Our favorite ways to explore a variety of educational methods and put you on the path to finding your own way.
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Managers of Their Schools
by Steven and Teri Maxwell
Most parents who choose to educate at home make use of the many textbooks and workbooks available on the market. The key to effectively using traditional materials is the confidence and flexibility to tweak the materials so that they fit our children and family. This is what we can learn from Managers of Their Schools: how to practically use traditional materials in a homeschool setting. Available at the publisher’s site.
The Well-Trained Mind
by Susan Wise Bauer
This book is a parent’s guide to bringing an “academically rigorous, comprehensive education — a classical education” home. The key word here is “guide.” You will find very specific and detailed instructions for establishing a classical education model for your children — right down to the specific books to buy and formats to use for notebooks. Don’t let the details keep you from modifying this approach to fit your own family. The philosophy behind a classical education, detailed guidelines in curriculum, scheduling, and resources are very clearly explained. There are many wonderful ideas to adopt no matter how the final product ends up looking in your home. Read our full review.
Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling
by Diana Waring
Now this is our idea of “delight-directed” homeschooling: the place where life, education, and home come together. With a wonderful sense of humor and a load of encouragement, Diana Waring motivates us to really serve our children as their tutors — customizing our approach to fit their learning style, interests and family life, while providing many opportunities to practice using the “tools” of learning.
The Original Home Schooling Series
by Charlotte Mason
Now out of print, these six volumes detail Charlotte Mason’s philosophies formed from her experiences with children whom she viewed much differently than her contemporaries. She saw children as more than blank slates. She viewed education as more than preparation for a vocation. While there are several books that summarize her works (see below), it is always best to go to the source when possible.
A Charlotte Mason Companion
by Karen Andreola
There are several books that attempt to condense Charlotte Mason’s six-volume series to make it more accessible to a homeschool mom — at least until we have a chance to read the entire series ourselves. Of the many we have read, this is our favorite. As long as you realize that books that focus on the heart do not necessarily lose sight of a quality education, you’ll be able to reap the many sound Charlotte Mason principles throughout! Read about one of our favorite take-aways from the book.
Unit Studies Made Easy
by Valarie Bendt
Includes wide margins for note taking, plenty of quotations to spur interest, samples of unit studies for inspiration, and a resource list. Covers integrating subjects, scheduling, the use of projects, and record-keeping. Truly an invaluable resource for anyone ready to do-it-themselves!
A Biblical Home Education
by Ruth Beechick
Subtitled Building Your Homeschool on the Foundation of God’s Word, the work takes you through the content subjects and language skill subjects one by one, all from a Biblical perspective. This book essentially provides the big picture, the larger framework that the subjects fit into. There is so much meat in this book that it really deserves more than one reading to absorb the larger concepts peppered throughout.