For the Mom who’s just starting out on the homeschooling track…

The question I get asked most often is, “What should I do to get started homeschooling?”  My answer is simple.  Read.  Educate yourself.

The idea of homeschooling can be overwhelming.  Many of us feel called to do it, but most of us feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task.  We fear the whole idea of being solely responsible for our children’s education.  Fear is good.  It motivates us to learn.  And so if you’re thinking about homeschooling or just beginning along the path, I implore you to educate yourself.

The following are books, audio recordings and websites that I have read and found helpful in my journey.  This list is not exhaustive…there are so many other gems that I have stumbled upon over the years.  But these listed here are my tried and true resources…the ones I refer to time and again.  I DID NOT read them all before beginning to homeschool…these are books and recommendations to guide you and lead you as you journey.  This list does not offer support for specific subjects you’ll be teaching (you can find wisdom and insight at the 4real forums or the WellTrainedMind forums) or for curriculum providers (of which I have many favorites, including Serendipity’s Alphabet Path, Heart of Dakota, Memoria Press, Sonlight, WinterPromise).  The books that are marked with a * are Catholic resources.  My point is not to overwhelm you with resources, but rather to give you a variety to choose from.

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Here are some excellent resources to read to strengthen your resolve (just in case you’re worried that the “experts” know how to educate your children better):

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Educating the Whole Hearted Child by Sally and Clay Clarkson

Reaching Your Child’s Heart by Sonya Shafer (an audio recording)

The Long Haul by Cindy Rollins (an audio recording)

Matt Walsh’s blog (you might want to start here!)

Freedomship & Entrepreneurial Education by Andrew Pudewa (a DVD)

Some basics about homeschooling (methods and general how to’s):

Teaching in Your Tiara by Rebecca Frech (I hesitate to recommend this only because I haven’t actually read it, but I have heard excellent things about it!)

Homeschooling Methods by Gena Suarez

*Love2learn‘s website

Now if you’re committed to homeschooling and you need to figure out how to do it, here are the resources I would recommend:

Charlotte Mason:

Charlotte Mason’s Original Works (these are rather meaty, so you may want to start with something a little lighter like the other recommendations listed here!)

A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola

A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison

*Real Learning by Elizabeth Foss

Simply Charlotte Mason’s website and Sonya Shafer’s DVDs

Ambleside Online

*Mater Amabilis

Charlotte Mason Help

Classical:

The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

The Three R’s by Ruth Beechick

*Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum by Laura Berquist

Montessori (for the preschool years):

Mommy, Teach Me and Mommy, Teach Me to Read by Barbara Curtis

Teaching Montessori in the Home by Elizabeth Hainstock

Encouragement for the days when you need it (because you will need it!):

Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie (be sure to get the audio downloads…they are totally worth it!)

*Catholic Homeschool Companion by Maureen Whitman

For support in going against the grain (or in other words, battling cultural deficiencies):

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv or listen to Andrew Pudewa’s recording

A Landscape with Dragons by Michael O’Brien

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen

General Parenting Books that will help you in your homeschooling journey:

The Temperament God Gave Your Kids by Art Bennett

The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman

*Parenting with Grace by Gregory Popcak

*How to Raise Good Catholic Children by Mary Reed Newland

A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot

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For those of you who like to listen to learn, check out the following:

Simply Charlotte Mason’s Sonya Shafer’s recordings

Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Andrew Pudewa’s recordings (all of his are awesome, but I would strongly suggest you begin by listening to Teaching Boys & Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day)

For you homeschooling mamas out there that are reading this, please feel free to leave a comment with any other resources that have been your inspiration or encouragement to you as you have journeyed.

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