My Friday Five: Some of My Favorite Homeschooling Books
Thinking of diving into the deep, diverse and daunting world of HOMESCHOOLING? Well, don’t let my alliteration scare you . . . It was daunting to me, but what I’ve found is though it is deep and diverse, it is a WONDERFUL WORLD of all things true, good and beautiful! Homeschooling is not for everyone, so don’t feel pressured into it, but rather prayerfully consider and wait . . . Then, decide. For now, I wanted to offer a few of my favorite books that I read ahead of time and continue to pick-up for review.
This was my first introduction to classical education. Our youngest was three years old when I was contemplating homeschooling her. A family friend recommended I read The Well-Trained Mind, A Guide to Classical Education, she encouraged me that this would be a good place to start. Little did I know the intrigue into education this would create for me. As our older children were entering high school and college, I was concerned that they were being taught the opinions and thoughts of their teachers and professors but not how to truly examine an issue or topic from all angles and formulate their own opinions and thoughts. This book was the “A-HA” moment for me. Because I, along with most of my peers, were not taught classically, this was like a foreign language, but such a breath of fresh air.
Fast forward a few years . . . Out of respect of my husband, we had enrolled our youngest into the public school system – the same elementary school in which her older siblings had attended and her oldest sister was now teaching 1st grade. As with any good school system, there were fabulous teachers and we were fortunate to have some who had seen all the different trends come and go in education. Unfortunately, while finishing her 1st grade year, we were becoming concerned with some of the changes we were already experiencing and some that were yet to come and W suggested us revisit her educational future. While visiting private schools, considering homeschooling and praying over the right decision for our family, Sam Sorbo was on a morning news program and discussing her book, They’re Your Kids, so immediately I ordered it. I will say I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but she does present some valid points and generates thought provoking topics for discussion which proved helpful in our decision making process.
After making the decision to dive fully into homeschooling, we had approximately 4 months to prepare . . . Already, I had discussed homeschooling with several previous teachers who chose homeschooling over public schools, but I had one who truly mentored me through the beginning process. (Maybe one day I’ll share our journey from a sold out public school family to a thriving homeschool family, but let me just say – when I walked into the one and ONLY homeschooling convention I’ve yet to attend, I stuck out like a neon colored dolphin swimming with a bunch of fresh water bass. It was quite comical and boy was I intimidated! All that to say, I needed someone to say “this is where I started”) Anyways . . . Back from that tangent. Through all the research and information overload, I was TOTALLY sold on classical education – it just made sense and it’s the style of learning our founding fathers experienced down to our grandparents. Now that we’ve passed “GO” . . . What’s our next move? My homeschooling mentor introduced me to Classical Conversations and I was DONE! This was exactly what I desired and needed – classical style education with weekly community groups and a basic framework on which I could add as much information as our Little Missy could handle. “CC” gave a structure and beginning point for this parent who was overwhelmed with where to start. Leigh Bortins, the founder and Chief Academic Officer of Classical Conversations, has written numerous books, but The Core has been one of my “go to’s”. If we’re all being transparent here, this is one book I revisit every summer while planning for the upcoming year.
Now that we chose to dive in and we have some direction, my “over achiever”/public-school-educated-side steps in and says “you must teach all of these topics and you must check all the boxes” every day! Alright . . . Well, kids are only kids once! And while they need to learn arithmetic, reading, writing, responsibility and learn them well, they need time to play, too. And I need to give myself a break! That’s when Teaching From Rest walked into my life at just the perfect time. In her book, Sarah Mackenzie speaks to the heart of teaching children in a peaceful, restful setting and manner while embracing truth, beauty and goodness. Our world and media are inundated with evil, ugliness and darkness, our children only need small doses of that but huge doses of what life is truly meant to be . . . Loving, Joyfilled, Beautiful and Good!
And finally (not really!), Honey for a Child’s Heart! Even if homeschooling never crosses your path, this is a great book for parents, grandparents and anyone who enjoys giving books to children. As we’ve seen with our older children and their friends, reading makes a HUGE difference in a child’s education. The earlier they learn to enjoy it, the more successful they can be in school . . . And then there’s read aloud time with family – what a unique concept, right?! Children love time spent with their loved ones reading aloud, especially if it starts early in their lives. In her book, Gladys recommends some of the best books for children based on their ages and preferences. As you can see, I keep this book handy for gift giving and when I’m looking for something new and interesting for our Little Missy.
If you’re considering diving into the world of homeschooling or maybe you just desire a better understanding of the homeschooling movement, I hope these few books will encourage you as you learn and grow in knowledge of the classical style of education. Thank you for stopping by!
NOTE: Each book title has a link to purchase the books. I do not receive any monetary credit from the bookseller or the authors. These are just a few that are near and dear to my heart . . . I hope you enjoy!