For those of us who are in our 30s or older, I’m sure you’ll remember the popular 1980s T.V. sitcom called “The Facts of Life”? Do the names Blair Warner, Jo, Tudy, Natalie and Mrs. Garrett ring a bell? Lisa Whelchel, also known to us as Blair back when we were younger, is the author of this book. She and her husband Steve, a pastor, now live in Los Angeles, CA, and are the homeschooling parents of three children named Tucker, Haven and Clancy. What Lisa does in her book is to introduce you to fifteen families in fifteen unique situations who have all chosen to homeschool for different reasons, using a variety of learning methods.
So just what does and “average” or “typical” homeschooling family look like you might ask? That is a very difficult question to answer. You may find some similar features, but like a fingerprint, no two are ever the same. There are many different philosophies, curriculum options, and teaching styles as there are reasons for homeschooling. A family may be passionate about the principle approach, the Charlotte Mason method, on-line academics, unschooling, traditional texts, classical education, eclectic homeschooling, video schooling, curriculum on a budget, the Sonlight or Robertson curriculum, and many, many more. As Lisa says, “The bottom line is, you have to find what works for your family. In order to do that, you need to find out what’s out there.”
In this book you will have the opportunity to meet a family who homeschools while traveling, a homeschooling father, a family who has a child who struggles with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), being a military family who deals often with PCS (Permanent Change of Station orders), a single homeschooling mom of two, homeschooling in a big city, an unschooling family, and even a quiver full family with 10 children, just to name to a few.
In his forward, Michael Farris, President of Patrick Henry College, and Founder and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, says this, “Lisa tells you the truth about homeschooling. She has listened to the joys and tribulations of more than a thousand home schooling families, and by taking you in to the lives of several composite families, she paints an accurate picture of the struggles you can expect and the sacrifices which may be required. But most importantly, Lisa is telling you the truth when she says that whatever the struggle, the rewards make it all worthwhile.”