Homeschooling Why and How


Praise from readers:

It’s amazing what loving and wise words can do.  My confidence soared….

I received my book yesterday! I wanted to read all night… I’m enjoying it because       1. It is easy to read & 2. It’s encouraging.

This book has helped re-ignite a spark of excitement and a sense of confidence that I have made the right decision with my children.

Thank you once again for writing such an amazing, eye opening book.

Reading your information helped me to realize that my child and I can succeed.

…. your book has given me a boast of energy.

Gail, I wanted to tell you it did NOT take me this long to read your book; it’s just that reading your book was so momentous that it created a beautiful shift in our family.   It was a great opportunity for me to read yet another homeschooling book (my seventh), and yours was so powerful and accessible that it seemed to be the catalyst for change…(my daughter) is excited too.  She thinks it is extremely “cool” that she can do math in her pajamas.

….I read your book and it was the best, most down to earth, easy to follow book on homeschooling I have read.”

Thank you for your time and again, I love your book. I found it so helpful especially when I wrote down the three questions about what I am good at, what I am not good at and things I don’t like.

I have decided to homeschool (5 year old) Kade myself, and not follow any particular curriculum. Life is the best teacher. We have already started teaching Kade about money. Gabe has offered to Kade a business opportunity helping him with a recycling business that Kade wants to call “Kade’s recycling”. Gabe told him that he would make chicken wire baskets and put a sign on it for “Kade’s recycling” and he will take Kade on Wednesday and Saturday to go and pick up the bottles in the bins and recycle them. We want to put them at our families’ houses who don’t recycle and at some businesses. He’s so excited at the fact that he will be making more money in addition to his “family pay”. – Krystal M.

Thanks for fighting this battle for us, generations after generations will read it and be so grateful you were born before them. I remember getting mad at Charito and my son because of homework and how they will look down or even cry, now they will hug me and tell me they love me about 3 or more times a day. We owe you big time!! If you need me to clean your car or do grocery shopping just let me know!! I love the 64 reason why we home school! Take care please! – Aileen S.

(a few weeks later) My son gave me 2 big hugs while I was brushing my teeth, then caught me in the hallway, hugged me again and said “ this is because I love you too much” I have been reading about unschooling — it’s like winning the lottery! I love the freedom!

I wasn’t worried about the academic requirements of homeschooling. My nagging doubt was that I was depriving my children of experiences they should be having in school. When I read Gail’s ‘64 Reasons Why We Homeschool’, my doubts were totally put to rest. It’s amazing what loving and wise words can do. My confidence soared after reading Gail’s list. I am so glad we continued with homeschooling. It’s the best decision we ever made. – Sonia S, Washington

It was no accident that as I was reading your homeschool guide that I met Oliver and Melisa who happen to be your friends from homeschooling. I really enjoyed your information and made me feel confident in my homeschooling choice. I have two boys, Luke (eight) and Logan (six) whom I homeschool. We have been using the K12 curriculum through the charter school for three years now. It is nice because it gives us some structure while at the same time allowing me the flexibility to let the boys develop at their own pace with some days simply building Lego’s and making up stories with their creations. I would love to talk to you sometime on the phone as reading your book has given me a boast of energy. – Tim J.

My son, Chris, adores Thumper. We were watching him practice yesterday. (Did not know he was your son until I looked up homeschooling information in Hawaii) Again, Mahalo! – Peggylee F. S

Thanks for your help, after reading what you have on the website I became very encouraged and interested in considering homeschooling. My husband feels it’s the best way to go, I kept making excuses because I was afraid of being responsible for my son’s failure and his future. – Carolyn Rline

Thank you for sharing all your knowledge, trials, and success. Reading your information helped me to realize that my child and I can succeed….. We have struggled with public schools since preschool, but have never encountered the problems we have had at (___) middle school. Last night my husband and I resolved that we would no longer subject our son to that environment. – Janet D.

