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I Am Learning All The Time Review by April Elstrom

Rain Perry Fordyce
(360) 821-9019
P.O. Box 687
Port Townsend, WA 98368

I Am Learning All The Time by Rain Perry Fordyce is a beautifully illustrated picture book about a family that homeschools their two boys. When Rain Perry Fordyce began to homeschool her sons, she couldn't find any books for children that explained homeschooling . . . so she wrote her own.

Working with scientific illustrator, Audrey Anne Miles Cherney, Rain Fordyce created this fun story book for children that positively explains homeschooling and how it differs from school. The story is written from the perspective of 5 year old Hugh, who wonders why he doesn't go to school like his neighbors.

I Am Learning All The Time is a soft cover book, 8 1/4" x 10", that is printed on recycled paper using vegetable ink. It is brightly colored, full of detailed illustrations, and reasonably priced.

This picture book is written for the Pre-Kindergarten through 3rd grade child. It can be used to encourage homeschooled children, or to help others understand their friends and family who homeschool. Although it contrasts homeschooling with other methods of school, it does so in a non-judgmental way.

I Am Learning All The Time is written from a delight-directed, unschooling perspective, and that is evident in the story and the illustrations. My 12 year old daughter commented after reading the story to her younger siblings that the characters aren't ever shown doing any schoolwork, although they are shown reading, helping with chores, making crafts, engaging in creative play, and playing chess.

My family and I enjoyed this book very much. I am thankful for the positive image it portrays of homeschooling. As a relaxed homeschooler, I enjoy the message that learning happens all the time, and the fact that the family is not shown hiding inside during school hours. I admit my children found it odd that the book characters never opened a textbook, and that may bother families who use a more traditional textbook approach to homeschooling.

Of greater concern to me is the "old earth" reference slipped into the story by way of an imaginary Tyrannosaurus Rex who somehow managed to "survive over 70 million years". We used that as an opportunity to discuss our young earth creationist beliefs once again.

I Am Learning All The Time is a book that any homeschooling family can enjoy. It can be enjoyed by Christian homeschoolers and secular homeschoolers, as well. It will be especially meaningful to those who are delight-directed unschoolers, or relaxed homeschoolers.

Overall, I find this to be a quality children's book. It is a charming story with engaging pictures that you and your children will enjoy. It would make a wonderful gift to a family just beginning to homeschool.

Product Review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2009