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Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  752 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Project-based homeschooling combines children’s interests with long-term, deep, complex learning. This is an essential experience for children: to spend time working on something that matters to them, with the support of a dedicated mentor. This book is an introduction and guide to creating the circumstances under which children can teach themselves. The author gives paren ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published June 27th 2012 by Camp Creek Press
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  752 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
My oldest son is currently in school due to some life circumstances, and that's kindergarten, so we haven't officially homeschooled yet. When we do, we'll more than likely be unschooling. I find the central idea(s) of this book interesting and worth considering for anyone on the homeschooling spectrum. For that reason I'd probably recommend this book to others, but that's honestly for lack of a better book to recommend on the subject. Unfortunately, the book lacks a great deal in its presentatio ...more
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: homeschoolers, unschoolers, parents, teachers, young people
Really enjoyed this book. For me, as a grown homeschooler and unschooler with ADHD (inattentive type) who is now home/unschooling my own young child, this book provided me with that missing piece I needed. That piece was the process of planning projects and getting through multiple drafts, multiple iterations. Iterations is where it's at. It's how you develop your knowledge and improve your work. There is some good advice in here on how to set up workspace, and ways of supporting children in the ...more
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If I was made to form one critical opinion on Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners, it would be only this- the title doesn't capture the all-inclusive nature of this book. What the author accomplishes is a refreshing take on life that can be latched on to by literally anyone, not just home educators, as the title suggests. Lori paints a lovely picture of purposeful daily living. Her ideas on creating an atmosphere of creativity inspire me to look around my home with new ...more
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Lori Pickert, the author of the inspiring Camp Creek Blog has FINALLY put her thoughts and instructions for Project- Based Homeschooling into book form. Anybody who has read her blog knows Lori has a gift for motivting, challenging and inspiring parents to give this way of learning and living a chance in their homes. For all the wisdom and call-to-action her blog imparts, the downside to the blog format is that posts are written with a very particular topic in mind with no room to expand (that's
Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4 of 5

When I decided to homeschool my daughter I didn't realize I would first have to unschool myself. Needless to say, it's been and still is an ongoing process, my unschooling. Spotting Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners on my library's shelf was serendipitous; I needed the specifics almost as much as the confidence boost.

The most helpful aspect of the book, for me, was the "things you might do" section. My notes:

"ideas > work > representation >
Deirdre Keating
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting, gift-ideas
I've been following Lori Pickert's blog for years, and been wishing for a way to share her ideas in book form. Alleluia, it's here!
Some of the main things I've taken from Lori's writing:
1. Project-based learning is based on trust.
Traditional classrooms rely on the teacher knowing exactly where students will be (or at least hope to be) by the end of the quarter---the answers are already known. In trying to implement Lori's process into our school's honor program, I learned how e
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: homeschool
I must admit I was excited about PBH but wondering if there would really be anything new within the pages. From the moment I cracked the cover, PBH drew me in.

Before PBH we did a lot of child led learning, much investigating and research, but I was never sure how to take all that information and research and do something with it. Since reading PBH, we've designated work areas for the kids and I've become better at stepping back and facilitating their research/projects rather than act
Angela Boord
A book that fills a definite gap in the homeschooling methodology world. I would have liked to have had some more practical advice included, especially about how to make time for project work, how to get kids started on projects, how to keep a journal/how to do documentation (examples and different ways to do it), and how to do project work when you don't have the "large" space she often mentions. For instance, our 8 kids homeschool in our eat-in kitchen. How to set up a space in that kind of en ...more
Dec 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I think the ideas in this book are great for all parents, not just homeschoolers, but I didn't love the book. Maybe it's because I've been reading about this stuff for several years and it's not new information. It also seemed like the same concepts were restated over and over within the book. I would have liked to see more examples of actual projects she has done with kids rather than the general guidelines to keep the workspace attractive, materials available, keep a journal, etc.
Dec 26, 2012 rated it liked it
I found it a bit repetitive, but I like the basic idea of letting your child have ownership over their learning. I just can't figure out how to make it work in our tiny home - I don't have space for tons of art projects to be going at all times with all the supplies out and at the ready. As with all things, I'll take what I can from this and dismiss the rest.
J. Vincent
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Good topic but could use a more flexible approach for parents. I agree with the author that children should have opportunities to follow their own passions. It's why I wanted to explore PBH, but I don't agree with the "make it as easy as possible for them" approach. I'm not trying to stand in their way. Far from it, but I think it's good for them to learn how to work for things, including what they want to learn. Life has challenges and obstacles, and sometimes a true passion is one that makes i ...more
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What struck me the most about Lori's book is how well it already fit the way my son learns. He naturally works in projects, as does my husband. It has helped me understand how they work a little better, and now my focus is on how I can support them and my other children. The last chapter "A Way To Live" was the most revealing, especially where Lori says that most people can easily gather information for a project, but struggle to create, let alone finish it. I see that my boys have a great stren ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschooling
Don't be fooled by the title! This book is not just a book on homeschooling, but a guide for those who want to help their children direct their own learning, whether those kids are homeschooled or not. The book will help you help your kids figure out how to plan and complete their own projects, enabling them to self-direct their learning. I also think a lot of these ideas could be useful in assisting you with your own projects. The book is full of good ideas, without the filler you see in a lot ...more
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
This book is incredible. In addition to teaching how to do project-based homeschooling it's like a manual on how to live. It's going to make a huge difference to anyone reading it. I can't recommend it highly enough. It's like the author is taking the reader gently by the hand and calmly and encouragingly leading them through the approach. It's encouraging, it's inspiring, it's incredibly instructive. It was a joy to read.
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is overflowing with ideas for any parent who'd like to encourage more self-directed learning in their kids. While I don't homeschool, I do want to create an environment that fosters learning, creativity, etc. My best take-away from this book was to rework our kid workspaces, so that they can more easily leave their work visible while in process and even after completion.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschooling

