Deciding to homeschool is a hard decision but it is only the beginning. The information out there is immense and can be incredibly overwhelming.
When I made the decision to homeschool, I immersed myself in research. I watched every YouTube video I could find on curriculum comparison, homeschool room set up, and getting a structured schedule down. I started reading book after book on how to educate my children the ‘right’ way.
Spoiler alert: THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY. The books on this list helped me to realize that.
This memoir, written by Tara Westover, was hard to put down. Many of her recounts of different parts of her life had me in disbelief, my heart racing, and my mind blown. I had to keep reminding myself that this really was her life, however unimaginable it was.
Tara grew up in a survivalist Mormon family who kept her out of school. She was determined to be educated and proved herself competent of guiding her own path without much formal education in her childhood years.
This may seem like an odd book to put at the beginning of this list but trust me, it’s a good one. It is in a child’s nature to want to learn, to explore new things, and do nearly anything to accomplish this. Think of a toddler, determined to walk, who is falling constantly but gets up and keeps going. This seed of determination is in all of our children and we are here to water it.
When you are feeling like you are failing, and chances are you will have these thoughts, think back to this book and Tara’s determination to learn. Be reminded that education looks different for every child and your child *will* learn even when you aren’t getting them to listen to any book you touch for days.
2. The Brave Learner
From front cover to back, this book is full of great action steps to create a home and lifestyle that cultivates and celebrates curiosity, enchantment, personalities, and passions. Julie Bogart’s book has a wealth of information on making learning a lifestyle written in a charming way.
This is one that I keep on my shelf and refer back to often. One that will probably end up covered in page markers and highlighted passages. This book helped me realize what changes I could make in our home and lifestyle to keep my children interested in learning but also helped me realize when we needed a little break and change to our daily or weekly rhythm.
3. The Read Aloud Family
If you looked at the number of books compared to the number of toys we have, you would know how important books are to our children. We frequent the library often but it wasn’t until reading Sarah Mackenzie’s book that I realized how important reading aloud to my children is. In her book, she discusses how she has made reading aloud to her children part of their lives and how it sparked conversation. It bought their family together in expected and unexpected ways.
The greatest take-away from The Read-Aloud Family is that you will never regret reading aloud to your children. This includes your older kids, even after they read on their own.
These three books helped me to see what education could look like for my family and made me believe that I could guide my children through this homeschooling journey. I hope they help spark some confidence in you too.
Let me know how if you have read these or recommend any others!