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Kathy Ceceri

Homeschooling Books That Made Me Think

By December 14, 2012

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Books about homeschoolingOne of the first questions new homeschoolers ask is where to turn for information. Partly they want to know the ins and outs, what they might be required to do. But most of the time, they're also looking for inspiration.

I began my exploration of homeschooling when my oldest son was only three, and the other moms in our regular playgroup began comparing local preschools. This just didn't seem right for us (we tried it for all of two months; it wasn't) and I knew there had to be something better. I was aware of homeschooling's existence because of news stories about the Colfax family, and I began by reading their books, Homeschooling for Excellence and Hard Times in Paradise.

In the years that followed I read many more encouraging books, and became familiar with others through discussions with the parents I met at local homeschool support group meetings.

Like every homeschooling parent, I have my own favorite books that inspire me, and I am happy to share the titles with new homeschoolers. Most of them aren't really about homeschooling per se. Some of the ideas they contain are challenging. And I don't agree with everything they say. But they have all shaped the way I educate my children to this day.

What homeschooling, education or child development books have helped you along the way?

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December 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm
(1) Kathy Ceceri, About.com Homeschooling Guide says:

Passing along a comment from reader Debra E:

Homeschooling for Excellence – Colfax
Home Grown Kids – Moore
How Children Fail and How Children Learn – Holt

And others written in the 80’s. All of the above were enlightening in unique ways, but John Holt probably influenced me more than anyone in the early days of homeschooling. He believed that learning should be a self-directed, purposeful, and meaningful process instead of a coercive and compulsory condition. Those with a propensity towards “deschooling” gravitated toward his views. Broken-winged birds like me flocked toward his books for fresh advice as to a birdbath in the stifling heat of summer, for his views offered the more natural and relaxed approach many had been intuitively seeking.

We took the Holt self-directed learning style when the kids were older. My son Jesse taught himself Japanese when he decided he wanted to create Nintendo games. He walked down to the Barton College library, checked out as many books on the Japanese language as he could find, spread them across the dining room table, and proceeded to study. This life-learning approach has worked quite well for us throughout the past three decades.

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