Thanks for visiting my website. My book, By Heart: A mother's story of children and learning at home came out with Clover Valley Press in October 2008. It's been an amazing time since then of appearances, presentations, conferences, and more writing! I've loved meeting you and talking with you in conversations that dare to delve below the surface. We are here to live fully and in our reading and writing and talking, we have the opportunity to do that. Check my schedule of events for upcoming appearances. Contact me for presentations and readings. You can purchase books directly from me here, too, and I'd be delighted to include a dedication. Keep on doing all the wonderful things you're doing! As always, I wish you continued joy and learning!
What the reviewers have to say . . .
"Kathleen Melin tells the story of her journey to home schooling with compelling honesty and instructive insight. You will learn much from her experience."
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne Reader
"This book is a work of genius. Unique."
John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down
"Then there's By Heart , Kathleen Melin's poignant and literary memoir, which embraces the questions about home schooling and family life even when the answers aren't clear. Many of her chapters are like musical pieces that are unafraid to end authentically with an unresolved chord."
Jeanne Faulconer, Home Education Magazine
"Melin is gracious in her writing -- exposing places of doubt, loneliness, hurt, or misunderstanding -- but somehow bringing compassion and forgiveness to each issue. We learn to gently turn away the instinctual emotions that may rise up , seeing in each circumstance a larger context."
Kate Tsubata, Washington Times
"What a book! There is not a shallow or unnecessary word in this astounding and poetic memoir of Kathleen Melin and her husband's journey through the home schooling of their three children in rural Wisconsin. Don't think of this as a "how-to" book (though every story is underscored with incredible insight and a great list of references at the end) but rather as a collection of twelve really well-crafted stories by a thoughtful and loving storyteller. . . For me the sign of the fact that I might be reading a great writer comes from the number of sudden insights I get from the stories told -- insights that so quickly revealed my own private life and prejudices, and the sounds and the feel of the cold winter nights up here. This is the flow of Mary Oliver and Pablo Neruda mixed with Balzac and Tolstoy."
Mary Rehwald, story teller and educator
I was leery of yet another well-intentioned, but not very well-written homeschooling memoir. A gift card and an inexpensive used copy finally prompted an order and now I have only two regrets: 1) that I didn't order the book sooner, and 2) that the book isn't longer than its slender 140 pages. Chapter Five, "Folk Art" practically brought tears to my eyes, it captures so effectively, in such human terms, the issues surrounding the pedagogue/ideologue "split" in homeschooling circles. Melin's clear prose and thoughtful, non-doctrinaire approach to many key homeschooling touchpoints are a welcome addition to the literature, and her book will stand alongside Guterson's Family Matters and Wallace's Better Than School as must-reads in the genre.