Thank you so much Merit! Here is the meta tag.
Books that Every Homeschooler Should Read

Books that Every Homeschooler Should Read

Books that Every Homeschooler Should Read

Books that Every Homeschooler Should Read is an ongoing list because I am often what my favorite books on homeschooling are. Hard to pick, but my top favs are probably Jesse and Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well Trained Mind, Marva Collins, The Marva Collins Way, Rafe Esquith’s Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire but there are so many more.

Reading Log

So I did y’all the favor of making my comprehensive list of Books that every Homeschooler should read.

Most of the authors listed also have websites, resources, podcasts, and online stores. They all have something to add to your life as an educator.  Dig in. Enjoy!
A Child’s History of the World by Calvert. Christian culture despite personal beliefs. The timeline of history as a framework for life.

Home Education by Charlotte Mason – Home Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.
Summerhill  School, A New View of Childhood by A.S. Neill –  Freedom from coercion and repressive cultural ideas; free expression; believe in kids ability to want to learn.
How Children Learn by John Holt – Allow your child to follow their passions and develop their personhood. Life is learning, learning is life. Play is a child’s work.
Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn- Throw off the shackles.
Homeschooling for Excellence and Hard Times in Paradise by Colfax. We are shaped by the work that we do;  back to the land, live pro-actively, excellence in education.
The Successful Homeshcool Family Handbook and Better Late Than Early, Home Grown Kids by Raymond and Dorothy Moore– Delight directed education; lay a firm foundation, the importance of basics. Better late than early.
AlphaPhonics Crimes of the Educators by Blumenfeld–  Fundamentals of education, lay a firm foundation; don’t expect the government to truly educate our country’s youth.
Timeless Teaching Tips by Joyce Herzog – To really understand something, start your research in the children’s section of the library.
The Underground History of Education,  Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto – Be proactive. Craft something beautiful despite the norms that seek to entangle you.
The Joyful Homeschooler by Mary Hood – Learning centers, discovery learning.

No Regrets, How Homeschooling Earned me a Master’s Degree at 16  by Joyce Swann – Accelerated education.
Beautiful FeetTeaching Character through Literature Unit studies; the joy of connections.

Homeschool Design Form+u+la by Barb Shelton – Delight directed, vocationally oriented. Record-keeping and organization, how to create a course.
The Well Trained Mind Eat an elephant one bite at a time. Have a vision that incorporates depth and width. Expect more from your kids and from yourself.
Latin Centered Curriculum and LCC: A Homeschoolers guide to a Classical Curriculum Depth vs. Width; simplify, stick with the basics; go far.
The New Global Student the world is (or could be) your classroom.
The Marva Collins Way Ordinary Children, Extraordinary Teachers  Become the teacher you wished you’d had. Know your stuff. Know more. Classical ed, baby, by a class act.
Rafe Esquith Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire -LIghting Their Fires —Real Talk for Real Teachers The power of discipline, the arts and passion. Pursue sponsors for what you know to do.
University Model Schools– Combining the strength of homeschooling with the power of community. Win-win.
HSLDA– Strength in numbers- parental rights (vs. state rights).
G.H. Henty– Age of exploration. Find joy in history. Facts are dazzling diamonds, so it doesn’t matter if they are set into the same mold time and again.

Sonlight Curriculum– Literature and Bible-based teaching are a powerful combination.

Above Rubies– Establish a legacy.
Gentle Spirit– What do you have in your hand? Understand, establish and work with the seasons of life.

Sally Clarkson- Sympathize with the heart of your child.

Montessori– Kids are not mini-adults. Ages and stages, uninterrupted blocks of time to focus, discovery model
Mary Pride– The hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the world.
Hugh Ross– Science and Theology are beautiful bed-fellows. Intellect and faith go hand in hand.
Usborne books– The power of graphics; thinking skills made fun.
Marilyn Howshall–  Lifestyle of learning. Get one.
Classical Conversations– Train the brain to retain; grammar, dialectic and rhetoric stages.
Logos Academy/ Doug Wilson– The power of doctrine; living according to a clarion call; classical ed.
TeenPact– Age doesn’t matter in your ability to do great things for God. There is something unique about where you live right now. What/how does God want you to know/do about it?
Greg Harris– Establish your kids vocationally; do hard things; live out-loud.
Diana Waring– Joy in the journey, laugh out loud.
Greenleaf Press Press– 4 year history cycle, academic excellence.
Jim Weiss- The power of story-telling
Andrew Pudewa– Power of language; find the expert; give the kids as much help as they need; distill the difficult into simple. Master teachers and excellent curriculum rock.
Robinson Curriculum– Different seasons demand different methodologies; stick with the vision and make the curriculum work for you. The basics ware gonna get you through the night, baby.
Timberdoodle– Toys with a purpose; imaginative, active play; the discovery of the world through art, building, creation.
Cindy Rushon– Notebooking; journaling with an academic purpose.
Apologia– Textbook as lecture.

