Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Well-Adjusted Child by Rachel Gathercole

Author Blogview with Rachel Gathercole

Book Title:
The Well-Adjusted Child
Published by: Mapletree Publishing Company
Release Date: June, 2007

What inspired you to write the book? I have spent years witnessing my own homeschooled children and their homeschooled friends enjoy really rewarding and beneficial social lives as a result of homeschooling, above and beyond what they could have gotten at school. And at the same time, I have spent those same years hearing almost everyone we have met say, "But what about socialization?" or "I have thought about homeschooling, but I've decided not to because I want my kids to be socialized." I had read studies and other research that supported the idea that socialization was a benefit of homeschooling, I looked around for a complete information source I could refer these people to. When I found that one did not exist, I felt compelled to create one. And I have been very glad that I did.

What is your favorite chapter in the book and why? I can't say I have a favorite chapter. I think the book is a total journey taking the reader from the usual, default assumptions and ways of thinking about homeschooling and socialization (and even childhood) to a new, more accurate picture and perspective on what homeschooling really entails and how it affects kids and families. At least that is my hope! So I couldn't really isolate one chapter as the best or most important.

Do you have other books you have written? If yes, what are they? Yes, books in the desk drawer. . . but no others published yet!

Is there a particular event that stands out to you that helped you become an author? I had a professor in college who said something to me that made a big difference (though he has no idea, as I'm sure he was just talking in his usual way). I went to his office before writing a paper and told him I had an idea for my paper topic but I wasn't sure if it was important enough, or a significant enough issue to write a whole paper about. He said, "That's the first dumb thing I've heard you say. If you can articulate something that is obvious to you, you are always doing us all a favor. Period." I have thought about that conversation many, many times, and it always gives me the gumption to go ahead and write it down, and send it out--whatever it may be.

Was there a person in your life who believed in you more than you believed in yourself? If so, who was that person? Well, I think in a certain way, writers and artists always have to believe in themselves without relying on others to believe in them, because you have the vision in your mind long before you have any product to show for it. Once the book is written, it seems easy to find people to get behind it. But I would say that if anyone believed in me more than I believed in myself, it was my husband and kids. I think my kids thought of me as a bestselling author even when I had only one article published! And my husband has always been extremely supportive as well, helping arrange time for me to write and query publishers and so on long before I had a completed book to show for all that time!

What advice would you give to writers wishing to have their works published? There is no substitute for doing your homework. Research the publishers you are considering, find out what they publish, what they are looking for, and so on. Learn how to write a good query or book proposal, and then write the best one you can. If you are writing articles, read the magazines you are submitting to. Publishers have very specific needs, and your chances of getting published will greatly increase if you take notice of them!

Who is your favorite author? I'm not big on favorites. I don't tend to have them, or even to view things that way. But right now, I really love a book by Drs. Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate, called Hold Onto Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. I would buy a copy for every parent I know if I could.

Do you have an author website? What is it? Yes. It's www.rachelgathercole.com. Please check it out!

What is your favorite quote? There again, I don't tend to have favorites. But I think often of the quote, "This, too, shall pass." It has so much bearing on life and on parenting in particular. It applies to the good and the bad. The challenging times do pass, but the good stuff will pass you by, too, if you don't stop and enjoy it. That holds a lot of meaning for me, and helps me keep things in their proper perspective!

Thanks so much for thinking of me and for the opportunity to answer these questions!
Best wishes,
Rachel

1 comment:

educationalrcb said...

Hi Rachel,
I read your book and was amazed. You put into words, so competently, the way it really is in homeschooling. I realized that all the outside pressure on “socialization” is unwarranted and is born from ignorance and fear.
We do so much socializing that we have to make an assertive effort to find time to complete the academics J. With all the homeschooling groups out there offering so many activities and cooperative learning opportunities, there is something to do everyday, if you choose. Then, there are all the great learning opportunities to do just as a family.
It’s great to home-educate our children and have the opportunity to mentor them on an their individual level, rather then a conveyer belt method. Then, we get to go on all these great field trips and take part in all the awesome social and academic activities. I LOVE being with my kids, we have a blast together.
I hope all homeschoolers read your book and gain the confidence to verbalize what they already know is true, homeschooling works well. Then, when well-intentioned critics come along, they are able to confidently inform them of the quality of their child’s home-education, academically and socially. It would be great if the critics, that really want to know the truth about homeschooling and are genuinely concerned, would read your book as well. Then they can rest easy knowing home-education is an effective and viable educational option.
Thank you for all you do. Keep up the great work and we will be looking for your next book.
Take care and talk soon!
Teri – South Florida