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