Thursday, April 25, 2013

10 documentaries and books to help you in deciding to homeschool your children

Two of my three very happy homeschooled children are pictured above playing in the rain on a very warm August day last year.

Are you thinking of homeschooling your children this fall? Have you ever thought of homeschooling but just didn't think you could do it? What is it that you think you "can't do?" What I hear most often is this: "I'm not smart enough."  "What do you do when they start learning the higher maths and sciences?"  "Do YOU know Algebra, Geometry, or Calculus?!!?" (in a very surprised kind of tone)  "Oh, I don't have the patience - my kids don't listen to me." 

Do you know that what our children need most is not in textbooks or instruction?  Your children need your LOVE and guidance towards our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Do you think there is ONE person in the school system that loves your children as much as YOU do?  Do you think they can learn that God is in ALL subjects and He created all subjects from the public school system?  When a parent says to me, "I don't know math, science, and English grammar well enough to teach it to my children," I say, "And WHY don't you know these things?  Didn't you graduate from our public school system, like I did?  Didn't you graduate from college, unlike me? How can you not know these things?"  Ahhhh, the light bulb goes off.  You and I learned these things just long enough to pass that test so we could get the good or "good enough" grade so we wouldn't get into trouble at home, right?  How long did it take you to forget the all those history dates like when Columbus sailed the Caribbean? Ummmm, 5 seconds after the test for me. 

So, if you've thought about homeschooling, no matter what the reason, the books and movies listed below can help you in your decision and of course I'm always here to answer questions or just be a support person for you.

1. I placed this one at number one for a very good reason and that is because if you  neither see nor read any of my other suggestions, PLEASE see this one! This is a documentary called IndoctriNation and it is an incredible film where Colin Gunn and his family travel in a big yellow school bus across America exploring the origins of the American education system, the effects of public schools on the Christian family, and the turning of the hearts of parents to their children through home education. Please buy this documentary, watch it, and then SHARE it! 

2. Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling by John Holt and Pat Ferenga. This was one of the first books I read on homeschooling that helped me see how I, too, could teach my children at home. 

3. Legally Stupid: Why Johnny Doesn't Have to Read was recommended to me and admittedly, I haven't read it only because I need no more convincing at this point but if you do read it or have read it, please share your thoughts on it.

4. The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers focuses on the three lost tools of learning: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. You can learn more about the classical method of teaching at Charlotte Mason Education OR better yet, come to one of our Classical Conversations Information Meetings or Summer Parent Practicums beginning in June to learn more and have your questions answered!

5. Education in America: Let My Children Go is a film from Jeremiah Films that focuses on the dumbing down of our children in order to be sheep and dependent on government. 

6. Homeschooling in Your Garden by Jim Erskine is a GREAT little book that focuses on gardening with your children. What better way to teach math and science than by real world situations! i LOVE this one! There are so many great ideas in here that I plan to use this summer in our garden.

7. The Core by Leigh Bortins, founder of Classical Conversations. In this book, Leigh talks about how in the past, correct spelling, the multiplication tables, the names of the state capitals and the American presidents were basics that all children were taught in school. Today, many children graduate without this essential knowledge. Most curricula today follow a haphazard sampling of topics with a focus on political correctness instead of teaching students how to study.

8. The Well-trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer.  This book explains, step by step, how to give your child an academically rigorous, comprehensive education from preschool through high school—one that will train him or her to read, to think, to understand, to be well-rounded and curious about learning.

9. Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey.  Is secularism a positive force in the modern world? Or does it lead to fragmentation and disintegration? In Saving Leonardo, best-selling award-winning author Nancy Pearcey makes a compelling case that secularism is destructive and dehumanizing.

10. Millstones and Stumbling Blocks by Bradley Heath.  Bradley Heath is an impassioned advocate for the recovery of substantive Christian education. His premise is that the illnesses our culture faces will not be cured by political remedies. Continuing to follow the thinking of the status quo to train our children and shepherd their faith only contributes to the problem. Heath exhorts parent to read, think, and act in a different pattern to provide the next generation with real answers.

There you have it - Melissa's List :-) Don't go buying ALL of them! Just pick one or two that interest you and go from there. Take your time. Think and pray about it and God will provide. 


  1. This is great! And I totally agree with your #1 ranked thing to read/watch!

    Here are a few others you might want to add to your reading list if you've never read them:


    1. Thanks Brandy! I'm flattered that you think so and thanks for the extra books. I haven't read those.

  2. Hey, I think I WILL homeschool in the fall! :)