Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the homeschool world or you’ve been swimming in this pool for a while, we could all use a confidence boost now and then. One of the best ways to feel more empowered with your education choices? Learning about all the different ways to educate a child!
Our curriculum was designed by borrowing our favorite ideas from a variety of philosophies to create the best mix of educational opportunities for your family. As you work through Learn + Live Unit studies, you have the opportunity to test many of these methods and evaluate which resonate best with your kids.
Of course, we also recommend doing your own research to dig deeper into the philosophies that interest you. To get you started, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite books about the most common viewpoints in home education. As you work your way through these books, keep in mind: We’re not saying you need to do all these things—we’re trying to show you that there are so. many. ways. to homeschool. You just need to find what works for you!
The Brave Leaner is an essential read for first time homeschoolers., especially if you are still in the deschooling process. She shows parents how to make education an exciting, even enchanting, experience for their kids, whether they’re in elementary or high school. Julie is kind, funny, and incorporates decades of experience in her easy to read book. She gently invites parents to model brave learning for their kids so they, too, can approach life with curiosity, joy, and the courage to take learning risks.
The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer
The Well-Trained Mind is more than a curriculum—it’s a way to take Classical Education and turn it into a rigorous, comprehensive education at home. What we love about this approach and this book is how the author distinguishes the way a child learns reading, writing, and language arts in the early years. The ideas of copywork, dictation and narration (which often appears in our units) comes from this method of homeschooling. Her history curriculum has also been a staple in many homeschooling homes. For more on this method of homeschooling, click here to read the experience of one of our contributors with The Well-Trained Mind.
Gone are the days when socially conscious parents felt comfortable teaching their children to merely tolerate others. Instead, they are looking for a way to authentically embrace the fullness of their diverse communities. A Place to Belong offers a path forward for families to honor their cultural heritage and champion diversity in the context of daily family life by:
• Fostering open dialogue around discrimination, race, gender, disability, and class
• Teaching “hard history” in an age-appropriate way
• Curating a diverse selection of books and media choices in which children see themselves and people who are different
• Celebrating cultural heritage through art, music, and poetry
• Modeling activism and engaging in community service projects as a family
Amber O’Neal Johnston, a homeschooling mother of four, shows parents of all backgrounds how to create a home environment where children feel secure in their own personhood and culture, enabling them to better understand and appreciate people who are racially and culturally different. A Place to Belong gives parents the tools to empower children to embrace their unique identities while feeling beautifully tethered to their global community. You can read more about Amber here on our blog where we discuss what we learned from our IG Live with her. We also interviewed Amber about teaching honest history to our kids here.
The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori revolutionized early education by putting the child in the center—letting them determine the pace and allowing them to make connections and discoveries naturally and with minimal interference. This book helps to break down the original methods and intentions of this popular philosophy. Want a taste of Montessori before diving in to the book? Click here for five principles of Montessori from our contributor.
Rhythms of Learning: What Waldorf Education Offers Children, Parents & Teachers by Rudolf Steiner and Roberto Trostli
Waldorf Education takes the whole child and their development into account through education—including their physiology and how the child-teacher relationship evolves over time. If you’re looking for a philosophy that prioritizes nature, art, and practical skills, we highly recommend checking out this book. Want to know more? Don’t miss our contributor’s post on the basics of Waldorf Education here.
Uncovering the Logic of English: A Common-Sense Approach to Reading, Spelling, and Literacy by Denise Eide.
This book will transform how you think about reading, spelling, and the English language. It is a must-read for every educator (and, if you fall in love with it, they also offer a curriculum for reading and language arts). Even more than the curriculum, though, this book challenges the notion that English is illogical by systematically explaining English spelling and answering questions like “Why is there a silent E in have, large, and house?” and “Why is discussion spelled with -sion rather than -tion?” It uncovers the English language in a clear way and is incredibly helpful to parents as they teach their child to read, write, and spell.
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