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And the Skylark Sings with Me: Adventures in Homeschooling and Community-Based Education Paperback – 1 Sep 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (1 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865714010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865714014
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 653,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

David Albert is a storyteller, writer, and Senior Planner and Policy Analyst with the Washington State Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, and a contributor to Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope (New Society, 2002).


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Format: Paperback
David Albert's aim is "to be the strongest possible advocate for my children and for ensuring their learning needs are met in the best possible fashion". You really have to understand what he means by "learning needs". Not the prevailing orthodoxy: 'you must learn this now because the national curriculum says so - we'll try to make it fun/bearable/worth-your-while" By learning needs,he means the child's innate essential need to make sense of his/her physical,linguistic,social world. What it comprises, how it is organised, what the rules are, what you can and can't do, what you can create with what you've discovered. (Please read Joseph Pearce's Magical Cild and Evolution's End for a profound, disturbing, urgently-needs-to-be-read perspective on how children learn ) The kind of learning that both Albert and Pearce are talking about stems from the child, is qualitatively different from externally imposed learning and all that it needs is a sensitive adult capable of listening,responding and creating or indicating an extended domain of possibility.
David Albert and his partner, Ellen did this for their children. They were there not just to acknowledge and respect their children's autonomy in learning and provide knowledge resources, they also made the radical assumption that children should have access to the "best the world's cultures have to offer". Instead of the standard 'Do your piano practice/reading/times tables because we say so and you will thank us for it one day' they gave 'I'd like to give you a glimpse of this astounding world of music...literature... science... mathematics....
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Format: Paperback
Thank goodness we found this book. While it is autobiographical, it inspired so many ideas within us of how to provide a wealth of opportunities for our children to grow educationally, socially and spiritually.
David Albert shares his experiences with a gentle passion and honesty, born out of the knowledge that home education can be made into a far richer and more rewarding alternative to standard education for whole families and the whole community.
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Format: Paperback
This is such a fabulous book! I have just finished reading it, and know I will read it again soon.
Everything this man writes makes sense and the adventure he and his family go through, is simply inspiring.
Reading it gave me inspiration, hope and filled me with excitment for our homeschooling future.
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Format: Paperback
I was prepared to love this book - I love the idea of getting an education in the community - but somehow this book left me uninspired. I was expecting to be motivated on to new experiences - but the whole thing struck me as a little beyond the average family,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x93528c78) out of 5 stars 20 reviews
61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x933c10f0) out of 5 stars And the Skylark Sings with Ali 5 July 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A lot of people think this is a very good book, and it does have some useful things to say about the process of homeschooling. However, we (a parent and 13-year-old) were not enthralled with it and write this review for others out there like us. The adult reader was not able to finish this book. The teenage reader finished it but had similar objections: 1) It is very politically correct. 2) It is imbued with the romantic notion that children are born perfect and remain that way unless we corrupt them with our preconceptions and negative influences. We generally avoid books like this, and if there are other curmudgeons out there like us, be forewarned. 3) We can bear only so many anecdotes about any given child's precocious words and deeds, or lists of things she has done and learned about that we apparently have not. 4) The skylark does not seem to sing nearly so much with the younger daughter, and we hope she is going to get her own book someday. 5) We disagree strongly with some of the author's views, for example, the blanket criticism of early reading. The teen reviewer was a self-motivated and passionate early reader, and has never regretted it. 6) The adult reviewer is not happy to have paid this much for a book that has not been adequately edited or proofread.
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x933c1360) out of 5 stars Very disappointing 30 July 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found And the Skylark Sings with Me to be very disappointing. Several fellow homeschoolers, as well as rave reviews in homeschooling magazines, encouraged me to read this book. First of all, I do not care for Albert's style of writing. It is incredibly self-congratulatory. Second, the near absence of a voice to the children's mother is very surprising. Also, I find it interesting that most of the book is about his daughter doing precocious things, and then the book ends when she is about 12. He continues to homeschool, but perhaps because playing a violin at age 12 doesn't seem that remarkable, he felt it was a good time to write a book. The best thing that I could glean from this book was to not be shy in using resources in the community to help your children. Since most homeschoolers I know already do this, this book is not worth that measly bit of advice. A far better book is Family Matter: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense by David Guterson.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x933bbce4) out of 5 stars Extraordinarily Helpful, Inspiring, And Friendly! 4 Jan. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after hearing the author give a talk to a homeschooling group. His talk was one of the most inspiring I have ever heard in my years of homeschooling, and I've heard many!
But I've often been disappointed by books of authors I've heard speak. Not this time! The voice of this book -- friendly, insightful, occasionally self-deprecating, commonsensical, thoughtful, and downright helpful -- is the same voice I heard at the talk. I couldn't put it down, and read it in one sitting. I own many homeschooling books. Usually, I read them once and then they sit on my shelf. Not this one though. I'll go back to this one for ideas and inspiration, though if I start loaning it to friends, I might never get it back.
David also has a wonderful column in Home Education Magazine. If your group is planning a gathering any time soon, invite him as a speaker. You will come away changed, and your family (and homeschooling group) will come away with new ideas and new perspectives that will re-energize you and re-ignite your passion in the homeschooling adventure.
28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x933bd648) out of 5 stars Disappointed 24 May 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a new homeschooler, I was looking forward to this much vaunted book. I was disappointed to find that it had little to offer me in terms of either inspiration or practical advice. As a beautiful tribute from a father to an extraordinary daughter, perhaps it has merit. But the "definitive work on homeschooling" (as claimed on the back) it is not.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x933bd414) out of 5 stars Absolutely Superb! 28 Oct. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I LOVE this book. It is a terrific story, and filled with so many ideas that I can use with my children that I hardly know where to start. And yet it almost reads like a novel, with humor, insight, and wonderful characters. This book will also be useful for parents whose children attend school, though the author's critique of public education will cause them to think hard about what they are doing. The resource lists are great, too. No listings of curricula, just ways to help parents and children engage the world with a new sense of discovery. Joseph Chilton Pearce calls this the best book on homeschooling, and I think he is right. I'm going to get a bunch to give as Christmas gifts.
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