Books that will get you started or help you regroup when things start to fizzle.
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For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School
by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
This one is foundational. If you don’t read any other book on our list, read this book. You’ll find it a warm and enthusiastic read that encourages respecting each child’s individuality, providing a rich learning environment for our children, serving our children, providing for their growth, expecting excellence, developing good habits, and creating an atmosphere of acceptance; in short, “nurturing the minds and spirits” of our children. To this end, the author lays out specific ways to provide this type of education. Although the book draws on the works of Charlotte Mason, you’ll find the principles applicable to education as a whole — no matter your method. Read our full review!
102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum
by Cathy Duffy
Rather than being “curriculum driven” the author would like to see homeschoolers work in a reverse fashion: determine what the children need to learn, decide what methods to use, set up a schedule – THEN find a curriculum that “has the content and methodology that fits your agenda, and use it on your own timetable.” To help us accomplish this task she walks us through establishing our own “Philosophy of Education” by examining our priorities and ideas about learning. An “Approaches to Learning” questionnaire helps us zero in on our preferred methods of education. Other factors that could influence our decisions such as money, time and experience are also considered. Once we pull all of this together, we should have a better idea of what we are looking for! The picks are arranged to help us match materials to needs. Read our full review!
Managers of Their Homes
by Steven and Teri Maxwell
There are those of us who believe a schedule would drain the life out of our homeschool. But every homeschool needs some type of organizing framework. For some this will look more like a to-do list or a routine. Others will use a planner organized down to the minutes. Whatever our organizing style, we can all benefit from the authors’ experience in balancing homeschool chores, babies, meals and other priorities. Read our full review.
Edited by Debbie Strayer, this is a compilation of questions Dr. Beechick has answered over the years and her responses. The topics range from a discussion of the various homeschool methods to selecting curriculum through each of the subject areas and on to high school, family life, and special education. Full of useful tips. You’ll find Dr. Beechick’s calm voice of reason very reassuring!
The Way They Learn: How to Discover and Teach to Your Child’s Strengths
by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
Serves as a good first source for investigating various learning-style models. The author explains each model and guides us toward utilizing what will work from each. Checklists and characteristic grids help us identify the way our children learn, remember things, process information, and concentrate, and how we can best use this information to relate to them.
This book is a collection of 25 articles selected by Dr. Beechick’s daughter-in-law as representing those that are “encouraging to parents who think publishers and textbooks have the answers while they themselves know nothing.” The selections cover curriculum, what Dr. Beechick learned when she began teaching, Bible knowledge, phonics, arithmetic, memorization, thinking skills, and childhood education.