Home Schooling Beautifully

Home schooling is a way of life and it can’t be done in isolation. Support and quality materials are essential for a successful journey. This page will be a periodically updated collection of resources that have been helpful in our family’s home schooling journey. If there are resources you have had particular success with in your own home school, please share!

Books About Home Schooling

A Little Way of Homeschooling: Thirteen Families Discover Catholic Unschooling, by Suzie Andres —  This book gives a homeschooling family that “wonders if they’re doing it right” an idea of the depth and breadth of possibilities. Homeschooling LOOKS DIFFERENT within every family who commits to taking on the challenge of the experience. Suzie’s books provides a wide cross-section of families who primarily unschool, but who also wander in and out of other educational methods as the needs of their children or families require. This book made me feel hopeful, inspired, and part of a community of families who all share the same goal that education is a life spent living and learning well to fulfill the purpose God has for each one.

Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, by Laura Berquist — An excellent resource for all ages and grade levels. This was one of the first books I bought when I began homeschooling. Everything is laid out for you grade by grade according to the classical idea of the trivium (see Dorothy Sayers essay below) and rationales are given as to the whys, hows and whens of approaching different subjects with different age groups/grade levels.

Catholic Education: Homeward Bound, by Kimberly Hahn — Next to Berquist’s Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, this was one of the best books on homeschooling that I read. It addresses every single issue or question you — or other people in your family who might be skeptical or unsure — can think of and provides great encouragement and lots of resources for getting started. After reading this, you will feel like homeschooling really is something you can do — with Blessed Mother, of course!

A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning, by Karen Andreola — A beautiful guide to what is POSSIBLE in home education. This book dosn’t make you feel like you have to do it all or be it all. It offers meditations on possibilities and how to experience education at home in way that is gentle and full of hope, for both you and your children. It invites us to “slow down” in our home schooling and take some time to smell the roses, learning life along the way. This inspiring and beautiful book will change the way you “do” school, guaranteed.

Curriculum Resources

Books Children Love — This book provides a comprehensive list of the best books; organized by topic, historical period, or curriculum subject this is great for making reading lists for your each subject or for choosing read alouds. This is something you will use for years and is a great resource.

Catholic Heritage Curricula — CHC is a family run business that specializes in high quality core academic curricula from a “classical” perspective that emphasizes the truths of the Catholic faith; they also respond promptly, with grace, understanding and love to any questions confused, searching, or overwhelmed homeschooling parents send via email!

The Harp and the Laurel Wreath — This is a wonderful anthology of poetry and prose designed to be used for memory/recitation and dictation, carefully aligned with the different stages of the classical triviuum. Its one of those books that you buy and use constantly. A wonderful resource.

Paper Dali — Welcome to a whimsical world where characters from history come to life! Paper Dali was created by my dear friend and companion on the homeschool journey, Veronica Maria Jarski, a professional writer, gifted illustrator and artist, and busy all-around-creative mom. Her site carries free, uniquely designed paper doll patterns which you can down load to enhance all curricular areas and bring history, literature, and catechism alive for your young learners. These dolls can be used for history or book reports, creative drama projects, lapbooks, timelines, parties, and All Saint’s Day and Catholic liturgical feasts and activities throughout the year. Veronica also has an amazing activity book, Celebrating Blessed Miguel Pro, with crafts and games which can be used as the basis for a unit study of Blessed Miguel’s life and times in Mexico.

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