made something

made something post image

I made something!  It’s called a book proposal.

A proposal is a document that nonfiction writers send to agents, pitching their books. They’re complex beasts, containing blurbs from other writers, an overview of the book you’re writing, marketing plans, comparative book titles, chapter summaries for each chapter in the book even if you haven’t written the whole book, sample chapters, and more.

It’s taken me a year to get mine right.

I printed it out. All this time, this book has been living in my head, on my hard drive. Now I have something that I can hold in my hands. Not a whole book–but a proposal for a book.

This is the beginning of what will be a long haul–sending this baby out, fingers crossed, waiting to see if an agent responds, takes interest, and then, if so, waiting to see if that agent can get an editor at a publishing house to take interest–so I just want to stop here and hold this moment, like I’m holding the proposal.

I made something.

* * *

I had second thoughts about writing about it here–too self-indulgent? But then I thought about all of you. Some of you have been reading here for years. It’s been almost eight years since I first admitted here that maybe instead of writing a book for parents about helping kids become writers, I might want to do something different. Write essays about homeschooling. Write a memoir.

You’ve been hearing about this book for a very long time now.

I thought about all the tender/worried/commiserating/encouraging comments you’ve left me over the years, and how those comments have shaped me as a writer. You’ve given me an audience and taught me how to write for one. I’m not writing into a void–I’m writing to real people! I know you’re real because you take the time to leave comments, you good, real people!

Here’s something I didn’t understand, that you taught me: when I share my stories, you read them and you think about their meaning in your own life. You use my stories to figure out your own stories! I only began to understand how this worked as I read your comments here over the years, and saw how something I’d written got you thinking about something in your own life–often something that didn’t even seem directly related.

I’ve come to believe that one of the most powerful ways we learn is by listening, by letting the stories of others infuse our own experiences.

Thank you for teaching me that.

* * *

What a time we’re living in! What a terrible, beautiful, transformative time! So many have lost so much. For some–the luckier among us–it’s been a pause, a time for life to stop and shift and allow us a new perspective.

It’s hard to fathom that this little project of my heart–a memoir of a homeschooling life–has suddenly become relevant due to a pandemic, due to the fact that so many people are suffering.

It’s hard to fathom the fact that homeschooling has become, suddenly, a household word. I don’t like the idea that in the years its taken me to learn to write this book, the stars have aligned for me at the same time the skies have clouded over for others. That maybe I’ll have an easier time getting an agent to pay attention to this proposal I’ve made because the world has become so hard.

But then again, maybe this means that I can help more people. Because as self-indulgent as a memoir might seem, I’ve always been in this to help people. (Some very good, real people taught me that sharing our stories can help others…)

There are families who are still zoom-schooling, although they don’t want to. There are also families who left schools altogether last year and pursued this homeschooling thing, even though, maybe, they’d never considered it before. (The numbers are pretty astounding.) It’s hard to know how many of those families will continue homeschooling, but I’d imagine the numbers aren’t insignificant.

* * *

What’s always frustrated me is that most people don’t understand what our homeschooling life was like. Even close friends, the non-homeschooling ones, didn’t always get it, unless we sat down and had long conversations.

I understand. It’s complicated. People take what they know and try to make sense of it. Homeschooling = home + school. That means school at home, right? School, but at the kitchen table, with mom leading lessons, right?

Nope. And when I try to explain how it wasn’t like that, it was never easy to do in a brief conversation. Homeschooling evolved, for our family and for so many others I know, into a totally different way of learning, a different sort of life. I tried to write about it–and I managed to convey the notion fairly concisely once, by writing in a fake how-to format–but I could never distill it down into a single essay after that. Like I said, it’s complicated.

It would take a whole book to explain. It will take a whole book to explain.

* * *

It’s frustrating for me, too, that the narrative about homeschooling is so limited. When I meet people now and tell them that our family homeschooled, I’m often met with quizzical looks, or from the brave, an actual question: why? 

