HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Clint’s Story: A Public Schoolteacher’s Case for Homeschooling
Author: John Evans
Cover Illustrator: Wes Hartman
Publisher: CreateSpace, 2009
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Parents
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Evans, John. Clint’s Story: A Public Schoolteacher’s Case for Homeschooling (published in 2009 by CreateSpace). John Evans was a public school teacher and part time preacher who transitioned into full time preaching. As a public school teacher, he says that like most other public school teachers he was initially biased against homeschooling because his experiences with homeschooled children who entered his classroom were all negative, although he later explains that public school teachers see a biased sample of homeschooled students by having to deal with the ones who had failed homeschooling for a variety of reasons rather than the success stories. However, when his oldest son Clint, who showed signs of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, having trouble with spatial relationships, being easily distracted, and having low impulse control, began experiencing difficulties first in public school and then in private school, the Evanses decided to homeschool him.
In the early couple of chapters, John writes that he is neither one of those bitter ex-schoolteachers who have nothing but horror stories, nor is he a homeschooling parent who believes that nothing good can happen in public schools. In fact, the Evanses’ younger son Cody graduated from a public high school. However, John does say, “I’m all for a parent’s right to choose.” In succeeding chapters, he tells about how to get started homeschooling, describes a typical day, explains both the challenges and advantages of homeschooling, and offers advice on why public schools don’t always work, what makes a good teacher, and how to gather homeschooling resources, His chapter on “Answering Objections” is excellent, especially in dealing with the socialization question. The concluding chapters discuss graduation and what can happen afterwards. I will say that most of John’s observations about homeschooling tend to come from a very traditional, classroom-oriented view of homeschooling as doing “school at home.” There’s nothing wrong with that; in fact, that’s been our primary method too. However, there are other styles of homeschooling that don’t necessarily follow the typical “scope-and-sequence” form that John generally suggests but can be just as successful.
At the same time, Clint’s Story presents a very positive view of homeschooling. I first read about this book in the Nov./Dec., 2009, issue of Family Times: Homeschool Resources for Christians, edited by Jonathan and Sally Perz. The print edition of Clint’s Story is no longer available, except used, and those are rare. John told me that the e-book version sold many more copies than the print version, so he rewrote the manuscript, updated some of the information, and offered it as an e-book only under the title The Home School Advantage: A Public Schoolteacher’s Case for Homeschooling. The second version of the book has more evidence-based research in it. For example, John reviewed some of the accomplishments of homeschoolers and interviewed some public and private universities to get their take on homeschooling. He also talked to employers to get their experiences. It is available through all major online book retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, but people would need to search under the new title. Or if people just Google that title, they’ll see several places where the ebook is available for downloading.