Having a good support system is vital, whether it is local homeschooling groups, your spouse, or simply some good friends to listen to you and encourage you.
But another important component to starting the journey or just battling through some of the tougher times along the way, is to have a good arsenal of books that you can read and continue to refer to.
These books brilliantly shape the philosophy of homeschooling and offer creative alternative ideas that are essential knowledge for all parents. I've found the books on the list below to be invaluable in my homeschooling experience.
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Learning All the Time by John Holt
Again, this is a seminal book to read both before and during the process of homeschooling, but it is also a good book to teach us to enjoy and encourage play in the lives of our children. When you read his common sense ideas about relating to children it is hard to dispute, or to go on living any other way. His joy and respect of children shines through the pages and makes you yearn to lead the same type of life with your children that he proposes in his writing because it's a brilliant formula for happiness!
Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn
A great "mindset" read for all parents, but especially those that are interested in investing in a relationship of mutual respect and peaceful, unconditional love through an attachment style of parenting. You may not agree with some of the ideas, but I guarantee you will look at your children in a new light. Rather than focusing on getting our children to do what we want, Kohn contends that, the true question we should be asking is 'what do our children need!'
You may feel skeptical at first of some of his radical ideas, but by the end of reading this book packed full of research and alternative ideas that he offers, makes it a very helpful guide. What do you have to lose? Try living by his approach for just a month and I am willing to bet you and your children will be happier for it. Incidentally, you will naturally feel a deeper understanding of what it is to be parents. Excellent read!
Deschooling Our Lives edited by Matt Hern
Deschooling Our Lives is a wonderful read for all homeschooling parents, but also those very early in the process of 'thinking about it", as it shows examples of many different ways education can be and is being done. He primarily focuses on alternatives by examining a huge array of neighborhood, home, and community based ideas. These alternative ideas are the true treasure of this book.
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It by Lisa Welchel
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling answers many of the most common questions regarding socialization, time management, curriculum, learning disabilities, sports involvement, and so much more. It offers a diverse view so that you can see that, in fact, anyone can homeschool if it is what they really want to do. Welchel's book will give you the confidence you need and the resources you seek all in one spot!
It is essential that you educate yourself before attempting such a drastic change in the normal lifestyle. Most of these authors have written several books that can help in your path of homeschooling your child. If you are looking for even more inspiration, start with these and your journey will lead you to many more. Happy Homeschooling!
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