Monday, February 14, 2011


Back in my day, homeschooling was "you know how to read, darling, have some Euripides."  Seriously, that's the kind of family I grew up in - one where public school was occasionally optional if you really felt that you weren't learning anything.  Both my brother and I benefited greatly from this style of education - one in the age of parents earning their PhDs, a general distrust of the public school system but not enough money for private school, and the idealism of "you only really need books, right?"  My sister, however, is six years younger than I am and so didn't really have the same relationship with history books and Shakespeare that I did at her age.  She had the huge advantage of a group of best friends at school, so she actually wanted to go (sometimes).
Now, however, we're in Paris, and the school people here told her that she can only start in late March.  For an eleven-year-old, from here until late March is an awful lot of schooling missed, so we're going to homeschool her.  And no more just throwing books around.
Each of us (my parents and my brother and I) have chosen different subjects to help her with.  I got English, and we're starting by reading all the books I think it's necessary for someone her age/a little older to read and then moving on to Mr Howe-esque essays (more on Mr Howe later at some point).  We're starting with Little Women, and then moving on to To Kill A Mockingbird, Julius Caesar, The Jungle Book, Lord of the Flies, Walden, and Robinson Crusoe.  Catcher in the Rye was vetoed by the parents, who said that it really calls to mid and late adolescents, not eleven-year-olds.
Were you home-schooled or did you go to school as a kid?  Did you like school/homeschooling?  Any suggestions for what we should be reading?

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