This book is my memoir—a memoir that for several years now, I have known I would one day write. But let’s set the record straight right here. Part, but only part, of the impetus for writing my memoir at this time, is the publishing of our daughter’s book, Educated.
I want to tell the story of my life as I really lived it. I want my grandchildren to know who their grandmother is and was, and I want to be a force for good in their lives. Also, I feel a compelling desire to shine a light of accuracy on homeschooling, herbal medicine, and the living of a conservative and Christian way of life.
There are significant differences between self-publishing a book and submitting a manuscript to a publisher. One important difference is that when an author signs with a publisher, the author may be relinquishing at least some control over the content of their book. Final editorial decisions often rest with the publisher, even if those decisions are contrary to the author’s wishes. The motivations of the author and publisher may not always be aligned.
The educational changes being implemented as a result of Covid-19 are changing perspectives on education. Parents everywhere are now carrying more of the responsibility of educating their children, and they are discovering how challenging—and how rewarding—it is to interact with your children in this way day in and day out. I see parents having the same desires for their children’s educations that we had in our day.
I also see a great deal of frustration as families try to ascertain what will work best for them. I tell these harried parents that temporarily filling in for the teacher is not the same as settling into homeschooling as a way of life, and that it will get easier as they proceed. I feel a great deal of admiration for them as they take it on, adjusting and making the best of challenging situations.
I hope that this book will in some small way be encouraging to those struggling to pioneer a new way of educating their children.
About the Author
LaRee Westover was born in southeastern Idaho and attended public schools and Brigham Young University. She was blessed with an inquisitive mind, and stories about her early childhood often end with her having said, “I can do it myself!” She and her husband, Val, are the parents of two girls and five boys, all of whom were homeschooled. Six went on to receive more formal education, and three earned PhD degrees. Her family, which now includes 36 grandchildren, is the joy of her life. LaRee prepared extensively and worked as a midwife for several years. She has published four books on homeopathic remedies, herbal remedies, and essential oils for the multimillion-dollar business, Butterfly Express. As an incorrigible optimist and consummate hard worker, LaRee continues to share her knowledge and experience by teaching classes about alternative healthcare modalities. She is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and lives with her husband of over 45 years in Clifton, Idaho.