More and more families are choosing to homeschool their children ever year, it seems. As it becomes increasingly popular to homeschool, especially among Christian families, it may be helpful to have a list of trustworthy tools to do the hard, important work of educating children at home.
Here are seven of our favorites (listed alphabetically by author last name):
Quiet the voices of “not good enough” and step courageously into guilt-free homeschooling.
Many homeschool parents have a long-term relationship with self-doubt. “Did I make the right decision?” “Could someone else do this better?” “Am I robbing my kids of something by not sending them to ‘regular school’?”
What if there’s a better way?
Not a 3-step technique or a shiny, new curriculum, but a change in perspective that transforms the way you plan, teach, and homeschool?
Homeschool Bravely teaches you to see homeschooling as a calling, helps you overthrow the tyranny of impossible expectations, and guides you through the common bumps in the road, including how to:
Reclaim your hope, renew your purpose, and transform your homeschool. Because the truth is: God will use every part of your homeschool, even your fears, faults, and failures, to weave good plans for your kids.
Women were made to give life—and they can do that right in their own homes.
Hygge [HYOO-guh] has become a cultural buzzword. When many read about this Danish practice, their shoulders lift in excitement, then fall in exhale. In a culture of rush, hygge appeals to their desire for rest—for slow living, shared moments, and fostered friendships. Hygge has strong ties to beauty, contentment, and well-being. It’s warm and inviting. Hygge is the opposite of hustle. It eschews abundance. It savors. It takes things slow and envelopes you in sanctuary. Hygge is home. When you sit in a comfy chair by the fire, that’s hygge. When you arrange a fresh bouquet of wildflowers on a bedside table, that’s hygge too. Candles, soft furnishings, natural light, fresh-baked pastries, intimate gatherings with friends—these are what come to mind when you think of hygge. But hygge can be so much more.
In Holy Hygge, author Jamie Erickson unites the popular Danish practice with the deep, theological truths of the gospel. She unpacks the seven tenets of hygge: hospitality, relationships, well-being, atmosphere, comfort, contentment, and rest. In addition, Erickson shows how the external veneer of a lifestyle can create a life-giving home only when placed under the hope of the gospel. Holy Hygge provides practical ideas for using hygge to gather people and introduce them to faith in Christ. Each chapter concludes with discussion questions, Scripture references, and a prayer.
Kids don’t just learn one way . . . and that matters a lot for homeschool parents.
One of the benefits of a home education is a curriculum designed to fit each student. But that means knowing how your child learns. Not every child receives knowledge the same way. It’s up to the teacher to figure out the best way to reach each one.
Based on the 8 Smarts identified by Kathy Koch—word, logic, picture, music, body, nature, people, and self—8 Great Smarts for Homeschooling Families tailors these ideas to the unique setting of the home classroom. Tina Hollenbeck, a leader in the home education community, applies the 8 Smarts to each division of a complete curriculum:
Yet when it comes down to it, the real benefit of homeschooling is personal relationships. Hollenbeck concludes by showing that when parents know their kids’ multiple intelligences—and when kids understand their family members in turn—it leads to a healthy homeschool dynamic. So don’t try to teach in the dark. Know your kid’s smarts, then watch them start engaging with their world in fresh ways.
You know the feeling. You got frustrated, desperate, or overwhelmed and you reacted before you could think it through. Whether it’s a one-time thing or it becomes a habit, we all parent in ways we don’t like. But it doesn’t have to continue. Whether it’s bribery, yelling, counting to three, or threats of punishment you didn’t mean to make, reacting never feels good. But if you can learn to act with intentionality, you’ll feel better about your choices and be grateful for the results.
Dr. Kathy Koch (pronounced “cook”), author of Screens and Teens and 8 Great Smarts, will teach you proven strategies for training your child’s heart and parenting in a way that honors God. She’ll help you move your child from, “I can’t, I won’t,” to “I can, I will, and I did.” We can do better than “Because I said so.” or “No screen time for 3 days.” We can do better than mere behavior modification. We can change our children’s hearts and teach them to do what is good, godly, and right even when we’re not around. Once you’ve learned to put these motivation strategies in place there’s no more need to nag, you’ll be astounded at what your kids will do without being asked. Dr. Kathy doesn’t offer a quick-fix. Starting with the heart is all about changing what children believe in order to change their behavior. And learning to use this kind of motivation takes effort, consistency, and strategy, but it works. And it’s never too late! If you’re willing to commit to a little hard work up front, you’ll enjoy your kids, your life, and yourself much more when you learn to start with the heart.
Our Hymns, Our Heritage encourages a love and appreciation for the church’s hymns—a significant way to pass the Christian faith from generation to generation. The book features music and lyrics for 121 hymns that every person should know, drawn from a cross-section of styles, themes, and historical eras.
The hymns are divided into sections based on the church year, God’s nature and attributes, and our responses to Him. Each hymn is presented on single book spread—the left-hand page gives a brief biography of the text’s author and the melody’s composer as well as a devotional summary to aid singing with understanding. The right-hand page is hymnal-like with the music and stanzas for simple playing and singing. Our Hymns, Our Heritage can be used by parents and educators alike to instill a life-long love for the richness and beauty of hymns.
Experience the joy of worshipping God as a family.
Discover how your home can become a house of worship with Kitchen Table Devotions: Worshipping God from A-Z as a Family. This 26-day devotional is a thoughtful but simple way for parents to creatively teach their children about the characteristics of the Lord. These devotions follow the letters of the alphabet so children of all ages can engage with the story, Scripture, and prayer of each devotion. Parents will feel empowered and equipped to lead their families in worship and learn practical guidance for how to make this special time part of your family’s consistent rhythm of life.
So gather around the kitchen table, settle into the living room, or make space wherever your family enjoys being together, and delight in the beauty of worshipping the Lord together.
If you are a homeschooler, or are married to one, you know it’s true! This special breed of wife and mother is a largely unsung hero…that is until Todd Wilson decided to raise awareness, raise eyebrows, and raise some laughter. Sprinkled in between the seriously practical side of this book to husbands are Todd’s own humorous cartoons. You’ll need one for every homeschooling friend and church library!
It is totally understandable for homeschooling veterans and beginners alike to feel overwhelmed by all the responsibility and work that goes into caring for the education of little ones. The good news is that no homeschooling parent needs to go it alone.
Between working together with other homeschool parents in your area and using some of the resources above, you can do this! Trust the Lord and love your children. He will honor your work.
by Jamie Erickson
Women were made to give life—and they can do that right in their own homes. Hygge [hue-guh] has become a cultural buzzword. When many read...
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