Monday, July 04, 2005

Idea For Homeschooling Book Club

I had this idea a couple of years ago but only found one other person interested in participating, in my area. A group of two didn’t seem “good enough”, so the plans didn’t come to fruition.

The idea was to have a monthly book club to discuss learning, education issues, alternative education theories, education reform topics and homeschooling. The impetus for this was that I’d sometimes read books that were so thought-provoking that I wished I could discuss them with someone. I wanted to hear what others had to say, and of course, to share what was on my mind. I thought a group of homeschooling moms might want to participate in such a group, especially if they were new to homeschooling.

The topics are endless and could be chosen by the group, to cover certain topics of interest to the group members.

I thought we could read first, old classics about education reform such as “The Way It’s Spozed To Be” by James Herndon, to show some issues with public education. We could then move on to a book about how children learn naturally, when allowed, such as “How Children Learn” by John Holt.

If the group had young children we could move into topics such as education alternatives of the Waldorf method and the Montessori method. What struck me about the methods was how so much thought went into everything about the the theory and practice.

Then we’d change gears to homeschooling: why would someone want to homeschool? We could read a a basic book about homeschooling, if the participants were newbies, such as “The Homeschooling Book of Answers: 101 Important Questions Answered by Homeschooling's Most Respected Voices” by Linda Dobson. We could then move on to homeschool theories and methods, perhaps one on unschooling, such as “The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World as Your Classroom” by Mary Griffith, and perhaps one on Charlotte Mason (which I consider a ‘middle of the road’ method), such as “For The Children’s Sake” by Susan S. MacAulay, then one on classical homeschooling, such as “The Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, revised edition” by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer, which I think is the other end of the spectrum.

Then perhaps move on to read one of the style of “our family’s experience” or one of Nancy Lande’s books such as “Homeschool Open House”.

We could read a book about learning styles, such as "Discover Your Child's Learning Style: Children Learn in Unique Ways-Here's the Key to Every Child's Learning Success" by Mariaemma Willis and Victoria Kindle Hodson, and perhaps also, a Mel Levine book such as “A Mind At a Time”.

If there was an interest, we could read a book about homeschooling gifted children such as “Creative Home Schooling” by Lisa Rivero.

Other parenting issues that are related to schooling are topics such as the social lives of children. Some books we could read are:

“Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk” by David Elkind

“The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon” by David Elkind

“All Grown Up and No Place To Go: Teenagers in Crisis” by David Elkind

“Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children” by Michael Thompson

“Liberation’s Children: Parents and Kids in a Postmodern Age” by Kay S. Hymnowitz

“Day Care Deception: What the Day Care Establishment Isn't Telling Us” by Brian C. Robertson

“Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Overindulgent Age” by Dan Kindlon

Perhaps also there could be books on gender topics such as:

“Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys” by Dan Kindlon

“Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons From the Myth of Boyhood” by William Pollack

“Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls” by Mary Pipher PhD

“The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap” by Robert Coles

If we wanted to really share our own theories, I’d have us each do the questions in Mary Hood PhD’s “Countdown to Consistency” and share our answers.

I still think it is a great idea and still would love to participate in a book club of this nature!

I once pondered the idea of having said book club "online" with options other than live chat. I couldn't come up with a way to make this happen, though. If you have ideas about how this could be achieved, please share them with me!

1 comment:

COD said...

I just did this with "The Underground History of Ameican Education."

Don't try to formalize anything - just do it. I didn't make any announcements ot line up any participants ahead of time.

http://www.odonnellweb.com/mtarchives/cat_the_underground_history_of_american_education.php