Drawing from his own childhood experiences, Jonathan Bean takes the autobiographically inspired family he introduced in Building Our House through the special rhythms and routines of a homeschooling day. For young Jonathan and his sisters, Mom is the teacher and a whole lot more, and Dad is the best substitute any kid could want. From math, science, and field trips to recess, show-and-tell, and art, a school day with this intrepid, inventive family will seem both completely familiar and totally unique. Includes a selection of family snapshots and a note from the author.
Bean (Big Snow) offers a humorous and informative view of a homeschooling household. The boy who narrates inspired by Bean himself, as family photos at the end make clear stands amid a flock of chickens and addresses readers. "This is my home," he says. When the page turns, he's still there. "And this is my school." Bean's scribbly pen-and-ink style is perfectly suited for the liveliness of a home in which the living room is both a place to relax and a classroom, the kitchen is the cafeteria, and the family car is also the school bus. The living room is packed with papers, animals, plants, and furniture; it takes some effort to locate the teacher (his mother) and her pupils (the boy and his sisters). Bean shows the children canning fruit, playing music, and doing field biology in a creek: "We have a lot of classrooms," he explains. Children whose classrooms are heavily regimented and lit with fluorescents will envy the family; it's clear that it's easier to learn in a place that feels like home. Ages 3 6.