Who is on your list? Who did I miss?

*this post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through my links.

Are you a new homeschooling mom? Or maybe you are just a seasoned homeschool mom looking for some encouragement. Check out our recommendations for books for homeschooling moms. Be encouraged today! #books #homeschooling #homeschoolmom

How to Homeschool Junior High – the Jr High Brain

How to Homeschool Junior High – the Jr High Brain

Homeschooling junior high isn’t for wimps. If you are raising a middle school student, you might have this strange sense of deja vu.  You feel like you’ve been through this stage before…but somehow a little different. They were shorter…less smelly (most of the time)…and talked less (or at least less clearly).  Ok, maybe not quite. However, there are a lot of physical and mental changes that take place in toddlerhood that occur again at a different level in Jr High.

Brain Pruning

One of the big things that changes in middle school and toddlerhood is brain pruning.  In this process, the brain “cleans out” extra connections that aren’t being used. This can cause some different behaviors to occur during this time.  Sometimes kids seem to “not be in control” and make “bad decisions.” Part of this is expressing their ability to make decisions for themselves, and establish independence.  Part of this is due to the brain pruning process going on in their brains (not an excuse for bad decisions by any means, but if we understand what is going on, as parents we can be better prepared for it).

What can we do to help our junior high child?

  1. Lend them part of our “decision making brain” meaning give choices, but only ones that are acceptable to you.
  2. Help keep sleep and meals as regular as possible.  Just like a toddler needed a schedule, so does your middle schooler.
  3. Pick your battles.  If your child does better with school in the afternoon and gets their work done, let them work in the afternoon.

Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster with Your Junior High Homeschooler

Emotions can be very powerful.  Naming emotions can be even more difficult, and yet give so much power to us.  As a toddler, our children begin to discover they have emotions, and they can choose emotions.  As middle schoolers, hormones begin to change how our emotions affect us. Being open to your middle schooler to come and talk to will help with this process.  These are the years when your kids will start to build a different relationship with you. Foster that relationship. You still have to “parent,” but work to listen too.

Relationships and Your Junior High Homeschooler

As 3-year-olds, children tend to be all about “me.” MY feelings, MY toys, MY mommy/daddy/sister.  They do not see the world outside of “ME.” As they mature into 4-year-olds, they begin to realize there are other people around them.  Mommy and Daddy (and eventually siblings) have feelings and wants/needs too. They begin to realize they can do things to “help” others.  They start wanting to do things to please others, and to receive praise and possibly rewards.
Middle schoolers go through this process again but on a bigger level.  Elementary years are a lot about acceptance and building community (or at least that is what most elementary level schools are trying to do).  Middle school changes a lot of that. Suddenly there is a world out there full of other people’s opinions about what you eat, wear, and how you wear your hair!  It can be difficult to find your “place” during this phase of life. I’m reminded of my sister who became an “opinion shopper.” She would ask everyone their opinion on a decision she needed to make.  Eventually, she would hear the opinion she wanted to hear and go with that one!

What can we do?

  1. Allow for some self-expression.
  2. Give choices that are acceptable to you and allow your child to become more independent.
  3. Be there to listen when needed – without judging.
  4. Still set boundaries and “parent” when necessary.
  5. Make mistakes in front of your kids – and OWN THEM!  Our kids need to know no one is perfect.  Especially in Jr High, when they are trying so hard to be “grown up” and independent!