The overwhelming narrative about homeschooling is that it’s for hippies and religious fanatics. It’s for people who want to confine their children, control their ideas. So many people think of homeschooling as a limiting thing, a narrowing.

To that idea, my very wise daughter responded a few years ago: “You wanted the opposite. You wanted to open up the possibilities, the world, beyond what we might get in school.”


It frustrates me that this narrative isn’t out there. Instead we have bestsellers like Tara Westover’s Educated flying off the shelves. That’s a compelling book, but it’s furthering that old homeschooling-as-a-narrowing narrative.

Let’s get a different story out there, shall we? Common wisdom: if the book you want to see in the world doesn’t exist, write it.

* * *

Thing is, this is not a book just for homeschoolers. As you’ve probably deduced, this is not a how-to book at all. It’s a collection of essays, a mother’s twenty years of wonderings. A collection of stories.

Have you read Alison Gopnik’s brilliant The Gardener and The Carpenter? It’s a fascinating developmental psychology take on two different types of parents. The type who has a plan for their child and does everything to make that plan come to be, like a carpenter building a chair. (The parenting style that’s come to prevail since the early ’90s.) And then there’s the type who is more like a gardener: not quite sure what that little seedling is, sprouting there in the backyard, but who tends to the seedling, loves it, offers what it needs to thrive, and waits to see what the plant blossoms into.

Basically, my book is the story of my never-ending struggle to beat down my inner carpenter (I’d been a public school teacher with lesson plans!) so I could be the sort of gardener-mother I wanted to be. So I could allow my kids to evolve into the people they wanted to be.

And that’s not just a story for homeschoolers.

* * *

Which is all to say, I hope I can get this book out into the world.

Maybe you can help me, by doing what you’ve been doing so delightfully here, all along, you good, real people. Maybe you can leave a comment below, saying why you might want to read this book. You’ve been so great about that in the past, back when I called you uncommon commenters, back when I called on you to show up.

(You don’t need to leave your whole name, or even your real name. No one will see your email address but me.)

Maybe some curious agent will see your comment.

Maybe some agent will see how many of you are as hungry for this sort of story as I’ve been.

Maybe an agent will see how parents who aren’t homeschoolers might be interested in this story.

Maybe an agent will see how many people are just starting out as homeschoolers–and that those people don’t necessarily want how-to books. (News flash: most people who decide to homeschool are not that into having people tell them what to do.) What they really want is to hear the stories–practically nonexistent in the book world–of the people who’ve gone before them.

Maybe an agent will see the underground and unfathomable collective power of homeschoolers, how we band together because we’re living a life outside of societal norms and we need each other and so we meet up in person and online and share resources, share books especially, because we love books and we visit libraries more than we go to the grocery store and we buy books like crazy because HOMESCHOOLERS INHALE BOOKS LIKE THEY ARE AIR and then we tell all the other homeschoolers we know to read the ones that we love best.

Or maybe no agents will show up here, but your comment will be here for me, and when I get an email telling me you’ve written it, my heart will ping right back, and I’ll read and learn from you, and I’ll respond to your words like I always do, holding them and feeling grateful, and those words will give me what I need to keep going, keep going with the rest of this little thing I’ve made.

Am making.

38 comments… add one
  • Meliss Sep 21, 2021 @ 11:39

    I need this book in my life for two very big reasons. The first reason is so that I can share a sense of universality with you and have another insight into the deep meaning of why we homeschool. The second reason I need your book is so that I can share it with all of my friends and family who don’t understand what we’re doing or give it as a present to new homeschoolers who need support and guidance. And as I write this I realize there are more reasons why I need to read your book and have a copy in my bag at all times.

    I need your stories in print. I am so excited and thankful for your work.

    • patricia Sep 21, 2021 @ 17:50

      Oh, my sweet friend, thank you. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a book to give people and say, this is what we do? It’s so hard to explain!
      (Also, can we have tea next week to commiserate about how much we miss our boys?)

