Friday, August 14, 2015

HOMESCHOOLING | Library Services, Montrose, Pa.

Susquehanna County Main Library, Montrose, Pa.
Some school teachers and administrators, are uncomfortable with homeschoolers in their area.

Even when that is the case, many hospitable connections may be made with local libraries.

(Not to mention sports programs at local schools, where homeschooled children in the appropriate age cohorts are often welcomed, especially for competitive sports.)

The Susquehanna County, Pa., library for example says on its web site that
the library has responded to the growing homeschooling population by offering benefits to families who are residents of Susquehanna County and registered in the Homeschool program. 
With a Homeschool library card, participants receive an extended check-out period. Registered families are also eligible to participate in the Homeschool programs held monthly during the school year. With notice, the outreach department will gather a collection of books according to a specific request, or conduct a tour of the library and its resources.

Click for future programs or the most recent past program.

The Homeschool Resource Center is located downstairs in the county's main library in Montrose, Pa. It contains a collection of homeschooling materials available to borrow. There is also a swap shelf for families to share instructional materials.

The library offers "Useful Links for Homeschooling Families":
  • Susquehanna County Homeschoolers Yahoo Group: An email based group used to connect with other homeschoolers in Susquehanna County. Post or read about different local homeschooling activities or ask questions about homeschool related topics.
  • About Homeschooling: groups useful information and links from around the web. This is their page devoted to homeschooling.
  • Homeschool World: The official website of Practical Homeschooling magazine. How to get started, forums, etc.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

THE BOX HOUSE | Review by Marlene Rehkamp

The Box House cover by Brigid Marlin.
Excerpts of the book may be read here.
Boissevain Books has just released The Box House by Brigid Marlin - the story of an abused child, Cassie, as told to an adult who has befriended her.

Boissevain Books was interested in the opinion of someone who has worked in the children's-services field. We contacted Marlene Rehkamp, who used to serve New York City's Administration for Children's Services as Deputy General Counsel. She has just sent her review of the book, and we couldn't be more pleased at her reaction to the book:

"Ms. Marlin shares the real-life journey of an abused and courageous girl who uses her imagination and resourcefulness to help shelter her siblings from an abusive and neglectful home life in 1960s England.

"Fashioning a playhouse out of cardboard boxes in a nearby alley, the young ‘Cassie’ creates a safe haven of sorts; there, away from the imminent threat of harm, she provides the children some feeling of normalcy and tenderness.   The author knows Cassie well: soon after meeting her, Ms. Marlin reaches out to help and unwittingly becomes the girl’s model of good motherhood.

"Occasionally visiting the Marlins’ house and dreaming of creating a safe and loving home like hers, Cassie emerges poignantly as a model herself: one of lifelong commitment to family and faith. Ms. Marlin’s epiphany on the effects of taking time to help the young outcast is priceless.   Told through Cassie’s perspective, Ms. Marlin’s cinematic portrayal of violence and betrayal of trust, and of one child’s resilience, reveals youthful stoicism and terrifying realities rarely seen in young adult works.

"The author insistently details the profound effect of adults’ treatment of children over time, and the perils of passivity. The systemic, utter failings of family, school and government safeguards during this period in the history of the United Kingdom as well as of the United States, loom large. Given recent revelations surrounding the global trafficking of children, Cassie’s true story takes on new dimensions today.

"A lauded painter, Ms. Marlin paints with words. Her brushstrokes illuminate the young girl’s intimate experiences in a way that will move teen and adult readers alike to tears of sorrow and delight. This book is a joy, a bona fide page-turner and must-read for teens and for all parents and other adults devoted to understanding the unspoken yearnings of children in crisis."

The Box House can be ordered through Amazon.