By Susan Richman

Probably all homeschoolers wish they could just take a peek into other homeschooling families' days. How do they do things? How do they move through the day? How do they organize themselves? (Or, is anyone else disorganized like me sometimes?) We meet one another at homeschool support group meetings, we visit one another at our homes, and we talk and talk and it's a wonderful support. But that chance to really see what happens on a real day at someone else's home--that's something we all can only long for.

Nancy Lande's wonderful collection of real days from homeschooling families of all stripes can give us that opportunity. And the title is really apt, as this spectrum of days is almost a crazy quilt of different homeschooling styles and strategies. You will not find identical families all doing the same thing at the same time--instead you'll meet real families who are just as unique as you are and who just don't readily fit into categories or stereotypes. There are families with lots of children, or only one or two; families with home businesses or farms, families where Dad goes off to an office job, and families where Mom works outside the home and Dad takes on more in the day-to-day homeschooling. There are families from across the USA and from around the world; families with older teens working on chemistry and algebra and foreign languages, and families with young children enjoying the beginnings of learning about the world in an active way.

With some stories you'll probably feel right at home, and with others you'll probably find yourself saying, "Ah! So that's why I can't do it that way--that's just not us!" And with others you may find yourself saying, "That's what I want to strive for--let me read extra carefully so that I can see just what they are really doing." And if you are a new homeschooler, or just thinking about the possibility, you'll find much here to help you sort out what you might do with your own children. Homeschooling will become more of a grounded reality and less just a theory or idea.

I know these families probably all learned more about what they do and how they do it by taking part in this worthwhile project--writing up our days makes us be thoughtful when we are usually rushed, makes us reflect and think back and mull over things and see what it all meant. I highly recommend any homeschool families consider writing up a real day like these families have done, maybe every year--it will make a wonderful memory and a great complement to the portfolios of work many of us already keep. And you'll learn more about what you really do.

So enjoy this collection, this quilt of days. Put on some tea, put your feet up, and relax for a while as you are welcomed into some wonderful families' homes. Maybe grab a cozy quilt for your lap, if it's winter like it is here as I write. And remember that the quilt image and this book itself, takes us out of our own little circle of family and gives us the bigger picture of the distinctive pattern that all homeschoolers make together. It's a lovely and varied design.

Susan Richman,
Author of:
Writing From Home
The 3 R's at Home
Math By Kids!
Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

Nancy Lande © 1996

Copyright © 1996 WindyCreek Press, All Rights Reserved