  • Jennifer Sep 21, 2021 @ 11:52

    Yes, of course we want to read your story!!! Have been waiting for it for years.

    (And yes, my husband complains about the book collection. I must confess, after fitting bookshelves on the stairs, I’m not sure where to go next.)

    • patricia Sep 21, 2021 @ 17:52

      Bookshelves on the stairs?! Why didn’t I think of that?

      Thanks for your ongoing enthusiasm, Jennifer!

  • Jessica Gilkison Sep 21, 2021 @ 11:58

    Congratulations on completing your book proposal, Patricia. This is HUGE! The world needs your words. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

    • patricia Sep 21, 2021 @ 17:54

      Thank you, Jessica! You and I have both come a long way since that class. I’m so glad that our paths crossed–and keep crossing!

  • Patrice Sep 21, 2021 @ 12:11

    Carpenter. A bigger world. Seeing what sprouts. All impulses of mine all the years side-by-side with my darling. And so grateful you took the notes, and left a breadcrumb trail to capture all the fruit, the snarls and the choices. Will buy, read and cherish the hard copy songs from your path.

    • patricia Sep 21, 2021 @ 17:55

      The fruit, the snarls and the choices–yes! It’s all in there! I’m so happy that I got to be on this adventure with you.

  • Kristin Sep 21, 2021 @ 12:22

    Dear Tricia,

    First off congratulations on completing an epic amount of work thus far!
    I’m sure your proposal will win an agent’s attention and that they’ll know an editor who’ll snatch it, and get it to the public, who truly deserves access to your stories right away.

    When I was new to homeschooling, I devoured literature. I read about the educational theories of John Holt and Jean Piaget; and about Howard Gardner’s theories of perception; and about all the schools of learning, such as Waldorf, Montessori, etc.. But my favorite book of all time was David Guterson’s “Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense.” And the best parts were when he wrote about his own family’s specific experiences exploring all the ‘subjects’ in a non-traditional way. At the time, I didn’t want to be told how to do it. I was salivating for an impression of how it could be done differently, in a multi-sensory way that flowed and my kids were all engaged. It sounds like utopia. And you and I both know that it can absolutely be that way. But so many are unaware of other possibilities and other ways of learning then how they themselves learned at school.

    Over the twenty years I’ve known you and that we homeschooled, it’s obvious to me that your memoir is much-needed. No writer has ever written a novel like yours will be before. There are totally limited and limiting perspectives in the market currently. The advice for homeschooling is often conservative, religious-based, boring, traditional, and frankly creatively stunting. I’m certain your stories will resonate with readers because you write competently and interestingly; and I personally ‘feel’ what you write. I really do believe that if given a chance, you’re going to create an interesting and enlightened ambience on the subject matter of homeschooling that will benefit families nationwide.

    • patricia Sep 21, 2021 @ 18:04

      David Guterson’s book! Yes, that was the very first homeschooling book I read. And I read in particular for his stories of the time spent with his kids–there was a lot of argument for why homeschooling, which was fine, but I was really hungry for the day-to-day experiences. I found a couple of books by mothers put out by very small publishers that I adored–but I kept looking for more and never found much.

      I love your belief in me, Kristin. It means so much. I am so grateful to have been on this journey with you–the whole long thing!

  • Sarah Miller Sep 21, 2021 @ 13:05

    Well, I need your book because in our entire homeschool experiment last year, you were the *only* person who saw me in my struggle and actually helped me understand what I was feeling, shift my perspective, and do better in my efforts to support my kid.

    (Update: my daughter still can’t fully read but she’s made leaps and bounds recently and I can finally see — or at least finally truly believe — there is light at the end of this particularly dark tunnel. Without your words of support back in May I’m not sure I would have survived to this point. You told me and showed me how to continue to be a librarian for my child — a gardener — and it changed everything, including me.)

    I know deep in my soul that I was not — am not — alone in my homeschooling wonderings and worries. I don’t need another book about how to do it — I’ve read all those. I need a book about how to tend to my heart, and I think the story about how you tended to yours is that book.

