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So you are thinking about homeschooling? Congratulations. Whether or not you actually undertake the task of teaching your children to love learning, you are considering what I consider the best decision our family ever made! I have said it for years, and I will continue to tell people that even though homeschooling is one of the most challenging endeavors you will face, it can also be the most uplifting, positive challenges you encounter.
When I started homeschooling 23 years ago, I was sure I was not capable. But I had some people come alongside me and encourage me. This is what I heard. “You have taught your sons how to tie their shows, walk, talk, and write their names. Every day, every year is just an extension of that.”
But what ifs always creep in. And when I started homeschooling, the culture was different. Few people homeschooled. We stayed in during school hours, and were extremely careful to not rock the boat for fear of someone turning you in.
If the occasionaly question creeps into my mind today, I really look at where we are versus where we could be, and homeschooling always wins out. But I have the benefit of having 3 adult children who were homeschooled. I see their success and it encourages me even more.
So I have selected a few of my favorite resources to share with you. These have proven invaluable to me over the years. In fact, most of these I actually own, have purchased multiple copies because I have given them away, and I have reread several of them repeatedly.
EDUCATING THE WHOLEHEARTED CHILD
by Clay and Sally Clarkson
This book changed so much for me. I didn’t read it until I had been homeschooling 3-4 years, but I have read it (or parts of it) every year since I first purchased it. I also required my daughter to read it. I didn’t think to have my sons read it, but my 4th child will definitely be reading this book in a couple of years.
This is an excellent resource for any parent whether they homeschool or not. This book spoke to me soul and helped me to understand just what I was doing, who I was responsible for, and how to go about really educating my children. I wanted more than anything to have children who loved to learn. If you want to figure out how to homeschool, what methods to use, and how your child learns best, this is the book for you. BUY HERE (AMAZON)
THE SUCCESSFUL HOMESCHOOL FAMILY HANDBOOK
by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore
The one regret I have is that I never got to meet Dr. Moore, or at least email him and let him know how powerful his book was on my life. This book gave me courage to do what was in my heart. I first read it after I have been homeschooling 2 years. If I had read it the first year, I feel that I wouldn’t have made so many mistakes that year. It opened my eyes to just how damaging pushing children to learn really is. Backed by research, Dr. Raymond Moore gave me the fortitude to chart a different path for my children. BUY HERE (AMAZON)
A MOM JUST LIKE YOU
by Vickie Farris
This book was written in 2002 by a mom (just like you). This is her story. It is not a how-to book, but a book of understanding. Imagine sitting down for coffee with a mom who is homeschooling. She shares the ups and downs of her life candidly. Vickie Farris has 10 children. Her life looks different than mine just because of the number of children she has, but she offers encouragement and suggestions for those overwhelming days. If she can homeschool, you can too! BUY HERE (AMAZON)
THE WELL-TRAINED MIND by Susan Wise Bauer
This book will instruct you on how to give your child an academically rigorous, comprehensive education from preschool through high school. I do not believe in the philosophy of some of this book because I don’t think your 5 year old benefits from reading Beowulf, but I do think some of these suggestions are good. I had one child who I used portions of this book with. He is now an attorney, but I could tell at about the age of 10 that he would benefit from a classical approach to education. I started using some of their books lists because he was a voracious reader. At about age 12, I began to use some of the curriculum suggestions. I love the book lists in this book, but I would not recommend starting with a very young child. The book lists and stages of child development make this an excellent resource for all parents. BUY HERE (Amazon)
BETTER LATE THAN EARLY
by Dr. Raymond Moore
Another one of my favorites, Dr. Moore uses trusted sources to promote his philosophy – early reading, writing, and education do not correlate to later success. I love his approach and embrace it fully. This book gives you the ammunition needed to adopt this approach in your life. Learning to love learning is more important the force-fed facts. It is a warning against early education. It empowers you to let your child explore their environment without the standardized testing, the forced reading, and the soul-crushing academics that are totally unnecessary for children to grow into productive adults. This is another book that is useful for all parents, and I have had several teacher friends borrow it to read. One teacher still comments about how it was such a life changer for her. BUY HERE (Amazon)
HONEY FOR A CHILD’S HEART
by Gladys Hunt
This book is a great resource for families looking for books to read. It has the best books for ages 0-12. This book is not just a book list though. It also discusses how reading affects children’s views of the world around them, and how to ignite your child’s imagination. Glady’s “tastes are broad, her advice is rooted in experience, and her suggestions will enrich the cultural and spiritual life of any home.” This is a must buy book for every household with children. BUY HERE (Amazon)
I hope I have helped you find some resources to get you started on your journey! Drop me a line and let me know. For more information about Homeschooling, Read My Dirty Secrets of a Homeschooling Mom.
-Patty @ A Mother’s Random Thoughts