You should buy my new book. Why? Because, to my surprise, it’s actually quite a bit better than I thought it would be. Every time I flip through it I find myself sucked in and reading it again, even though I know it by heart. My crowning glory, though? My 14 year-old is reading it as his choice of non-fiction book. Oh, and it went to number one in its category on Amazon yesterday. Woo hoo!
Truly, the best thing about this book has been the input of my kids. Whenever I wrote about them specifically and wanted to make sure they were okay with what I said, I had them read the passages. I thought I might get some kickback, some requests to change parts or not share where things went wrong. What happened instead was that the kids said my book was amusing, even downright funny in parts. That’s some high praise! And they were fine with my sharing our foibles with the world.
More High Praise Plus One That Wasn’t
Another thing that surprised me was how many great editorial reviews I got. Other authors were wonderfully willing to read my book, give me feedback, and write me a review. All I had to do was ask. It probably helped that I enjoyed their work enough to include it in mine, either as quotes or references, but I think asking was the biggest thing. A few were much too busy to do reviews for anyone, and one author thought my homeschool style was too far from his to write a positive review without caveats. That was very hard to hear, but it helped me grow. It made me look at not only things I could change, but also the way I have learned to phrase what we do so that it makes sense to people who are still in a school mindset.
How I Phrase Things
I self-edit so that it sounds like we’re doing more traditional type academic work and less unschooling than we actually do. On the one hand, it makes people who aren’t familiar with unschooling more comfortable and less likely to question our homeschooling methods. On the other hand, it doesn’t help propagate my belief that self-directed learning is the best way to learn. This week my 11 year-old is busy reading some Life of Fred pre-algebra books that we picked up from a friend. Because he wants to. We discussed the fact that they’re written from a non-secular standpoint, so he knows to take some of it with a grain of salt (as with everything.) Sometimes he does the equations in his head, sometimes he doesn’t. If I told him to work on it then it would be a completely different experience for him. Yay for self-directed learning!
Here’s what you’ve been waiting for, right? My favorite reviews from other authors!
“Kathy Oaks writes a clear, detailed narrative of her and her family’s journey from conventional schoolers to unconventional learners. Her suggestions and ideas for helping children learn at home in their own ways and for parents struggling with criticism for homeschooling their children will give you confidence and direction to live and learn well with your children.” — Patrick Farenga, Publisher, John Holt/ Growing Without Schooling LLC
“I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. It’s an easy read. It’s engaging. It’s inspirational. It puts homeschooling in historical context, which I did not expect and knew very little about. As an educator and someone who knows people currently homeschooling I can think of so many people who would get so much from this book. I am going to share this book widely!” — Ellen Rondina, Author of Self-Care Revolution
And From A Homeschool Mom
Hearing from other homeschoolers is the best! I’ve been blown away by the Amazon reviews that people have posted, it’s a great feeling. Here’s one from a friend who read it.
“This book is for every homeschool family, and for those thinking they can’t homeschool for one reason or another. Kathy’s humorous book is about real life and how learning happens every day, not just in a classroom-type setting. It makes me remember so many of the reasons why I chose homeschooling for my family.” — Shannon Bonafede, Homeschool parent of three
Don’t Forget the Bonuses!
I’ve got a bunch of bonuses for anyone who buys my book, including my Roadschooling webinar, lots of Roadschooling resources, Homeschool starter tips, and an eWorkbook on Self-Care (very important for homeschoolers!) Check it out here. And let me know what you think when you’ve read it!