When I started school in the fall of 1979, my parents gave very little thought to where I would go. I went to the nearest public school, just like everyone else. We lived in a small town with only one private, Catholic school, so around 98% of the kids attended public school. Today, many parents consider a range of options. There are public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, private schools (religious and secular), homeschooling, and even combinations of public or private schools with homeschooling. When my son started kindergarten three years ago, I struggled with this decision. We have an excellent public elementary school nearby, but I seriously thought about homeschooling as well. In the end, we chose public school…for now. Every year, I rethink this decision, and I wouldn’t hesitate to make changes in the best interest of my child.
In her new book, Love in a Time of Homeschooling, Laura Brodie tells about the decision she made for her own child. Because she felt her daughter Julia was struggling in the regimented public school setting, Ms. Brodie decided to homeschool Julia for her fifth grade year. While striving to maintain and exceed the fifth grade standards for math and English, Ms. Brodie hoped to free Julia from the monotony of filling in blanks and bubbles and give her a year of exploration and discovery.
What the author realized, however, is that the student is not the only one who explores and discovers! As the mom and teacher, Ms. Brodie learned a great deal about history and science while learning even more about herself and her daughter. Love in a Time of Homeschooling describes the mother/daugher journey and explores the lessons learned, as well as how the year of homeschooling affected family life and schooling in the future.
If you are interested at all in homeschooling, I highly recommend this book. I have read many books about homeschooling, and the one aspect of this book that I truly appreciated is the author’s brutal honesty. Ms. Brodie and Julia had some wonderful experiences along with some horrible experiences, and both are shared candidly. As a former public school teacher, I smiled when I read about the “dismal days of February.” Homeschoolers can rest assured that many public school teachers have similar feelings during the winter months!
I know that many families choose to homeschool for religious reasons, so I will point out that religion played no part in the author’s decision. I believe, however, that this book is relatable to anyone interested in homeschooling. No homeschooling experience is perfect. All families will experience moments of wonder and times of great satisfaction during the year. On the other hand, I am sure that all families experience times of frustration and doubt as well. Love in a Time of Homeschooling is a story about a homeschooling experience, but at its core, it is a story about love and about finding the paths that are right for our children. That is something any parent can relate to, regardless of where your child learns his ABC’s!
For another take on this book, be sure to check out Carrie’s review at Reading To Know. Carrie was homeschooled, so she brings years of experience to the table.
If you would like to win a copy of Love in a Time of Homeschooling, please leave a comment on this post. We will announce the winner on June 2nd.
Lauren is a wife, a mother of two, an avid reader. She blogs at Baseballs and Bows. Thanks to Harper Collins for providing the review copy of the book.