Growing and Changing Bodies

I hear a lot about middle school students/high school students and SLEEP.  Up all night. Sleep all day. Don’t shower until noon. Eat everything in sight.  Sounds a lot like my toddler. As kids enter the Jr High years, they often enter into growth spurts.  The body needs sleep for growth, moving information from short-term to long-term memory, and for all the hormone changes.  Stress can bring about a lack of sleep. Stress from the changing social relationships and dynamics mentioned above can create a lack of sleep.
At two distinct times in our child’s lives, we feel like we go through clothing sizes like tissues.  When they are toddlers and when they are teens (especially boys). For me, personally, I stopped growing when I entered middle school, at least in height.  But I grew in other ways that made clothing more challenging. This German/Irish mama has always had curves, and in Jr High, this was a challenge!! (Especially when it seemed most other girls did not yet!)  Finding clothes that fit right, and fit in with the crowds can be challenging for middle school students.
Some suggestions:
  1. Even if you use “second hand” clothes, find a way for your child to be able to pick some key pieces of clothing that are “just theirs.”
  2. Find ways for your child to express themselves through clothing in appropriate ways if this is important to them.
  3. Purchase clothes that fit comfortably (consider body type and sensory issues).
  4. Find a schedule that works for them – and work to stick with it!
  5. Find time to talk and connect – this can help with the stress they are experiencing.
  6. Teach about changing hygiene needs, and be sensitive to when their bodies change.  Everyone changes on a different schedule.
  7. Look for “samples” to try out different hygiene products to find the one your child likes best.  Different products work better for certain body types, and sensitivities can arise over time.

Homeschooling

Homeschooling during the Jr. High years can be tricky, as you child questions your authority and understanding of my materials. Now is a perfect time to outsource some classes, resource your students growing interests and try new things together, be that food, places or experiences. The typical course of study is a great guide to begin with.
Though the Jr High years can be challenging, they too will pass. Your child is transitioning from dependency to mature interdependency, from little to big. As with all transitions, it can be a tricky time to navigate, but take heart! Like toddlerhood, the Jr High years don’t last forever!

Video: Homeschooling Junior High

Audio: Homeschooling Junior High

Typical Course of Study Jr High

Middle School success Challenge

Middle School Personalized Learning Plan

Updates and edits by Gina Glenn. Video, audio, and downloads by Lisa Nehring of True North Homeschool Academy.

Original article written by: 

Amy Vickrey, MSE  is a mother of a seven-year-old and almost three-year-old. Her homeschool journey began over 20 years ago when she saw how homeschooling enabled her sister who had memory issues and fell through the crack at school, to graduate and go to college. Amy knew then she wanted to implement what she saw – the love and individual attention – into her own teaching. She now homeschools her two boys and loves every minute of it! Having completed the second year of their homeschool journey, she is looking forward to many more to come!

Amy holds a Masters of Science in Education, Specializing in Curriculum and Instruction, from the University of Central Missouri and a Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas State University-San Marcos.  Also, she spent 2 years of college studying Interpretation for the Deaf and Deaf Studies and knows American Sign Language. Her teaching certifications include Special Education, English as a Second Language and Generalist (early childhood through fourth). She is now part of the Struggling Learners Department of True North Homeschool Academy and loves the discovery approach to learning. Teaching children how to learn will help them reach their goals and dreams.

Amy Vickrey states, “My passion for learning and being a lifelong learner is something I want to pass on to the children I teach, as well as my own children.  Making learning fun and engaging is an important part of this process. My goal is to lift others up to help them achieve their own goals and dreams.”  Find out more about Amy and the classes she teaches here.

Homeschooling and the Power of Boredom

Homeschooling and the Power of Boredom

As summer rapidly approaches, the likelihood of hearing that ominous word—boredom—grows increasingly probable. I learned to carefully avoid this word around my parents in my youth, as it typically meant being given a long list of chores. Our summers involved mostly outdoor activities: riding bikes, woodland exploration, and swimming—with a bit of reading thrown in on rainy days. Our family often had one vacation in the summer, with destinations chosen by my parents based on their interests and tastes, not mine. This was the norm, and it worked.

Modern Parents and the Boredom Principle

It’s safe to say that modern parents appear more obliged to provide the bored child with incessant vacations, camps, and activities to assuage their boredom than previous generations, which begs the question: is boredom a bad thing?

When I was pregnant with my first child, I read a book on childhood brain development for a continuing education credit for my social work licensure. I wish I could recall the text now, but I do remember that the author was emphatic that denying children of downtime—time to be bored—affects them in two significant ways. The first is less creativity, which was no surprise, but the second point was a bit of an epiphany for me. They also struggle to develop clear values and a subsequent moral structure. 

