Quiet the voices of "not good enough" and step courageously into guilt-free homeschooling
Many homeschool parents have a long-term relationship with self-doubt. "Did I make the right decision?" "Could someone else do this better?" "Am I robbing my kids of something by not sending them to ‘regular school’?"
What if there’s a better way?
Not a 3-step technique or a shiny, new curriculum, but a change in perspective that transforms the way you plan, teach, and homeschool?
Homeschool Bravely teaches you to see homeschooling as a calling, helps you overthrow the tyranny of impossible expectations, and guides you through the common bumps in the road, including how to:
- juggle school and parenting with toddlers at home
- teach a struggling learner
- plan with the end in mind
- accept your own limitations without feeling guilty
- stay the course even in the face of criticism
Reclaim your hope, renew your purpose, and transform your homeschool. Because the truth is: God will use every part of your homeschool, even your fears, faults, and failures, to weave good plans for your kids.
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About the Author
JAMIE ERICKSON taught elementary school before becoming a mother. When her first child turned five she made the decision to homeschool her daughter. Four more children followed and she homeschools all five. Jamie is the founder of The Unlikely Homeschool and a popular education blogger. Her website, social media channels, and blog encourage and equip a growing tribe of more than 50,000 homeschooling mothers around the world. She has written for a number of homeschool publications.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Fear
1 When You Check the Wrong Box 11
2 Calling or Coincidence 19
3 The Path to Bravery 35
4 Watch Your Own Dice 47
Part 2 The Struggle
5 When You Have One of Those Kids 61
6 Struggling to Teach a Struggler 75
7 Little People and Big Messes 87
8 One Crazy Day Away from Crisis 101
Part 3 The Solution
9 It's Homeschool, Not School-at-Home 117
10 A Guilt-free Year 133
11 Your Spot on the Wall 149
12 The End in Mind 161
13 Check the Box with Bravery 175
Appendix A Questions to Ask Before You Start Homeschooling 183
Appendix B Books for Further Reading 187
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm personally not in the trenches of homeschooling right now, but I could see how this book would be like a big sigh of relief for those who are! It's full of encouragement and good reminders about keeping the journey in a far-reaching, even eternal perspective. I was never homeschooled myself, but it's something we're considering as an option for any children we may have someday—hence my interest in this book. :) I like that Homeschool Bravely celebrates freedom: the freedom found in trusting God's sovereignty over our children's lives, the freedom to pursue education in a way that works for each family, and the freedom to let kids explore their interests and cultivate a love of learning in unique ways. There were some great suggestions in these pages for teaching and working with kids of various ages and levels, especially when some kids are old enough for school and others aren't quite there yet. And there are some great words of advice about keeping homeschool plans focused, simplified, and meaningful. Certainly not surprising, based on the title and topic, this book centers around homeschooling and defending its value. So while it does talk abut how defensiveness isn't needed and fighting about educational choices isn't productive, this book is definitely for those who believe homeschooling is the best choice for their family. If you're a homeschooling mom or definitely plan to be one, you'll find lots of support in these pages. If you're on the fence, you might not get a super balanced view between the various options, but I realize that's not the purpose of this book. :) One of the appendices is titled "Questions to Ask Before You Start Homeschooling," and I confess I had hoped it would provide some sort of questionnaire for self-assessment; whereas, it's actually a list of questions to ask other people about their homeschooling experiences before you take the leap yourself. Which can still be quite helpful, for sure! Just not exactly what I had personally hoped to find. All in all, though, Homeschool Bravely is a nice resource, especially for those who have already started on the homeschooling journey or are planning to begin soon. There are some neat tips to ponder and a lot of encouraging words about keeping the focus on God and His sovereign work in the life of your family. P.S. The cover is really cute, and the design of the pages within is visually appealing! *With thanks to Moody Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.*
As a potential homeschooling mom for my now three year old twins, I saw this book and thought it might be a neat read. It was soooo much more than expected. It gave not only good advice for homeschooling moms, but I think almost anyone attempting a new challenge would benefit. This book is definitely a Christian based guide, with scripture references throughout. This biblical support for doing things that could be scary is what makes the book so strong, in my opinion. We are not only hearing the author’s experiences and how she overcame challenges and what she struggles with, but she boosts her readers by reminding them that they do not have to be ready to homeschool (or face a challenge) because God is and that He is the source of true bravery.
