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The Year of Learning Dangerously: Adventures in Homeschoolingby Quinn Cummings
Synopses & Reviews
Think homeschooling is only for a handful of eccentrics on either end of the political spectrum? Think again. Today in America, two million primary- and secondary-school students are homeschooled. Growing at a rate of 10 percent annually, homeschooling represents the most dramatic change in American education since the invention of the mimeograph—and the story has only just begun.
In The Year of Learning Dangerously, popular blogger, author, and former child actor Quinn Cummings recounts her family’s decision to wade into the unfamiliar waters of homeschooling—despite a chronic lack of discipline, some major gaps in academic knowledge, and a serious case of math aversion. (That description refers to Quinn.)
Trying out the latest trends, attending key conferences (incognito, of course), and recounting the highlights and lowlights along the way, Quinn takes her daughter’s education into her own hands, for better and for worse. Part memoir, part social commentary, and part how-not-to guide, The Year of Learning Dangerously will make you laugh and make you think. And it may or may not have a quiz at the end. OK, there isn’t a quiz. Probably.
"Cummings's witty memoir records her family's homeschooling experience and offers a critique of 'mainstream' homeschoolers. A blogger and former child actor, Cummings (Notes from the Underwire) pulled her daughter, Alice, from the public school system after feeling that Alice wasn't meeting her potential, worried that increased homework loads would leave Alice 'less free time to follow a sudden curiosity.' The family sets off on a haphazard homeschooling plan for Alice's sixth-grade year, dabbling in various methodologies ranging from hyperstructured online charter school approaches to active avoidance of structure before finding some middle ground with live, online classes taught by credentialed teachers. After recognizing and dismissing common concerns about socialization, Cummings launches into a brief history of compulsory education and the birth of modern homeschooling. She then walks through various subsets of homeschoolers and their approaches — from the 'unschoolers' to Christian fundamentalists. In an effort to find her niche within the homeschooling world, Cummings attends meetings and conferences with homeschoolers ranging from the most liberal to religiously motivated conservatives (this latter group being the founders of the modern homeschooling movement). Her own story, and that of her daughter, occasionally feels overshadowed by her larger critique of the movement, but Cummings's self-deprecating humor and parental earnestness makes for an enjoyable journey. Agent: Kate Garrick, DeFiore and Company." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A year of homeschooling. What could possibly go wrong?
In this honest and wry memoir, popular blogger, author, and former child actor Quinn Cummings recounts her familys decision to wade into the unfamiliar waters of homeschooling the fastest-growing educational trend of our time — despite a chronic lack of discipline, some major gaps in academic knowledge, and a serious case of math aversion. (And thats just Quinn.)
Quinns fearless quest includes some self-homeschooling reading up on education reform, debating the need for socialization,” and infiltrating conferences filled with Radical Unschoolers as well as Christian fundamentalists (and even chaperoning a homeschool prom). Part personal narrative, part social commentary, and part how-not-to guide, The Year of Learning Dangerously will make you laugh and make you think. And there may or may not be a quiz at the end. OK, theres no quiz. Probably.
About the Author
Quinn Cummings is an Oscar-nominated actress (The Goodbye Girl, Family), and the critically acclaimed author of the memoir Notes from the Underwire. She writes the popular blog The QC Report, and her work has appeared in Good Housekeeping, Los Angeles Magazine, and Newsweek. She lives in Los Angeles with her partner and daughter.
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