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In the News and Reviews

The Kitchen Table Classroom, written by educator Dianne Wilton, provides practical suggestions for parents who are engaged in home based education or who may wish to complement the education their children receive in school. In either situation the ideas presented in this resource are worthwhile and interesting. The book is clearly written and well organized, with catchy chapter headings pertaining to cooking which extend the kitchen theme from the title. The font chosen and style of writing is inviting to the reader. The idea that the best learning occurs in meaningful situations that are of interest to the learner is a recurring theme throughout the book.

Separate chapters focus on mathematics, writing and reading each containing the nuts and bolts of addressing issues that are important in each subject. The ideas suggested are based on very balanced, current educational thought. On subsequent chapters a variety of ideas are included to address other subject areas, finishing with how themes can be used to bring unity to learning and encourage student interest. The inclusion of addresses for home schooling associations in Canada and the United States, home schooling sites and home schooling curriculum is an additional bonus.

This resource would be a valuable addition to the library of all parents interested in actively participating in their child's education. Professional educators would also find many practical ideas within its pages.

Marg Ryall
Volume 6 #1 Resource Links, October 2000


Teaching starts at the kitchen table. That's what Dianne Wilton says---and she should know. A teacher from Woodbury Village, B.C., and author of The Kitchen Table Classroom (Detselig Enterprises Ltd., 2000), she has been developing ways to make learning fun for 25 years.

"Parents don't have to teach their children everything, but when parents are involved in learning, it makes a huge difference in their children's attitudes," says Wilton. She believes in capitalizing on their interests and says that even "difficult" subjects such as math can be enlivened with games and activities. Here are a few of her hints:
* Teach your child the decimal system using money. Show him how 10 pennies make a dime, 10 dimes a loonie and 10 loonies a $10 bill.
* Have your child figure out how many chocolate chips she needs if she's going to put 12 on each of 6 cupcakes.
* Shoot hoops, but count five or six points for each basket. Let your child keep score.
* Make a graph of everyday things, such as the sizes and styles of shoes for each family member or grocery bills over a number of weeks.
* For new activities, check out Wilton's Web site at

Susan Noakes and John Keating
Canadian Living, January 2001

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