On each of the Getting Started pages I’ve referred to something called a Philosophy of Education. The book Countdown to Consistency by Mary Hood was instrumental in helping me figure out mine. I thought it was out of print but I found a link to it on Cathy Duffy’s site: https://cathyduffyreviews.com/homeschool-extras/parent-helps-and-how-to-books/general-parent-helps/countdown-to-consistency-a-workbook-for-home-educators
The Self-Directed Seminar by FACE is also very helpful for figuring out what you mean when you use the word “education.” The SDS used to come in as part of the big binders of The Noah Plan from FACE. That too has been reworked into other products. Once that happened, the SDS was packaged as a separate item. I’m pretty sure that this is the current version of the original course that I took so many years ago.
Here are a few other fabulous tomes for you to chew on as you are forming your own philosophy as to what education means: (Caution, all of these are a little hard to find, a little pricey, and little tough to get through because of how much they will make you stop and think, but, oh, so worth the time you will spend on them)
- Far Above Rubies: Wisdom in the Christian Community, David Mulligan, Messenger Publishing, 1994, no ISBN, paperback.
- Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education, David V. Hicks, University Press of America, 1999, ISBN 0-7618-1467-1, paperback.
- Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education, James S. Taylor, State University of New York Press, 1998, ISBN 0-7914-3586-5, paperback.
Another great book that I will often recommend to parents to work through with a new high school student is Home School, High School, and Beyond by Beverly Adams-Gordon. It’s quite helpful for figuring out the direction your student might want to go in the future so you both can custom-tailor a high school program that will provide a leg up on achieving that. It’s a little older but I found a link to it on Amazon (no, I get nothing for recommendations since I don’t have any monetization in place anywhere on my website): https://www.amazon.com/Home-School-High-Beyond/dp/1888827378/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
This next item is the same audio file that I mentioned at the bottom of the Curriculum Choices page. It comes with an accompanying syllabus that will get you thinking about education in a new way. It’s one thing to adhere to the things Inge Cannon addresses in this seminar if they have a place in your child’s path to the future, but if you blindly follow along just because everyone else is or you think you HAVE to, that’s another story. Whether you agree or disagree with the speaker, you will surely begin to think about the whole concept of education in a new way as you listen: (As of August 7, 2018, this was a free download) High Places in Education NOTE: The information in this talk is explicitly Christian in scope. There is also a great deal of good information for secular homeschoolers to consider, especially about how standardized testing and grade levels.
Here are a few great books on teaching and learning:
The Seven Laws of the Learner by Wilkinson. Here’s an excerpt of Chapter 1. I found the book on Amazon in both hardcover and Kindle edition: https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Laws-Learner-Anything-Practically/dp/1590524527/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
Another book that covers similar ground to the one above is Teaching to Change Lives by Howard Hendricks, also on Kindle and as a “real” book: https://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Change-Lives-Seven-Proven/dp/1590521382/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1532838320&sr=1-1&keywords=teaching+to+change+lives+by+howard+hendricks
One of my favorites is an out-of-print volume by Charles Benson Eavey called Principles of Teaching for Christian Teachers. What I appreciate most about this book is the information about knowing your students, knowing the lesson material, and knowing how best to communicate that information to your charges. It’s a great find.
I haven’t forgotten that you want recommendations and reviews of my favorite curricular offerings. For now, here are a few to get you started:
Ruth Beechick wrote a number of wonderful books about what is reasonable for kids to know when. Her books aren’t written like the frameworks I cited on a previous page (What Your Child Needs to Know When, Skills Evaluation, On Eagle’s Wings, Core Knowledge), but instead read like teacher’s manuals of ideas and explanations for how to teach them. The Three R’s are for the primary years, You CAN Teach Your Child is geared toward children in grades 4 through 8 and contains a wealth of information.
Another good book for basic education for grades K-6 in the 3Rs is How to Tutor by Sam Blumenfeld. This is a no-frills book that explains reading via phonics (not as comprehensively as an OG tutor would), how to form cursive letters, and how to perform basic arithmetic.
Here’s another good one that is useful for any teacher, not just ones who want to go with The Weaver from Alpha Omega: Teaching Tips and Techniques by Rebecca Avery. There are lots of good ideas in here, so many that even a non-Christian will find it useful.