Recently I was reminded of that book while listening to a TED Talk on boredom. Experts agree that free time and daydreaming are essential parts of childhood brain development. Over-scheduled children denied the time to reflect and be creative are not only starving their brains but wrestle with issues of moral ambiguity and difficulty solving problems. Sound familiar? Not to mention that modern children now possess devices that continually entertain and occupy their thoughts—regardless of what the calendar says. Modern science concurs on the subject of boredom with that 20-year-old textbook.

Building Quiet Time Into Your Day

Consequently, as soon as my children were old enough, I built mandatory quiet time into our daily schedule. Each day, my children were required to spend one hour alone in their rooms, where they did not talk, watch TV, or engage with any technology. Total silence. They were allowed to exercise, read, do crafts, build Legos, or anything creative, but they were not to do schoolwork. This was their time to pray, ponder, meditate, be mindful, daydream, analyze, stargaze, imagine, and think deeply.

We had a few more fun things on the schedule when summer approached than when I was a kid. We had a pool, so we had friends over quite a bit. The kids were allowed to pick one day-camp activity, such as horse or robotics camp, and sometimes we would go camping. Otherwise, we expected our kids to ride their bikes, explore the woods, and swim—with reading thrown in on rainy days. If they made the mistake of telling me they were bored, I always had a list of chores or projects handy, and I resisted the urge to fill in the blank spaces on our family calendar.

The Biggest Benefit of Boredom

What happened most was they built tree forts and mud pies and dammed our creek. They went berry picking. They colored pictures at the picnic table. They played with the dog and cat. They played kickball. They pitched a tent in the backyard. They helped me dig weeds in the garden or lay on blankets watching clouds, trying to find cartoon characters in the shapes.

They deliberated internally on their actions, observations, and experiences. They had an epiphany or two, which we would sometimes discuss over their bedtime prayers, and which helped solidify their values. They also had some of the most creative ideas! Through the power of boredom, they nurtured their brain development and pondered what was essential and what kind of people they hoped to be.

Parents, don’t waste the boredom! Instead, recognize it for the opportunity that it is and watch the great things your children will accomplish.

 

Postscript: 

If you would like to watch that TED Talk on boredom, here is a link:

Ted Talk on Boredom Link

Grab our FUN Summer Bucket List– perfect for summer days!

 

About Angie

Mrs. Ferrell lives in southwestern Ohio with her husband of 23 years, her youngest child, and several pets.  Mrs. Ferrell has many hobbies, including gardening, bicycling, quilting, photography, writing, and curriculum development. She is an avid reader and in constant pursuit of new challenges.

Free Holy Week Breakout Room … Sunday’s Coming!

Free Holy Week Breakout Room … Sunday’s Coming!

Sunday’s Coming!

Sunday’s Coming! Even when life is Uncertain

I originally wrote this twelve years ago and wanted to share my testimony again at this uncertain time.

Sunday’s Coming! Despite our present circumstances!

Twelve years ago, our house had burned, my 47-year-old sister had died unexpectedly, my oldest ended up in an E.R. several states away with Bird Flu, our contractor was crooked, we moved three times in ten months and threw away 90% of our possessions. We moved back into our partially finished house during the worst flooding in our region’s history (though last year topped that). My dad died a few months later.

It was a stressful year, to say the least. And my whole plan of keeping things simple didn’t work out.

Life is Uncertain

One thing we all have in common right now is that life is uncertain.

And with that uncertainty comes anxiety, fear, and possibly depression. Stress. Will we get sick? Will we get better? And will we have a job? What will the world look like in 2, 4, or 6 months?

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

Maybe right now you can relate to these words that I wrote 10 years ago:

I have been tossing and turning for nights. If there were an Olympic event for turning 360’s under the covers- I’d win. Cause while we are home, we are far from settled. The house remains undone and critically demanding from both a time and money standpoint. I feel pulled in a 100-directions at once for a myriad of reasons. Like Mrs. Beaver in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, flurrying around, scurrying in all directions, wondering if she should pack the kitchen sink for their flight from imminent danger, flustered because she’s worried she won’t make a good impression, concerned that Mr. Beaver will fall into the path of danger. Geez, man, she’s a worrywart.

Peace, Beaver.

Oh, how I relate. Cause I’m faithful and true and a diligent and hard worker and busy and industrious and mindful of things, and thinking of what’s next and on and on. But I’m concerned. Concerned about all that’s not being done and what’s up ahead and how I look and what’s next.

