difficult task, but "great will be your
reward in Heaven" for helping all of us. I would also like to say that I almost wish I had a case of them in my home
because I have 'sold' the book to three people in the last week.
Boni; a homeschooling mom in Florida
am enjoying this book soooooo much! Okay, so I got my book a
little late... I only learned of it a few months ago, and my oldest
just graduated this June. However, I have six following her. One is
11th grade and another just starting 9th. The other four range between
5 and 11years old. I didn't exactly dread teaching high school,
but wondered if I could keep the excitement and create a love of
learning for each one of them... before I hit BURN-OUT. That's
what I feared most because I battled "BURN OUT" for two
years before this last year.
am SO PUMPED on the wisdom, the hands on "practical-ness,"
and the encouragement I receive from Barb's book, that I bought it for
my best friend whose oldest is just turning 12, and next year is going
to be their third year of homeschooling. Before I ordered the book for
her, I'd read parts of "Out of Fear and Into Freedom."
She often came to tears; this spoke to her heart in so many ways, and
she hasn't even given a thought to high school yet (not much anyway).
So, she is now devouring this book, and says the same things I feel:
This book gives you a vision or hunger or both for seeking God,
stirring up those embers in our hearts, not just for
"academics" but what do we really want to impart or plant in
the hearts of our children. Barb's book reminds me of a scripture in
Malachi 4:6 "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the
children, and the heart of the children to their fathers."
It's our hearts that God is after. And for me, this book has just been
another part of what God has used to direct my heart back to Him and
His wisdom!!! If I'm very happy, content, and blessed serving
this great and wonderful King who sets me free even daily from fears
and the cares of this world... well, my children will be excited
to get to know that God!
The other side of that coin is just as true (as it use to be in my
life) if I'm "burned out" (homeschool was easy to blame)
think what that phrase says, "burned out" - NO longer
burning, aflame, on fire, nor zealous" and if I'm complaining or
grumbling in my heart about the cards God has dealt me, or whining
that this is just too much, God (sounds like some Israelites I knew in
the wilderness a couple thousand years ago). Is this the life, the way
and the "god" that I want to introduce my children too?
Guess what? They will have a hard time being excited about meeting a
hard task master like that. BUT ~ this is what is so wonderful about
the heart of Barb's book. The Holy Spirit began stirring and blowing
on my heart in this area of giving to my children! And Barb's
encouragement filled me with hope. (Isaiah 42:3 or Matt. 12:20) ~
"A bruised reed He will not break, and smoldering wick He will
not snuff out."
when do I need this hope, when would be a good time to get stirred up
to joyfully do what God has set before me? How about NOW. I love that
word...NOW or TODAY. "NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is
the day of salvation." (II Cor.6:2) "TODAY if you will
hear His voice..." (Heb.3:15, 4:7) "Jesus Christ the
same yesterday, and TODAY, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
Okay, okay... I know I'm getting carried away. I just noticed
recently that God likes those terms too... "TODAY" and
"NOW." He's so current and daily! How wonderful!
~ Charisse; homeschooling mom of 7; WA
homeschooling 4 years ago at a homeschool curriculum fair. I had hoped it would help me with
my soon-to-be-ninth grader, but since I was so "new" at homeschooling
(read that as NERVOUS!!!), I took other homeschoolers' advice who were
doing various pre-packaged curriculums. My kids HATED
homeschooling! The bad taste is STILL in their mouths. It took me
until this last year to get it "in my head" that the Lifestyle of
Learning ways of homeschooling were better. It it STILL makes be a bit nervous, <G> but with God's leading, it is
easier to bear!
My oldest totally rebelled against homeschooling to the point my
husband enrolled him in public school this last year and he will continue there. (ARGH!!!!!!)
But some things just can't be "undone" and I have to go from
So, in my case, it took 3 years of learning and living the message to get comfortable
enough to actually USE the book. I have found such freedom!
We will be letting God lead HOW we use "curriculum" instead of the curriculum leading
then, in my VERY humble opinion, ya GOTTA read the book as early on as
Terri; a homeschooling mom
I just got my book at the beginning of this month from our
homeschool convention. I must say that I went back 4-5 times and picked it up, looked
through, and put it down again. Finally, my husband said that I might as well
get it. ;-) Our oldest is 12. I like to be prepared and not have things
like high school, especially, sneak up on me... I have not finished the
book, yet... it isn't a quick-read, but I am loving every minute!!