    • patricia Sep 21, 2021 @ 19:53

      Sarah, you made me cry! (You’re good at making me cry.) I saw so much of myself in your struggles! It’s frustrating when society’s expectations teach us to doubt our intuitions. If expectations about when and how kids should learn to read didn’t exist, you and your daughter would have continued enjoying books happily and things would have evolved at their own pace. I’m pretty sure of that. I’m so glad to hear things are moving in that direction.

      A book about how to tend to your heart! I love that! I think that very well may be the book I’m writing–I just never thought of it that way. Copying those words to hang by my desk. xo.

  • Sarah M Sep 21, 2021 @ 14:32

    I can’t wait to pre-order it the minute it becomes available. Not if, but when.

    I’ve been reading here *for at least* a decade, and I’m still following because the writing has integrity. You always tell the truth about what happened, how the thing formed, what you expected and then what you received instead, and on and on. It’s just plain good writing.

    Secondly, as a homeschooler who is now entering the early teen years (my youngest will be 13 soon (sob)), I feel like I need a fortification somehow. I need someone to remind me that it will work out even when for a long time it feels like there’s no evidence of that. I need that shoulder squeeze.

    • patricia Sep 21, 2021 @ 20:04

      Sarah, you’ve been reading here so long that you’ve gone from being the mother of little kids to mother of big kids! (sob right back!)

      Evidence. Woah, I get that! One of the chapters included in my proposal is for year seven, when I was still pretty desperate for evidence of the kids’ learning. Working and reworking that chapter, those memories are fresh. It always helped me to see older homeschoolers and hear their experiences, which is why I want to get this book out there! We need more of those stories!

      Sending you a virtual shoulder squeeze! It will all work out.

  • Jenny Briffa Sep 21, 2021 @ 15:12

    Congratulations on your book proposal! I look forward to reading the book and I know it will resonate with many of my experiences as a homeschooling parent. Now that my children are grown and off living their lives away from home, there are times when I wonder if homeschooling was right for them. I feel certain that reading your book will validate my experiences. To this day I say to people that it was an amazing journey and I feel sure that while different, your journey would be amazing to read about. I can’t wait to read it.

    • patricia Sep 21, 2021 @ 20:10

      Jenny, my dear friend. I still have so much I wonder about–which is a big reason I feel compelled to write this book. I want to (try to) understand what it all meant! If I do it well, it will help you reflect on your own experiences–there’s nothing like an essay for that.

      I am so happy to have shared this life with you. The sample chapters I included in my proposal are for year one, year seven, and year seventeen–H was 4, 10, and 20. And I’ll tell you right now: your V. shows up in the second two of those chapters! Your family was such a big part of my family’s story. Sending you so much love.

  • Heather Sep 21, 2021 @ 15:14

    This is so very exciting! I am so glad there are homeschoolers out there like you willing to share your stories. I inhaled those stories when I was a new home educator. I knew this was the path for us, because like your daughter said I wanted all the possibilities for my kiddos. I enjoyed following your path as I have a child similar to your youngest who loved the creation of a periodic table of superheroes. That learning spoke to him and to me. So many people do not understand the amazing life of home educating families, and I think your book will help show them the possibilities when you live and learn in tandem with your child(ren). It will also help people see that the path, though untraditional, fosters the growth of amazing humans.

    • patricia Sep 21, 2021 @ 20:19

      Heather, longtime reader! I love this: “I think your book will help show them the possibilities when you live and learn in tandem with your child(ren).” Yes! My path to becoming a writer is a big part of this memoir–I don’t think people realize how much a homeschooling parent learns! I mean, we probably learn the most because we’re learning along with our kids, but we’re also re-learning everything we didn’t pick up the first time around. We’re learning what it means to learn. And also so much from the kids, as you very well know.

      Amazing humans, absolutely. Long live the periodic table of superheroes!

