Over the years our family learned at home, many terms floated across the homeschool communities describing different homeschooling styles. For many parents, one phrase – “Christian homeschooler” – turned into “Christian who also homeschools” because of the assumed connotations within our community. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that thorny subject is not my focus today, except to point out our varied interests.
The intent today is on “homeschooling writers” or “writers who homeschool”, or all of the above. An enjoyable pastime for me is observing various homeschooling writers’ engagement with the public in columns, books and articles. On one of my first days as editor and since we seem to have a slow homeschooling news day, I aim to list a compilation of homeschoolers with public opinions.
I am fully aware the phrase – “homeschoolers with opinions” – is redundant, but there are always rumors floating on the ‘socialization’ muck accusing us of the little lady abiding our husband’s wishes of barefoot, pregnant and in a denim jumper. As many in the media and the education research department might assert this backwoods image, the notion should be swept right out our back door.
These authors’ writing interests I’m showcasing are not necessarily revolving around homeschooling. but there does seem to be a link with lifelong learning. Farming/good food and love of the land, science/branches of education, family/that is a major reason we homeschool and of course politics/’homeschool politics are local’ turned into specialties of these different homeschoolers’ trade. I think they’ve served their communities well with thorough knowledge of the subject at hand. So let’s get started.
Author Laurie Couture has an article in the current November – December Home Education Magazine – Keeping The Parent-Teen Connection Strong Through Unschooling. Laurie was also interviewed in the provocative documentary – War on Kids. She’s the one in the movie trailer noting school students are often told to “sit down in that chair and keep your mouth shut”.
Indiana’s News and Tribune Columnist Debbie Harbeson puts her point of view out there for inspection every Thursday. Covering various current events in her articles, Debbie also does not like educational coercion while liking the idea of educational anarchy.
Mississippi homeschooler Natalie Winningham also writes a column in the Clarion-Ledger. Natalie offers her take on family, education trends and homeschooling.
Fran Eaton homeschooled her children and they are continuing the tradition with their own children. Fran writes a column for the south Chicago suburbs – Southtown Star. Her start as a defender of Illinois homeschooling rights sparked a political affairs passion. Fran also edits The Illinois Review and actively participates in Illinois politics.
Another Illinoisan, Deborah Niemann-Boehle, homeschooled while working as a reporter. Then they made a huge lifestyle change and a started up a new homestead. Deborah added to that busy life with her writings about their experience and now has a popular farm blog and two books – Homegrown and Handmade and EcoThrifty.
New Yorker and multi-generation farmer Shannon Hayes has four books to tout, including the start of a new turn of phrase with this title – Radical Homemakers. She has written numerous articles in publications such as the New York Times and you can read her Radical Homemaking thoughts in Yes magazine’s blog.
Home Education Magazine championed many writers along the way, including Kathy Ceceri and Laura Grace Weldon. Kathy is now the senior editor for Geek Mom in Wired magazine and has written several activity books for many homeschoolers’ favorite projects – Hands On Learning. Both these ladies are smart, savvy and let those who are not enlightened never forget – social, offering fun resources in the realm of geekmomdom. Laura also produced a book- Free Range Learning, with a HEM column by the same name.
As I review this off the top of my head list, I recognize these are all of the female gender. I know there are more, and there are certainly men in this group of writers that homeschool (or homeschoolers that write). Pat Farenga, David Albert, and Snow Falling on Cedars award winning author David Guterson immediately come to mind. But it’s a bit fun to highlight the power mamas in this piece. Hats off to them and many others. I will be reading and learning from their pieces and you will surely see their influence here in Home Education Magazine’s News & Commentary.
If you have other writers to add, please feel welcome to note them in comments.