Based on his own experience being home-schooled as a child, Jonathan Bean shows the creative and structured chaos of a home schooling family. There are his siblings who are his classmates, his mother who is his teacher, and his father who comes in as a substitute teacher too. They have the playground of their yard and go on field trips to places like the library. Their art classes are outside and there are lots of other kids who join in those and phy ed too. Dinner is the place for show-and-tell and bedtime is an English class. It’s a busy day for everyone because home is school too.
I love the wild energy of this book, showing that homeschooling can be just as engaging and social as any other type of schooling, probably more so! The book is filled with a warmth built from the family itself and their cozy home. Home-schooled children will see themselves on the pages here, something that is very important. The book ends with family snapshots and an Author’s Note that also speak to the joy of being home-schooled.
Bean’s artwork adds to the zingy energy of the book. His loose lines don’t contain the watercolors, letting them wash freely and blend dynamically on the page. The pages are filled with loving detail from the crowded home filled with projects going on to the huge backyard.
A critical item for public libraries, this book will help support home-schooled children in communities and will show others what they are missing. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.