When Mrs. Beaver finally meets Aslan, his comment to her, which sets all things right in her life is, “Peace, Beaver.”

And with those two little words, the High King sets it all straight. He recognizes who she is, calls her by name, dignifies her presence and speaking words of power and might, and straightens the crooked places by His ruasch, alive and manifesting His strength and vision for her. The fussing and stressing and striving cease and she can relax in His presence knowing He’s got her back.

Sunday’s Coming! I’ve had a hard time getting there for the past many months. I’ve been grief-stricken and weary and flustered. And it’s not that things aren’t better than before, we have been blessed in amazing and profound ways; it’s the process of how they’ve gotten that way. Inventorying time and materials, thoughts and actions, sorting through possessions that were meaningful because of memories or people, profoundly feeling the loss of family, moving yet again in a matter of months.

Looking at Our Circumstances

I look around at all of the projects and consider how we’ll make due this fall and feel, oh so rocked by the waves of the circumstances. The work is something we enjoy, but the amount of it seems ominous, and while Dr. Dh is confident we’ll get it done, it’s all in the context of a day job and homeschooling and the living that will take place around it. And I see how we get tired and sore in a way we haven’t before. Age, stress, and the demands of the year manifest themselves in practical ways.

This year, in the midst of the chaos and flurry of once-in-a-lifetime circumstances I’ve longed for ritual. For benchmarks that say it’s this season or that. This is what you do when, the words you say now, the posture you take in response. I’ve needed guides, markers, mindless actions to go through that indicate time and life go on in a sensible and pleasing pattern despite disruption and chaos and hurt and fear and unrest and inconclusiveness”- the ritual and meaning and confirmation of faith and death and loss and living.

God is Our Refuge

My youngest came up to me where I was sitting a few days after we moved back home and said, very quietly, “Momma, the fire scared me.” Just so plain and simple and straightforward, but sad and apologetic, like her little 7-year-old self should be braver. The very fact of being home again, I think, finally allowed her to say these simple words. I said, “I know, Baby, of course, it did.” And she crawled into my lap and snuggled against me, curled up like when she was two, and stayed there for a while. Later she looked up at me and smiled and gave me a big hug and hopped up and went to find kittens to play with. I’m grateful she could be as little as she needed to be and snuggle up with someone older and bigger and stronger and sit and soak in my strength and comfort until she’d absorbed as much as she needed.

 
God is our refuge and strength, an everpresent help in trouble. … Come and see the works of the LORD. Psalm 46:1
 
On so many levels, I’ve felt like my little girl and I’ve wanted to say the same thing; “The fire scared me, Sue’s death rocked me, I feel the loss and lost.” And I want to feel and hear and know Abba is saying, “I know, Baby, of course. Rest in My peace. I’ve got you. Despite the worry and chaos and confusion and disorder and the house undone and work ahead, I’ve got your back.”
 
And He does.
 
I know He does for me and I know He does for you!
 

Sunday’s coming!  And with it, the Living Christ!

Spend time with the Living Christ and have fun in your homeschool with the free Holy Week Breakout Room! *Click on the blue Click here to show popup link below to access!* Click here to show popup
 
What is a Classical, Christian Education

What is a Classical, Christian Education

Defining Classical, Christian Education

What is Classical, Christian education? Does it mean studying history? Reading boring old books?  Is it only for SUPER SMART students?  Six years ago, God gave me a passion for classical, Christian education, and during that time, I have shared the model with many, many families.  

 The classical, Christian education model is a simple, time-tested model that focuses on training the skills to learn anything, and nurtures the whole person to fulfill their calling as man-made in the image of a sovereign God, set apart for His glory,  in this life and the next.

Three Attributes of Classical, Christian Education

Three main attributes of classical, Christian education discussed here are skill-based learning, the interrelatedness of all subjects to all other subjects, and the recognition of the value of man, who is made in the image of God for a purpose.    There are other attributes of a classical, Christian education model, but these three provide a backbone for it.

Classical education is skill-based. 

These skills are collectively referred to as “The Trivium”, a Latin word meaning three ways.  The three ways are three stages of learning and development, each with its own tools:  the grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric stages.

