Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Love In A Time of Homeschooling - A Review

If you know me personally, you know that since Handsome was born I have been interested in Homeschooling. There are so many reasons why; Protection, lose of control, too structured, boredom, tests, homework, not allowed to think outside the box, yada, yada, yada.

So when I was offered the opportunity to review LOVE IN A TIME OF HOMESCHOOLING: A Mother and Daughter’s Uncommon Year by -->Laura Brodie, I said an enthusiastic yes. 

Product Description from Amazon

"I had always thought of homeschooling as a drastic measure. . . . But when my daughter decided that she would rather hide in a closet than complete her homework, I knew that it was time for me to become a schoolteacher, if only for a little while."
After years of watching her eldest daughter, Julia, struggle in a highly regimented public school system, Laura Brodie determined to teach her ten-year-old at home for a year. Although friends were skeptical and her husband predicted disaster—"You can't be serious"—Brodie had visions of one ideal year of learning. The monotony of fill-in-the-blank history and math worksheets would be replaced with studying dinosaurs and Mayan hieroglyphics, conversational French, violin lessons, and field trips to art museums, science fairs, bookstores, and concerts.

But can one year of homeschooling make a difference? And what happens to the love between mother and daughter when fractions and spelling enter the relationship?

Love in a Time of Homeschooling is a funny and inspiring story of human foibles and human potential, in which love, anger, and hope mingle with reading, math, and American history. As today's parents ponder their children's educations, wondering how to respond to everything from homework overload to bullying to the boredom of excessive test preparations, homeschooling has become a popular alternative embraced by millions. Short-term homeschooling is the latest trend in this growing movement.

Brodie gave her daughter a sabbatical to explore, learn, create, and grow—a year of independent research and writing to rejuvenate Julia's love of learning. The experiment brought out the best and worst in the pair, but they worked through their frustrations to forge an invaluable bond. Theirs is a wonderful story no parent should miss.

What I Can tell You: Yes, it is all that. Reading Laura's story was like taking a page out of my own head on my feelings about school and my son hadn't even started yet. Then, when my son ended up in speech at 23 months old and then OT and PT at 3 years old; I saw how the school system wanted to mold him and all his "differences" into a cookie cutter mold of what a "normal" child should be.   In many CPSE meetings I have stated that at any time I would be pulling him out to homeschool. I do not believe that all children need to have the structured education mandated by the Board of Education.

I love that Laura was passionate about her daughter's education and wanted to do the best thing for her. There are alternatives out there if people choose to take that route. My road started with holding my son back from Kindergarten an extra year. I felt that his speech delay contributed to a social delay and that the extra year would give him more time to be school ready. He, like Laura's daughter is very smart, HATES school (he is only 7 today and in Kindergarten) and struggles to be like everyone else.

Laura's writing is fun, witty, inspiring, real and feels like a chick chat with a good friend. Her candid view and how she advocates for her daughter is a beautiful tribute to the love of a mother. We knew our children better than anyone. Some moms don't even know they have options. Like cattle they just storm ahead like the masses, never knowing that the easiest change could make the difference in a child's views on education.  Holding my son back from school was met with many views, some thought I was crazy,  few felt I was having trouble letting go, other thought my son had bigger problems than I was letting on but there were some, who told me that they hadn't even thought about it. They didn't realize they had a say. The kid is 5 and I guess they start school now.

I love the idea of short-term homeschooling. I love that Laura is showing everyone what I have been telling my friends forever. Homeschoolers are not just fanatical religious types or hippies. Some of them take their kids to McDonalds, shop at Target, have coffee with their friends, let their kids watch TV. The stigma is slowly being lifted as more and more people understand homeschooling and thanks to Laura Brodie, I think more and more people will seek homeschooling as an option.

Thank you Laura for making me feel very, very normal.

For more information on Laura Brodie check out this article on the Psychology Today website.

Great book!

I received this book from Harper Collins. All the opinions are my own and I was not asked to write anything.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I already have this one on my wish list!


I love comments. Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to talk to you further