Upgrade: 10 Secrets to the Best Education for Your Child, by Kevin Swanson. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2006. 211pp. $14.99. ISBN 0805440305.
This is the author's version of a work that was submitted/accepted for publication in the following source:
Shaffett, J. E. Christian Librarian 50:82-83 no. 2 2007.
Kevin Swanson serves fifteen thousand families in the Rocky Mountain region as the executive director of Christian Home Educators of Colorado. He has degrees in mechanical engineering and ministry, and serves as pastor of Reformation Church in Castle Rock, Colorado. Kevin and his wife homeschool their five children.
The book is intended for parents who are interested in providing the best education possible for their children. Kevin describes ten principles for providing our children with a successful education: character, one-on-one instruction, protection, individuality, rooted in relationships, emphasizing the basics, life integration, maintaining the honor and mystique of learning, the right foundation, sequential processing. These principles are based on biblical teaching and scientific research.
10 Secrets is well written, interesting, and contains information that is applicable for parents interested in providing a good education for their children. The principles are particularly applicable for home education programs, but it is also applicable for students who attend public or private schools. The author’s purpose is to provide parents with the “indispensable elements of a quality education”.
The author of this book is persuasive and speaks with authority. He has been part of the modern homeschooling movement for over thirty-five years-“as a student, parent/teacher, and leader in the movement”. A few of the principles discussed that are particularly relevant for children are: one-on-one instruction, individuality, and doing the basics well.
The principle of one-on-one instruction is important because in a typical classroom a child might get “six to seven minutes of one-on-one time with each student” on a daily basis. Kevin Swanson believes that one-on-one instruction is essential for helping a child reach his her potential. The principle of individuality is important because all children have different gifts, abilities, and potentiality for learning. Lastly, the principle of doing the basics need to be emphasized because a recent study released by the National Institute of Literacy found that half of American adults were unable to read at a eight grade level.
Kevin accomplishes what he sets out to do. He provides ten essential elements or tools to provide our children with a quality education.