  • The first stage is the grammar stage. It starts at birth and developmentally extends until around age 11.   In this stage, students are learning vocabulary, facts, and principles of any subject in the world around them in a rote fashion.  Their understanding may be very limited at first, but they are becoming familiar with the world they encounter.  Students in this stage learn best by exploring, experiencing, observing, repetition, memorization, and dramatization.
  • The second stage, naturally occurring from around ages 11 – 14, is the dialectic or logic stage. At this point, the student develops a drive to understand and relate one to another all the experiences and facts they have and continue to collect.  This stage is characterized as a time of questions, challenging authority, and starting to rely on their own thinking. Students at this stage benefit from learning to ask good questions, reason logically, and debate ideas respectfully.
  • Finally, around age 14 students who have been trained to think well, will begin to emerge from the dialectic stage into the rhetoric stage. At this point, students can use their knowledge and skills to creatively relate information in new ways while practicing communicating information eloquently and winsomely. To learn new things they will delve back into the grammar and dialectic stages briefly, to learn the facts and process the information, but will be able to efficiently bring that information into a relationship with the other information they know hold, and continue to communicate their ideas.

Stages and Tools of Classical Education

The stages and tools of the Trivium function like a computer.   The grammar stage is input, the dialectic stage is processing, and the rhetorical stage is output.    Once a student has the skills from these three areas, they can spend a lifetime processing any and all information they encounter through their own “computer”, a working understanding of the tools of the Trivium.

While it may look like one has to be super smart to do well with a classical, Christian education model, the reverse is actually true: the classical, Christian education model goes with the grain of student development and is effective at equipping students with the skills they need to learn and understand anything in a faster, easier, and better way.

Developmentally Appropriate Skill Development is Fruitful

Often, in modern education, we see mismatches between assignments and developmental stages that create frustration.  Examples would be: asking a first grader to break apart math problems and relate different strategies to the same problem, asking the grade-schooler to invent something meaningful, asking a twelve-year-old to take a well-reasoned stand on a social justice issue, asking a high school student to memorize a bunch of facts with no need for application.

While there are always exceptions, and students may enter a stage early in an area of gifting, mostly mismatches like these needlessly create frustration and confusion that ultimately can drive students to think either too much of their own abilities or more often not enough.  Teaching the students skills that correspond with their developmental stage, and that are effective for learning, should reduce frustration and create confidence in learning.

An Interrelated World

After planting our roots in the model of the Trivium, classical, Christian education is focused on understanding the inter-relatedness of all subjects.    Since we believe that all of heaven and earth was created by one, sovereign God, it comes to make sense that all subjects would be interrelated in some way.

A Modern Education

A modern education student might be accustomed to being the center of a paradigm that asks them to learn math, then reading, then bible study, then history, and is interested in their reaction to those individual subjects, often independent of all else.  In a Christian, classical education the student is removed from the center of the model, and God is rightly reflected as the center of all creation, all knowledge, informing us about all things, and all things reflecting back information on Him.

The Classical Model of Education

The classical, Christian model continually asks one to consider how each subject relates to all other subjects.   Contemplating how the arts relate to the sciences, or how history relates to literature, will produce insights that studying either discipline alone would not likely produce.  Likewise, taking a single topic, for example, the topic of water, and considering how it is represented in science, art, music, math, or history, and how those representations connect one to another, will deepen understanding of all parts of that analysis.

One may even choose specific concerns to compare and relate: How is water conservation policy at your local river related to artistic freedom?  How is popular music related to current events?  How is the founding of Rome related to your curriculum decision? How does man relate to God?  How does the Old Testament relate to the New Testament?  How does a leader today relate to a leader in the past?  When you practice finding the connections and relationships between points like this, you will find these questions lead to ideas that lead to other questions, and each will continually reveal layers of understanding about the world around you.

The Value of Man

As Christians we believe that man was created by God, in His image, to glorify Him. The world and everything in it, is to be brought into submission to this purpose.   While modern education is focused on science and the material world, classical, Christian education recognizes the physical world as well as the heart, mind, and soul, and that we live in with the tension and promise of a transcendent reality, beyond what our five senses can detect.

While modern education looks for the new, useful, and profitable, classical, Christian education considers what is good, true, and beautiful. While modern education considers man without meaning, nothing more than a primate with skills, a random, chance occurrence in nature, classical, Christian education knows that man is made for a purpose and can grow in wisdom, and virtue in order to further fulfill that purpose.

How does classical, Christian education achieve these lofty, yet abstract goals?  

Thankfully, this world has a long history of men and women considering these ideas in thought, word, and deed, and a modern student can join in The Great Conversation by reading classic literature and studying history.   The term “The Great Conversation” represents the ongoing process of writers and thinkers referencing, building on, and refining the works of their predecessors.

