As a homeschooled child now turned homeschooling parent, I thought from the
beginning I’d do a few things differently from my own mother. Of course
I wanted to capture and carry on the
best of my childhood homeschool
experience, but how could I possibly
do that without also duplicating the
Turns out I needn’t have worried.
Thirty-five years in social change is a
large amount of change.
My mother, Carla Emery, is known to
many as the author of an encyclopedia
of homesteading skills, now called The
Encyclopedia of Country Living. But
before she became a public figure in
the field of food self-sufficiency, she
was a pioneer in another field. Hers
was among a small number of brave
families who had gone against the
prevailing culture—not to mention
the law of the land—to teach their
children in their homes.
I now have a couple of homeschooling years under my belt (my children
are still relatively young), and I can
see clearly how much things have
changed between my mother’s era of
homeschooling and mine. I have the
perspective now to truly appreciate
Carla Emery, and all the other homeschooling pioneers, for the doors they
had to open, and with what force they
Like many parents who have rebelled
against educational systems through
the years, my mother was set off by an
experience with one particular teacher. She felt that the teaching being
done with her first daughter, then a
kindergarten student, was insufficient.
And so, by gum, she decided to do it
herself. And she was stubborn enough,
or wise enough, to see it through.
By Esther Emery