Homeschooling is a huge part of our lives. We’re entering our seventh year, and it’s been a real blessing. Along the way, I’ve encouraged and inspired many families to get started with homeschooling. Helping them and seeing them flourish has given me great joy. Up until our 6th year of homeschooling, we had always followed the classical model. I was drawn to this model for its heavy use of history and literature. I wanted my kids to devour books and I’m thrilled they do! This past year I decided to incorporate a dash of Charlotte Mason too. Personally, I love the idea of living books with the addition of nature study and shorter increments of study during the day. It’s a work in progress but my kids have welcomed the addition. I’m here to share just a few of the books we’ve used and recommend….
My children are huge history buffs. For history we love The Story of The World by Susan Wise Bauer. These books have been an integral part of our homeschooling. They teach history in chronological order which is how it’s supposed to be done. Here’s how we use it…. I read the chapter aloud to the younger kids and then we move on to the activity book. (My oldest has read all 4 books and has moved on to other history readings from different time periods.) Within the activity book there are questions, options for supplemental reading, outlines, maps, crafts ideas and more. The activity books are a way to continue to engage your child beyond the short chapters. Each chapter is usually 2-3 sections, and each section is about 2-3 pages. The activity books are a wonderful resource to go along with the books. The Story of the World books are also sold in CD and MP3 formats so you can take the stories in the car. Since they love history, our collection of books have grown in this subject. We have a host of books from Ancient, Medieval, and modern times. I recommend starting with a base (STOW for example) and finding books to supplement or touch more on particular areas of history.
If you’re unfamiliar with the classical model, I highly recommend Susan’s book, The Well Trained Mind. It is a thorough outline of how to teach the child classically from pre-k – high school. This is the book that encouraged me to school my children. I recommend it to everyone that wants to homeschool classically. I have another page dedicated to my top choice Books on homeschooling. Be sure to check that out!
We fill our home with books (not sorry Marie Kondo). Yes, I’ve purchased some on kindle, but we really prefer to have physical copies. There’s something about opening a book and the smell and feel of crisp pages you can touch with your fingertips. (Can you tell we love bookstores?) By doing so, I feel it has encouraged all my children to become fluid readers. That’s not to say children who don’t have bookshelves full of books won’t love to read. I know that for our family, it has helped. I purchased kindles for each to read in bed at night, but they still prefer to grab reading lights and have the paper copy in their hands. If you’re looking to start a small collection of books, I recommend starting with the classics first and build from there. If bookshelves aren’t your thing, spend some time in the library and let your kids roam the isles sparking their curiosities. In an age where technology rules our lives (sad but true), it’s so important that children can learn to find information on their own. Not only children but adults alike. A task that can’t be done by scrolling. For more information on books for all age levels, check out Sarah Mackenzie’s Read aloud revival. She has a podcast, has written books and is on social media. This is a good place to start if you’re completely unsure on how to begin reading to your children or even what to read. It’s never to late to start.