Julianne Miller feels God nudging her to homeschool her three children. The only problem is, she has no idea what she’s doing. But, how hard could first grade possibly be? If you are a mother, homeschooling or not, you’ll be encouraged when you join Julianne and her co-op friends as they navigate through a hard but humorous year of diapers, dinners, husbands, meltdowns, and math lessons. And that’s just September.
Review by Heather Sanders:
In early February I was honored to read the unpublished manuscript of The Homeschool Experiment, a faith-based homeschool novel written by Charity Hawkins and published by Familyman Ministries.
Through Julianne Miller, Hawkins humorously introduces readers to the joys and struggles experienced by nearly all first-time homeschoolers. Previous to children Julianne was valedictorian of her high school class, graduated from college with honors, and navigated a successful career in the business world. While certainly familiar with hard work and time management, the thought of homeschooling her three children (ages 6, 4, and a baby ) took Julianne on a roller coaster ride beginning with her giddy, fairytale expectations, then plummeting into the unrelenting self-doubt that can overwhelm the most competent of mothers.
Beginning in May, each chapter represents one month in the first year of Julianne’s homeschool experience. As the year progresses, and the day in and day out of homeschooling unfolds before her eyes, it becomes quite clear to Julianne what will and will not work for her children and family. Plans are put in place only to be repeatedly modified. The same need to re-evaluate emerges with her well-prepared schedules, curriculum choices, and even the location where she finds the kids actually learn the best.
This book will fully resonate with moms who have already walked this path, but also serve as encouragement and comic relief for those who are considering homeschooling their children. Julianne’s character moves from a very frantic, unsettled mother to a more relaxed and introspective one, all the while realistically addressing so many of the lingering questions and self-doubts of first-time homeschooling moms.
I particularly appreciated the way Julianne finds peace with different areas where she felt she failed, understanding it is part of the whole process and only makes us stronger.
Because of Hawkins’ personal perspective and hindsight, she can poke fun at homeschooling, but at the same time she poignantly reminds readers how very personal homeschooling is for each family who chooses to follow that path.
The Homeschool Experiment, available in print as well as a Kindle ebook, brings light and laughter to the experience of homeschooling without hiding the frustrations and disappointments. It is a refreshing, honest read and a book first-time homeschooling mothers will treasure.