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4 for July 4th! Win The Art of Education 15th Anniversary Edition

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The Art of Education

Linda Dobson’s classic


is 15 years-old and is now an e-book


After letting it collect dust on the bookshelf, about a year ago I had cause to re-read a good portion of The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community and Self. This was my first book. In it, I did my best to say everything I wanted to say because, admittedly, I was a bit worried that its honesty would preclude me from ever being accepted by another publisher in the future.

About a year ago, I was saddened that, after more than a decade, all of the problems outlined in the book still exist. Worse, these problems have grown to epic proportions. I was shocked to realize that The Art of Education’s message was still quite relevant. Indeed, it is even more relevant for a new generation of parents dealing with government schools, looking for a way to forego dealing with them, embracing John Holt’s long-standing unschooling approach, or any of the other methods that have evolved over the last few decades.

I made the decision to bring back The Art of Education in e-book form, to keep as affordable and accessible for parents as it can be, so that as many children as possible may experience life without schooling and receive an education of value and meaning.

It seems fitting to have The 15th Anniversary Edition of The Art of Education enjoy its debut on Independence Day, and so that is when it will be available for purchase. We hope current homeschoolers will read it to see how far the education revolution has come in 15 years, and to see how much is left to be done. With your understanding of homeschooling’s benefits, we hope you’ll consider purchasing copies for your friends with children, as The Art of Education was one of the first books to detail “the why to homeschool.” The 15th Anniversary Edition makes the message that much more powerful for concerned parents.

I’m so very grateful to the many people who re-read The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community and Self to provide the endorsements shared below. My deepest thanks to all of you! Please feel free to copy these to share with friends, as their words – which come from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Jamaica, may move them to read and learn more.

I’m really excited to think that this work of love is resurrected in order to help more children and their families. We’re grateful for your support in making this happen, and hope you’ll let us know what you might be doing to “spread the word” – we’ll share your news with others!

What Are People Saying about

The 15th Anniversary Edition of


 When The Art of Education was written, I said it was decades ahead of its time. Read it now and discover that today’s education crisis has proven me right.

~ Mark Hegener, Home Education Magazine publisher

Linda Dobson is the global Pied Piper of homeschooling. Her more than half a dozen books on the topic have provided inspiration, information and encouragement to parents who have taken or are thinking of taking this new step forward in education. No longer a radical idea but one becoming an increasingly popular choice of concerned parents, Linda Dobson has, through her books and life work, forced discussion and thinking on what has become an innovative method and viable option of educating children and young adults.

The 21st Century evolution of education through the development of digital information technology has placed a plethora of teaching tools and options in the hands of parents who have grown dis-satisfied with the standards of education and social behaviour emerging from traditional school systems. Ms. Dobson boldly encourages parents to realize that delivering knowledge and information to young minds is not a secret art that can only be practiced in crowded schoolrooms supervised by one teacher, but can be an act of love between parent and child that can easily accomplish even better scholastic and developmental results in the familiar setting of the family home.

Linda Dobson argues that homeschooling restores the role of family in the rearing of socially and intellectually whole children, and fights against the incarceration of students and an education system that tries to achieve the impossible task of producing batches of students with identical knowledge and test results, rather than discovering and enhancing the natural interests and talents of each individual.

With eight books on homeschooling and grateful homeschoolers around the globe, the acknowledged expert again shares her gems of knowledge and wisdom in this reissue of a classic on the topic.

~ Barbara Blake Hannah, Kingston, Jamaica, author Home: The First School: A Homeschooling Guide to Early Childhood Education

Linda Dobson’s wake-up call for America’s parents is more relevant today than ever before. Her inspiring book is not only about the Art of Education, it addresses the Art of Living, challenging us all to reconsider our priorities and determine what is needed for children and adults to lead meaningful and happy lives. Every page shines with a genuine concern for the well-being of our nation’s families.

