Wednesday, August 8, 2012

parenting reads (+ bee blocks)

I read for growth, firmly believing that what you are today and what you will be in five years depends on two things: the people you meet and the books you read.”- Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

I really enjoyed your response to my post last week about how we homeschool.  I didn't expect so much interest and so many great questions.  We are all different - our families, our children, our dreams - but many of you are curious about homeschooling.  I didn't expect to homeschool. In fact, there was a time when I said "never".  Our journey was shaped, just as Twyla says, by the people I met and the books I read.  Especially the books!  Here is a list (chronologically) of the books that have significantly shaped our choices for our children.  Maybe you'll find something that touches your journey.

The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections The first spark - creativity is important!  What am I doing to foster a creative home environment?  This book got me interested in the Waldorf philosophy that influences Amanda Blake Soule's lifestyle.  It also started me crafting again, which led to sewing...

You Are Your Child's First Teacher: Encouraging Your Child's Natural Development from Birth to Age Six   A classic primer in Waldorf parenting philosophy for early childhood.  Not really about homeschooling at all. 

Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn--and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less Totally fascinating science about early childhood education written to parents.  Shows why early academics are unnecessary and potentially negative.  Kind of a turning point for my brain!

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, 10th Anniversary Edition   This one is radical.  If you like to ask "why" questions and think about the big picture, this classic "homeschooling" book attacks the current American education model.  Oh, and it's written by a New York State Teacher of the Year.  My take away was the question "What is education?"  Turns out, it's my responsibility and privilege to define that for my children.

Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children   I LOVE this book.  To me, it describes the ideal early childhood home life for preschool and kindergarten.  It's written by a Waldorf teacher to the parent.  If you're not doing early academics, what are you doing?  Oh SO much!  Good, good stuff.

Homeschooling Methods: Seasoned Advice on Learning Styles   Wow, there are a ton of ways to homeschool!  Many families aren't trying to reproduce "school" at home, but rather to do something different, better, more individualized.  This book describes 10 different methods, with an essay from a proponent of each method and then thoughts from the author.  The author takes a Christian perspective, but I feel that secular readers would still appreciate the helpful information.  I was drawn to many methods!

The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling Such an encouraging book!  Examines the classic socialization question and other pros/cons of homeschooling.  If you're interested in homeschooling but have questions about the lifestyle, this is a good one.

Enki Education.  So, this is not a book, but it's our main curriculum resource for Kindergarten and First Grade.  I think of Enki as "Waldorf Evolved".  "Enki is an alternative education program... that strives to recognize wisdom and vitality wherever they arise. In this spirit, the curriculum is informed by the work of several leading educators and a variety of methods. Central to our work are the multicultural focus of the United Nations International School, the integrated arts approach of Waldorf Education, the skill building techniques of traditional Western Education, and the independent project learning of theme studies programs."  Here's a video about Enki, if you like (10 minutes).  Enki is just one of many great curriculum options for homeschoolers.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids   Addressed to the average modern parent with school-aged kids (not at all about homeschooling).  This was a good reminder/affirmation of our parenting choices, especially our extra-curricular choices.

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children Currently reading and so enjoying this one!  It's out to "debunk" or re-asses some commonly held parenting notions.  10 stand-alone chapters address topics like "the inverse power of praise; why insufficient sleep adversely affects kids' capacity to learn; why white parents don't talk about race; why kids lie; that evaluation methods for giftedness and accompanying programs don't work; why siblings really fight."

To keep everything legit, you should know that those book links are affiliate links, meaning if you purchase I do earn a small percentage.  I figured you might appreciate getting more info on Amazon in the way of reviews and chapters and such. That's how I consider books, anyways!   Remember to check your local library for these books, as I was able to read almost all of them that way!

Love circle blocks

Let's end with a note of patchwork. Japanese x & + blocks made in "scrappy" for the Love circle of do. Good Stitches.  Mailed today!

18 comments:

  1. I'll definitely keep these titles in mind, if/when the time comes for me to consider such a practice. ;)

    Your + & x blocks are glorious! I can't wait to give them a go.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I missed your post on home schooling thanks for mentioning it again what a wonderful post! I loved this peek inside your wonderful home and family it is a beautiful thing you are doing Rachel!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Twyla Tharpe may have heard the quote from Charles Jones:

    You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.
    -Charles "Tremendous" Jones

    Financial guru Dave Ramsey quotes Tremendous Jones often.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rachel, I love to read and I appreciate the book recs. Some of these I've read and were paradigm-shifting for me as well (Einstein never used flashcards, for example). I ordered one of your recommendations and have to pay off my library card fee so I can check some of the others out from the library. ;)

    ps - i used your poppy/tulip templates on a dress for one of my girls. loved it. thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was JUST looking at those last two books in our neighborhood book shop. Totally on our library list now, and I might have to add a few others now. Thanks Rach! Love your blocks, especially the one on the right.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rachel wow that's a great list of recommendations. Thanks! I'm with Jacey in the if/when category as I have no munchkins yet!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for such a wonderful list of books - I love the "Einstein Never Used Flashcards" title. My girls are too old for any of this now (16 and 19), but these books look like fantastic resources.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that title too. It really sums up the gist of a book so creatively. Which is, I guess, everything you want in a title!

      Delete
  8. Thanks I will show this list to my daughter, there are some I would like to read too although I am a Grammie. Blessings Sandra

    ReplyDelete
  9. www.homeschooloasis.com was a lifesaver for me when I was homeschooling. Barb Shelton walks the talk and is a tremendous source of encouragement in the journey of homeschooling.
    And your "x" blocks are wonderful! There is a new Inklingo collection for the same block at lindafranz.com. Check it out!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. LOoks like some good reading for our road trip. I was reluctant to homeschool and my husband was all for it and now that I am leaning towards it he is more leaning towards school. G is on the cusp of Kindergarten and I feel lots of pressure to make up my mind. That coupled with moving and the cross country road trip and I feel I may lose my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for the list - I'm always curious what inspires other parents who home educate. This will be year #5! We have our oldest starting "high school", and will be welcoming our 6th baby before Christmas. What a year. I too was very influenced by the Waldorf method - while I was still teaching, I was able to spend a couple of days touring & observing at a Waldorf k-8 school. WOW.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love, love, love this post, Rachel!! Thanks so much for sharing. I am looking forward to checking some of these out in the future. After some of our talks in Atlanta, I started re-thinking quite a few things in regards to the school thing for Julia. I am feeling good about the direction we are headed!

    PS - love the blocks too...so cheery!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the reading list, with the baby arriving in 3 months, I feel I should be starting to think about education and our role as parents... Probably no homeschooling for us but as you say never say never.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I read nurtureshock and loved it. Some of the stuff really surprised me.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for the reading list. I just downloaded Nurtureshock and Simplicity Parenting. I am going to read those and then think about buying some of the other books in paperback because they seem more like a resource I'd like to have on hand rather than at my fingertips. I have considered homeschooling but my husband is not in favor of it. Our best friends from church and live in our neighborhood are a homeschooling family, so I've seen one model up close. But I'm not sure it's for us if my husband isn't on board.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to help out, Jamie! Homeschooling is definitely a lifestyle, so it's something parents have to agree on for sure. Wishing you the best on your journey!

      Delete
  16. I wish I had known about some of those books when my kids were younger! Have read several now and am homeschooling too! thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails