I’ve been perusing everyone’s “must read” homeschooling books and have found that my list is very different. Maybe mine is more theoretical because that is what I appreciate rather than being given a checklist of what I “must” do. I’m more of a big picture kind of gal.
Maybe it is that I’m just a little bit older and took a lot of inspiration from authors of the pre-blogging era. When I first started to consider homeschooling, there wasn’t the proliferation of homeschool bloggers that there is today. I’m not sure you can get a book published without first being a blogger anymore.
So without further ado, here’s the rundown of my reading list that helped me create my homeschool mindset:
John Taylor Gatto
Need I say more?
Read him, then again and a few more times. On the days when you think you’re ruining your kids, read him. On the days when you just want to be alone, and you don’t care how you make that happen, read him. On the days when all you do is watch movies, do laundry, and feed everyone, read him.
I think I first found David Albert while perusing the homeschooling section at the library and immediately loved everything he had to say. This particular library also had the no longer published Home Education Magazine in which he would be a frequent contributor.
I’m currently finishing his most recent book, Dismantling the Inner School, and it is superb. My favorite essay is “Simon Sez.”
When democracy is perverted to mean simply that we are occasionally allowed the opportunity to choose a new Simon, we know that somewhere things have gone off track.
Laura Grace Weldon
I pulled this off my shelf to write this post, and as I flip through, I realize I need to read this again. Full of both theoretical and practical tips for homeschooling beyond the curriculum. She also blogs at http:\\lauragraceweldon.com.
Sandra won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but she will make you think. At first, you might think she’s crazy, but think a little longer and ask yourself why you believe that. You don’t have to accept everything she says to obtain value from her perspective.
Here’s a gift for you as a parent: Life will be better for all involved if you don’t label your children’s intelligence, or processing speed, or likelihood to reverse numbers, or ability to pay attention to something deadly boring. Don’t drug your children into being still enough to sit on an assembly line. It has nothing on earth to do with natural learning or unschooling. Neither does “giftedness.”
This is probably one of the only homeschooling lists where you will find Sandra Dodd and Karen Andreola both listed! I’m weird like that.
If I could follow one “method” without deviating, I would choose Charlotte Mason. I do try to provide an atmosphere that encourages learning. However, ours is never as serene and perfect as what I imagine a CM education to be.
We, as persons, are not enlightened by means of multiple-choice tests or grades, but rather by the other people in our lives that we come to know, admire, and love.
Raymond & Dorothy Moore
Homeschooling pioneers, Raymond and Dorothy Moore, promoted a family-centered education as well as fought the ever creeping compulsory attendance ages. Better Late Than Early shows that most children are best served by being with parents until a much later age than what was becoming (and is now) the norm.
Yet it is more a denial of motherhood-and fatherhood-to unnecessarily send youngsters away from home before they are ready. Some parents say all they want is a little freedom or they simply have too much to do. So it is a question of parental values: Who and what comes first-parent’s liberty or their children’s welfare? True freedom implies responsibility to protect another person’s liberties. If the young child develops best at home, then it is the greater loss for him, and ultimately society, if he is sent elsewhere.
So there’s my list! I’ve read many others, but these are the first to come to mind when I think of homeschooling books that have helped to form my homeschool mindset. I’ve enjoyed writing this one, but it has made my “to be read” list grow. Pick one and have it at the ready for when the February “homeschool blues” set it.
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