Recently I was able to read a book that I wanted to share with you all.  With all the trendy homeschooling books out there, I loved reading this book because it was just a real, authentic peek inside the life and journey of a regular homeschool family…the ups, the downs, the mistakes, the joys… As Long as You Don’t Turn Them Into Weirdos, by Janell Smiley, is an easy-to-read recount of her family’s journey and you’ll want to read it, here’s why:

It’s Real

Reading this book felt like sitting down with a friend and hearing her story! Janell admits up front that she’s not a professional writer and that her book will be “no great literary work of art.” While that might be so, the casual tone and conversational style made it fun to read!

Her stories as she goes back to the beginning of her journey homeschooling remind me so much of situations I’ve experienced over the 14 years of homeschooling I’ve done! I found myself nodding my head in agreement and saying, “Yes! Exactly!”

There’s Wisdom in Her Story

The best thing ANY homeschool mom can do is to glean wisdom from those who have gone before! Find authentic people who have had success in their journeys (and that means they have made mistakes too!), and learn from them! Janell has kids in college so she’s completed her homeschool journey and done it well. Her boys are thriving in their lives and making her proud.  Did she do everything right? NO! She’ll tell you that in her book, but overall, she did the important things right…so read about them!

You might be early on in your journey and maybe your kids are still potty training and learning to read, but you’ll still want to read this book.  See what lies ahead! Don’t be afraid of the scary things like high school and college applications!

Know that You’re Not Alone

Sometimes we just feel alone in the homeschool world.  I know there are thousands (millions?) of blogs, You Tube channels, websites, and books all about homeschooling, but sometimes you just feel like your day-to-day life is not like others. Somehow they have it all together and you can’t get it right.

That’s just not true! I can tell you that my house and my day are FAR FROM PERFECT! Things are stressful, I make mistakes that I can’t go back and fix, my kids act like they were raised by monkeys sometimes, and there’s no clean clothes in the house!

Reading REAL stories like Janell Smiley’s gives you a peek into other peoples lives.  You learn that you’re not that different and that you’re not alone! There are homeschool families that have done all this already and had success! You can do it too! Just like Janell says, “If I can do, you can too!”


To learn more about Janell Smiley you can visit her on the web and social media: 

IG: janellsmiley




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