Monday, March 29, 2010

LOVE IN THE TIME OF HOMESCHOOLING: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
LOVE IN THE TIME OF
HOME-SCHOOLING

A Mother and Daughter's Uncommon Year
BY LAURA BRODIE

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Humorous and heartfelt, this charming memoir tells of a year-long experiment in homeschooling in which the author decides to give her ten-year-old daughter a sabbatical from homework hell and the vicissitudes of one-size fits all traditional public school days.

"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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura Brodie is the author of Love in a Time of Homeschooling, a memoir that explores one year when she gave her ten-year-old daughter a break from her public school routine. She has also written a novel, The Widow's Season, and the nonfiction book Breaking Out: VMI and the Coming of Women.

Laura was born in Columbus, Ohio, and lived in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood before her family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated from Broughton High School in 1982 and attended Harvard College, where her favorite class was a poetry workshop wtih Seamus Heaney. She met her future husband, trumpeter John Brodie, on a Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra tour.

After graduating, she went on to earn a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia, and she now lives in Lexington, Virginia, where she divides her time between writing, teaching at Washington and Lee University, and raising three daughters. She is currently working on her second novel.

REVIEW:

LOVE IN THE TIME OF HOMESCHOOLING is an expressively witty, honest account of the year that Laura Brodie decided that the stress of school had become too much for her ten-year old daughter thus calling for drastic measures. The plan she came up with was simple…don’t make her go to school! With the idea of taking a break from traditional school and instead initiate short-term homeschooling for a year, it seemed like the perfect solution. WHAT? Why you can’t just up and do that! Oh, yes you can, and I should know as I did it for a semester with my own child. Short-term homeschooling is the latest trend in this growing movement. My reason and result was a bit different from Laura Brodie’s but I did homeschool not only my own child for a semester but two of his second grade classmates. The private school he was attending in second grade had financial problems and was going to close and since I also was teaching there, it seemed like the perfect solution to finish out the year for all of us. Interesting experience, but once was more than enough. For this reason, I especially could relate to Laura Brodie’s story.

In LOVE IN THE TIME OF HOMESCHOOLING, Brodie describes the challenges and the rewards this year with her youngest daughter was all about. As I myself found, there were so many positive, cultural and hands-on experiences that were enjoyable and helped to enrich her child’s life. It also was a long year when it came to some of the day-to-day routine instruction and more traditional paper/book work. She describes the strategies that worked well for them and the activities that did not. As I also found, there was frustration and difficulty at times due to the fact she was “Mom” and not “the teacher” to her student. On the other hand, there was an increase in quality family time and she was able to individualize her daughter’s curriculum to include some of the often forgotten subjects left out because they aren’t covered by the state mandated testing. In our classrooms today, teachers have to include certain mandated material that is covered on standardized tests. They are directed to teach not only the same curriculum as everyone else in the district but usually at a precise time. So much is lost in that case as all the spontaneity goes out the window as does the leeway of pacing to meet individual student or group needs. With these time constraints, so much of the material that isn’t covered by mandated testing is pushed aside. What Brodie found was they were able to branch out to a more well-rounded education geared to her child’s needs. Though their year was not simple, mother and daughter worked through their frustration and problems to create a priceless union.

I found Laura Brodie’s writing to be very conversational and enjoyable to follow. Her story was heartfelt and eye-opening. Many parents will find this to be of use as they perhaps question the educational benefits there child is getting in whatever setting they are now in. With the players in the story being real and the subject relevant, it is a fast and rewarding read.



GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO KYLE AND GOOD PEOPLE
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE 3 COPIES OF THIS WONDERFUL

BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT
YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!



--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING AT LAURA BRODIE'S WEBSITE HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY:
COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT THIS BOOK FROM THE REVIEW ABOVE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ONLY IF YOU ARE A GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT FOLLOWER AND IF YOU ARE, YOU GET THE ENTRY...OR IF YOU JOIN TODAY, YOU MAY ALSO GET THE POINTS. ANY OTHER FOLLOWERS EXCEPT THESE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GET THIS ENTRY THIS TIME AROUND

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST,
APRIL 10!


GOOD LUCK

32 comments:

Colleen Turner said...

