Just over a year ago we began the daunting task of homeschooling our firstborn. The combination of responsibility for a child’s learning combined with the amount of information available to teach creates a task that is intimidating. As a homeschool mom, Jamie Erickson understands this and for those of us who find ourselves uncertain she has reached out with her book, Homeschool Bravely.
Erickson is not someone from the outside trying to give insights nor is she one who is merely compiling resources from others. Erickson is a former teacher who made the decision to homeschool her own children. Those years of experience have given her the ability to offer insight and encouragement to other homeschooling parents through her books, articles, and blog and if numbers are an indication, 50,000 followers suggest that she is a notable expert of the field. Therefore, Homeschool Bravely, as a book that seeks to help others find their passions for homeschooling, at the very least merits consideration.
The author has a gift for writing, softening her practical approach with elements of humor that make for an engaging book. Through that ability to write, she excels at several aspects within the book. First, she orients homeschooling parents towards a future mindset by urging them to identify/recognize a long-term goal. This mindset allows parents to teach towards that goal and admit that no parent possesses the capability and time to teach all there is to know. Second, Erickson has formed a book that is practically theological. She rightly places homeschooling in the context of theological positions (such as identifying it as an act of worship) without being overly dogmatic. In doing this she offers rebuttals to many of the major criticisms about homeschooling (like confronting the concept that children will not be socialized if they are not in public school) but neither does she assert that homeschooling is the only option to be considered. Finally, her insights are creatively functional. Recognizing that each child is at a different level with varying types of motivators, influences, and enthusiasm, Erickson gives suggestions but allows parents to operate within a level of adaptation. As a result, Homeschool Bravely is a resource that offers solutions to those uncertain about homeschooling but not without a level of flexibility.
Perhaps the one area of struggle is with the author’s definition of calling, which she stipulates as simply dealing with what you have been handed. In one sense, this is not untrue. Yet, she utilizes this to write that if a person is currently homeschooling that it is God’s will for his/her life. This mindset does not take into account the seasons of life in which things may change (for example, homeschooling may be good at the moment but may not be appropriate later on) or to account for the circumstances that lead to homeschooling (perhaps there was pressure on a parent that forced them to make a decision they would not have otherwise made). Therefore, it is important to allow a level of personal circumstances and convictions that make each situation unique.
Homeschooling is a tremendous responsibility and has the capability to generate fear into parents. Homeschool Bravely is a great resource to guide parents in those areas of uncertainty. There is wisdom in knowing that homeschooling is not for everyone; there is wisdom in knowing how to adapt based on a child’s needs and this book will help parents at whatever point they may be in.
To learn more about this book or purchase a copy, click here.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost to me for the purposes of review. However, my review was not influenced by the author, publisher, or anyone else associated with this book and is the result of my own reading of it.