I am not a homeschooling expert. My training is in theology on the one hand, and pastoral ministry on the other, with graduate degrees in youth ministry and Christian education. I love ideas and theories, and I love to analyze what I am reading and doing. But that’s hardly enough to school my own kids.
For the real work on the ground, here are my biggest inspirations:
- Susan Wise Bauer, The Well-Trained Mind. Classical Education focuses on language, whether off the page or spoken aloud. Having taught college freshmen, I can say that many young adults arrive at college still needing a lot of work to learn how to hear or read things and figure out what the author is saying. Classical education starts kids early listening, and then reading, words. By high school, the goal is that they can engage ideas.
- Read Aloud Revival (readaloudrevival.com). The podcast by Sarah Mackenzie has excellent practical advice. Its biggest emphasis: read aloud to the kids. In the case of our family, that means at least an hour or two a day.
- Pam Barnhill (pambarnhill.com/basket/). Beth described Pam as her homeschool mom crush. Her key slogan is to emphasize Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in education, to help kids fall in love with the world and fall in love with learning. Your Morning Basket podcast has lots of great practical advice as well.
My biggest inspiration behind all this is my late wife Beth. She used all these resources, and she set me an example of how to use them. Our kids are already conditioned to sit and listen to books for hours on end because Beth tirelessly poured herself and her passion into them. It is not an exaggeration to say that she is with us through every step as we learn together.