Monday, June 3, 2013

Homeschool "How To" Books


We are not reading Beowolf as a family.
We haven't built a rain chamber.
Or a trebuchet.
We have not compared and contrasted Shakespeare and Marlowe.
Our garden is less Organic and more Overgrown.
The kids haven't participated in a spelling bee.
And do not raise bees. Or chickens.
We haven't made our own soap.
Nor have we dissected an animal.
We don't even know what the classical term  narration means...
Neither of them plays either violin or accordion.
They have not memorized Tennyson's The Lady Shalott
Or Ozymandias by Shelley.
Although we have learned some Greek and Latin roots, no one is ready to hold a conversation with Marcus Aurelius.
The kids did not start learning a second (or third) language in kindergarten. 
We don't own a saw mill.

I haven't read any How to Homeschool-type books in well over a decade, but the last time I did was the last time I did!  Back in the early days of our homeschooling I was so nervous (Nope, no nervousness left here... *cough*) that I read every book that our extensive library system carried. And I paid the price for it. 

The books I read back then were generally books that would show you how to introduce your child to a rather high-brow Classical homeschool experience. I would read a book, cry. Read another, lay trembling in the darkness. Read another one, whimper.

My husband would walk into the darkened room, see me shake, and say "Have you been reading Susan Wise Bauer again, Sweetheart?"

These days I have seen some way more supportive and realistic "how to" homeschool books out there on the bookstore sites. 
But I won't be reading them....too scared...

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like: 
Thirteen Things I Wish I Would have Known About Homeschooling When We Got Started
Our Homeschool Day 
Top Ten Habits of a  Happy Homeschool Mom


  1. I read Well Trained Mind...and that was it! That was all I read. I realized from reading it that it was most likely going to be like my parenting style, no one book was going to fit what I wanted. I am betting that is still correct. I did end up buying a literature based curriculum but it is so flexible that I can do just about anything with it.

  2. Wow. This is just what I needed in this moment. I have a 4 year-old and have felt the urge to read everything that is out there, but gladly have refrained. It is a breath of fresh air to let go of the pressure to turn my son into a baby genius. Thanks for the excellent post.

  3. *hangs head in shame*

    We DID read Beowulf as a family, and watched the movie together. But only because I am a literature geek!

    One of my proudest homeschool-mom moments was in a co-op when I said something about needing to make bread, and everyone started in on their grains and mills and stuff, and I looked at them like they were weird and said "Are you kidding me? Bread machines were made to work so I don't have to!"

    The look on their faces was precious!

    I read every. Single. Book. Homeschooling, general education, psychology books on how people learn...

    You take from each what works and leave the rest behind :)

  4. Oh, yes. That Susan Wise Bauer will give me panic attacks (or drive me to eat/drink too much to cope with not doing enough).

    My son has returned to Middle School (longing for his "geek tribe" that we can't find in rural MI), and my daughter is intrigued by the prospects Middle School offers. The deal is that they must put in a full year to "try it" and then they can come back home if they want. And oh, are we loosening up. I just could never schedule other people well, all the way back when they were breastfeeding infants until now. I just like to be left alone myself and tend to set up some assignments and let them putter away.

  5. LOL Love's been a very long time since I have read a homeschooling help book and I can't see myself reading one anytime soon. :-)

  6. still working on cutting the cord...wtih Karen's help. My ds8 i rarely do any reading for. or prep work my gifted dd3 hwever, is "ready" for "curriculum" so I AM enjoying some of the early childhood development idea books. games. crafts. stuff i can never think of cuz I am too busy baking bread/ *wink wink


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