Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thank You, Alice

My friend, Alice Gunther, has written a book, Haystack Full of Needles, about homeschooling and socialization. Here is the a quote from the forward by Laura Berquist, as mentioned on A Family Centered Life:

“It is a book about charity. It is a book about how to love your fellow homeschoolers, and how to demonstrate that love. It is a book about how to model the virtues of hospitality, kindness and patience for your children. It gives many excellent suggestions on how to find other homeschoolers, but, most importantly, it gives instruction in how to build a community . . ."

Alice has done nothing short of build a community here on Long Island, and it has been my privelage to spend my first year as a homeschooler surrounded by this group of wonderful families. What has happened here is miraculous, and, unfortunately, all to rare. The Gunther family has opened their hearts and their home to lots of other families, and certainly they have planned wonderful activities, but the activities are only the catalyst for the relationships. There is a message board, as well, and both in person and on the internet the tone of this group is uplifting, kind, charitable and supportive. I have learned so much from these women. When I first met Alice, I was struck by how often she used the word "Beautiful", in response to children and adults, Alice looks for the beauty and demonstrates true love to those she encounters. Her home has become a magnet for like minded people, so we meet so many wonderful families there, but I am reminded of something that the director of the movie Bella said in the commentary, people are like elevators, you get involved with them and they bring you up or they bring you down. Alice, and her family, elevate the level of discourse and relationship so that we members of the homeschooling group are better friends, better Christians and better mothers for the time that we spend together.

The book is now available for pre-order, and I cannot wait to read this book! As with my other favorite homeschooling books, Real Learning by Elizabeth Foss and For The Children's Sake, I am sure that there is much to learn for all women, because I believe that we all educate our children at home, even if they go off to school part of the day.


Alice Gunther said...

I am in tears reading your unbelievably kind words. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!!!!!

I love you.

Right Said Red said...

I can't wait to read the book. That sort of community building is desperately needed where I live. MaryAlice has heard many of my complaints, but our homeschooling group isn't quite so open and wonderful as the one you ladies belong to...maybe I can buy up a bunch of copies and hand them out to everyone I know ;-)

Kat said...

The cover of the book looks beautiful...Would it be a book for non-homeschoolers to read as well?

Alice Gunther said...

I hope it isn't too late to respond to Kat's question.

Yes, I hope non-homeschoolers will find the book helpful too! Laura Berquist included a line about this in the foreward saying, "I think it is a valuable resource not only for those who are homeschooling, but for all who have school age children or grandchildren."

Thank you for asking.