The book has been released!
I’ll have to admit that I thought I was beyond getting excited over a book’s release. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice feeling, but I’ve had books of mine released for the past ten years and, mostly, it’s been a case of “whew, finally got that one off my plate!”. But The Dog Ate My Experiment! is different. For a start, it’s a very personal book: a slice of seven plus years of my family’s life getting into the groove of homeschooling. It’s also my first serious non-fiction book. And it’s my first print book.
Those three elements combined to give me a buzz I hadn’t felt for a long time. I spent a lot of time planning the book (what can I say, I’m a planner) and I hope other parents find it useful as they navigate their own independent paths through the choppy seas of modern education. If you’ve come here from reading through other pages on the website, what I’m about to write will already be old news to you, but for those who’ve come directly to the blog, I need to tell you what The Dog Ate My Experiment! is, and isn’t.
For a start, we don’t live in the United States. Interestingly, there is a system of education that encompasses pretty much the rest of the world, so I used that as the basis of my book. I’m talking about the British system of education. It may have grown out of aggressive colonialism, but the British left a legacy that any parent worldwide can leverage, even those living in the United States. British educational standards are recognised throughout the world. They are not dependent on the whims of local schools. What this means is that you can educate your child in one country and have them enter a college or university in a completely different country, without penalty. For a worried parent (and nomadic families), that’s music to our ears.
But there is information even for Americans. I’ve heard that some parents in the United States, sick of Common Core but unable to pay for elite private education, have also turned to the British system for a better standard of education. That’s the first thing I’ll say. The second is that the book tackles other topics as well—what subjects to teach, how to evaluate colleges/universities, how to help your child pass exams, how to train your child to pass exams… So, while you won’t be taking onboard everything in the book, I think there are enough associated areas that you may find useful.
We’re not religious. The moment anyone mentions “homeschooling”, the first thing that pops into everyone’s heads is “Christian”. Or “religious”. But there are a lot of homeschooling parents around who aren’t religious and aren’t interested in teaching a faith-based curriculum. I’m one of them. That’s not to say we haven’t done short courses on different faiths, but it isn’t our primary focus. If it’s not your primary focus either, then The Dog Ate My Experiment! may be a good fit for you.
And, lastly, it’s for educating teenagers. I’ll state up-front that I love teaching teenagers. I’ve taught classes to full-time and mature-aged students at college and I love interacting with both groups more than with young children. It’s a personal thing, but there you go. I had also noticed as a homeschooling parent that there are few books on how to homeschool teenagers; how to take them through their secondary years, polish them up, sand off all those rough edges and get them ready for tertiary study. Here’s where a homeschooling parent can really shine, where you can impart your wisdom to your children to help them as they start their own adult lives.
So that’s what I wanted to say about The Dog Ate My Experiment!. It’s available at most online bookstores and as a special order from your local bricks-and-mortar bookshop. What that means is that you’ll probably need the following information to place an order:
Book title: The Dog Ate My Experiment!
Author: KS Augustin
Date of publication: 14 August 2017