  • Tina Sep 21, 2021 @ 18:04

    I’m so excited to read your book. Over the years I’ve been following along as we homeschooled our kids together, reading your blog, talking at park days, planning activities together. Now I will get to read it and hold your book in my hands. I will share it with others so they can grow and learn on their homeschooling journey. Or just read a really great memoir. Your stories are compelling and draw the reader in. Congratulations on this next step in your journey.

    • patricia Sep 21, 2021 @ 20:23

      Tina, my friend, I want you to hold my book in your hands! And I want you to throw me the party you’ve always promised because your parties are the best, and I want the food to be as good as it was the other night! 🙂

      How lucky I was to meet you so early in our journey. Back when I was still with that other group, and I crossed paths with you and Anita at “Boy’s Club.” Took me a little while to figure out where we should be, but once we were there, we were there for life! xo.

  • Jen Vincent Sep 21, 2021 @ 18:11

    YES! I’m so excited for this! As a mama and a teacher, I’m so interested in your stories. You are so right: we’re growing humans. Ultimately, we’re nurturing the children in our lives as people who share this world with us and matter. Thank you for sharing and bringing another/new perspective/voice to this conversation.

    • patricia Sep 21, 2021 @ 20:30

      Jen! Your students (and your kids!) are so lucky to have you. You value them so much. I appreciate that you’ve been so open to what I’m sharing.

      And man, I miss you! I want to go back to yoga and eat pão de queijo with you and talk talk talk and just be in your magnetic field.

  • Laura Sep 21, 2021 @ 22:38

    Congratulations! I am so excited to read your book! I read every single one of your pieces, and when I do, without a doubt, something shifts. I grow. I smile. I think. I remember reading about the way your children took the lead in learning. That landed on me as an adult. Your writing inspires me to be brave. When I think about H following his dreams and defying the odds, Lulu singing, dancing and changing the world, and Mr. T. brilliantly marching to the beat of his own drum, leaving a trail of laughing, happy people, I can’t help but feel like it’s not too late for me! At 56, I’m tap dancing in the garage and learning a new language! Thank you, Tricia!
    I am sure that I’ll read your book several times and I will share it with everyone, because we all need this book! I’m grateful for your wisdom, insight and humor. You are a brilliant writer. Thank you for sharing your gift with us!!!

    • patricia Sep 22, 2021 @ 9:37

      I love you so much. You have really seen me for who I am since we were teenagers. And that’s what I’m writing about: trying to see our children for who they are, and nurturing those people. How could I do that myself, if I didn’t have other people doing it for me? I’m only coming to understand what roles different people have played in my life, and you, my friend, are a sun.

      Look at the sentence you wrote about my kiddos: you see them too!

      Every time I picture you tap-dancing in your garage, I smile so big. Every single time.

  • Dawn Smith Sep 22, 2021 @ 6:33

    You already know that I’m beyond excited to read this book!
    Homeschooling is a radical act. When first contemplating this path, people often don’t view it that way. They ask questions like, “How do I separate ‘school’ from the rest of family life?” My answer is always, “You don’t! Learning becomes family life.”
    This is why we need your book. We need the voices of the folks who’ve come before to cast of vision of what could be: not recreating school at home, but becoming life-long learners through living. And, honestly, we need more secular voices in our space!
    I know that agent will come along—the one that “gets it” and can see how useful this book will be for both homeschooling parents and parents supporting their schooled-kids learning.

    • patricia Sep 22, 2021 @ 9:57

      Homeschooling is a radical act. Yes! I feel that so much, Dawn, and have said those exact words myself. That really is the story I’m trying to tell with this book. There is so much opening up to do with the notion of homeschooling.

      I’m grateful for all the work you’ve been doing to help parents understand this, and so grateful that we crossed paths here in the internets, and found each other as kindred spirits! I appreciate your belief in this project, Dawn. I feel my fellow experienced homeschoolers standing behind me and it means the world.