Went to the author's website and read a little about her other book, The Widow's Season", which is about a widow who presumably sees her dead husband in the grocery store and thinks he is haunting her. Sounds interesting so I might need to check this one out as well!
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I enjoyed your review, especially when you made the point that with homeschooling you have the chance to veer from the state-mandated monotony and branch your child's education out. My son is going into kindergarten next year so might be interesting to see if this would be an option down the road.
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

Hi,
I am a google connect follower.
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

traveler said...

Your review is comprehensive and interesting and informative. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I have been interested in this author's book The Widow's Season for a good while and this is such a different type of book as it sounds intriguing and unique. thanks for this lovely giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

StephTheBookworm said...

I'd love to read this! I'm a Google Friend follower. I've been dying to read her novel The Widow's Season! I checked it out of the library but didn't get to read it before it was due. It looks amazing, and so does this one!

stephaniet117(at)yahoo(dot)com

Vera said...

This book sounds great and I'd love to win! I love how the author is so multi-talented; on top of writing, she was apparently in an orchestra and toured everywhere - sounds like a very interesting life!

vvperesk@gmail.com

Vera said...

I've never of short-term homeschooling and it's good to hear that you've tried it as well. Might be something to consider down the road...

vvperesk@gmail.com

Vera said...

I'm a GFC follower. vvperesk@gmail.com

rubynreba said...

I follow on google friend
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

The author earned money as an amateur violinist during high school.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I did not know anyone did home schooling short term. Wish I would have done that when my kids were in school!
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Rebecca O said...

At her site, I found out that she played the Violin at Harvard! That is awesome...I too played the Violin...although, not at Harvard! LOL. :)

bekki1820cb at gmail

Rebecca O said...

GFC follower of the blog. :)
bekki1820cb at gmail

Rebecca O said...

I was homeschooled for one year myself, when I as a junior in high school. It was an interesting experience for me, and really motivated my for my senior year. It makes constantly thing about what I will do for my own son, when the time comes for school.

bekki1820cb at gmail

Jolee said...

I learned that her daughter is/was 10, just a wee bit older than my son who is *asking* to be homeschooled next year. I think this very intriguing book sounds like it would give me food for thought.

Jolee said...

from this review, I learned that the day to day learning and curriculum can be trying. joleehamlin@comcast.net

Jolee said...

google fc. joleehamlin@comcast.net

Margie said...

I found it interesting that the author taught at various local colleges, and also at Washington and Lee University.
mtakalaq2 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

I am a follower via GFC and also via email subscription.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

From the review...it is good that the author covers both the positive and negative aspects of home schooling.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Cyndi said...

I'm a google follower!
Cyndi
athcjones@gmail.com

Cyndi said...

I think that it's amazing she decided to home school her child for a year. No matter how educated a person may be, teaching is very difficult (as a former teacher, I can definitely vouch for that!
I'd love to read about her experience and see whether she felt it made a difference with her daughter.
Thanks!
Cyndi
jonescyndi@yahoo.com

Cyndi said...

I went to the author's website and found that this woman is amazing! Is there anything she can't do? I also like how she managed to take her dissertation topic about widows and write an interesting novel. I think she, and her books, sound fascinating.
Cyndi
jonescyndi@yahoo.com

amweeks said...

I loved reading the author's biography...what a fabulous life she's had! I see that she played violin with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, touring in Russia, Europe and Asia. On an orchestra tour she met her future husband, trumpeter John Brodie. They married after my graduation, and lived in Washington, DC, where I worked on campaign finance reform for Common Cause.

amweeks said...

I follow on friend connect! (amweeks)

annmarieweeks at verizon dot net

amweeks said...

As mom to a very temperamental 10 yr old daughter, I think this book would be such a great read for me..to take away the frustration that I often feel with my daughter!

annmarieweeks at verizon dot net

amweeks said...

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/amweeks/status/11791295581

annmarieweeks at verizon dot net

Tore said...

The home school aspect. I have thought of home schooling my son. It will interesting to see what she goes through. Tore923@aol.com

Darcie K. said...

I have always been a bit curious about homeschooling my 9 year old drama. I think that it would be interesting to find out what the author found appealing about the process.
dmkayes@gmail.com

Darcie K. said...

I follow via Google Friend Connect
dmkayes@gmail.com

Darcie K. said...

From the author's site, I found that it was interesting that she toured Russia, Europe and Asia as part of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, meeting her future husband.
dmkayes@gmail.com

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