All you need is time and motivation to prepare as an unexpected home learner. (Oh wait, you have time now and possibly motivation (for sanity’s sake). Here is your homeschool mama’s reading list:
- John Holt, author of How Children Learn. A thirty year schoolteacher who watched his students engage their learning has taught me about how my children learn. This author shifted my approach to my kids and their learning.
- Rachel Gathercole, author of The Well-Adjusted Child. Anyone ever ask you about homeschool socialization? (Well, right now they would understandably be concerned, but what to do about that? Thank goodness there’s Zoom.
- John Holt & Pat Farenga, authors of Teach Your Own. Want to be certain that this home learning thing will actually benefit your child? This book will undergird you with certainty.
- Julie Bogart, author of The Brave Learner. A veteran homeschool mama of five, Julie, will show you how to engage your kids so that you ALL will be brave in your approach to your homeschool lifestyle and find the freedom you need to enjoy this lifestyle.
- John Taylor Gatto, author of Dumbing Us Down. This spitfire of an author and powerhouse of a book will blow your socks off. Everything you subconsciously knew about your conventional education will be reflected in this book. This celebrated and award-winning teacher spent thirty years analyzing the very educational system he was celebrated for teaching in.
- Lisa Rivere, author of The Homeschooling Option: How to Decide When It’s Right for You. This is the book I picked up on a lark, read in a week, and changed my family fate…we homeschooled because of this book. Kinda landmark for me.
- Julie Bogart, author of A Gracious Space (series). She’s the homeschooling cheerleader from the sidelines. She has lived the twenty-year journey of homeschooling and some of those years she was a single parent to her five kids. She’ll make sure you feel equipped for this journey, challenging your preconceived notions, and encouraging you alongside every struggle or concern.
- Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. She tells me how to let go, create, and commune with the Spirit that seeks to manifest itself in the tangible world. She reminds me to be confident that all my creating has inherent meaning.
- Gordon Neufeld, author of Hold onto Your Kids. He reminds me that kids live in a peer-based culture, but they weren’t intended to live in the confines of that sterile, impotent circle. Kids were born to be attached and nurtured in the sphere of their parental, familial influences, so they can grow up connected and healthy.
- Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Matters. She reminds me to draw from the simple life, creating space for the essential things. She teaches that less is truly more. That we are “playing our part in the concert of manifestation, simply experiencing firsthand the brilliant orchestration and choreography of the one who teaches us, our music master.”
- Brene Brown, author of Braving the Wilderness. She reminds me to stay vulnerable, to not respond to shame messaging around me, to analyze why I want to belong at the expense of being the real me, and to stand alone in courage. She also reminds me to build community by having a soft front, strong back, and wild heart.
- Barbara Oakley, author of Learning How to Learn. She empowers me to understand learning and how the brain absorbs and process. This learning about learning is a fundamental must read that has helped me understand my children’s learning process and how to support it.
- Brendon Burchard, author of The Charge. He gets me excited about the life I’m living. “The charged life, then, usually calls to us after we have done what we were supposed to do, become who we thought we were supposed to be, lived as we thought we were supposed to live. Then the safety and comfort and compromise get to us, and a stirring of restlessness and revolution sends us off in search of greater adventures and meaning.”
- Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She teaches me all the wise truths. She’s inspirational and comes up with inspirational quips like these: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And this: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
- Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now. He reminds me to live in the now, in the present. “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
- Dr. Joe Dispenza, author of Breaking the Habit of Yourself: How to Lose your Mind and Create a New One. He teaches me to accept that my internal state is mine to choose. “Can you accept the notion that once you change your internal state, you don’t need the external world to provide you with a reason to feel joy, gratitude, appreciation, or any other elevated emotion?”
- Rolf Dohelli, author of The Art of Thinking Clearly. He reminds me that, “Whether we like it or not, we are puppets of our emotions. We make complex decisions by consulting our feelings, not our thoughts. Against our best intentions, we substitute the question, ‘What do I think about this?’ with ‘How do I feel about this?’ So, smile! Your future depends on it.”
- Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. A deep read that gets me thinking about death and the hard stuff but, so useful: “In the end, people don’t view their life as merely the average of all its moments—which, after all, is mostly nothing much plus some sleep. For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. A story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones where something happens. Measurements of people’s minute-by-minute levels of pleasure and pain miss this fundamental aspect of human existence. A seemingly happy life may be empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. We have purposes larger than ourselves.”
Might I recommend my own upcoming book Homeschool Mama Self-Care: Thrive, Not Just Survive.
Are you considering homeschooling your kids?
I’ve got a free mini-course that introduces you to me, so I can get you from “I don’t know where to start, to I’ve got a plan.”
I’ve got a full course that inspires you to consider what an education is anyway, and get you thinking and planning for your child’s education.
I’ve got a course that will get you from “I don’t think I can do this, I’m too uncertain, nervous, or afraid” to “I know I can do this, I’ve got this girlfriend.”