All the tools and skills of the classical, Christian model come together in The Great Conversation and work together to give one opportunities to refine their discernment of truth, goodness, and beauty, building wisdom and virtue. This is, of course, a lifetime journey, not necessarily a destination we fully arrive at in this life.   The constant refining of our reason and understanding, never being left stuck in as a prisoner to our selfish small world, is the true gift of a classical, Christian education.

(Interested in pursuing a Classical Homeschool Education for your child?  Check out our course offerings at True North Homeschool Academy.)

Conclusion

The classical, Christian education model uses the stages and skills of the Trivium, a vision for an inter-connected worldview, unified by one, sovereign God, creator of all things, and the knowledge that man is made in the image of God, to glorify Him in this world in the next, in order develop the whole person, able to participate in all this world and the next has to offer.  A classical, Christian education is for those who are interested in quality over quantity, timeless versus fleeting, and eternity versus the present moment.

By Natalie Micheel

Natalie lives in South Dakota with her husband and two awesome kids.  She has now homeschooled for over 10 years with Christian, classical and literature-based paradigms, including teaching for and leading faith-based homeschool groups locally.  Natalie speaks locally on all things classical, Christian ed.  She loves sharing the classical model and the hope and joy of homeschooling your own children with the next generation of homeschool mamas!  Natalie enjoys speaking and teaching and thinking, as well as reading and writing and dreaming.   She finds particular satisfaction in working with tweens and teens and moms to inspire them towards the good, true and beautiful, and walking beside them as they learn to equip themselves to fulfill their callings in this world.

5 Great Reasons to Homeschool this Summer

5 Great Reasons to Homeschool this Summer

5 Great Reasons to Homeschool Over Summer

(Home) School is in for Summer

 I know, you are so ready for a summer break. Sleeping in, swimming, camping, and vacation. I hear you. I’m just as ready as you are. But, I also remember just how hard it was to get back into the swing of things with homeschooling come Back-to-School time. So, this year (Home) School is in for summer! 

There are tons of really good reasons to homeschool year-round, but today I’m going to share what I think are 5 great reasons to homeschool over the summer. Let’s dive in! 😉 

 

1. Choosing to homeschool this summer gives you the freedom to break at other times. 

 

Embracing the summer as a time of learning can let you flex when things come up during the year. And they do come up, don’t they? Someone gets sick, family visits, you travel during the holidays. Summer learning affords you the freedom to break when you need to without feeling behind or guilty. You set the pace.

2. Summer homeschool can help prevent that “summer slide” we hear about.

 Studies show that 20% of school year reading gains and up to 27% of school year math gains are lost in the traditional summer break. For the homeschooling parent, summer homeschool isn’t just about something to do over the summer, it’s part of the big picture of learning. We don’t want to have to start the year on the struggle bus, playing catch-up. 

3. Baby, it’s hot outside.

I know, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if your kids were anything like mine, that heat can be just as disrputive as a snow day. The heat makes kids lithargic. They tend to gravitate towards the air conditioning and often times a screen. Why not capture the screen time for learning?

4. Master a new skill.

Often times our school year is packed. We’re focused on the essentials and it’s hard to fit in a purely interest-based class. It might be time to learn a new language, master the math we’ll need for Chemistry next year, or hone our essay writing techniques. Even preparing for next year with a class on Study Skills can give a real advantage.

5. Getting a preview of coming attractions. 

Summer classes at True North Homeschool Academy are a great way to preview how the classes work in the fall. Our classes are particularly designed to support our full year classes. Students will meet fellow True North Homeschool Academy students, learn from one of our world class teachers and learn to navigate our online campus!

We’re here to support your homeschooling choices, happy to answer your questions, and provide you with an educational option that helps lead your kids True North. We’d love to see you this summer!

 

 

Bundle Your Summer Classes & Save!

Summer Bootcamp Bundle allows you to choose 3 Summer Classes for 20% off over ala carte classes!

Choose from fourteen Summer Classes that will build students academic skills, setting them up for future academic success! Our classes are particularly designed to support our full year classes. Students will meet fellow True North Homeschool Academy students, learn from one of our world class teachers and learn to navigate our online campus! Choose from the following:

Each class leads into a full year class in the fall, for students that want to continue their educational journey with True North Homeschool Academy!