INCREDIBLE absolutely INCREDIBLE. I just read your “Bodyboarding and Rollerblading Curriculum.” That is exactly what I want to do with Logan. Not necessarily body boarding or rollerblading, but just yesterday he was telling me how he wishes he could skateboard better. Wow. We are going to the skate park today after school.

One step at a time, it usually takes me some time for things to kick in…. So, now to be directed in this manner towards home schooling or even better unschooling blows my mind.

I am soooooo fortunate to have met you through my doula work with Jennifer. The powers that be really do work in beautifully mysterious ways, don’t they?

Thank you for all the information and contacts. – Love, Mary Jane

I came across Gail Nagasako on-line when researching for more information on homeschooling. I found her writing to be easy-going, understandable, informational and most of all helpful. What most impressed me was her willingness to help others. I wrote her an email and was surprised and happy to have received a reply from her right away. She truly is a great resource to have. I feel more prepared and quite excited to take the jump into homeschooling. –Alissa P.

Your advice brought peace to my spirit. – A mother

Gail, I wanted to tell you it did NOT take me this long to read your book; it’s just that reading your book was so momentous that it created a beautiful shift in our family. We’ve been pretty busy implementing big changes and it’s partially because of you! Actually, it’s kind of like the straw that broke the camel’s proverbial back. I’ve been thinking about this actively for two years, finally got the courage to do it! It was a great opportunity for me to read yet another homeschooling book (my seventh), and yours was so powerful and accessible that it seemed to be the catalyst for change. This week, I filed my private school affidavit and today was my daughter’s last day in the public school system. We’re free!!!! Thank you so much for sending the manuscript to me; I feel privileged to have been one of its earliest readers. Your advice was straightforward and very helpful. I especially loved all of the great quotes from great thinkers throughout our time on education and learning. One of the things that touched me most was the way you described the spectrum of homeschoolers, from the boxed curriculum strident schedule keepers, to religious people, to radical unschoolers. This also gave me strength to do what I truly believe will be right for our family. Instead of taking this journey and starting out in the middle of the spectrum somewhere and buying a curriculum and trying to make my beautiful ADD girl keep to a schedule, I’ve decided to take the leap and trust her individual learning style. I’m going to unschool (well, first I’m actually going to deschool because we had a rough road there for a while and we need to decompress!), and eventually do child-directed learning. I’m excited because SHE is excited too. She thinks it is extremely “cool” that she can do math in her pajamas. I am going to continue to focus on her music studies first and foremost, and then let the rest of it flow from there naturally.

Thank you again for sharing with us, you’ve made all the difference in the world! I hope we keep in touch. – Tokeli

(and added a week or so later)I know I said too much in my last email, but after reading this I can’t help myself. I have to say one more thing. If you do put my words in your book, great! But also can you add one thing: and this is really important. It’s something I’m just beginning to get to the heart of. Unschooling is NOT just an educational philosophy; it is a LIFE philosophy. It is changing both me and my daughter at the same time. All that you said about discovery is the key to it. How many adults do you know that really WANT to explore, learn, research, read, figure out new things? They’ve been negatively programmed by many years of traditional schooling to be revolted by the thought of going back to school. It scares them. Who could blame them? Who would want to take that on again? But when you are free to explore the world in all its facets, scientific, literary, you name it, and do so at your own pace, you really begin to slowly redevelop that inherent love of learning. It’s what separates us from the other mammals really. The act of learning and thus the act of creation (music is a great example of this). It’s very difficult to learn music theory, but it is essential to music writing. And yet we are the only mammals who do this. But haven’t you found most musicians to be “outside the box” – somehow they got through the traditional educational system and meanwhile forged this personal musical path. It is the essence of loving something that is challenging, being a musician or composer. That’s how I’m looking at unschooling. It’s a life plan, not just a way to teach the three R’s. This is so important to not just how to approach unschooling a child (who is a free and independent little PERSON!), but how to approach our own continuing adult education and LIFE!

