A Few Book Reviews to show that I can read :)

Right, while it’s lunch break in our homeschooling routine, I’ll take the opportunity to do a couple of quick book reviews on my latest reading.

I discovered a few weeks back that without realising what was going on, I was actually reading five different books at once depending on which room I was in at the time. I decided that before I got too muddled up, I would settle into finishing off each one. Below I am going to review only the best three.

“Someone I loved. A novel” by Anna Gavalda

This book was gifted to me by my good friend who is my only avenue out of reading either fantasy, Jane Austen or Parenting books. I love her for it.

The story itself is simple. A wife was cheated on and left with her two daughters. Her initial path to healing is initiated and supported surprisingly by her father-in-law. He takes her to his country house in rural France to get away from everything and although they have never been close before, he opens up and shares a piece of his past which allows her to see through her own pain and into a different view of what she is going through. The author of this book is actually French, and the book I was given was a translation from the original French and the language is just beautiful.

Although it’s written in English, you can actually hear the ‘Frenchness’ in the narrative as you read it. Lovely, touching, interesting and a real pleasure to read. If you want something light to read that will touch you and entertain you, then I recommend this as a great story on an every day and all too common event in a human’s life.

The Year of Learning Dangerously – Adventures in Homeschooling” by Quinn Cummings

I chose this book when I was in a bookshop in America during our recent trip there. I wasn’t looking for a book for myself, but my Mum spotted it on the shelf and when I read the back it sounded interesting so I thought I’d give it a go.

Oh my goodness! I am so happy that I picked up this book! It was hilarious! The author of this book is so self aware, and what I loved most was how much like me she was. At one point after her decision to home school her child, she found herself locked in the laundry hyperventilating because she realised that she would have to teach this child to do Maths problems that she herself had no idea how to complete. I loved reading every page of this book. Well written and light, but with a great insight into why people homeschool.

Cummings had such an interesting technique for researching which teaching methods she would employ with her child and she went on many a strange and slightly twisted journey while trying to discover where she ‘fit’ into the wide and sometimes kooky world of homeschooling families out there. Many of her fundamental reasons for homeschooling and also the challenges and biases she faced from the general public rang true for me and gave me some good ideas on how to deal with that stuff myself.

While her child was much older than mine, and didn’t have the behavioural or learning difficulties that my son has, the parallels were none the less tangible in both our experiences. Probably not something you’d read if you aren’t homeschooling, but it was a great read for me and I had many a belly laugh while reading it.

“Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child – The Heart of Parenting” by John Gottman, Ph.D.

I would HIGHLY recommend that anyone who is a parent, or about to be a parent read this one. I got it second hand through Amazon as it is not a new publication. This book delves deeply into the Emotion Coaching, what it is and how important it is to the development of emotionally mature and healthy kids. I already knew a bit about emotion coaching as I have been taught it and use it on my son to great success, however, this book was fantastic in showing me the workings of emotion coaching on every level.

There were things in this book which I was quite surprised to find out about myself when I took the ‘parenting tests’. I started reading the book before we went on our trip to the USA, and I found each time we were on a plane and my son was entertained, I would read a little bit more the book and it would give me some confidence and tools to deal with anything that happened in the next waiting room or difficult moment my son had along the trip.

The stuff in this book is so important and makes so much sense to how little minds and hearts work, and how we have so many problems with kids and social issues these days, that if more parents practised this type of parenting, then I bet the kids would have an easier time as they grow up. Get it if you can, it’s really worth the time. This will a book that I will have beside me and around the house at all times so I can read and re-read as we come up against difficulties with our son.

Well, that’s it for my reviews for now. I’m reading a few new books at the moment so I’ll review them when I’m done. 🙂

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