Friday, August 29, 2014

Good Reads

We love reading. All of us. If you want to know more about what we are reading you can follow our reviews and ratings on GoodReads.

Phaedra's GoodReads

Stormie's GoodReads

One of the things I miss from working in the library is knowing books very well. I was constantly keeping up with what was coming out, what was popular, what was being made into a movie, and what series a kid would need to put on hold if he wanted a chance at reading them in order. I knew the best early readers, I made themed booklists constantly, I could talk to any kid and recommend a book in our conversation by what they talked about. I loved getting the reading surveys that patrons would fill out about what they enjoyed reading and make them a personalized reading list of recommendations. I loved putting together book talks to present at the local high school. I love books.

I hope to start doing more reviews again. I think I have a few on my old library blog

I picked up a great book at the library this week, and I finished it in 24 hrs.

The Year of Learning Dangerously Adventures in Homeschooling by Quinn Cummings

This book is a memoir written by a mother about the first year homeschooling her 6th grade daughter. They took her out of public school because they were finding it difficult to meet her educational needs because she was super advanced in english and struggled in math and they saw her becoming increasingly more unhappy and even manipulative in the school environment. It is basically a story of their path to discovering what worked for their family. She points out that homeschoolers are your neighbors, but extremely.

Quinn's voice is humorous, honest and the language isn't dumbed down. (I even looked up a word while reading it.) It reads quickly and keeps your interest. It does a nice job quickly recapping the history of homeschooling, throws in nice facts and statistics and covers many different homeschooling philosophies, such as unschooling, radical unschooling, online schools, gothardites, fundamentalists, and Classical Education. Sometimes it was a little too cliche, but overall, a good look at all the different ways to homeschool out there.

What I really enjoyed was that it was not a "this is the right way to homeschool" book. It was a "everyone has their own path to discover " homeschool book. I really support that idea. Homeschooling is a learning process for everyone involved. In my circles, it's referred to as deschooling.  DIY is my approach to everything in life and I love the fact that this is celebrated in this homeschooling book. We should all be trusted that we know what is best for ourselves.

I related to this book. I laughed at myself a lot while reading this book. I had been in some of the situations she comically addressed in the book. To begin with, this past year was our first year homeschooling my 7th grade daughter. I, like the author, am in introvert and riddled with anxiety. My children are not. How do you deal with the constant chatter? Tune it out? When do the panic attacks stop or do you Day Drink in the bathroom? She has this anxiety about truant officers and principals telling her she is not doing the right thing and what she is doing is against the law. She fears she is messing up her kid, not doing enough, doing too much. She finally works up the courage to go to a homeschooling park day, puts on real pants and introduces herself to a group of Mom's who stare at her blank faced and then return to their conversation about carseats. (This one had me in tears while I was laughing at myself because this has happened to me, more than once.) After this incident she decides to find her tribe of homeschoolers and sets off to many different conventions and reading many homeschool family blogs. My favorite, and another place I found myself laughing so hard I was in tears was with her discovery of Unschooling and the "subspecies of Radical Unschooling". After looking at Unschool family blogs she decides she has never seen so many families who craft together and that unschooling must mean that you never have to eat a store bought chicken egg again by the number of families with chickens.

The one thing that bothered me was that she "infiltrated" the different homeschooling groups. I am a big fan of honesty and I am guessing that the communities she even wore disguises to are not too happy about this either. It seemed kind of like a gimmick for writing the book. Even yet, I love being able to laugh at myself and this book did that for me.

Highly recommended.

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