Kathleen Melin

By Heart:

A Mother’s Story of Children and Learning

Memoir

“By Heart” shares the surprising story of one family’s journey from compliant public schooling to radical home-based learning. This literary homeschool memoir takes readers from the tundra of Bethel, Alaska, to the placid farm country of Wisconsin, all the while exploring the homeschool lifestyle.

A literary page-turner of a memoir that strips away facades and invites readers to an intimate portrayal of one homeschool family.  Ultimately, this rare and heartfelt telling affirms all those who live their lives beyond tidy boxes and categories.

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 “I’m a proponent of Waldorf schools, in large part because they strive to create a home-like atmosphere for the children – students have the same class teacher from first through eighth grade, they work at an unhurried pace, the curriculum is profoundly connected to Nature, and everything is done with beauty, rhythm, and love. This sounds a lot like home schooling, doesn’t it? Why is it that home schooling is the exception rather than the norm? 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 of the Utne Reader
Cosmo Doogood’s Urban Almanac
Author of Brenda My Darling

About the Author

Kathleen Melin

Kathleen Melin is the author of the progressive education and parenting memoir By Heart: A Mother’s Story of Children and Learning at Home (Clover Valley Press October 2008).  Her creative work has appeared in Dust and Fire, Feminist Parenting, and Eric Utne’s Cosmo DooGoods Urban Almanac. She has worked as a magazine editor, a newspaper reporter, grant writer, ghost writer, publicist, and as a freelance writer for national and regional publications. She holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota and has taught at the University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Summit School for the Arts, and at seminars and conferences around the country.  She lives on her ancestral farm in Wisconsin where she cultivates creativity.

Coming Soon

The Somewhat Accurate True Story of a Blue Collar White Girl

A coming-of-age memoir of the 1960s about a determined daughter’s quest to break out of the domestic role imposed on girls and go to college.

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Blue Pearl

A fifteen-year old girl makes one futile attempt after another to find her mother, ignoring her own inner knowledge and the rumors of disruption in the outside world.  When two sudden shocks collide, she must face who she is and reconcile her fantasies with the stark limitations of the home she never questioned.

Services

Ghostwriting

“Wow! I am so thankful that we chose you to work on our mother’s biography.  The whole process has been a gift for her – a chance for her to think back and see how her life unfolded into what it is today…..You really know how to capture HER voice.  Thank you for this gift to our entire family.” Jenny H.

Education

I believe everyone can write and that we all have stories to tell. As an instructor, I create a safe space for these often powerful and deeply personal expressions.

My column

Follow Along

By Heart goes to School

 Dr. Kellie Rolstad from the University of Maryland contacted me last week about using By Heart: A mother’s story of children and learning at home in her graduate class. “I loved your book,” said Dr. Rolstad, a professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning,...

“By Heart” Now on Audiobook

When By Heart: A mother’s story of children and learning at home by Kathleen Melin was first published in 2008, it came with endorsements from social visionary Eric Utne, radical educator John Taylor Gatto, and Chicago poet Barry Silesky. In the intervening years, the...

Creative Writing Warms Winter

What do you get when you take the contemplation of winter and mix it up with a creative non-fiction writing course?  A collection of stories based on personal experience with universal significance from a very wonderful group of rural writers.  I hadn't taught this...

Kindred Farm Retreat

Hosting individual artists committed to creativity, transformation, and learning.