She talks about how part of her motivation to homeschool was selfish as she was tired of the evening tortures of their homework routine, and how she wanted the time to be spent on work she valued and not busy work. Again I can relate to that and amazingly the "homework struggles" disappeared once we began homeschooling. I realized that much of the struggling had been due to being on someone elses timetable instead of our own.
She mentioned going to college with Grant Colfax whose parents, David and Micki Colfax wrote Homeschooling for Excellence. She also read The American Scholar by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Laura Brodie maintains that all good parents are homeschoolers. I disagree with the wording she used as I don't think parents who send their children to public or private schools should refer to themselves as homeschoolers, but I agree with the sentiment behind her statement. All good parents do seek out opportunities for their children to grow and learn. These parents share teachable moments with their children when they have the chance, no matter what educational choice they have chosen for their children.
Even though she had no intention for homeschooling for more then a year she acknowledges that many of the benefits of homeschooling emerge only after several years of work.
She gained inspiration from John Stuart Mill's Autobiography.
Brodie maintains that "Small class size is crucial for the one-on-one attention needed to teach writing, which is why many American schools fail miserably in that area." and points out that many Titans of today's homeschooling movement started out as disaffected public school teachers. Another book she read Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense by Guterson advocated a community based education where the student learns from real life encounters. The one thing that bothered her was the lack of information about the daily struggles of homeschooling by the authors of homeschool books. I do think the privacy of their families has something to do with the lack of information. And in my experience homeschool Mother's/Father's need to make time for themselves. No one can devote themselves to something 24/7 without getting burned out. But homeschool Mom's/Dad's don't have to be with their kids "ALL DAY" as some homeschool critics imagine.
One point I DISAGREE with Laura Brodie on is regulations. She actually is for North Dakota's strict requirements although admits that the moderate regulations her state requires made it convenient for her. I question why she thinks homeschooling should be made inconvenient for other parents.
She was also pleasantly surprised by how positive the news of her decision to homeschool Julia was greeted by the majority of Julia's public school teachers. One teacher even recommended writers: Avi, Susan Cooper, and Natalie Babbitt for Julia to read.
She mentions a friend Todd who homeschooled his son for six weeks and who stated "I was demanding, But as I pushed, he resisted, and the results were very unpleasant". This reminds me of the fantasy I started out homescooling with. Since my husband is GREAT at Math, I thought he could teach that one subject while I handled the rest. The kids mutinied, they begged me to take over as they hated having Dad as their teacher. For the sake of family harmony I took over the Math Classes, even though Math is my weakest subject and I really had to work at it. Some parents just aren't cut out to homeschool and don't get me wrong my husband is a great guy who has provided many wonderful field trips and educational opportunities for his children and without whose support my homeschooling wouldn't have been possible. He was just to demanding for the day to day work and got frustrated when the kids didn't grasp what he was trying to teach right away.
I have just started reading Chapter 4, so stay tuned for further reviews.