Monday, April 26

Homeschool Encouragement for the New (or Weary) Mom

Whether you're new to homeschooling or about to graduate another child, there will come a time this year when you need to hear words of encouragement.  Here are some of our favorite encouraging books...just for you!

The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie

If you think you should only read aloud to your children until they can read on their own, then this book will convince you otherwise! Sarah does a great job of laying out the benefits of reading aloud as a family even as your children grow into middle and high school.

Perfect for: Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, Unschooling, and anyone who loves snuggle time!

Homeschooling 101 by Erica Arndt

Homeschooling 101 is a great book if you are just embarking on your homeschooling journey or if you need a little pick-me-up. Erica walks you through steps like choosing a curriculum, planning lessons, organizing your day, and staying on schedule. 

Perfect for:  New homeschoolers and those looking to make some changes

How to Get Your Child off the Refrigerator and on to Learning by Carol Barnier

Your child doesn’t have to have ADHD in order for you to benefit from this book. Carol started researching ways to help her son, who does have ADHD, but I don’t know a parent who doesn’t have a child at some point is just plain fidgety. This book gives great tips on getting them focused on learning at different stages.  She's also an entertaining convention speaker!

Perfect for:  Moms who are ready to pull their hair out...

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell

At over 500 pages, this is a huge resource! Debra not only gives tons of resource suggestions like curriculum suggestions, homeschool supplies, and parent-tested ideas and solutions, but she also provides guidance on making homeschooling more enjoyable and effective for everyone involved.

Perfect for:  New homeschoolers and those transitioning (such as to high school)

Know and Tell by Karen Glass

I didn’t realize how narration builds into so many skills later in life until I read Know & Tell. Better late than never! Karen does a great job in this book of talking about what narration is, why it’s so important in your child’s education, and also how to help your child improve their narration.

Perfect for: Unschooling, Unit Studies, Classical, and pretty much anyone who talks with their kids

12 Homeschool Myths Debunked by Kent Larson

If you have a family member who is skeptical of your decision to homeschool your children or if you are just starting out and have some doubts about whether you can do it, this is a great book to pick up. Kent was a skeptical homeschool spouse himself, but when he started researching homeschooling statistics about academic success and socialization….he turned into a huge proponent of homeschooling!

Perfect for:  Those with 'well-meaning' friends and family

How Children Learn by John Holt

John Holt explains that “learning is as natural as breathing” for young children. In this book, he explains how children learn best and how we, as parents can encourage this learning. This is a great read for parents if you are feeling the pressure to have school look like a classroom.

Perfect for:  New homeschooling parents and anyone who is interested in multiple intelligences

How We Teach by Jimmie Lanley

A bunch of homeschool moms share what homeschool in their house really looks like. It is more like a reference book on homeschooling methods than a “cover to cover” read. You will see what Charlotte Mason looks like or maybe classical education in the high school years. Does unschooling interest you? Unschooling moms describe their days, too. The book is divided by age groups, so you can skip to see whatever interests you most. 

Perfect for:  New homeschoolers or those needing a change

Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt

Providing your children with good books is a fantastic way to encourage a love of reading in them from an early age. Gladys discusses how to give your child a broad world view and to spark their imaginations with books. The book starts by discussing what is a good book and how to choose one, then the book lists are broken down by age group, making it very easy to find what you are looking for.

Perfect for:  Moms who want to incorporate more reading books into their school day

The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart

If you want your child to have an “exciting, even enchanting experience” in homeschooling, then you should read this book. Julie gives inspiration and advice from her experience homeschooling her five children (now all grown). This book will inspire you to model life long learning for your children.

Perfect for:  Parents of younger homeschoolers

Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie

Could you use a little more peace in your homeschool? Teaching from Rest is a great read for the type-A mom who needs a reminder that she is not in charge, God is. Sarah’s book is such a great reminder about what is important and how to ‘teach from a position of rest’ that we all need in our hectic homeschool lives. 

Perfect for:  All moms at least once a year

Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon

This book is a must read for every parent and teacher. If you are considering taking a more relaxed approach to your homeschool of if you feel like it needs to be very structured and look like a regular classroom, please read this book. Laura does a fantastic job of making the case for a slower-paced, more relaxed learning environment for children. 

Perfect for:  Unschoolers and those who want to step off the gas for a bit

10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen

Just the title makes me feel like I need to read this. Ugh, isn’t this one of the biggest worries a mother has…am I doing what’s best for my child in the long run? Esolen  gives suggestions on how to encourage imagination in your child, too. Don’t worry, he builds you up after he tears you down!

Perfect for: Any parent who wants reassurance that they're doing the right thing

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise

Susan Wise Bauer and her daughter do an amazing job of laying out the concept of a classical education in The Well-Trained Mind. This was one of the first homeschooling books I read and it took away a lot of the “I don’t know what to teach” anxiety.

Perfect for:  Classical and new homeschoolers

Relaxed Homeschooling by Christine Owens

Relaxed Homeschooling is a “step-by-step guide that will teach you how to inspire learning at home”. I mean, what homeschool mom doesn’t want that?! The table of contents includes candy floss, the hidden secret of books, how to pick an awesome book, to watch or not to watch, and what toys are worth it.

Perfect for: New homeschoolers and those with young children

Which books have spoken to you in your time of weariness?

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