Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lessons in Short-Term Homeschooling

"School is all about copying the teacher. I mean, I've been saying
the Pledge of Allegiance for six years, and I only learned what
'pledge' meant one year ago."--Julia Brodie

Laura Brodie's husband said, "You can't be serious," but she was. After years of watching her daughter, 10-year-old Julia, struggle in a highly regimented public school system, Laura Brodie decided to teach her at home for a year. An accomplished novelist who teaches English at Washington and Lee University, 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, libraries, 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?

In Love in a Time of Homeschooling: A Mother and Daughter's Uncommon Year, Brodie's experiment in short-term homeschooling unfolds. Steeped in the colors and characters of a small Virginia town, Brodie deals in human foibles as much as human potential, describing love and anger along with reading and math. Though their year was not easy, mother and daughter worked through their frustration and difficulties to forge an invaluable bond. Hers is a life lesson no parent should miss.

“In a world where ‘homeschooling’ is so often misunderstood, discounted, and even ridiculed, Laura Brodie offers a clear-eyed view and makes a valuable contribution to the literature on the subject. This is necessary reading for anyone with an interest not just in homeschooling but in education generally.”--David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars

No comments:

Post a Comment