There have been many books I've read on the subject of homeschooling. But then there are those I return to again and again to uplift, inspire, and remind me why I homeschool, and how to approach what I have before me.
YOUR list of favorites will undoubtedly look very different from mine, but I thought I'd share my list here, in the hopes that you might find something to inspire you, too.
Here, in order, is my list of favorites, complete with a favorite quote or two from each one.:
1) A Thomas Jefferson Education and Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning by Oliver and Rachel DeMille
"Wherever a student sits to study... leadership education is based on several powerful traditions: student-driven learning, great teachers, mentors, classics, and hard work."
"The fundamental difference between leadership education and the other types of learning, is that the leadership curriculum is individualized."
"Unlike the conveyor belt system, where grade levels proceed in a linear fashion (e.g. from the fifth to the sixth grade), in Leadership Education you never actually leave Core Phase, or Love of Learning Phase, or the others, once you have reached them."
2) Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens by Oliver DeMille and Shanon Brooks
"This is what great education is! Know what the greatest leaders of history knew and what today's greatest leaders know-- from the same place they got it: the greatest classics. Classics have the very best and worst and most influential ideas, thoughts, people, creations, documents and events of all humanity-- that's why they are 'the classics.' Add to these the great religious works of the world, and the most important works from your own belief system, and you have the basics of a truly great education."
3) The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore
"When we as parents push potty-training, we get wet beds. ...We can't force a rose to bloom before its time or we get a stunted or distorted flower. The blossoming has to be God-directed from within the rose (the child) so that 'patience may have its perfect work.'"
"Children need time to grow like flowers, chickens, kittens, puppies, and foals. Who of you would prick a tadpole to make him hop before he had legs? ...So let's not bother with flash cards at six months or math at two or formal reading lessons at three, or even four, five, six, or seven. You may elevate your ego, but you will likely pay a large price in creativity and normal development of your young."
4) Dumbing Us Down and The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto
"Over the years I have come to see that whatever I thought I was doing as a teacher, most of what I actually was doing was teaching an invisible curriculum that reinforced the myths of the school institution and those of an economy based on caste. ...What I do that is right is simple to understand: I get out of kids' way, I give them space and time and respect."
"The homeschooling movement has quietly grown to a size where one and half million young people are being educated entirely by their own parents; last month the education press reported the amazing news that, in their ability to think, children schooled at home seem to be five or even ten years ahead of their formally trained peers."
5) The Joyful Homeschooler by Mary Hood
"I'm a mother. I am not a teacher who stands at the front of a classroom. My husband is not the principal of a school. He is a husband and father and the head of our little household. I'm convinced that God never called any of us to set up miniature institutions for our children. He wants us to go back to His original plan for the family, and be the best parents we can be. That is totally sufficient."
"These structures may look different from one family to another. God never intended us to be clones of each other. Your ideas about education may be very different from mine. That is not important. What is important is that you seek your own guidance and make conscious decisions about what is right for your own family."
What are YOUR favorite homeschool books?
Rachel is the happy mother of eleven children between the ages of 17and one year old. Now in her twelfth year of homeschooling, she continues to be an enthusiastic advocate for Thomas Jefferson Education principles and has spoken at several homeschool and TJEd conferences. She enjoys Shakespeare, designing and sewing Renaissance costumes, and both singing and reading with her family. She blogs at Thoughts From The Hearth and at Old Fashioned Motherhood .