This is the first blog post in a series that will focus on resources the library and community have to help out parents with distance learning and homeschooling. The first resource I’ll be sharing are books from the library on various topics related to parents as teachers and learning for children of all ages.
“The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child’s Education” by Ainsley Arment
Inspired by the spirit of Henry David Thoreau — ”All good things are wild and free” — mother of five Ainsley Arment founded Wild + Free. This growing online community of mothers and families want their children to receive a quality education at home by challenging their intellectual abilities and nurturing their sense of curiosity, joy and awe — the essence of a positive childhood. The homeschool approach of past generations is gone — including the stigma of socially awkward kids, conservative clothes and a classroom setting replicated in the home. The Wild + Free movement is focused on a love of nature, reading great books, pursuing interests and hobbies, making the entire world a classroom, and prolonging the wonder of childhood, an appealing philosophy that is unpacked in the pages of this book. “The Call of the Wild and Free” offers advice, information, and positive encouragement for parents considering homeschooling, those currently in the trenches looking for inspiration, as well as parents, educators and caregivers who want supplementary resources to enhance their kids’ traditional educations.
“The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life” by Julie Bogart
Parents who are deeply invested in their children’s education can be hard on themselves and their kids. When exhausted parents are living the day-to-day grind, it can seem impossible to muster enough energy to make learning fun or interesting. How do parents nurture a love of learning amid childhood chaos, parental self-doubt, the flu, and state academic standards? In this book, Julie Bogart distills decades of experience — homeschooling her five now grown children, developing curricula and training homeschooling families around the world — to show parents how to make education an exciting, even enchanting, experience for their kids, whether they’re in elementary or high school. Enchantment is about ease, not striving. Bogart shows parents how to make room for surprise, mystery, risk and adventure in their family’s routine, so they can create an environment that naturally moves learning forward. If a child wants to pick up a new hobby or explore a subject area that the parent knows little about, it’s easy to simply say “no” to end the discussion and the parental discomfort, while dousing their child’s curious spark. Bogart gently invites parents to model brave learning for their kids so they, too, can approach life with curiosity, joy and the courage to take learning risks.
“Extraordinary Parenting: The Essential Guide to Parenting and Educating at Home” by Eloise Rickman
In this warm, accessible book, experienced parenting coach Eloise Rickman tells you everything you really need to know about parenting and educating your child at home. Whether you’re planning to make a permanent move to homeschooling or you’re temporarily balancing it alongside paid work, “Extraordinary Parenting” shows that you don’t need a huge house, endless free time, or a host of expensive resources to unlock your child’s potential. Instead, this straightforward and empathic book will teach you to:
- Deepen your connection with your child to create an attachment that promotes learning and openness.
- Build strong, adaptable family rhythms to provide your child with security and stimulation every day, every month, and every year.
- Create a calm, simplified home environment which will encourage deep play and independence — whatever your living situation.
- Discover enjoyable ways of learning together as a family, identify your child’s interests, and use traditional teaching materials in a creative way.
- Take care of your own needs as a parent, in order to become the parent your child needs.
“Homeschool Bravely: How to Squash Doubt, Trust God, and Teach Your Child with Confidence” by Jamie Erickson
Quiet the voices of “not good enough” and step courageously into guilt-free homeschooling. Many homeschool parents have a long-term relationship with self-doubt. “Did I make the right decision?” “Could someone else do this better?” “Am I robbing my kids of something by not sending them to ‘regular school’?” What if there’s a better way? Not a 3-step technique or a shiny, new curriculum, but a change in perspective that transforms the way you plan, teach, and homeschool? “Homeschool Bravely” teaches you to see homeschooling as a calling, helps you overthrow the tyranny of impossible expectations, and guides you through the common bumps in the road, including how to:
- Juggle school and parenting with toddlers at home
- Teach a struggling learner
- Plan with the end in mind
- Accept your own limitations without feeling guilty
- Stay the course even in the face of criticism
For a more extensive list check the library’s catalog.
Next months post will cover digital resources the library has to support parents and students. In the meantime, if you would like to stay informed about this topic or similar topics from the library please consider signing up for the Kids & Parents newsletter from the library.