Whether you homeschool or not this book has something to teach you about how to raise thinkers and doers. It has changed the way I think about education and my expectations for both of my kids. Kids need open time to dig deeply into their own interests. Make that time and you will be amazed at what your kids want to know and can do.
Jul 15, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2012-booklist
I'm looking forward to reading this. I've been following Lori's blog for quite some time. Also, as part of Luke's curriculum this coming year, I'm introducing him to the concept of the Great Brain projects.... I'll look forward to learning how I can support him in this projects through the ideas in this book....
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book! A whole new way of approaching projects with a little one. After reading this book I gave my son a box and asked what should we do with this? We built at camel, a transformer and a lion. It was interesting to take direction for him and allow him control over his project!
Angela Wade
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really solid logic that led me to a new place in homeschooling. Just wish it would have included a list of possible starter project ideas.
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was so helpful in helping me see more clearly how to support my son in his learning. Highly recommend!
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I loved the book. It gave me tons of inspiration and made us choose for project based homeschooling.
Brittany Brenner
Feb 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
Despite being recommended to me, somehow this book managed to fill all those pages - and be published! - without actually saying anything. The book is somehow 99% filler. Perhaps the author expected me to be a self-directed learner and figure it out on my own? Well eventually we have to ask other people for help and information, which is exactly why I checked this book out from my local library. After learning exactly nothing about how to facilitate project-based learning, I'm only glad I can re ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
I've decided to rewrite my review as I felt my original one didn't really reflect my Feelings on the book, but was responding to what others said, rather than my own views.

In short, I really enjoyed this book. It deserves 5 stars and there are some great ideas that I have to take away, think about and put into practice and that is what a good book needs to do.

Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great guide for project based learning, for kids and life. I like the steps Pickert breaks down to be active in your child's project while still keeping it theirs. I'm looking to add this style of learning to our unit based homeschool approach. A great read for a fresh perspective on what it means to be a lifelong learner.
Jeri Lin
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good, but a lot redundant. Too many words to make the same points. I did find value in her lists. I copied many of them down and plan to post them in my home as a source of reference for myself and my kids.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book wasn't revolutionary, relative to what we have been doing in our home, but it did remind me of a few things I wanted to try out.

This would be a good resource for someone who wasn't already doing these kinds of project-based explorations instinctively.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Useful information as well as useful reminders. Very quick read. You do not have to be a homeschooler in order to get value from this book. I agree with other reviewers that it lacks instruction on how to get your child to identify that first project.
Nancy Walters
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Concrete, secular. Beautiful writing that conveys clear ideas. Worth it for the brilliant introduction alone. Really the best homeschooling book out there, for both its quality ideas and writing.
Candice (Beachwood Schoolhouse)
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Great read for fellow homeschoolers! We are diving into more interest led learning for the rest of the school year. Great motivation and inspiration. I can see many annual rereads of this.
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: homeschooling
I'm fairly torn on my review of this one. I've been reading Lori Pickert's blog for a couple of years, and I'm embarrassingly groupie-like in my admiration of what she has to say. But I've gotten more out of her blog and her discussion forums than I did out the book.

The idea of project based learning, as I understand it, is that you don’t go to your kids, and say, “This month we’re going to be learning about the human body!” Or even, “Hey, I see you’re really interested in dinosaurs
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Lori Pickert is an American author living in the Midwest. She founded and ran a small Reggio-inspired school for several years and traveled the U.S. as an educational consultant, training teachers and presenting workshops on child-led education and authentic art. She began homeschooling her sons when they were 4 and 7.

She writes about project-based homeschooling and mentoring self-dire
“Family culture is the manifestation of your priorities — not what you say, not what you wish were true, but what you actually do on a daily basis. You create your family culture with your choices.” 1 likes
“Some adults attempting project-based learning make the same mistake, moving forward relentlessly and forgetting the importance of doubling back. Interests are identified, research is completed, and then there is a big, impressive third act that brings everything to a close. Unfortunately, though appealing in its simplicity, this highly controlled approach cheats children out of the opportunity to lay down multiple layers of learning. The adult is satisfied. Is the child?” 0 likes
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