People are always misspelling my name: Julieanne Miller.
I could have let it bother me, over the years. Instead, I merely smile and shrug it off. There are more important things in life to worry about, like whether or not I remembered to bring my debit card with me to the grocery store - when I'm standing there looking at the checker who has just totaled my full cart of purchases.
I thought it was amusing when a brand new book was released into the book-publishing kingdom recently.
Guess what the main character's name is?
So, the author accidentally misspelled the main character's name.
Oh, I mean, my name.
Actually, I saw bits and pieces about this new book posted here and there on the internet. And I thought it was pretty amusing one evening when I noticed that the author, who goes by the pen name "Charity Hawkins", contacted me on Facebook! I guess she was doing a search for people with a similar name as the main character, and my name popped up! Ha!
Politely, she wanted to know a little bit about me. Normally, I'd hit the delete button at a stranger who was asking for personal information. But since I'd already heard about this book, and I had heard its publisher, Todd Wilson, speak in person at least once before, I replied to her careful questions.
"Charity Hawkins" was thrilled to learn that I was also a homeschooling mama of my children, a follower of Jesus Christ, and had a homeschooling website of my own!
We decided that I could do a book review of her new book (starring ME! - just kidding!), and I would also host a giveaway for another brand new copy of her book.
What did I think about The Homeschool Experiment?
First of all, do not attempt to read this book while driving (oops, I mean riding) in a car on a long trip and the nearest bathroom is still an hour away. You will be laughing hard every now and then, and you want to arrive at your destination still wearing dry clothes and looking somewhat presentable.
I took The Homeschool Experiment with me around town while I was reading it. After all, for busy homeschool moms, the best times to read books for pleasure are at the children's orthodontist, or while waiting for your child to get a haircut, or during a child's violin lesson, etc. Sitting in a quiet room at home, pleasantly reading a book, rarely happens around here.
While I didn't flash the book around town, saying, "Look what I'm reading right now!", it was interesting to hear people making comments about this book. I haven't experienced that for quite some time. Maybe because it is so unusual these days for the average American to see someone reading a physical book while waiting around town, instead of texting and viewing the internet on a smart phone, it is shocking to them. I don't know!
The orthodontist, who himself homeschools his children, said, "Is that for real? An experiment?" He was amused when I explained that the main character was none other than Julianne Miller. Of course, the names sound identical when pronounced, so of course, he thought it was about me, right? I made sure he knew that the book wasn't really about me. Ha!
I don't know where I was reading this book when I laughed so hard that everyone stared at me. Was it at my hairdresser's shop? Or during an orchestra rehearsal? I don't remember. All I remember is that I could NOT contain my laughter, no matter how hard I tried to be polite. Kelsi, my 14-year-old, had warned me that one part of the book was SO funny that she hadn't laughed that hard for a long time! (Yes, she stole the book from the mailman and read it before I had the chance to grab it.)
Sure enough, I laughed so hard that it was embarrassing! Gulp.
My mom took The Homeschool Experiment with her on a trip to Alaska, and she got to the hilariously funny part (which I didn't tell her about beforehand), and she laughed so hard that she actually called me from Alaska to tell me about it! I wasn't home, so she left a message, but I'll tell you, I had another good laugh listening to her message!
Okay, so about The Homeschool Experiment: it is hilariously funny (oops, I already said that), and it is poignant and relevant to any homeschool mother's life no matter what stage of homeschooling she may be in. You will be filled with hope, encouragement, laughter, some great ideas about homeschooling, and discernment about homeschooling, all while reading a knee-slapping story.
This may sound weird, but I even think that people who are opposed to homeschooling will get something out of this book. Seriously - it is written so well and is such an excellent story. It may not change their minds about educating children at home, but I know it will give them more understanding about the whole process.
Would you like to read the first three chapters of The Homeschool Experiment? You can do that at the Familyman Ministries website, which belongs to comedian Todd Wilson. Actually, he's a cartoonist who also writes funny books about homeschooling, and he's a greatly amusing and entertaining speaker at homeschooling conventions as well. You'll also be able to access a homeschool group study guide there, should you decide to read this together with a group of homeschool parents.
Disclosure: I received two paperback copies of The Homeschool Experiment - one for myself to read, and one to give away here, in exchange for my honest review of this book. No other compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!