A few books helped motivate me to homeschool. Once I read them I was CONVINCED this was the path for my children.
Every few years I revisit these books to fortify myself for the journey to come.
We must always remind ourselves why we are homeschooling.
What are our motives? How does traditional school fail the majority of children in our country, and why should we do everything in our power to keep our children out of that system?
What are the reasons homeschooling is the best alternative to traditional school?
If I could have only three education books on my shelves right now, the following would be there.
I have included something OLD, something NEW - and something TRIED and TRUE.
I’ve been at this for many years now, and read a lot of books. There are precious few that speak directly to my heart and soul.
This one (while I guess it probably spoke to my heart and soul) got me FIRED UP!
John Taylor Gatto doesn’t spare any feelings as he unveils the agenda behind compulsory schooling.
The aim of public education is not to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. . . Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim. . . is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States. . . and that is its aim everywhere else.
Warning: if you are a former public school teacher (as I am), or have children in public school this may be a very hard read.
Or, it just might make a lot of sense and will leave you feeling completely duped by a “system” you thought was designed in your best interest.
This book inspired me to homeschool when it was first published, and after my most recent read-through (this summer) it is giving me renewed vitality for homeschooling through high school with my youngest.
We’ve been having a healthy conversation about this book on my Instagram book account.
This book - something new - fell into my lap last spring. A friend of mine attended a ministry conference and told me she heard the author speak and that I needed to read a book she had written.
Her very consistent message is this:
Childhood isn't a season of measuring up. It's a season of growing up.
What I love about Janet is that she comes from a background of public, private, and Charlotte Mason education. She has experience in all realms and mainly speaks to parents about what we need to do to live and learn in LOVE alongside our child - no matter which school environment we choose.
Her book speaks so beautifully to ALL parents. If we can come alongside our children in LOVE and HUMILITY, all things are possible in their education. Janet has convicted me that true education doesn’t stem from being better than someone else or having wonderful standardized test scores. True education happens in a loving relationship, where we can model for our children that love means doing something for the benefit of another.
Janet wrote a post for Homegrown Learners - The Joy of Raising Children Who Ponder - you’ll want to read that, too.
Finally, this book by Susan Schaeffer MacAulay found its way into my life eleven years ago as we began to contemplate homeschooling.
I devoured it in one day, sitting on the beach with my children playing around me. I remember being in tears, moved at the thought of the IMPACT I could make on their lives, and also convicted that I could not let another year pass by with my oldest attending public school.
We have been trained in our society to think that only experts can teach children. I didn’t realize how false this was until it was pointed out to me in this book:
"It isn't all as hard as the experts make out. We are human beings, persons, created to live. To have life more abundantly. Wonder together; grow together. Together share the struggles of knowing that we cannot perfectly follow God's law. We are fellow-pilgrims. We walk side by side as human beings under the love and authority of Him who made us."
I love thinking of myself walking side by side with my children. We are learning together. We are wondering together. It is a beautiful, precious gift.
image courtesy Little Book, Big Story
The biggest gift this book gave to me was the knowledge that all of life could be a learning experience. It helped me see education didn’t need to be put into a box; it didn’t need to be categorized into subjects. Education is everywhere, all the time.
For the Children’s Sake definitely is a Charlotte Mason book, but I believe (as I do with all of the books in this post) that it should be read by every parent.