Surviving the Applewhites

After several of the librarians at my local library asked me if I had read Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan, I decided I had better read it.  They know I teach my children at home, and wanted me to read this hilarious book about a homeschooling family.

The Applewhites are like few homeschooling families I know.  They are an extended family of creative geniuses, with accompanying egos, who live on a farm in North Carolina.

When the oldest daughter, Courtney, was in junior high, her teacher told her she could not paint a zebra with purple and black stripes.  Her father decided that enough was enough, and brought all the children home for school – which isn’t really school as it is un-school.

The children determine their courses of study, and each adult switches off days ‘supervising’ the school.

Everyone is happy, except E.D.  She craves order and structure, which is completely missing from life as an Applewhite.  And to make matters worse, her family has agreed to take in the neighbor’s juvenile delinquent grandson.  He’s been kicked out of two schools already, and since E.D. is the only child with a well-organized school plan, the family decides that E.D. and Jake should work together.

The two clash frequently, and Jake wonders if he’ll survive this chaotic family – until the local production of The Sound of Music brings the whole family together and teaches both Jake and E.D. the value of their talents.

The librarians were right – everyone, but especially homeschoolers – will enjoy this hilarious book.

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