I am getting excited about homeschooling again! We have
homeschooled for 4 years now and I was getting a little sick of things as they were. God has led us on our own
path towards a Lifestyle of Learning-type lifestyle and then we received Marilyn's books
~ and I've visited Barb's website OFTEN!
In soooo many ways, this is not JUST a
high school book. I have been able to see the big picture and am excited
about finding God's long-term plans for all of our children. Being able to
see the vision of high school in a relaxing atmosphere, has put even grade
school into a better perspective. There is no great rush to get the right
amount of info into their little heads before they enter high school.
Being able to see the Graduation results we want can be broken
down into bite-sized pieces, not just for the preceding 4 years, but all
the way down to where each child is right now. I can see now where I want
some foundations for the future studies in high school. My recommendation would be to read this book along with any other
homeschooling info books. The basics and the long-term vision are both
described with much needed realistic perspective.
Thank you, Barb, for the effort you've put into making this book a picture of a wonderful family life - and for keeping the focus on Jesus and
how much God is just waiting to lavish us with His blessings!!
after Ronnie finished reading the book, she added this:) Whew!! I just finished reading the
humongo Form+U+La book!! I feel sort of like I've walked out of the
Twilight Zone after being absorbed by everything for the last 3 weeks. My mind is just swimming with all the
possibilities!! The excitement is sort of doing a slow bubble, kind of like the fizz from a great
root beer float. (Hee-hee!)
I did want to thank you, Barb!!
Thank you for giving so much time and effort to put sooooo much info into one place!
WOW! You said somewhere in your book that books are just tools in our hands and that you have given a sort of smorgasbord for us to glean from. Thanks for giving us the credit to sift through and let the Holy Spirit do His thing in our homes!
I have loved the Lifestyle of Learning info that I have learned in the last year. God has already been working on my
husband and me, and we are finally understanding where our family needs to be for peace and freedom.
Honey to David for 13 years; Homeschooling mom of 4; KS
Form+U+la on the "must have ASAP" shelf with a couple of other resources I own. Ideally the homeschooling mother and/or father
would read this book several times while their children are young, so they could perhaps avoid the entire "jump-in-burn-out" cycle and really
ENJOY more of the younger years of homeschooling. Failing that, reading it by the time the oldest child reaches age 11 or 12 would
be optimal, to help smooth out the middle-school years and to enter the high-school years
with confidence and eagerness... and without our old enemy,
Barb's book(s) have been wonderful, encouraging, inspiring, and all-around helpful for our oldest child, but I can see even
more benefits coming up with our two younger sons, since the ideas in Form+U+la have had some time to sink in and I've had the time to
adapt the framework to our own family. I'd encourage parents to buy and read this book as early as they can, and to have their older children
read it with them!
Amy Beckel; homeschooling mom in WA
is not just a "side book", but is a "reference" book for the high school years. Read it BEFORE you have
high schoolers. I would recommend reading it no matter what age your children
are ~ it will give you direction. If you have junior high-age children,
it will be a GREAT help; you can use a lot of it to get them on the road to a
lifestyle of learning in high school. (By the way, I'm even talking about the
old Form+U+la! :-) But I'm giving myself the new one
for Christmas!! :-)
If I could convince everyone I know who is
homeschooling to read this book, I would! In my humble
opinion, anyone who is even thinking about homeschooling through high school
~ no matter what age your child(ren) is/are ~ get it, and read
I also highly recommend the articles on
Barb's website about the season of renewing the mind. I was doing it before I even knew that's what it was!
:-) The Lord just led me to some books which I read, some scripture which I'm
studying, then I re-read the part in the Form+U+la book about the
season. I'm convinced every homeschooler ~ actually, every
CHRISTIAN ~ should go through this season. I will tell you that, as I allow the Lord to show me how to renew my mind to
His Word and ways, most of the fear and concern about homeschooling high school is
All that to say, PLEASE
if you are even considering homeschooling through high school, read the
Form+U+la book and make a start on your season of renewing the
mind. It will touch a lot more in your life than homeschooling your children.
I'm also going to put another plug in for the price of
Form+U+la... Frankly, I think Barb doesn't
charge enough for her books (don't get any ideas, girlfriend!) ~ especially
Form+U+la. There is no way to calculate the value in dollars of the
information and inspiration in that book! You will never
regret the money you spent on it. I promise. The amount of time,
mental and spiritual energy it will save you ~ not to mention money needlessly spent on things that do not
profit ~ will FAR outweigh the price of the book!
Cindy, (who likes to call herself "the resident Barb-groupie"!)
I have 5 children ages 16 down to 7.
