The happiest season of my life, so far, was spent homeschooling my children - a season that spanned 11 years. The Lord surrounded me with seasoned homeschool moms whose insights and wisdom blessed me beyond measure.
These wonderful moms shared excellent book recommendations to encourage me, and to help ensure the success of my own homeschool.
I have compiled a list of my favorites to share with you - books for encouragement, books for teaching, and books for reading together with your children.
The Way They Learn
Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
This was the very first book I bought just before embarking on my homeschooling adventure. My friend Raquel highly recommended this book to help me discern the learning styles of my children. Prior to reading this book, I didn't even know there were learning styles! I would say, except for the grace of God, this book was key to the success of our homeschool. Knowing my children's learning styles, ESPECIALLY with having a very active learner in one child, allowed me to relax and "go with the flow" as my son assimilated facts through activity.
Amazon shares the following summary of the book:
"Draw out the best in your children―by understanding the way they learn. If you’re frustrated that your child isn’t learning the way you did, chances are they are too! In this practical resource, Cynthia Ulrich Tobias explains that understanding how you both learn can make all the difference.
Using expertise in education and learning styles, Tobias offers practical guidance for teaching to your child’s strengths―both at home and in school―even when his or her learning style is very different from your own. Enlightening and informative, this book will help with these issues:
The different ways children perceive and order information
Four learning styles and how your style and your child’s may differ
How to bring out your child’s greatest strengths
Ways to help your child grasp and remember what’s being taught
Tips for advocating for your child with teachers
How your involvement can increase your child’s success at school
Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or teacher, this book offers concrete help for guiding the children in your care onto their very best path to learning―now and for a lifetime."
A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning
By: Karen Andreola
I absolutely LOVED this style of teaching, the basis of which uses "living books" and children's hands-on experiences for learning.
Amazon shares the following summary of this book...
Today's parents can now see what a Charlotte Mason education looks like in a contemporary setting while gleaning from its many benefits. Charlotte Mason's principles of education are not only a way of learning but also a way of life. A Charlotte Mason Companion gives you powerful tools to create an extraordinary learning experience. At the turn of every page, you will meet a practical idea and the inspiration to carry it out. Topics on using good books, heroes in history, poetry, art and music appreciation, nature study, the atmosphere of home, the discipline of habit, keeping up enthusiasm, (to name a few) are referred to again and again by Karen s readers. It is one of the most trusted and often quoted books in the home school world since 1998. Plenty of encouragement, wisdom and gentle instruction await you in this beautifully written and beautifully illustrated book. You will not want to loan this one out!
The Charlotte Mason Companion not only teaches you how to use the Charlotte Mason approach, but you will find yourself enjoying the book for the sheer pleasure of reading it!
Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning(TM) : A Story for Mother Culture
By Karen Andreola
This is another delightful book by Karen Andreola. In it, she tells the story of a fictional family who uses the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschool. I crawled into their story, and loved the practical application of the Charlotte Mason approach as told through this family.
Handbook of Nature Study
by Anna Botsford Comstock
This is a great nature handbook that falls in line beautifully with the Charlotte Mason approach. It is indeed perfect for any style of homeschooling! I have so many fond memories of going out into our back fields, Handbook of Nature Study in hand, as the kids and I identified bugs and plant life. I STILL remember lessons I learned during those nature walks using the Handbook of Nature Study.
Amazon shares the following about this book...
"Teachers and children will find the material in this book invaluable in that regard. Details of the most common, but in some ways the most interesting, things are brought out, first by careful, nontechnical descriptions of the things themselves and later by thoughtful questions and study units. Because the most common things are treated in greatest detail, materials for study are easy to find. Whether the reader lives in the inner city or in the rural outback, the handbook is a treasure trove of information. A teacher does not need to know much about nature to use this handbook. The information is there for the novice and the expert alike. All that is needed is an inquiring mind, senses to observe, and a willingness to think about nature on a personal level."
This was my absolute favorite curriculum to use in our homeschool!
KONOS seemed overwhelming at first, but the calming words of a dear homeschool mom, whose wisdom and insights into the use of KONOS, reassured me that it is not necessary to "dot every t or cross every i" when using this curriculum. I myself can assure you that once you begin to use KONOS, you will not feel overwhelmed, but you will appreciate the freedom you have to tailor the lessons to your children's specific interests and strengths - covering every avenue for learning on a specific subject. Not only that, but the lessons are designed to teach the same subject across multi grade levels from K-12! KONOS is the perfect curriculum to use with the Charlotte Mason approach. Living books are the main tool employed to educate your children.
The lessons my children and I learned through the countless living books we read while using KONOS are locked in our memories forever...
The Light and the Glory 1492-1793 (God's Plan for America)
by Peter Marshall (Author), David Manuel (Author)
I highly recommend this book! My children and I read this living book together and gained so much insight into American History from the perspective of God's purposes and plans for America.
Amazon shares the following about The Light and the Glory...
"Did Columbus believe that God called him west to undiscovered lands? Does American democracy owe its inception to the handful of Pilgrims that settled at Plymouth? If, indeed, there was a specific, divine call upon this nation, is it still valid today? The Light and the Glory answers these questions and many more for history buffs. As readers look at their nation's history from God's point of view, they will begin to have an idea of how much we owe to a very few--and how much is still at stake. Now revised and expanded for the first time in more than thirty years, The Light and the Glory is poised to show new readers just how special their country is."
The Hiding Place
By Corrie Ten Boom
The Hiding Place, a living book that will encourage your walk of faith profoundly! My children and I were riveted as we read the pages of this book!
I have difficulty with subjects involving torture and profound suffering and am unable to watch a movie in that regard, but Corrie Ten Boom tells her story in a way that focuses on the Lord's care without going into too much detail regarding the atrocities of the concentration camp. Our faith was greatly encouraged after reading Corrie Ten Boom's testimony of the Lord's care of she and her sister, and the forgiveness they extended to their torturers in the midst of that concentration camp.
"I pray that God forgive them...”
Corrie Ten Boom stood naked with her older sister Betsie, watching a concentration camp matron beating a prisoner. “Oh, the poor woman,” Corrie cried. “Yes. May God forgive her,” Betsie replied. And, once again, Corrie realized that it was for the souls of the brutal Nazi guards that her sister prayed.
Both woman had been sent to the camp for helping the Jews. Christ’s Spirit and words were their guide; it was His persecuted people they tried to save—at the risk of their own lives; it was His strength that sustained them through times of profound horror.
Here is a book aglow with the glory of God and the courage of a quiet Christian spinster whose life was transformed by it. A story of Christ’s message and the courage woman who listened and lived to pass it along—with joy and triumph!"
Mrs. Sharp's Traditions: Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations of Comfort & Joy
by Sarah Ban Breathnach
If you love family holiday traditions and want to learn more about their origins, I highly recommend this book! You can't help but to crawl into the scenes described of old Victorian celebrations. I love the suggestions shared for making our own holiday traditions like those of Victorian times...
I truly hope your homeschool will be blessed by these book suggestions! I cannot express enough how much I cherish the memories of homeschooling my children and the large part these books played in making treasured moments with my children.
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