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I remember the first time we were challenged on our choice to homeschool.
We were sitting in the lobby of our hotel in Aguas Calientes, Peru and waiting for our train back to Cusco. All of us were tired but energized. We were exhausted from waking up at 4 a.m. to traverse up to Machu Picchu, but our bodies and minds were enthralled by the wonders we had seen. To be in such a place of history and mystery was a delight indeed.
It was a delight we had chosen by forgoing the pricetag of international preschool and investing in travel whilst we were stationed together in South America. This also meant an investment of time and energy on my behalf as I homeschooled preschool for our child.
My husband and four-year-old daughter were playing with a sticker book while I was reading Brave Learner by Julie Bogart when a man and his wife passed by us. He made small talk about our adventures before he asked, “How old is she?”
We answered, “She just turned four.”
“And she is not in school right now?” he asked.
“No, she is homeschooled,” I said.
“Ahh. I see. She is young. In a few years, you’ll want to reconsider, with socialization and all.” He smiled at us as if doing us a remarkable favor.
I am glad that day I had Julie Bogart in hand. I am glad for all the days after that I have sought authors that have helped buoy our current choice. Just as teachers need continuing education to serve their students well, I have needed to spend time with the homeschoolers that have gone before me, both in real life and through helpful books.
Each of the books below encourages my heart and helps me form and carry out the vision for our current life chapter, which still includes homeschooling.
Whether we choose to homeschool for a season, for the long haul, or not at all, let us continue to have the courage to do what is best for our family!
*Please note all selections are of Christian influence except for Brave Learner which is secular.
Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie
Photo credit Classical Academic Press
“It’s easy to forget that teaching is holy work. We forget that building up the intellect- teaching our children to really think- does not happen by the might of human reason, but rather by the grace of God. On an ordinary day, you and I likely have a set of tasks we’ve scheduled for our kids. But it’s more than math. It’s more than history. It’s the building up of our children’s minds and hearts, and we can only do that if we realize that this is how we thank Him for the graces He so lavishly pours out on us.”
I read Teaching from Rest at least once a year. It helps me to gather strength and pulls me back on “why” we are investing in this current homeschool adventure. Mackenzie lives what she teaches and reminds me to keep our relationships front and center.
Awaking Wonder: Opening Your Child’s Heart to the Beauty of Learning by Sally Clarkson
Photo credit Sally Clarkson(.com)
“Education is not about enacting a prescriptive, boxed sort of curriculum-based classroom, but instead is about passing on a legacy of a love for learning, an independent joy in discovery, a motivation to bring light, beauty, and goodness back into the world of our children.”
Clarkson has raised four children that are now out and about in the world doing wonderful things! Her calming presence in this book is full of the wonder and delight homeschool brought to their family. She cheers readers on and also points back to the joy that learning can be. She highlights how we must pour into ourselves in order to model the life we want for our children.
The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming the Wonder in Your Child’s Education, A New Way to Homeschool by Ainsley Arment
Photo credit Brave and Kind Books
“Comparison is the thief of joy, but also of a mother’s confidence.”
The Call of the Wild and Free is a great place to start educating yourself on your homeschool journey. Arment breaks down many different homeschool styles so that you can understand common educational influences such as Montessori, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, and Unschooling. She encourages you to combine bits of all influences to create your own beautiful homeschool. This book also seeks to bust up common misconceptions and myths that you might not even realize you had!
Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life by Julie Bogart
Photo credit Picture of a Homeschool(.com)
“Knowing who you are and what brings you joy beyond your children provides comfort and optimism at the end of the homeschool odyssey. Not only that, but homeschooling may lead you to the contribution you are destined to make.”
Bogart’s take on homeschooling is refreshing. She does not shy away from the challenge and the change that homeschool can bring to a family. She also addresses how to ride the waves of the experience without losing ourselves. From start to finish, my copy is marked up with reminders and new ideas on staying fresh and seeking what true education means.
Adventuring Together: How to Create Connections and Make Lasting Memories with Your Kids by Greta Eskridge
“When we embark on a hard adventure with our kids, we must make sure our kids know we believe in them. This not only helps them to believe in their own ability to conquer the challenge but also knits their hearts with ours as we rise to the challenge together.”
Adventuring Together reminds me of the daily life of a military family. Eskridge seeks to take her children on all means of adventures, training them early to be out in the world and learning that our best memories are often ones where we have to pivot. This book is not primarily about homeschooling, so it is a great alternative to read with a group of parents that want to remember to capture the years of childhood well and see the adventure every day!
Teaching from Rest is a book I reread every year before we start the next year of school. It’s short, simple, and full of inspiration and encouragement. Love, love, love it!
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