Book Review: Project-Based Homeschooling

Project-Based Homeschooling

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Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners by Lori Pickert was a wonderfully inspiring book that I have added to my homeschooling cannon alongside Free to Learn and Home Grown. She brings the perspective of an early education “wizard” turned homeschooling mother to her project-based homeschooling approach, which she describes through a weaving of learning foundation, concrete examples, and colorful suggestions.

In a nutshell, project-based learning is supporting your child in diving deep in an interest through a process of self-directed planning, creation of artistic work, and self-evaluation. In action, it looks a great deal like what I describe in my new Sage Learning  book (coming soon!), with a heavy emphasis on the environment as a facilitator of valuable work, self-direction, unbusying (holding the freedom and time for quality pursuits), and process-over-product with lots of layering.

I loved the book and highly recommend it but I will share a couple criticisms (this is a book review, after all, you need hi’s and low’s). She emphasizes art as the primary vehicle for project work and while I do value artistic work, I definitely wouldn’t call it our primary learning modality. This is the learning style of many people, though not everyone. She also seems to view being home and working in solitude at your desk as the full-time job, if you will, of childhood. Don’t get me wrong, she absolutely discusses the value of cooperative group learning (yay mixed age shout outs!), pretend play, and “field trips,” but they are presented more as a sometimes food to compliment the consistent diet of fine motor creation. Lastly, she frequently describes the role of the parent as documentarian, journaling each child’s thoughts, plans, progress, ideas, etc. I kept waiting for her to circle back to explicitly state the value of this but never really felt satisfied on that front. I’m going to live a rich and fulfilling life, working on my projects, in connection with my children, not strictly as documentarian.

Overall, I highly recommend the book! It’s an easy and enjoyable read that definitely adds to your homeschooling education. Read a copy and share what you think below!

Now head on over to the Sage Parenting Tribe, search the book title and comment to join the discussion! Any a-ha moments with enthusiastic nodding or side eye as you digested something unsavory? Let’s chat!

Next month, we dive into Love, Learn, Live. So grab your copy, settle into a good bedtime cuddle, and get reading.

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