Wednesday, August 08, 2012

I'll Take Your Words and Be Gone

A friend posted a review of the book for a homeschool chat board. He sent it to me and I was so impressed by what he wrote that I asked his permission to use it here. It's not part of the blog book tour, but it's awfully good, and his metaphor is the best I've ever seen to describe where I think all education is headed. See you with a question and answer later today...

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A family friend has just released an intriguing and hilarious book, The Year of Learning Dangerously: Adventures in Homeschooling. She eloquently describes the book in this week's Wall Street Journal. Here is my favorite quote:
"As our habits evolve, it won't be home schooling as we've known it, but it won't be brick-and-mortar schooling, either. I call it "roam schooling." Imagine that your high-school junior spends half of every day at the brick-and-mortar school up the street. Two afternoons a week, he logs into an art-history seminar being taught by a grad student in Paris. He takes computer animation classes at the local college, sings in the church choir and dives at the community pool. He studies Web design on YouTube. He and three classmates see a tutor at the public library who preps them for AP Chemistry. He practices Spanish on Skype and takes cooking lessons at a nearby restaurant every Saturday morning. Is this home schooling or regular school? Who cares? He's learning."

To read the full article, go to ...

As presaged by the title, her writing is quite irreverent, punchy, and witty yet well researched and highly informative. With her development of the concept of Roam Schooling, she helps me better understand my own family's efforts to integrate the strongest and avoid the weakest aspects of home, online, public, and private schooling for both of our boys. In the end, our educational result looks more like a smorgasbord of all of the options rather than an exclusive commitment to any one of them, with each boy getting a remarkably different balance of all four as has suited their developmental needs and personal interests.

Perhaps now we learn just like we eat, sometimes we cook at home with a treasured family recipe (teaching at home with our own curriculum), sometimes we throw a frozen dinner in the microwave (teaching at home with stock curricular materials), sometimes we gather with others for a potluck (parkdays, field trips, book clubs, and homeschool classes), sometimes we download a unique recipe from our favorite cooking site or order food for delivery (online classes), sometimes we enjoy the economies of scale at an inexpensive cafeteria (public or hybrid public programs), sometimes we dine with those who share our chosen faith (faith based teaching), and sometimes we enjoy the atmosphere and flavors of a distinctive private restaurant (independent private schools). Taste the education and enjoy!

6 Comments:

Blogger Will Farris said...

From a former private school teacher, thanks for probably the funniest book I have read in a long time. Yes, your heavily dramatized angst regarding much of what home-schooling entails - especially starting with decrying the nature of government-run schools and their history, politics, one-size-fits-all, etc. - consolidates much of what has been highly vitriolic commentary ever since that 1983 report on the "nation at risk," albeit in a commendably disarming way.

Regarding the book, however, I noticed there was no reference to the recently popular book DIY U by Anya Kamenetz or the older Grace Llewellyn (Teenage Liberation, Guerrilla Learning, etc.) in which the pursuit of very non-traditional methodology, topics, experiences and so forth is advocated. In other words, while I am sure you would regards that as not appropriate for your family it does make for interesting discussion as there are many touchpoints to the homeschooling process in general. Had you been down that path it would make for interesting commenting on your part. In any event, after Susan Wise Bauer (one of my heroes), I would likely include your book as a first foray for someone considering the lep into this great beyond. Thanks again very much for your efforts!

Will Farris
Huntsville, Al
(Yes, I really am a rocket scientist, but would rather be playing jazz)

8:09 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Heard you on DR Show and was very interested in your perspective. I have a special needs child who benefits greatly from the routine of a brick-and-mortar school setting, but I often worry about how he is short-changed and doesn't even know it.

On completely unrelated note, I love how several of your post titles are songs or bits of songs. Very clever.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous ChartityHawkins said...

Heard your show on Diane Rhem today and yay for you! I thought you discussed so well the many aspects of homeschooling. I tried to write a memoir about it, because it's such a hilarious, hard, but rewarding world, but ended up with a novel instead. Still good, both ways, and I look forward to reading your book! It sounds great!

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got the email from Amazon that your book has shipped...heading my way in a couple of days! Can't wait! I've been reading your blog for about a year and it provides much needed comic relief...thank you! I'm a homeschool mom of 3 boys.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Ms. Phyllis said...

There is nothing new or innovative about anything in this post. As a homeschool mother who has been homeschooling for six years, I must tell you that what you described is typical of most homeschoolers.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Dena said...

I have been homeschooling for 12 years now, and have read just about every book out there relating to homeschool. I am a bit neurotic and seem to think I am missing something. To be honest most of them are pretty much the same thing over and over. Reading your book was a joy. You reminded so much of myself, searching for my tribe. We have tried numerous Co-ops, homeschool groups, etc and I have to admit I have faked it to see how certain groups function. I am still amazed at those people who are so confident. I just started homeschooling my 6 year old and still have the same anxiety I had with my older kids who are finishing high school. I still wouldn't change anything.I think that the best thing about homeschooling is that you can make it your own. You know your kids better than anyone else, so there really isn't a need to follow anyone. My kids are happy, confident, curious, and very socialized. My friends whose kids are public schooled are amazed at our relationship. I wished more people would open their minds and realized that homeschooling is merely finding the best options for your kid. I am so glad we made this journey and I am so glad I ordered your book.

10:11 PM  

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