Teaching in Your Tiara: A Giveaway! Free Stuff, yo!

I have this blogging/facebook friend who I LOVE and who could probably teach me the correct usage of whom vs. who (since I just spent five minutes deliberating that before giving up). She is hilarious. She’s one of my favorite internet people because she keeps it real, and I don’t have much patience for people who don’t keep it real. Keep your photoshopped pictures of idealistic Pinterested homeschool bliss: if I’m gonna read a book about homeschooling, I want to hear about the muck and the mire, the crap days and how to turn them around, or how to recognize when you need to call it a day and order pizza while making yourself a five martinis. Because that’s the kind of knowledge I need.

I homeschooled Sienna for one horrible year. It was horrible for both of us. I read so many books about it before I started, and all of them left me feeling more hopeless than the one before. They all ended with some facsimile of “You can do this! After all, you love your kids more than anyone!” That last sentence would pile guilt on my despair and make me want to hang myself in the closet. Oh, you think that’s an exaggeration and I shouldn’t make light of suicide? It’s not, and I’m not.

Most homeschooling books, in my experience, are written by self-motivated women who have experienced great success in the realm of homeschooling because they have sacrificed EVERYTHING else on the altar of the home as school. I refuse to do that, because it sounds horrible and I would probably flee one night with only my bottle(s) of wine to keep me warm. Sacrificing everything, in these books, generally includes sacrificing yourself as well. And I don’t mean in the way mothers already sacrifice themselves out of sheer necessity; the stretch marks, the sleepless nights, the weird habit of rocking in place even if we have no baby in our arms. I mean, these authors illustrated ways in which they gave up their own desires, pursuits, and hobbies in order to spend years upon decades teaching their children. And the  back-handing “encouragement” of “hey, no one else loves them like you do, so you’ll do it too!” is basically just a massive guilt trip to kick you into submission.

I happen to believe that it’s important for mothers to retain their own interests even if they choose to homeschool. Sacrifice, for a mother, is utterly necessary; but sacrificing oneself in totality to serve the God of the Home as School only teaches your kids that beyond math and geography, mommy’s boring as hell. It also doesn’t respect our own essential dignity as human beings. We are asked to pour ourselves out as a sacrifice; we are not asked to then lay on the floor and become a human-skin rug.

Entereth Rebecca Frech, the most human blogger I know, the one who keeps it realer than real, the one who makes me think that actually I could homeschool again, if the apocalypse happened and I had to. and maybe I wouldn’t be destined to destroy my children and then jump off a cliff in the process.

She wrote a book because she’s freaking awesome and when other people start to realize how freaking awesome someone is, they say, “hey, can you write a book teaching us how to be like you?” So she did, and it’s called Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us, and it’s dominating the Amazon best-seller list right now, and she’s letting me give away a copy because she’s freaking awesome. Did I say that already?

If you’ve ever thought of homeschooling, you should read this book. If you’ve ever laughed hysterically at the idea of you, homeschooling, you should read this book.  If you’ve ever failed miserably at homeschooling and vowed to never make that mistake again like me, you should read this book. If you think homeschoolers are like this:

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you should read this book.

Here’s how you can. Leave a comment here about what terrifies you the most when the idea of homeschooling comes up. Is it the frog dissection? Teaching The Scarlet Letter? Is it long division, calculus, physics, anatomy and physiology, or the simple truth that your kids would quickly find out that you can’t add or subtract without using your fingers? Is it trying to make a 5 year old just accept the fact that “N” doesn’t make the “mergle” sound already, even if it looks like it should? Is it that homeschooling would forever destroy your sacred daily soap opera viewing time? Is it that having the kids home all day would force you to not eat all the cookies and blame it on Daddy? And because I’m all about keeping it real, every single thing I just said is something that personally terrifies me when the idea of homeschooling again rears its beastly head. So unless your fear is more embarrassing than that embarrassingly extensive list, you’re in a safe space.

If it actually is more embarrassing, I don’t know what to tell you. I’d say “I promise not to judge”, but an old story about a twice-removed cousin-by-marriage who didn’t want to homeschool because she didn’t like wearing clothes while the sun was shining keeps popping up, and I guess I can’t promise not to judge you if that’s your reasoning. You can, however, be judged by me while winning a free copy of Teaching in Your Tiara, so I think it’s still worth the risk.

I will pick the winner based on a mysterious algorithm of my own choosing (by which I mean, the comment I like the most wins, because it’s my blog, that’s why) and announce the winner on Tuesday. That gives you the whole weekend plus Monday to come up with something brilliant. No pressure, though.