~ Laura Brodie, author Love in a Time of Homeschooling: A Mother and Daughter’s Uncommon Year

Having become familiar with home education (homeschooling) only since the advent of the Internet and all the new and obvious opportunities for learning that the “digital revolution” in general has gifted to us, I would be the first to admit that the decision to remove my son from school was far easier to make in 2002 than it would have been when Linda Dobson’s The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community, and Self was first published in 1995 (coincidentally the year my son was born).

So I have to say from the outset that I’m already an admirer of the author as a “pioneer” of the homeschooling movement.

In The Art of Education, Linda has a fascinating story to share from a position of great knowledge, understanding, and personal experience and, incidentally, I’m glad she chose not to rewrite this book to try to accommodate the “digital revolution” because it doesn’t need that to get its message across: all the essential truths are just as true.

As an Australian, I found the detailed history of America’s public school system particularly absorbing and – dare I say it? – highly educational. The author’s comparison of the practices of schooling with what we know about how children naturally educate themselves and her skillful prising apart of the two are illuminating. How many parents have I encountered who think “school” and “education” are two words for the same thing? They’re not and never have been, and Linda Dobson explains, quite brilliantly, why that’s so.

It’s her contention that the institution we call “school” has always by its very nature subverted the true meaning of education and is continuing to sell children and parents alike a false bill of goods. I believe her.

But her book is not a critique in itself of a method of educating children that Win Wenger, acknowledged modern day genius and author of the best selling book, The Einstein Factor, says “has squandered the gifts and potentialities of generations of human beings.” It’s a call to awaken to the inadequacies of that system (and to its increasing irrelevance in a time when all human knowledge can be readily accessed by any self-motivated individual); to break out of the Stockholm Syndrome, as some people have called it; to explore the wisdom of the art of education based on our individual families’ values and priorities.

To reclaim our family, our community and our self. To restore the primacy of the parent in the raising of our children through family-centred learning.

Why we should do so is all here; how we can do so is all here.

In recommending this book to you, I can do no better than to echo Linda Dobson herself: “The art of education as it may be expressed through homeschooling has never been more important or more necessary than it is today. Reading this book could improve your family’s lifestyle forever, and providing your child a real education instead of schooling could enrich his life forever, too.”

~ Bob Collier, Publisher of the Parental Intelligence Newsletter,

We hadn’t yet discovered homeschooling, or family-centered education as Linda Dobson aptly names it, when her book The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community, and Self was released in 1995. I know if I’d read even one chapter of this convincing book back then that we would have come to the homeschooling choice much more quickly.

The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community, and Self is no light-weight work. Linda’s feisty cultural observations are backed by scholarly references. Her useful suggestions are based on experience. And her insightful educational stance is derived from common sense, just like homeschooling itself.

Everything about this work is just as relevant as the day Linda wrote it. In fact, time proves the prophetic nature of her words. For homeschoolers and those wondering if homeschooling might be an option, this book is a classic.

~ Laura Grace Weldon, author Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything, Home Education Magazine columnist

Astonishing! That was my thought as I re-read this book after many years. Linda’s perception of the difference between public education and true education, family and community centered, are more relevant and needed today than fifteen years ago when this book was first published. This book should be mandatory reading for all parents before they ever consider sending a child for any kind of public education. Reading and putting into practice what you will think about and learn from this book will enrich you and your family beyond imagination. Reading this book should be your first step to independent thinking about learning and living.

~ Jean Reed, author The Home School Source Book, 3rd edition and The Lifetime Learning Companion from Brook Farm Books:

These are times of economic, environmental, and socio-political turmoil in the world. We need a big idea – a few of them, actually – to solve some big problems. Family-centered education is one of those big ideas. Since The Art of Education was first published fifteen years ago, an increasing number of people – thinkers, writers, even a few educators – have begun to realize what some parents have known all along: that the sausage-stuffing, coercive mode of education is wrong, that it’s harmful to kids, doesn’t result in truly educated adults, and has contributed to the current mess our planet is in. In the same way that economic, environmental and socio-political problems can be solved from the bottom up (and, in fact, must be because those at the top can’t and won’t), home educating families are taking the lead in practicing the art of education: nurturing self-reliance, personalization, creative thinking, flexibility, open-mindedness, the ability to question, and conviviality, along with academics. In this eloquent, important, and timeless book, Linda Dobson demonstrates the awesome strength of this particular big idea, which we need to implement even more urgently than fifteen years ago. What are we waiting for?

