why I don’t want you to read my book

I know this title sounds like a marketing ploy. And I don’t know how to convince you it isn’t.

But it isn’t. I’m dead serious.

You might have heard that I’m writing an e-book about unschooling. (the heck??) (our neighbor kiddos say this all the time–leaving off the “what”)

And it is giving. me. FITS. Fits, I tell you. Holy cow.

As I said on Facebook a little while ago, I just can’t get the tone right. Parts of it are either apologetic or people-pleasing or sarcastic or snippy. I’m going for warm and engaging and compelling and thought-provoking. Help me, Jesus.

I will tell you what my biggest, greatest fear is. That the wrong people will read my e-book.

Wrong people = people I love who have chosen a different educational path for their offspring (public school, private school, homeschool)

I can’t fully explain why we’ve chosen unschooling without sharing what I don’t love about the other options. Yet some of my favorite people have chosen those options, and I NEVER, EVER want them to think I don’t respect their choice.

So I need them not to read the book.

If that’s YOU, I need you not to read the book. (especially if I really love you)

I know there are people in this world who write things to purposely tick people the heck off, just so they’ll get more attention and sell more copies of their book. (I don’t know how they do it. My skin is tissue-paper thin. And how can they handle all those people hating them??)

I’m so serious about this that I put this disclaimer in the front of the book (which I realize will do no good if you’ve already bought it). So here it is now:

Should You Keep Reading This Book?

Well, I certainly can’t stop you from reading it if you really want to. But this book is not for everyone. I had a specific audience in mind when I wrote it, and if you don’t fit in that group, you may want to quit while we’re still friends.

This Book Is NOT For You If:

–Your child is in school, and you are both happy with how things are going.

–Your child is blooming and thriving academically, emotionally, and socially in a school setting.

–School is positively contributing to a low-stress environment for your entire family.

If that’s you, hooray! Be cool! Stay in school!

This Book IS For You If:

–You and your child are unhappy with school. Maybe even miserable.

–You know your child has great potential, but school seems to be squashing it.

–Your child complains about how boring school is.

–School is cramping your family’s style and causing you more stress than joy.

–You sense that your family is missing out on something.


—You’ve seriously considered homeschooling, but the idea turns you off for some reason(s).


–Your kids aren’t old enough for school yet (or not even born) but you’re thinking ahead and researching your options.


Unschooling intrigues you, but you’ve never met an actual real-life person who unschools. Hi, I’m Marla. Nice to meet you. Read on.

(There. I feel better. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’ve got to get this thing finished.)

10 thoughts on “why I don’t want you to read my book

  1. Andrea

    I cannot wait to read your book I feel like I am the perfect person for the book as school for my first grader has been awful this year. Instead of working with my child on all this little quarks/ocd they keep saying we need testing! Looking to do something but not sure what! Thanks!

  2. Lori Mercer

    Can you make your next book “how we approach life without so much emotional baggage when worrying about what others think who aren’t in the same place and time as we are”? Definitely find a snazzy marketing headline for that so it goes viral. Because I for one would like to know how you get the “right audience” to read what you’ve written instead of being overwhelmed by all the people who don’t need that advice and decide to tell you the 100 reasons you are wrong. For example…. a new wife may need to know something and not read a comment from a wife in a thirty year marriage say “they never had that problem and find it ridiculous.” Well then. Careless words for that hurting new wife. Thank you “general internet public”. That’s my nice term for those people. Who are children of God and so loved. Just like me. But “the heck?” (thanks, I need to use that on my kids right along with ‘bae’) Somehow the internet can feel like everyone has a general license to complain and point out inaccuracies. i’m sorry. My emotional baggage is showing 🙂 Can you tell I am getting beat up by running a big internet site for a couple of years now? Ouch. Praying for us Marla, who are courageous enough to write the words that are meant to bring help…… Shield us Jesus from the words which are not meant for our ears. And show us the way we can help the hurt in the ones you let through. A-Men.

  3. Krysten

    I am a public school teacher (as you obviously know!) and you can’t stop me from reading this thing!!! I’ve been excited for it from the get-go and I know how hard you’ve tried not to sound a certain way, but I know your heart and that you’ll be honest without attacking anyone on purpose. And lots of people will benefit from reading what you have to say no matter what. So finish this thing and unleash it with lots of love. I can’t wait… Not because I’m dying to jump ship on my career (not necessarily anyway) or because I’m struggling with how to school my own child (he’s grown) but because I know and love your daughters and they are some of the most amazing young ladies I’ve ever met on this entire planet. So you and Gabe and God just gotta be doing something right 🙂

  4. Pingback: can I retract that? | Marla Taviano

  5. Rachelle

    Is it okay to say that I’m not always happy with every aspect of public school but I’m not at all ready to jump ship? Indeed we have firmly planted ourselves. In our town it is THE school, singlular, k-12. I think each of us as parents have to follow as God leads where he leads. By the way I’m a early generation homeschool product.
    I won’t read the book but truly do not see myself getting offended by the criticism of schools. Keep those fingers flying!

  6. Hannah

    I can’t wait to read this book! I really feel like the government education system (in Australia mainly as that’s what I know best) is all about ticking some Ministerial box and creating more bizarre work for teachers, rather than letting children learn about the REAL world.
    Homeschooling in Australia is seen as a very extreme and ‘closed brethren’ thing to do. I know it’s really different in Northern America (I have a few USA and Canadian friends who have been homeschooled).
    So, yeah, can’t wait to read it!!!

  7. Daniele

    I was thinking within the last 2 weeks- “I wonder when Marla is going to finish that book” because I love how involved your family is with your community and serving others. I want that! I want to know more!

  8. Sharon

    I’m super excited to read the book. And, Marla, here’s my ignorance for all to see. I totally thought “unschooling” was your invention. If not the specifics of it, at least the term. I saw that word elsewhere (online, I imagine) and was surprised. I mentioned it to someone else and they had definitely heard the term before. Anyways, my oldest will go to school next year and I’m pretty certain what our plans are for that. However, I’m very interested to read your book.

  9. Jennifer

    I CANNOT WAIT to read this book! We pulled our oldest out of private school last year and have been unschooling/de- schooling ever since. It is such a relief to have someone willing to talk about their experience to help me feel like I haven’t completely lost my mind!

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