I wish I had heard about you and Wisdom's Way of Learning a long time before this. I just learned of all this
from a woman in our church only two weeks ago, and I just can't read enough
of your resources. ... I have homeschooled for 10 years now but had grown
to hate it. I felt trapped because I wanted to give up but couldn't turn my
back on what the Lord had asked me to do. Yet, I knew I was failing miserably. I have hope again because of the insight you and Marilyn Howshall
have given me. I am excited that the Lord has stepped in to lift me just
when I felt I would sink. Thank you for sharing so openly.
few months later this mom said:) I wish that I had started reading
Form+U+la while my children were all still in grade school. I think it should be read at the latest before the child enters 6th grade. Before that it could be read slowly and over and over again to allow the Lord to show you a plan and to start moving in that direction. My oldest was 16 and in the middle of 9th
grade when I started reading it. We are using many things from the book
for him, and we are managing, but I do believe my other four children under him will benefit much more.
Vicky French; homeschooling mom of 5 for 10 years; NY
Former Homeschooled Girl
My 20-year-old daughter was looking through
the new (1999) version of your book for the first time today, and she
said "Mom this book is great! This could be used for any age
kid." I laughed and she asked "what?" I told her that I had mentioned that to you already and that I tell all of the parents I do counseling with the same thing.
:-) Praise God! It was great to have confirmation from a former
homeschooler who is not the teacher.
Pamela in Hawaii
reading Senior High Form+U+la, I feel like a light has been
turned on! It had never occurred to me that two credits in science
could be spread out over the four years! Wow!!! It is such a new way
of thinking that it takes a while to renew your mind. I am suggesting
to all of my friends to start reading it when their children enter 6th
or 7th grade. We are just now entering the "High School
Years" and I feel much more confident about this journey.
Cyndi Clack; Homeschooling Mom of 8 for 9 years; SC.
From Donna H.
have heard many homeschool moms say something like
"This is a book I have on my list to buy" or "when my kids get to high school I'll read this
First, let me say that Form+U+la is the FOUNDATION book for
homeschooling through high school, and NOT just one nice option among many! Every
homeschooler should read this one first - years before high school - in order to be prepared; to
have time to go through the season of reeducation; to get out of that "school at home" mentality and past the curriculum craze that
we all have to go through.
Whenever anyone asks me for help with beginning to homeschool, the very first book I
refer them to is the Guide-a-log. (And if they're on the Internet,
they can go to Barb's new website!) However, now that the new Form+U+la is out and
much of the material is in there also, I suggest it instead. Barb
has now come out with A
Personal Guided Tour Through Form+U+la for Pre-Highschoolers
especially for those with very young children; however if they're
getting to be 11 or 12, you'll just want to read the whole thing!
It is not a book
you will buy ~ read ~ and resell. It should be on your shelf for reference
all through your years of homeschooling.
Heck; homeschooling mom of 2; OR
Form+U+la when my oldest daughter was in seventh grade (our
second year of
homeschooling). Since I was still new to homeschooling, it was rather
mind-boggling. A dear friend had implemented portions of it for her
daughter and encouraged me to re-read it later on. I did so and grasped it!
Shortly after that I was blessed to be able to attend every
one of your workshops at a conference in Spokane, Washington. I went home and read
through Form+U+la again and was hooked! I review it yearly now and glean it
periodically whenever I need a boost! I feel really blessed to have had the
advice to read it before we reached the high school years.
It gave me (and
allowed God) time to adjust and readjust my thinking and my heart."
Trish N., homeschooling Mama of 3 for 7 years, Currently in CO
the '96 edition of Barb's Form+U+la book last year then found out she came out with a new
edition so sold the old and bought the new. My son is 13 (8th grade).
After a year of reading and thinking, I think I have finally put together
a system and notebook that will work based on Barb's model. I was so
excited about it I told all my friends and showed a few my notebook with
the "Master Framework," "Class Content
Sheets," and "Record of Work Done" sheets. I got funny looks from some who, while ever polite, were
probably balking inside about recording hours for taking walks and putting
together telescopes. OH WELL! Others were as excited as I and will be
following my/Barb's example to keep track of High school.
I am so glad to have a system in place that will not bind us to
textbooks and can change to suit our lifestyle. I was glad to have a
model to work from and especially glad I started to think about all this
before he was of high school age. He will be the most likely to be
college bound, and to be able to have the freedom of Wisdom's
Way of Learning (which
is the core book of the Lifestyle of Learning message)
with a record keeping system is ideal.
a homeschooling mom in West Virginia