Mary Griffith has written extensively on the homeschooling movement for nearly twenty-five years. The Homeschooling Handbook: From Preschool to High School, a Parent’s Guide, her book for new and prospective homeschoolers, was first published by Prima Publishing in January 1997, and went to four printings within its first year of publication. The revised 2nd edition was published in the spring of 1999 and went to a second printing within 8 days of its release; a dozen printings have followed.
The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World As Your Child’s Classroom was released in May 1998. Focused on the idea that children learn best when they pursue their own natural curiosity and interests, the book offers plenty of useful ideas and resources for an informal, unstructured approach to education and has proved even more popular than The Homeschooling Handbook.
Since the Random House conglomerate purchased Prima Publishing, both books have been published by Three Rivers Press, an imprint of RH’s Crown Books division. As of April 2011, they have together sold over 80,000 copies. Ebook editions of both are also available.
Published in August 2007, Mary’s last homeschooling book, Viral Learning: Reflections on Homeschooling Life, looks at homeschooling from the perspective of long-term homeschoolers, including many who contributed to her earlier books. Viral Learning is available in both print and ebook format s from Lulu.com and Amazon, or can be ordered from your favorite bookseller.
Griffith was a long-time activist with the HomeSchool Association of California (HSC), the state’s oldest secular homeschooling organization. She served several terms on HSC’s board of directors, and was editor of its bimonthly California HomeSchooler for four years. She still speaks occasionally at homeschooling conferences and other events, on such topics as unschooling, learning to live with homeschooling, and homeschool advocacy.
Caught by a variant of the fencing bug when her daughters started fencing saber competitively, Griffith currently volunteers as a member of the United States Fencing Association’s national tournament staff, and is working on a series of murder mysteries set in the fencing world.
A fourth-generation Californian, Mary also knits and is a 25+ gallon blood donor.