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Book Reviews

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane – Lisa See- Book Review

As A-ma said, every story, every dream, every waking minute of our lives is filled with one fateful coincidence after another. People and animals and leaves and fire and rain—we whirl around each other like handfuls of dried rice kernels being tossed into the sky. A single kernel cannot change its direction. It cannot choose to fly to the right or to the left nor can it choose where it lands—balanced on a rock, and therefore salvageable, or bouncing off that same rock into the mud, becoming instantly useless and valueless. Where they alight is fate, and nothing—no thing anyway—can change their destinies.

Lisa See – thank you. This book was the shining gem in the pile of other somewhat bland books I got recommended for my new year. I read it slowly, I let it simmer and now, after a month, it has had time to settle down in the most unbelievable story I’ve ever read.

The story takes us through stories of rural China, of discrete family relations, of tea-picking and tea-making, of what it means to grow up as a woman in a country where that is being looked down upon, of adoption and loss and most importantly of how destiny can shape a life until it becomes unrecognisable from where it started off.

Categories
Growing Up

What is Homeschooling?

home-schoolingThe term ‘homeschooling’ basically refers to the process in which one or more children of not more than 2 families are instructed by parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household. The laws that define homeschooling vary from State to State. The legal requirements for establishing a homeschool also vary with the State.
For most children, the actual process of learning begins much before school. Many children already know their alphabets, the names of animals, colors and other more complicated stuff before they reach school. This is mostly due to the hard work of a member of the family who has taken the time to teach the child.
Homeschooling is just a natural progression from here. Instead of sending their children to a public school, parents make their own
curriculum and teach their children in ways that best suit the child. This is homeschooling, in its most simplistic form.
Before you decide to go in for homeschooling, there are certain important matters for consideration. First off, meet with parents
of other homeschoolers. Find out the pros and cons of homeschooling. Then ask yourself why you would want to adopt this method. This is a very important aspect, as the success of the program depends on the clarity and sincerity of your purpose.
Next, it is time to consider the expenses of homeschooling. It may cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand
every year. More importantly, you are also effectively shutting out any job opportunity for one of the parents. It is only obvious
that one parent will have to stay at home full time to manage the homeschool. A home-based business however is a great alternative.
Are you qualified to take on homeschooling for your children?
Teaching is a continuation of your own learning process. With the advent of the internet, information is aplenty. There are various
books and resources for those interested in homeschooling. Go through the various methods of homeschooling and choose one that is most suited to you. It helps if you know what kind of learning style your child has. Also, find out what your child feels about
homeschooling before you start.
Every state has its own laws regarding homeschooling. For instance, in North Carolina, you must first file a ‘Notice of Intent’ to start a home school. In this you have to mention if the school is a ‘Private church’ school or a ‘qualified non-public school’. The persons providing the education are required to have at least a high school diploma. You have to maintain an annual record of the child’s attendance and disease immunization. Every year, the child is required to undergo a standardized test. Each student attending the eleventh grade has to take a nationally standardized test. These are the requirements in North Carolina, but it is enough to give you a good idea of what homeschooling entails.
Homeschooling may seem like a lot of fun and freedom from the outside. However, things are seldom as simple as they seem. Homeschooling is a lot of added responsibility and hard work. But, if successful, it will forge a strong bond of love and respect between parent and child, while providing your child with the best form of education he needs.