Terry notes that part of the fun of starting home education is to be concerned about whether one is reading enough, too much, or just the right amount. So I figure it might be helpful to some to list some books my family has been blessed by.
Our journey into homeschooling was prompted by Douglas Wilson's Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. Built on Dorothy Sayers' "The Lost Tools of Learning," it describes really the first half of classical education, the Trivium, and why it's important. (Sayers' talk can be obtained for free, just google it) That led to books such as Wise & Bauer's The Well Trained Mind and the Bluedorn family's Teaching the Trivium. If you've guessed that I consider it crucial for students to learn their Latin & Logic, you guessed right. I do hope that in the future, homeschooling authors give a little bit more time to the "Quadrivium" of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. The movement is currently a little "Tri-heavy," methinks.
Also of interest are the works of Charlotte Mason. While Miss Mason gave more credence to Darwin and modern psychology than I do, she wonderfully elucidates the reasons why institutional schools so often fail to educate children, centering on the reality that they are not simply "young skulls full of mush" to be filled.
Can one read too little? Yes, I think that many who simply try to establish a standard school at home fall into this trap. They often order a different curriculum every year, unaware that by changing educational styles, they're confusing their kids. Can one read too much? If you're understanding what you're reading, you probably won't fall into this trap. Starting with a few good books like those listed above will tend to give a parent a "garbage detector" that will result in putting down useless books after reading only the introduction. You'll be ready to have fun with your children as you lead them in the joy that is learning instead.
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