A mother's candid and humorous account of the exploits of homeschooling her child.
When her daughter, Alice, continually balked at learning long division at public school, math-phobic Cummings (Notes from the Underwire: Adventures from My Awkward and Lovely Life, 2009) decided she didn't want Alice to grow up fearing numbers. The author realized she needed to try a different approach to education, and homeschooling became the solution. Almost instantly, Cummings was confronted with doubts about her ability to successfully teach Alice, especially math, and the fear that Alice would not develop socially without daily interaction with other children. To combat her insecurities, Cummings delved into some homeschooling variations, including unschooling (letting the child's interests dictate the curriculum), a belief system where "the first priority of homeschooling is not giving our children the skills required to succeed in society but protecting our children from the corrupting influence of that society," and following the teachings of Dr. Bill Gothard, an extremely Bible-based format of learning. Not content just to research these variations online, the author went undercover, complete with proper attire and wig, to homeschooling conventions to witness and experience these styles of learning firsthand. She provides practical advice on how not to homeschool as well as entertaining commentary on the multiple styles available. Ultimately, Cummings and Alice survived their year together, with both child and parent learning from the other. With the future of all education in flux, the author foresees children adopting multiple methods of learning to remain successful in the years ahead.
An amusing and informative memoir about an alternative approach to education.