  • Zane Schwaiger Sep 22, 2021 @ 6:56

    “Those people don’t necessarily want how-to books” – YES!

    We want stories about how families actually homeschool for the long haul!

    I haven’t commented for so long, Patricia, but I read all of your posts. I love reading about the trajectory of your life and your children’s lives. I homeschooled for a few years, and then life called me back to graduate school and work. I’m a marriage, couple, and family therapist now, and I love working with families. I love having books to hand them that tell stories of many ways to live, many ways to raise children, many ways to learn together. I would keep multiple copies of your book on my bookshelf at all times to share again and again.

    • patricia Sep 22, 2021 @ 10:29

      Zane! I’m so happy to hear from you, and to hear what you’ve been doing! I’ve missed your gorgeous photos on instagram too–are you still there?

      Wow, I love that you’re a therapist now, helping families. What a gift you must be to them. The notion that anyone would have multiple copies of my book on their shelf is a vision that never occurred to me–gave me a little frisson of delight! I so appreciate your enthusiasm, Zane, and that you took the time to come back to say hello. All my best to you and yours!

  • Jane Alt Sep 22, 2021 @ 9:49

    Congratulations to you, Patricia! It was your writing on Wonder Farm that gave me the courage to home school my now 20-year-old son. It was the best decision I ever made for him. (He’s well-adjusted! He attends college! He has friends! He is not socially awkward!, etc.). Your message gave me the hope and confidence I needed to take that first step; it needs to be out in the world. And your blog held my hand the whole way. Thank you.

    • patricia Sep 22, 2021 @ 10:34

      Jane, when we connected on Instagram via Molly–and I realized we had a shared connection in Tara–I never knew that you’d read my blog! How lovely to know that I helped encourage you to homeschool!

      He’s well-adjusted! He attends college! He has friends! He is not socially awkward!, etc. Imagine that! ha!

      Thank you for coming here to tell me how my words helped you–and to help me make my point: our stories can make a difference to fellow homeschoolers. <3

  • Francie Gow Sep 23, 2021 @ 9:07

    I have a ten-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter, and I’ve been reading everything you post on your blog for the past eight years. I would buy your book in a heartbeat. In the beginning, when my kids were tiny, your stories and those of others gave me a sense that something more than the status quo was possible. They gave me the strength to begin to fight the current as my family began to make educational choices. Later, they gave me the understanding that we could change to something else even after starting down a given path. They helped me understand that each of my children might need completely different things. They comforted me that doubts were normal. They also helped me shed some of those doubts. They gave me things to try, dozens of noodles to throw at the wall to see what would stick. Many fell off. Many are now cherished parts of our routine. You, the authors, could not possibly have known what would work in my house. But I could not have filled up my bag of effective tricks without your openness and generosity.
    Now here I am, five years into the “schooling” years. We have public schooling and private schooling under our belts. We have homeschooling and unschooling and after-schooling and special education schooling and Zoom-schooling and hybrid-schooling under our belts. We have found the right rhythm for this year, for each child, which looks different from last year, and might not be the same next year, but I know it is right because we are all thriving in it right now. The gift of your stories is the frame of mind they have given me, the habits of observation, of trial and error, of trust in my children’s instincts and my own.
    Does that sense that things are working mean I have no more need for stories? That I have arrived? Far from it. Each new stage demands new approaches, new inspirations. I am so grateful that you are still finding ways to share your experience and insights with us. I was about to thank you for you part in “building” me as the learning partner my children need most. But that is carpenter talk. There is no blueprint. So thank you instead for your part in “growing” me as the learning partner my children need the most. Did you realize that so many more of us besides your own children would be popping up all over this vast garden of yours?

    • patricia Sep 24, 2021 @ 12:16

      Francie, you made me cry too! You people! Your words here touch me so deeply.

      You’re writing about just what I discovered as a homeschooling parent: there was no right way to do it, because what was needed changed from day to day, year to year, kid to kid, mood to mood. The only thing that always worked was just what you say: the habits of observation, of trial and error, of trust in my children’s instincts and my own.

