The Week in Books 2008, No. 52

Up front, let me just say that A Mom Just Like You by Vickie Farris is not about homeschooling, except in passing, and chances are Vickie Farris is not a mom just like you. The book is actually more like Mrs. Farris’ memoir of her life as a mother, and as such was really interesting and encouraging. I love to hear/read about the choices people make and how they live their lives when they make those choices out of a particular philosophy or conviction rather than just doing whatever everyone else is doing.

Some of the most encouraging parts of the book were Mrs. Farris’ humility in identifying which parts of her family’s life are based on Scripture and which parts just work for them, but need not be normative for everyone. For example, in spite of her husband’s high profile as a homeschool activist, she doesn’t think every family is called to homeschool, or to do school the way she does, and so forth.

Another encouraging facet of the book was Mrs. Farris’ willingness to disclose the struggles and questions she has had along the way. Often I think mothers are reluctant to admit to having to wrestle with issues because they fear it will put a bad name on motherhood, but sometimes that comes at the expense of discouraging other moms. I found it refreshing to see that even a SuperMom like Mrs. Farris has really had to work through her convictions and even though her struggles are vastly different from my own it was helpful to see how God has blessed her family and caused her to grow spiritually through her role as a mother.

I would recommend this book if you find personal memoirs interesting, and if you’re not expecting a homeschool manifesto or manual.

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