~ Wendy Priesnitz, founder of the Canadian homeschooling movement, editor of Life Learning Magazine, author of School Free: The Homeschooling Handbook and Challenging Assumptions in Education: From Institutionalized Education to a Learning Society


The Art of Education is a cage-rattler. Dobson shepherds the shaky-kneed, school-doubting parent through the dehumanizing catacombs of institutionalized schooling and into a hopeful future. Early chapters shine a light on entrenched layers of corporate and institutional social control that effectively dis-empower individuals, families, and communities. From these disheartening words, Dobson steps her readers toward the self-empowerment that comes with the homeschooling lifestyle. Readers emerge from the abyss with fresh eyes, confidence, and a can-do attitude. This is a ground-breaking and wise book.

~ Ann Westendorf Fisher, author Fundamentals of Homeschooling,;

What could be better than something new from Linda Dobson? Why, something old from Linda Dobson! The Art of Education/ has stood the test of time as one of the best homeschooling books of the best two decades. Freewheeling and easy to read, it packs a real wallop as it dissects what has gone awry in what pass for “education” these days, while providing both the encouragement and the practical wisdom to make your homeschooling life sing. Great books only get better.

~ David Albert, homeschooling author, speaker and father



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1. Follow Parent at the Helm on Twitter.

2. Become a “like” on Parent at the Helm’s Facebook page.

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6. Only in the rare instance you already do all these things, state that you’re already everywhere!

Second, come back to this post before July 4th and leave a comment stating where you signed up (Twitter, Networked Blogs, e-mail, etc.) and, if you’d like to say something nice about Parent at the Helm or The Art of Education, well, we won’t censor you. [g]

Deadline is 11:59 pm EDT, July 4th. On July 5, Randomizer will choose the winner! I will send an e-mail to the winner. We’re giving away FOUR COPIES, so please let your friends know they can enter, too.


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Reader Feedback

10 Responses to “4 for July 4th! Win The Art of Education 15th Anniversary Edition”

  1. Today I subscribed to Parent at the Helm via e-mail. I already followed you by e-mail. 🙂 This would be so awesome to win. A friend and I are starting a Homeschool Support Group this year and my wedding anniversary is July 4! Thanks for the chance to win your book. The reviews sound amazing!

  2. Abby says:

    I follow Parent at the Helm via e-mail subscription and always enjoy reading the posts. I am very excited to have the chance to win a copy of such a meaningful book. It would be a perfect addition to our always-growing family library!

  3. Laurie says:

    I'm following via e-mail & would love to win a copy of the book. Linda's books were a great help when we began homeschooling!

  4. Jamie says:

    I follow via e-mail. Linda's books lead me to homeschool to begin with.

  5. upstatelisa says:

    I follow you by email, by twitter and by facebook! I would love to win a copy!

  6. Jess says:

    I am a loyal FB fan and reader of your blog. Thank you for all you do!

  7. Suzy says:

    Saw your giveaway on Facebook. I loved the original Art. I can't wait to read the 15th anniversary edition. Thanks, Linda!

  8. Ha, Ha, Linda, the joke's on me! I misread and made sure I was signed up to get PAH feeds in all those ways–added Facebook, Network Blogs, and e-mail. Couldn't understand why anyone needed to follow the same blog in so many different formats, but I really wanted to make sure I'm in the drawing. 🙂

    Have a great holiday.


  9. lol, Carol! Good to know you're on the ball…good luck!

    Wishing you a great holiday, as well,


  10. Kim H says:

    Ebooks are so handy! Thank you for the contest, Linda!

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