      Yes! And I’m not sure how my stories helped you figure that out, but somehow they did! That’s the power of story.

      Your last line, though. I’m holding that to my heart. It means so much to me. Thank you. And thank you for reading here for so many years. xo.

  • Gloria Sep 24, 2021 @ 18:09

    What wonderful news for us! I have been waiting for this book for so long, specifically your book, and generally any book that tells how homeschooling looked for one family. Stories are so powerful – to see familiar struggles and wants and desires reflected back to us, and especially to see how it all turned out for us moms still in the thick of it. Much of this post and the comments resonated with me. And I have been ranting about the misrepresentation of homeschooling in books for ages (seriously, I could have thrown Educated across the room but I read it as an ebook and I love my ereader too much to throw it!). I love when a new wonderfarm post pops into my inbox and I can’t wait for your book to one day land in my mailbox! You have much to proud of and your constant learning and growing and trying, your showing up, is inspiring.

    • patricia Sep 27, 2021 @ 14:40

      Oh, Gloria, you have been enthusiastically waiting for this book, and do you know how I know that? I’m able to search through the comments through the admin pages, and sometimes I like to go back through the comments of devoted readers to see how long they’ve been reading and commenting here. Look what I found from you, in a comment almost exactly five years ago:

      There you were with a nursing baby, pointing out just the dynamic I’m writing about in this post! That my stories were helping you figure out your own stories! See what I mean–you readers have been teaching me this all along. And the special readers like you, who take the time to talk to me in the comments, have been the ones to teach me this.

      I’m so grateful.

      It’s a little humbling to know that I was working at this memoir more than five years ago–and that your nursing baby is now a little kid! But we’re getting closer, my friend. Someone is going to publish this book, I feel it, and it’s readers like you who I will be most delighted to share it with. Your encouragement here means the world. xo.

  • Alison Sep 29, 2021 @ 1:58

    I’m delighted for you that you are at this stage now. I see that working and reworking of your material, over recent years, looking to tell the story better and better, digging deeper into the meaning of it all. I know that the periodic table of superheroes really spoke to me of possibilities in following our children’s lead. Every year in homeschooling, we take courage to try something new that leads us further away from the regular school model – and we and our children become richer as a result. But it’s hard to do that if we don’t have some examples that show us what can happen, in a home, with a parent taking note of what gives that particular child joy, and seeing where that joy can go next. I wish you really well for the next stages of agent, new chapters and so on.

    • patricia Sep 29, 2021 @ 10:22

      Alison, thank you. I feel so seen by you, which makes sense, because you’ve been reading here for such a long time. I get goosebumps reading this: I see that working and reworking of your material, over recent years, looking to tell the story better and better, digging deeper into the meaning of it all. That’s it. Precisely. What I’ve been doing for the past five years or so. I should have been able to write this story much faster, much sooner, but there was work I had to do to tell it better. Thank you for being here long enough to recognize that. I cherish readers like you.

      Also, you and reader Heather are reminding me of T’s periodic table of Marvel characters, and what an important piece of learning that was. In a lot of ways, it demonstrated how far I’d come as a homeschooling parent–with the help of my outside-the-box-thinking kid, all three kids, really–and it needs a place in the memoir. Even if I reflect back on it in a later chapter…hmmm, you have me thinking here, like you readers often do!

      I adore you for that. xo.

  • Michelle Sep 29, 2021 @ 9:08

    YES YES YES to inhaling books like air. I’d love to read your book, even though I’m in the post-homeschooling phase of my own life.

    • patricia Sep 29, 2021 @ 10:30

      Hi Michelle! I really hope–and believe–that this memoir will be interesting to fellow post-homeschoolers. I’m pretty sure that my own reflections will spark reflections in the reader, and I’d sure love to give fellow veterans the opportunity to look back on this radical life we’ve led and think about what it all meant. *wistful sigh*

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