Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom: A Manifesto of Freedom and Joy in Home Learning
Jamie C. Martin
This was a super quick ebook full of helpful hints for the homeschooling family, or, like me, someone considering the homeschool option. Amazon states that most people take 30 minutes to read it. I took three days because, well, distractions, and also, I wanted to absorb the information.
Martin starts by sharing her journey into homeschooling and how her philosophy evolved as time wore on. We all have a starting point, the beginning ideals of this journey, and I imagine we all evolve through the process as well. Like anything else, we learn from the telling of others’ stories and experiences.
She talks about the myth of the ‘perfect’ curriculum. Much more important for a successful homeschool family is to build an atmosphere of inspiration. She gives us permission to pursue our own passions because the reality is that we can’t educate our children. “You can force a child to sit somewhere, most traditional classrooms do, but you cannot and never will be able to force a child to learn.” What we can do is model for them how we continue to learn and perfect our own craft, and guide them along the path to self-education.
Martin reminds us to keep things simple. Possibly my favorite section tells us that burnout is inevitable (so plan for it), and gives us ten surefire ways to reach burnout. “If we recognize that burnout will sometimes creep up on us, we’ll be prepared. If we never expect it, it can totally throw us and lead to unhappiness, depression, and putting kids in school when that isn’t really our heart’s desire.”
She also shares the most important secret to success: it’s all about nurturing relationships. Regardless of the parent’s education, homeschooled students score much higher than the national average on standardized tests. This is a direct result of the level of commitment that a parent has for their children and the relationships that are being nurtured by spending this formative time together.
The percentage completed at the bottom of your kindle is misleading because the book is technically done at 65%. My kindle closed the book and took me to the review page at this point. Open it back up! There are two appendices, which you must read. The first gives ten helpful questions to help define who you are as a family, which will ultimately help you plan and succeed your homeschool life. The second appendix gives a brief synopsis of the different teaching methods with resources for each. Many of these I had heard of by name or theory, but didn’t quite understand the philosophy behind them.
The title of the book should be Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Family, not Mom, because it is about a homeschooling family’s lifestyle. I read several portions of it to Hubby since we are journeying through this decision together. I recommend this book to families considering homeschooling their children, as well as those who have been homeschooling a while but have hit a rut. It is informative, realistic (at least from my inexperienced point of view), and encouraging.