Homeschooling and Libraries

Things I'm thinking about and learning while working with homeschoolers and writing Helping Homeschoolers in the Library for ALA Editions.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Interview with Maureen Wittmann, Part 1

Thanks to the Internet, a couple months ago, I was lucky enough to meet Maureen Wittmann, who, among other things, is an author and homeschooling mother of seven. She has generously shared all manner of information with me over the last few months and agreed to an interview for this site and my book. Maureen is coeditor with Rachel Mackson of A Catholic Homeschool Treasury: Nurturing Children's Love for Learning and The Catholic Homeschool Companion. She’s the author of the forthcoming For the Love of Literature and is currently at work on a book about teens, No Question Left Behind. A contributing editor to Heart & Mind, she also blogs, moderates a few Yahoo groups, and recently started a monthly column at Talk about busy! Her outlook is positive and inspiring. I hope you’ll enjoy my conversation with her as much as I did.

Adrienne: I'm going to start with the first question I ask everyone these days: how did you get started in homeschooling?

Maureen: When I was in the eighth grade, I had back surgery and was out of school for six months. During that time, a tutor came to my home every school day for two hours. However, we only spent about an hour on schoolwork. The reason being that I had to advance at the same pace as my fellow students. My tutor met with my school teachers every Friday. If she found I was getting ahead, she would have to hold me back.

Even though I was only a child, this had a profound effect on me. I resented that I had to spend seven hours in a school building, when I knew that I could receive a quality education at home in just two hours. I wondered if there was a more efficient way to educate children without giving each child their own private tutor. Then, in college I befriended a homeschool graduate. I was fascinated – I had never heard of such a thing. My friend shared how much he loved homeschooling (even though it was pretty much illegal in those days). He loved the self discipline it fostered and he loved having time to work on his favorite subjects.

I was hooked and I knew from then on I would homeschool someday – even though it was ten more years before I even had children.


  • At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Maureen P. said…

    Hi Adrienne - I'm so looking forward to reading your interview!!! I love Maureen W.'s blog, and I have one of her books too! :)

  • At 9:45 PM, Blogger Adrienne said…

    I think you'll love the new book she has coming out this spring. She was kind enough to give me a sneak preview, and I think it's going to be very useful to a lot of homeschoolers. Honestly, I think teachers will wind up using it, too....

  • At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Maureen in IL said…

    Small world.......I've met Maureen since living/homeschooling in the Midwest. She's even more wonderful in person! And Adrienne, I spent the first 30+ years of my life in Rochester, NY....your current hometown? Will definitely be back to read the rest of your interview.

  • At 9:52 AM, Blogger Adrienne said…

    Ah, yes, I've lived here in Western NY most of my life. :) Such a small world!


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