There's not too many things that I enjoy more than a good book. And at this point in my life, I read a lot of home school books and, boy, do I have one to recommend to you!
Do you have a tendency to compare yourself to other homeschool families? Does it seem like many of the families you read about in magazines, or the families of homeschool speakers you've heard speak at conventions, seem like they live in another world than your family does? Maybe it's the Planet of Perfection. I don't know about you, but I sometimes turn a little green with envy when I read about others whose children "rise up and call them blessed" at 7:00 a.m., fix their own breakfasts, crack their books immediately after washing their dishes, and then work diligently with a cherubic smile on their faces, all the while responding to you with perfect manners and twinkles in their eyes.
Well, in her book Home School - Where Learning is For Life, Jackie Cross does not sugar-coat real-life homeschooling. With charm, grace, tears, and a lot of humor, Jackie invites us into her home and lets us sit with a cup of tea while she tells us of the ups and downs, the good and the bad, and the blessings of homeschooling six kids for over 20 years. It's not often that I've read a more complete, honest look at homeschooling.
There are 35 chapters in this book, with such titles as: Where Do I Begin?, Discovering Yourself as a Teacher, What About Socialization (a favorite of mine!), Discipleship: The Secret to Well Behaved Children, What Role Does Dad Play? (a topic I haven't seen dealt with in very many books), The Teen Years, and If I Had it to Do All Over Again. She covers the whole gamut of homeschooling. Rarely have I read a book by someone who has actually seen both ends of the homeschool spectrum – from beginning to graduation.
Jackie also deals with the husband and wife relationship with more honesty then I've seen in other homeschool books. There have been times when I've wondered; Are any other homeschool moms so completely worn out at the end of the day? I'm giving my husband my leftovers and I need someone to show me how to get out of this hole so that I may honor him. Well, Jackie has dealt with this as well, and is in turn brutally and lovingly honest with how it has been dealt with in their household.
Jackie's book has earned a place on my most favorite list of books. You may purchase a copy by sending $25.00 (includes S & H) to: Mrs. Jacqueline Cross, 2435 Anderson Road, Xenia, Ohio 45385.