Thursday, February 4, 2010

Great new series for homeschooling families

I am a huge advocate of homeschooling (if you feel it's right for your family of course) and having previously worked at a library that was frequented by families that chose to homeschool, I know of the lack of quality children's books featuring homeschoolers. It's really hard when kids just want to read about someone that has a school experience like them, but there isn't anything to hand them.

I was hopeful when I received the first two books in the Wright On Time series by author Lisa M.Cottrell-Bentley that featured a homeschooling family and the adventures they participate in while traveling the country in an RV and I wasn't disappointed! The Wright Family visits Arizona in the first book and Utah in the second, learning tons of facts about the state, animals, people, history, etc., while having exciting adventures as a family.

I was most impressed with the manner in which the topic of homeschooling was presented. This wasn't an "issue" book as to why homeschooling is better or anything like that and the actual "school" portion takes a backseat to the exploring and adventures that Nadia and Aiden have. It wasn't in-your-face obvious that they were homeschooled. I liked that. I also really liked the state theme and having the family travel to each state and learn about specific things. It's great to learn about the country we live in!

I did have a couple of issues with the books, though mainly just opinion issues rather than writing or plot problems. I'm not a huge fan of the series title "Wright On Time" or of the illustrations. They came across as low-budget to me, which is disappointing, but doesn't impact the actual story in any way. I also didn't care for the parents being referred to by their first names. I loved that they were an integral part of the story all all the fun and learning, but personally wish they were Mr. and Mrs.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5
I know, as book reviewers, we're often bombarded with review requests from independent publishers, which we are pretty skeptical about. A lot of these books (at least the ones that I've received) are poor in quality, both in production and writing. This series is not one of them! I think it's written with an important and relevant topic in mind, gives kids an adventure-filled story, relatable characters, and teaches about all sorts of different subjects. The books are clean, family oriented, and very nicely written. I really enjoyed them!

Wright On Time series
Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentley
Chapter Books
Do Life Right Publishers
Review copy received from author


Myne Whitman said...

This is great especially as I'm thinking of homeschooling.

Callista said...

Thanks for sharing. I reviewed a children's fiction book that has a homeschooling family last year but it could have been better. I'm glad to see some new ones coming out.

Dean Gregory said...

My kids and I have also read these books and really enjoyed them. I just wanted to point out that while the author refers to the parents by their first names, Nadia and Aidan always call them Mom and Dad and refer to the other adults in the books by the names that they are asked to use. (I think Nadia even tried to call one of the characters Dr. something and was asked to use a first name instead.) So, while I get that you prefer Mr. and Mrs., the kids are not being rude or disrespectful.

And FWIW, my kids loved the illustrations. I also thought they were better than what I've seen in most of their chapter books.

Amanda said...

Myne, you should definitely check these out!

Callista, I haven't found many titles like this at all. It's a definite void in children's lit.

Dean, thanks for your comments! I never thought the children were being disrespectful, I just personally wish the parents had been referred to with a title, rather than just their names. And the same thoughts for the illustrations, just a personal preference. I didn't care for them, but others may love them!

Janssen said...

Since I plan to homeschool, I'll mark these down so I remember to look them up down the road.