Oh, and you can enter twice. You can enter fifty times. I don’t care how many times you enter. If you keep coming up with clever and funny things to say at 4 am while you’re rocking the teething baby and you want to come fill up my combox with those things, go for it. I will be reading them at 4 am while I’m rocking the teething baby, so you’re already a step ahead of people who do stupid things like sleep at night.

The winner gets to choose between Kindle and paperback form. The winner will also get accolades and lots of internet gratification, and cookies, but they have to buy their own cookies because cookies don’t ship well.

Ready? Set? Go!

  • $19820173

    Calah – I’m going to make this so easy for you. When you are trying to decide between who and whom, replace them in the sentence with he or him. If he sounds right, you use who. If it’s him, then you use whom. You can remember it easily because both whom and him end in m.

  • Monica Dix

    I taught my first child how to read, bake biscotti, then I had a couple more babies and restaurants…then I got fired (by my DH) from homeschooling. (Some of that is fiction, but it’s all true.) But it turned out nicely as we ended up a stone’s throw (who does that?) from a school that actually IS doing a better job than I did.
    Oh, and I need a good laugh.

  • Betsy

    My only child is currently 8 months old, so I have a ways to go before deciding how he starts school, but I thought I should share what just happened while I finished reading your post. I think all women should know that it is totally possible to squirt yourself in the eye with breastmilk. Not pre-pumped in a bottle or another container. From your own milk-makers. Explanation: I work right now and I get to take my little guy to work, which I do four days a week. Friday is my GSD day, but I still have to pump. Unfortunately my office has two windows, one to my side and one in front of me, so when “re-adjusting” myself after pumping (read: hand expressing a bit at the end and then putting clothes in order) I turn away and hunch over a bit since I take my nursing cover off. And nipples being what they are, sometimes they shoot right past your head and you move some to make sure it doesn’t actually get you next time. But the next shot from a different spot got me square in the eye. I work at a construction company and there were no women left in office to share this experience with and I know the guys would probably not appreciate it if I went and told them. I also had to keep the swearing to quiet muttering so they wouldn’t come check on me.

  • Teresa

    I’m terrified at the thought of raising an uneducated monster. I’m afraid that one day, an adult child of mine will look up and say, “Who’s Abraham Lincoln?” or “We were in a war with Germany?”

  • JessicaJ

    Oh, thank you for this post!! I was mostly homeschooled and loved every minute of it. I always just assumed that this would be the only option for my own children someday. My hubby and I even had MANY long conversations about this pre-marriage; about how we would never ever consider sending our children off to someplace other than home to be educated. Well, fast forward to this very moment… almost 4 children in just over 3 years (yep, all singles!)… and I’m dreading the concept of even thinking about homeschooling my little ones. I can barely manage to get everyone dressed, microwave a few chicken nuggest for a ‘healthy’ lunch, and figure out a supper menu… it totally freaks me out to consider having the educational future of at least 4 children on my shoulders every day. Thanks for giving me permission to be terrified…

  • Christy Isinger

    Totes need this because just the thought of teaching another human how to read scares the crap outta me! I want my children to grow up learning through great literature and the great outdoors- I just want someone else to homeschool them most days!

  • Veronica Mary Grossling

    I can’t think of anything funny to say right now, but I would like to win this book because I was homeschooled growing up, and now that I have a 2 year old, it is interesting for me to see things from the perspective of the parent. So, I am asking to be considered

  • Martha S

    I’m scared of homeschool because I’m horrible at follow through and thinking about my kids not knowing how to ‘math’ because mommy ran out of steam half way through the book seems like it would be rather cruel. Also my two year old is smarter than I am. My mom homeschooled my siblings and I till high school so maybe I should just be realistic and drop my kids off at grandma’s house. I love Rebecca’s blog especially when she posts about homeschool! Thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway!

  • Sarah

    I think I would suck at homeschooling, not so much because of homeschooling per se, but because I suck at NFP. How am I suppose to find time and create structure when I constantly have a newborn around?

    Of course, the attachment parenting zealots will probably swoop in and screech, “Oh, homeschooling with a newborn is easy! Just put him in a carrier and go about your day normally!” Oh, a baby carrier? I’ve NEVER seen or used one in all my years of parenting, so thank you so much for enlightening me . . . NOT. Trust me, my finicky newborns either hate the carrier, or else they like the carrier but hate it if I actually try to do anything while wearing the carrier, such as sitting down, talking, or typing.

  • Sarah

    Also, is it true that you have to give up all your hobbies in order to homeschool? If so, then yeah, that’s pretty scary. But maybe you could incorporate them into the curriculum. I like sewing, so if I homeschool, I’ll make my kids watch and call it home ec. If you enjoy drinking, then I smell a home brewing science experiment in the making!