Friday, February 02, 2007

January Reading

I did some good reading in January. Found some beautiful quotes to use in the future, and enjoyed the reading I did.

Free At Last: The Sudbury Valley School by Daniel Greenberg

This story is about the Sudbury Valley School, a "free school" in Massachusettes. A quote from their By-Laws sums up what the school is about: "The purpose for which this corporation is formed is to establish and maintain a school for the education of members of the community that is founded upon the principle that learning is best fostered by self-motivation, self-regulation, and self-criticism..." Another quote says, regarding the school, "The idea is simple: driven by innate curiosity, which is the essence of human nature, children will make enourmous exertions to explore and master the world around them." This book tells the beautiful tale of this school & how the function...and how they continue decade after decade to turn out children into the world who are smart, responsible, confident in making choices, & persistant in reaching their goals. This book was an easy read, and a wonderful example of how, by following our children's lead, we can assist in their quest for knowledge without force-feeding them information.

How Children Fail by John Holt

Put together as a compliation of journal entries made by Holt during the 50s & 60s, Holt makes some amazing observations regarding children & their learning processes. This revised edition also has some of Holt's thoughts "after the fact" where he either changes his mind or re-confirms his original thoughts. Holt is highly regarded in the field of education & homeschooling and is always in interesting author to read.

So, Why Do You Homeschool? Answering questions people ask about home education by Mimi Davis

This was a really neat book, stuffed full of all sorts of questions that homeschoolers get asked, and some great answers to those questions! If you are considering homeschooling, or have friends or family who question your decision, this book does a great job of answering all sorts of questions from socialization to graduation to parental teaching requirements & more. Another easy read and quite informational.

The Way We Never Were: American families and the nostalgia trap by Stephanie Coontz all fairness, I didn't make it through this book completely. The concept is neat. From the back cover: "Examination of two centuries of family life that shatter the myths that burden most modern families and make them long for the past. Coontz examines key cultural events and rexamines the myth that continue to compel the American people to long for a time that never was." Cool, huh? I just could not make it through this book. It was full of statistical-talk, and that is not the type of reading I enjoy. The author did a great job of making her points, and I know it would be an interesting read...if that's a genre that holds your attention! I tried quite hard to chew through the chapters and I finally gave up because I just had no desire to continue! If anyone wants this copy, let me know & it's yours! :)

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