I chose to do my Multi-Genre Project on homeschooling, as it is a topic I am familiar with but which I could research more. My rhetorical situation is that I am the homeschooling mother of 3 children in 4th, 7th and 10th grades, as well as a leader of my homeschooling community. I chose this because it is a depiction of what I would like to do at some point in my life, and because this is a role my own mom held for a number of years, so I have personal, if secondary, experience.
My first document is a Letter of Intent, a form letter written to the Superintendent of the School District to inform him/her of my intent to homeschool my children. This is a letter that all New Hampshire homeschooling parents must submit, so I included it in order to show even the mundane side of homeschooling. My next two documents are Speeches for the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition Spring Workshop. The first speech, “Set the Record Straight,” is a formal speech explaining three much-discussed issues of homeschooling: standardized testing, unschooling and socialization. This piece is based in research and what I have experienced in my own homeschooling experience. The intent of this piece is to bring to light some of the controversies of homeschooling and to show my own views. The second speech, “Unschooling: How I Do It,” is an informal speech about how I homeschool my kids. This is completely based on my own homeschooling experience and what I have observed about children during and since the time I was homeschooled. My purpose for this piece was to show how an unschooling family could work. My fourth and last document, “Letter to another homeschool mom,” is another look at the mundane life of a homeschooling leader, as I reach out to a homeschooling mother who needs help finding a math program to benefit her child. This happens all the time in homeschooling. My intent with this piece was to show that not only are homeschoolers very willing to help each other out, but also that there are many different ways of answering the problem of homeschooling.
I enjoyed this project, as I got to research something I am interested in and I was allowed to bring my own experience to the table. I enjoyed writing in different genres and to different people. My pieces might be a bit random, but they mesh in that together they make up a full picture of the homeschooling mother who is a leader in her community.
P.S. For another example of a multi-genre project, check out the short story “Liking What You See: A Documentary,” found in Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. (3/27/17)