I hope that makes sense to readers. It’s SO important. It’s so inspiring. This sounds silly, but it kind of makes me well up inside.


Thumper Jordan Nagasako, the Author’s Son: “I feel I was very lucky to grow up as a homeschooler. I feel it’s more accurate to say I grew up with life or “the real world” as my school. The mentality that I have gained from my upbringing has made a huge difference in my thought processes. Starting with an unschooling approach let my natural drive flourish and gave me the freedom to choose formal lessons when I was ready. Most of my fellow homeschooled peers are not only very genuine people but also efficient, self-driven individuals who look at education as something you do throughout your whole life, not something you did and got done with.

“I would like to thank my parents for their support and trust of who I am. They nurtured me to become my own person. I look back on my happy childhood and education as a family-oriented lifestyle that I hope to some day provide for my children.”

Lawrence Koss, M.Ed: “As a former public school teacher privileged to know the author and witness the fruits of what she writes, I can attest to her son having grown into a remarkable young man. He is self-directed yet able to work well in a team, creative, adventurous, bright, caring, responsible, and quite successful as an athlete and entrepreneur. What I like most about Gail’s book is that in an easy-to-read, “down-home” fashion, everything a prospective home school parent needs is right here. In my opinion, were one to consider home schooling and wish to talk with someone who did it in a relaxed, informative, encouraging fashion … one need go no further than this book.”

Geralyn Doskoch, M.D., family physician: “There is nothing more paramount than the physical and emotional well-being of our children. Homeschooling offers a means to accomplish raising competent, caring individuals, but to many families the task can seem daunting. In this practical how-to guide, Gail Nagasako brings a wealth of professional knowledge and personal experience to take the fear out of taking this step. For anybody considering homeschooling but not sure where to start – this is the place!”

Naomi Aldort, Ph.D, Author, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves: “Many parents are dissatisfied with school but have not considered homeschooling because they see it as difficult or are afraid it wouldn’t meet the educational or social needs of their children. Ms. Nagasako debunks these myths, revealing the educational and social advantages of learning outside of school and providing clear and accessible guidance to making the transition.”

Helen Hegener, editor, Home Education Magazine: “Gail has written for us over the years and her insights and clear style are well regarded by our readers.”

Elizabeth Wertheim, B.A. founder and director of Rivendell and Maui Sudbury alternative schools: “Gail is a long time friend. We have worked together on various family and unschooling related projects. Gail has a very fine tuned ability to listen compassionately to each person she is with and thus be able to reflect back what is needed for them in order to find their own answers and/or solutions to life’s ever present challenges. She brings this talent to her interactions with homeschoolers and their parents. I am thrilled that she is now masterfully and magically sharing the fruits of her labors with you and your learning community.”

Lesley Alexander, M.Ed, District Educational Specialist, Hawaii Department of Education: “Every parent must decide how to best educate their children. This is a very private and personal decision. It is a decision that will affect the quality of children’s lives through their impressionable elementary years, to the labyrinth of adolescence and certainly into adulthood, playing a role in determining their choices for further schooling, career options, and even marriage.

“Gail Nagasako has lived, researched and written an excellent guide for parents wanting to explore the unique choice to home-school. Read this guide well; you will find that if the decision to home school rings true for you, your family and especially for the unique needs of your children, that there is ample research to support your decision and your children can achieve every bit as well and possibly even better than children matriculating from quality private and public education systems.

“When homeschooling is done right, the DOE never sees those kids again, or they return so easily that they do not hit “the radar” so to speak. It is when it is done poorly that the DOE is alerted and therefore there has become a bias in DOE that homeschooling does not work. I know it does from my personal experience of friends and from research – but I also am aware of it when it does not.”

“Too often we find children whose parents have not given homeschooling the attention it requires and those children have suffered as a result. Parents who choose to home-school will find this book a real help in ensuring the success of their children academically and socially.”