The last few weeks of a homeschool year often find me dragging through to the finish line, barely holding onto sanity and ready to ditch the whole idea of homeschooling. I have finished many school years feeling like a failure and wondering why in the world God had placed this calling on my life. Why would He ask this unorganized, impatient, imperfect woman to homeschool her children?
As we’ve traveled the homeschool journey, I have collected many books that encouraged my soul. I reach for these six authors over the summer months, restoring my soul and filling my heart with hope for a new school year.
Diana Waring has written three books that are full of encouragement and advice. The first one that was recommended to me is Things We Wish We’d Known, which contains advice from 50 homeschool veterans. I relied heavily on this in the early years of my homeschool journey. As my children grew older, I discovered Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant Life Homeschooling and loved the image of homeschool that she presented. As my teens entered their high school years, I found Reaping the Harvest: The Bounty of Abundant-Life Homeschooling to be helpful.
Any book by Sally Clarkson helps restore my vision for motherhood and my role as a homeschool mom. The first one I read was Seasons of a Mother’s Heart, but The Mom Walk, The Ministry of Motherhood, and The Mission of Motherhood are all excellent books. Most recently, I’ve been enjoying her new book, The Life-Giving Home. Sally and her husband Clay Clarkson also wrote Educating The Whole-Hearted Child which deals specifically with homeschooling and their recommendations.
Karen Andreola is known for writing about the Charlotte Mason form of education, but she also wrote two novels about a new homeschool mom (set in the thirties) that I love. These books always restore a vision in my mind for how natural homeschooling can be, and how it becomes a lifestyle. Pocketful of Pinecones is the first book, and Lessons At Blackberry Inn is the sequel. I have read these many years during the spring and summer months to restore my vision for homeschooling.
Todd Wilson, of FamilyMan Ministries, offers humorous encouragement for homeschool families. I have enjoyed reading all of his books, which are blessedly short, but the one that I usually reach for at the end of a school year is Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe. I need some truth to counteract those lies by the time summer rolls around.
Carol usually writes about parenting and teaching the distractable and wiggly child. Reading her books has given me ideas to try with my kids, as well as hope that I really can homeschool them. The first book of hers that I read was How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and Onto Learning. If you can relate to that title, then I know you need encouragement, too. Then she came out with If I’m Diapering a Watermelon, Then Where’d I Leave the Baby? and I knew if she could homeschool, I could too. She’s written more books since then, including The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles, but those first two have been so helpful to me.
This last book isn’t particularly a homeschool book, but I wanted to mention it because the message applies to homeschool moms quite well. The Invisible Woman: When Only God Sees compares the work of a mother to the unseen hours poured out by cathedral builders. No one focuses on the workers who built the cathedral, and we often take them for granted. They gave hours of tireless labor and excellence, not for everyone’s attention, but because they were serving God. The first time I saw a video of Nicole Johnson sharing this message, I cried. I now have the book so I can remind myself that God sees even when I am feeling invisible and unimportant.
Who Do You Recommend?
Do you have a favorite homeschool author or book that encourages you? Please share in the comments, so others can enjoy the book, too.