When we start to homeschool our head can be abuzz of all that we need to learn. I recommend these following resources to you as you discover your own philosophy of education, and how that is going to look in terms of curriculum and resource choices. In the meantime I encourage you to fill your days with focusing on building your relationship with your kids (and them with each other), teaching your kids to help you look after the house (chores / responsibilities), and spending time on play or hobbies (depending how old your kids are) until you have a clear understanding of how you want to go forward. People often call this introduction time – when you and your kids get used to the idea of not going to school but learning at home instead – as de-schooling. You are resetting your thinking and activities to be family orientated.
Before we look to a reading list let me just say – homeschooling will change you. We think when we start out that it is best for the kids, we may be able to see how it will benefit the family too, but be assured this homeschooling journey will grow you too in so many ways. It starts with filling your mind with new ideas. These are some of the books that shaped my thinking as a homeschooler.
For the Children’s Sake, by Susan Schaeffer McCauley: Foundations of Education for Home and School (Child-Life Book) (Child-Life Book) – this was the first homeschool book I read. The gentle, relational approach struck a chord in my heart.
Angel in the Marble, Chris Davis:You can set your children free to be the individuals God created them to be. But, first, you must rediscover what it means to be-not homeschoolers-but parents. This, “The Best of 15 years of Elijah Company Articles,” will help you find that “ancient path.”
Educating the Wholehearted Child Revised & Expanded, by Clay and Sally Clarkson: this is a very practical book that has been like a handbook to me. It lays out many homeschool choices and helps you through the maze, though the authors take a discipleship approach themselves. Visit Sally Clarkson’s Website
A Biblical Home Education by Ruth Beechick: I appreciated Ruth Beechicks perspective on teaching many subjects but this book particularly comes from a perspective where the Bible and your faith in God develops your worldview and therefore affects every subject you teach or study.
Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling, by Diana Waring – a book written with very much a ‘can-do’ attitude – the only book I’ve read on homeschooling highschool. It gave me the confidence to keep on doing what we were doing – though make it age appropriate.
Every Child Can Succeed – this book has helped me identify both my learning styles and my children’s. I particularly appreciate Cynthia’s approach to making excuses (or rather not making excuses) and motivating our children. She simply comes from the perspective of understanding our children and using that information to help them succeed.
I’m not saying you need to read all of these before you start homeschooling – but they will be helpful to read in the first year or so as you start to find your feet and make your choices in terms of curriculum.