I normally try to get one or two new homeschooling books each year. They keep me going and give me fresh perspectives. After traveling around to 3 different homeschool conventions, I left all those conventions with only purchasing 2 different books. It took some restraint, but I was so pleased with what I purchased!
The two new homeschooling books that are must reads for everyone this year are the following.
Better Together: Strengthen your family, simplify your homeschool, and savor the subjects that matter most by Pam Barnhill
The Read-Aloud Family: Making meaningful and lasting connections with your kids by Sarah Mackenzie
I had the opportunity to visit with both of these ladies at the Texas homeschool convention and attend the sessions they did. I left the sessions so encouraged and renewed. I’ve read to my children over the years and we also have had seasons of doing morning times very successfully.
This hasn’t been the year where I have felt successful in doing either of those things well.
Between moving, remodeling, being pregnant, and overall struggling through a really hard year as a family, morning time and reading aloud were not top priority.
I have deeply missed it.
The connections you form with your children are priceless when you sit on the couch together and read to them. The attitudes of your children can be so much better when you take that time together in the morning, and then send them off to tackle the day.
I read most of The Read-Aloud Family book on the way home from Texas. I will say I was slightly hesitant to get this book because I knew that what I allow my children to read can be a little more conservative than what might be suggested in the book.
I shouldn’t have been concerned.
The book actually stretched my thinking on what I have, or have not allowed my children to read and gave me a lot of good food for thought.
The first few chapters are not just on reading to your children, it was more on how fast life goes by and how crucial it is to slow down and enjoy those moments with your children. Sarah’s heartfelt story of how desperately she wanted to get this parenting thing down right when her first was born was one I could relate to.
From there on out the chapters go into how to set your day up for read aloud success, how to keep children quiet (or at least halfway quiet!) during read aloud time, how to read aloud to different age groups of children together, and so much more!
This is definitely on my must read list for every homeschooling mom this year!
The Better Together book is one that I have not had a chance to dive into yet, but I’ve skimmed through it and I can tell it’s another must read book. If the concept of morning time is new to you, or you just want some new ideas and a look at how someone else handles morning time, this is the book for you!
Morning time will not look the same in each household. That’s why it’s important for each family to make it unique and not try to copy some other family. If you have 3 children it’s going to look different then if you have 7. A new baby or a super noisy toddler will change your morning time versus just having older children.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you have a 12 year old or a 15 year old that they are too old for morning time. I still have our 14 year old involved in morning time, which right now consists of a Bible story, singing at hymn at the piano, praying together, and reading Heidi together. We are not doing Latin or memorizing poems and scriptures, or doing art studies together. It just didn’t feel like the year for it; but we will have a season in life again where we do those things.
If you need a new boost of encouragement or a fresh perspective for your new school year, I highly recommend these two excellent books!