The great Irish poet William Butler Yeats once said, “Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.” Whether you are just considering home schooling or a seasoned veteran at it, we are in the process of developing a series of unconventional guides that will help you “light a fire” in your children’s hearts and minds instead of treat them like “buckets” to be filled with academic information.
As you look over the guides we’re developing, they are meant to help you through a progression of changes in your heart and your head about:
- what education is
- who your children really are
- what their real needs are and how you can meet those needs
- how your children learn best
- how to identify your family’s unique meaning and purpose
- how to choose the best teaching materials for your situation
- how to prepare our children for a future that may be as radically different from our adulthood as ours was from our parents and grandparents.
These unconventional guides to home schooling cover four tracks, or themes: (1) understanding your child and his/her educational needs; (2) teaching methods and materials; (3) different approaches to education; and (4) putting it all together in such a way that it encourages a lifestyle of learning. We also have guides that cover different facets of home life and home business.
Lighting Fires Instead of Filling Buckets
Looking back over my homeschooling experience, there are a lot of things I wish I had known or done when I first embarked on this adventure. But I began homeschooling my eldest son almost 30 years ago, which is now considered the dinosaur age, and very little information about homeschooling was available way back then. In fact, homeschooling was illegal in many states and highly repressed in the rest. There were no such things as homeschooling teaching materials, homeschool conferences and networks, statewide homeschooling organizations, or homeschool co-ops. If you decided to educate your children at home in the early 1980′s, the few “how to” resources you could find were books by John Holt and Raymond Moore and the only teaching materials available were used public or Christian school textbooks. (If you were lucky, you could nab some A-Beka materials on the black market!) So I, along with other Christian parents interested in homeschooling and brave enough to try it had to become pioneers and forge our own trails through the wilderness.
Over the years, I wrote hundreds of articles and gave numerous workshops sharing the wisdom I accumulated on my own journey about the how, why, what, where and when of homeschooling and how it can set your children free to become the individuals God created them to be as well as transform you in the process. Many of these articles, along with the writings of other homeschool “pioneers” are compiled into the two books I SAW THE ANGEL IN THE MARBLE and I CARVED THE ANGEL FROM THE MARBLE.
Now that I’m what could be considered a “veteran” at homeschooling (and have the scars to prove it!), I have asked myself, “What would have helped me the most when I was beginning my journey to eventually homeschool three boys all the way through high school as well as help thousands of homeschooling parents around the world?”
As I pondered that question, I began writing “guides” that led homeschooling families through the process. Each guide thoroughly covers one topic in easily readable form. Think of them as highly digestible “meals” that will nourish your spirit, mind, and soul throughout your homeschooling journey.
As you look over our guides, they are meant to help you through a progression of changes in your heart and your head about what education is; about who your children really are; about what their real needs are and how you can meet those needs; about how your children learn best; about how to identify your family’s unique meaning and purpose; about how to choose the best teaching materials for your situation; and about how to prepare your children for a future that may be as radically different from our adulthood as ours was from our parents and grandparents.
Each guide is around 100 pages long and thoroughly covers one topic in easily readable form. Think of the guides as highly digestible “meals” that will nourish your spirit, mind, and soul throughout your homeschooling journey.
Unconventional Homeschooling Guides
Here’s just a sampling of the guides we offer and are in the process of developing:
The first guide, A Strong Enough Why leads you into developing such a strong conviction about why you are homeschooling that you can weather any storm and the “Hows” will take care of themselves. You can get this guide FREE by subscribing to our mailing list in the “subscribe” box on the right. It is also available as a Kindle Book title Why Homeschool?
When asked how he could carve such beautiful sculptures, Michelangelo is said to have replied, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” The guide Discovering Your Child’s Destiny, gives you the knowledge and tools to identify who each child really is, in spite of the fact that sometimes you feel like you’re looking at a “block of marble.”
Once you’ve discovered the heart of your children and of your family, the next several guides lead you through the process of discovering your educational philosophy, charting a course for each child, understanding the common educational approaches in homeschooling, and choosing your teaching materials. They give you tools and understandings to craft your own individualized educational program for each child in each subject.
Childhood Ages and Stages gives you a deeper understanding of the mental, emotional, and moral stages a child goes through from birth to age 18 so that you will be able to homeschool each child in an age-appropriate way.
Mastering Social Skills: How to Develop the People Skills Essential to Happiness and Success. Even though home schoolers may have plenty of opportunities for socialization, they may still need some instruction in the nuts and bolts of people skills. Teenagers and young adults particularly need to know how to navigate social situations correctly. So I’ve tried to put in this Guide the things I’ve discovered are the key elements of good social skills. These are the social skills we taught our own children and they have all had great success at navigating the social aspects of life.
How Your Child Learns Best: Learning Styles and Preferences is full of practical, helpful, and eye-opening information about the different ways kids perceive and process information as well as how their behavior is often tied to their particular learning style. It also gives teaching strategies for each type of learner.
The guide Homeschooling Your Way explains the different teaching materials and approaches available to homeschoolers and walks you through the process of creating your own scope and sequence that is tailored to your family’s needs.
Help Your Child Become a Lover of Books teaches you how to create a love for books in your children whether they are infants or teens. It also includes book lists of great reading from birth to young adult ages.
How to Create a Family Vision Statement helps you discover your family’s goals, values, uniqueness, meaning and purpose and walks you through creating a Family Mission Statement that can become a guide to the way your family operates in every area of life, including homeschooling.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Homeschooling explains the seven most important things you can do to ensure that your homeschooling efforts are effective and successful.
If you’ve ever suffered from a desire to throw up your hands and quit, the guide Homeschool Burnout will help you stay the course.
Sometimes when you are wearing all the different hats of homeschool Mom, wife, home-maker, chauffeur, and chief cook and bottle washer, life can get a little overwhelming. We have a guide for that too—Get Off the Homeschool Hamster Wheel.
We are also planning a series of guides on starting and building a family business.
The following guides are in the process of being finalized. Look for them soon.
Ages and Stages
Building a Family Business
Charting a Course Through High School
Choosing Teaching Materials
Creating Learning Centers in Your Home
Dating and Boy-Girl Relationships
History in the Home
Homeschooling Your Way
Language Arts in the Home
Learning to Think Christianly
Math in the Home
Science in the Home
Telling Our Stories