I shot off a post a few weeks ago while in the middle of Schoolgirls by Peggy Orenstein, a book I chose because I so enjoyed Cinderella Ate My Daughter and was curious about the author’s take on life as a junior high girl.

Some of the stories presented were so foreign to me, I didn’t know what to think; the first half of the book, detailing life at a suburban middle school somewhat like my own, was filled with girls so afraid of getting something wrong in class that they never spoke or volunteered answers.  The same girls were pinched, grabbed, and harassed in hallways while school officials simply said that “boys will be boys.”

Then I realized the book was written in 1994.  I was in junior high in 2000 and in a small, Midwestern town.  Maybe we’ve come a long way since then?  Maybe my itty bitty, small town experience was just a different planet compared to the coasties?  I’m not sure which is the case (I’m hoping the former and that schools can really pat themselves on the back for making gender equality better in the classroom), but either way, the book simply didn’t resonate with me.  I felt sorry for the girls, women now of about 30, and the various body image, familial, academic, and social problems they were facing…but I just couldn’t seem to invest myself in the book.

So, I guess I’m walking away from it saying “meh”.  I also think I’m walking away from reading about issues related to public school for a while: the Professor and I decided years ago, before we were even married, that we would be homeschooling our kids.  Now, while Pookie is still in diapers, is the time to be thinking about, researching about, and planning for that chapter in our lives…not arming myself for a fight that isn’t mine.


2 responses to “Schoolgirls

  1. Tina Elschlager April 15, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I just discovered your blog. Hurray! A Christian young mother who loves to read and to nurture her child! My favorite kind of people! I am a 50ish grandmother of 3.5 children, a fellow Christ follower, a teacher of reading and writing, a media specialist, and a librarian. I did not homeschool my kids but I sent them to a Christian Academy where I taught at the time. I approve of your reading material, most of which I have read. May I suggest the Abeka homeschool curriculum for your daughter and later as she matures, the Bob Jones University curriculum? The science and history curriculum is especially good from BJ. The Abeka reading program through grade four can’t be beat. The English and grammar through grade Eight will result in a student who will excell in reading and writing and who will know more grammar than most high school teachers. Currently, I teach in the public school sector, but I have rewritten my 8th grade Abeka grammar book to teach in a PC kind of way. In other words, I have eliminated God in all areas where doctrine is mentioned but left Him where it could be counted historical.
    Enjoy your precious family!

    • MK @ thismomreads April 15, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Hi Tina, nice to meet you! I know what you mean about finding likeminded ladies; such a treat!

      I actually don’t blog here anymore since I published my first novel, but I still keep up with what I’m reading on GoodReads and blog at

      I’ve read about Abeka and BJ, and we’ll definitely look into them more as we get closer to our homeschool days…for now, we’re loving lots of books and play! Thanks for stopping by!

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