Laura Brodie's book Love in a Time of Homeschooling: A Mother and Daughter's Uncommon Year completely changed my opinion about homeschooling. Before I read this book, the concept of homeschooling was foreign. It was something only very religious, stay-at-home moms did. It was not for me. This book opened my eyes to a whole new world, one accessible and feasible in my own life. After reading this book, I am considering homeschooling my own son who doesn't thrive in the traditional school system.
Brodie's daughter Julia struggled in the regimented public school system. She had lost her love of learning, and Brodie sought to reignite that joy once again. She set out to homeschool her daughter for one year, allowing her to explore, grow, learn. Although she had to fulfill certain requirements, Julie also got to set the pace of her own education by focusing on things that really interested her. Brodie and her daughter took knitting classes, visited museums, and went on countless field trips. Every day was a learning experience. They had their ups and their downs, their moments of bliss and their days of extreme frustration. Love in a Time of Homeschooling is the story of their year-long experiment.
No matter what your view on homeschooling is, you're sure to take something away from this book. I gleaned much from it. I learned that I can provide amazing learning experiences disguised as fun for my own children. Brodie would continue to offer homeschooling experiences to her three daughters long after their homeschooling year was over. "So long as children lived under our roof, ours would be a homeschooling family, turning off the TV to spend more time talking and reading and going for walks," Brodie wrote. I intend to apply the same philosophy to my family. I gained a whole new respect for those who homeschool from this book, as well as many ideas to use at home. This book shouldn't be missed!
Laura Brodie has a BA from Harvard and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. She is the author of Breaking Out: VMI and the Coming of Women and The Widow's Season. She teaches English at Washington and Lee University and lives in Lexington, Virginia, with her husband and three daughters. Visit her website.
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