I have a book about homeschooling to recommend. This kind of surprises me.
First, it is unusual for me to read a homeschooling book. Most of them make me crazy. And after thirteen years of this lifestyle, I certainly don't want to read that I'm doing it wrong! Secondly, many of them are useful to new homeschoolers or a subset of homeschoolers, but no one else would really want to read them. Homeschooling: A Family's Journey is a good book for long-timers, newbies, wannabes, and folks who would just like to understand homeschoolers a little bit better.
After I got this book home from the library I was trying to figure out what made me pick it up and look at it. It does say "HOMESCHOOLING" in red letters on the front, so I guess it isn't entirely surprising that I looked at it. But I think that what really got my attention was the picture of the family on the front. It was what we like to call a "pile picture." The family is kind of piled in, leaning on each other. They like each other. They aren't stuffy. They look like a family we could be friends with.
But the thing that made me bring it home was this sentence inside the front cover: "Today's homeschoolers succeed not because they do "school" things better than schools do--but because they do better things than school." Yes. In a nutshell. (This is part of the reason calls for accountability to the school-ish powers that be drive us crazy.)
So I decided to read it last night. Not with the highest of expectations, because it has been years since I read a book about homeschooling that really did anything for me. But I found myself engaged. I stayed awake late reading. I finished it this morning. I marked pages as I read because I kept finding nuggets that resonated. This book is about family and what education is.
Several of the pages I marked are going to turn into blog posts of their own. The book I read is from the library, but I'm going to buy my own so that I can mark it up and--eventually--loan it out. It is that good.