Homeschooling in Children's Lit

In a post he labeled ‘Homeschooling in Children’s Lit,’ author and educator Milton Gaither explores the title topic:

“This post summarizes what I’ve learned about homeschooling in mainstream children’s literature, looking at some books I haven’t reviewed already to make a few points about the genre.

“I first got interested in depictions of homeschoolers in mainstream children’s literature when I came across David Almond’s excellent 1998 book Skellig. It tells the story of Michael and his homeschooled friend Mina, who discover a mysterious owl-like creature and nurture it back to health. Early in the book Mina explains to Michael why she wasn’t in school. Michael is the narrator:

“I don’t go to school.”

I stared at her.

“My mother educates me,” she said. “We believe that schools inhibit the natural curiosity, creativity, and intelligence of children. The mind needs to be opened out into the world, not shuttered down inside a gloomy classroom.” (p.49)

“Since then I have read many other children’s books with homeschooled characters, and the perspective of Mina and her mother is nearly always the approach described in the books.”

Gaither goes on to describe other books with homeschooling as a theme, including Stephanie Tolan’s Surviving the Applewhites, Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl, Lucy Frank’s Homeschool Liberation League and others. Read his entire post at the link above.

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