Do you ever struggle with mom guilt? That disabling feeling that you're screwing it all up? What about homeschooling mom guilt? Wondering if you're not only screwing up your kids, but also sending them off track academically? Raising my hand HIGH over here! Homeschool Mom Guilt is the real deal and can throw a mom into a tailspin if she's not careful. Enter Jamie Erickson's new book, Homeschool Bravely. This book was unlike anything I expected. Picking it up, I expected more of a how to style book as is typical of the market. What I wasn't expecting was the address of the heart that Erickson delivers. Speaking directly to the core of the issue, Homeschool Bravely addresses the fears head on, encouraging the reader that the Lord is well aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and has called them to homeschool for such a time as this. Easily the most encouraging read that I've had the privilege of reviewing, my copy of Homeschool Bravely has a multitude of notes and highlights, and has completely changed my view on my homeschool. These are just a few of my favorite quotes: "Sometimes the crossed-arms of resistance are the quiet pleas of a child who just wants to be heard- to feel like a portion of his school day is within his control." "What you don't know, or perhaps what you need to be reminded of, is that a 'struggle' shows that you are doing something right. Struggle is a verb. It implies action; effort; giving it all you've got." "In his kindness to me, God's shown me that in trying to do everything perfectly, I end up doing a lot of things with mediocrity... Again and again, His kindness has helped me see how and when I've made parenting and teaching harder than it needs to be." "If you're being pushed around by fear, you're not listening to the Voice that really matters." "You can drape yourselves in the tattered cloak of the perceived judgment of others and trudge around in it all the livelong day, wrestling for shreds of approval from everyone else. Or you can homeschool like you know you are already pre-approved by the One who called you to do it. The choice is yours." Erickson's words were the refreshing drink that I didn't even realize that my heart needed. Again and again, she comes back to the idea that our homeschool's success if based on more than our human abilities, and rests in the trust and ability of the Lord. To be reminded that I'm not standing alone, but rather with the One that knows and loves my children even more than I do. And that makes our homeschool more than enough. If you could purchase one homeschooling book, let Homeschool Bravely be that one. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
While reading through Homeschool Bravely, I was so encouraged. Whether you have been homeschooling a few years or you are just starting your homeschool journey, this book is a must read. Throughout the book, there are sections covering the fear, the struggle, and the solution. In each of these sections, Jamie shares personal stories of how she has overcome to provide her children with the education that her children needed. One thing she reminds readers of is to, “Relinquish your tight hold of homeschooling in the midst of difficulty. You’ll begin to see delight instead of defeat.”
This book offers encouragement that homeschool parents need today! You are not alone!! Many days (especially the hard ones) can be filled with doubt, and this book is a message of bravery and confidence. The chapter called "Little People and Big Messes" was especially helpful with creative ideas of how to cultivate learning for your tots (ages 1-5). She lists specific ideas for what she calls "tot school," where your tot can engage in simple, yet intentional play. This encourages both gross & fine motor skills and basic concepts. In another chapter called "One Crazy Day away from Crisis" she lists specific ideas and activities for your older children to sneak learning into their day. Life can get pretty crazy, and it's encouraging to be able to relate with the author on this point. I was most encouraged by the chapter "Your Spot on the Wall." The author states, "You can drape yourselves in the tattered cloak of the perceived judgement of others...wrestling for shreds of approval from everyone else. Or you can homeschool like you know you are already pre-approved by the One who called you to do it. The choice is yours." A homeschooling parent today doesn't need another how-to manual but instead needs a voice of encouragement, a spirit of confidence, and words of confirmation. "Homeschool Bravely" is that voice.
Jamie Erickson has created a book that speaks to the heart of all mothers. As a homeschool mom myself, I have often found myself trying to trudge through and check all the boxes. It is so easy to get caught up in "mommy guilt" and let the path God has laid out for you disappear. Homeschool Bravely is a must read for anyone new to homeschooling as well as us veterans! So many times while reading this book I found myself wishing I had this when I first started out. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.
I am so thankful for this book. It is ministering to me on multiple levels and I highly recommend it. Have your highlighter handy!
Jamie Erickson has written a balm to a homeschooling mama's heart in this book. While the books that I gravitate towards when it comes to home education are usually more scholarly sources, this is one that I would come to for encouragement and reassurance in the far-too-frequent chaotic seasons, or when it seems as though the toddlers are taking over! Jamie instills throughout the notion we have the ability as Christian parents to raise our children in the admonition of the Lord, teaching them how to love God and understand the world He has created for us and placed us in. Jamie has also given us tools to navigate the zones that are riddled with obscurity and doubt, always pointing the reader to trust in God rather than leaning on current society's views of educating and growing our children at home. The encouraging words and sentiments gleaned from this book will definitely keep me coming back to it over the next several crazy years, as well as put it in the hands of other frazzled moms who are seeking understanding as to how to best equip their children with knowledge and wisdom in the Lord. Thank you to NetGalley and Moody Publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book! #HomeschoolBravely #NetGalley
Be still my homeschooling momma’s heart! This is not a “how to” guide. This is a “speak to your heart” kind of book! She covers the struggle, the ups and the downs, and everything in between. So well written. I strongly encourage you to pick this up and read. You will not be disappointed!
The message in this book is exactly what homeschool mommas need! It's not another superficial list of how to "get things right" (although there are some awesome practical tips), it's an inspiration to follow God's call as teachers of our children! The Appendix also has the BEST list of questions to ask before starting to homeschool that I've ever seen. Questions that matter, that have been helpful to me even though I've already decided to homeschool! Also, the writing is excellent. Sometimes I push through helpful books that are boring or feel fragmented because I want the information. But no interruption of flow here. Well, I guess I interrupted my own flow to highlight a lot!!! I'm also thankful Jamie didn't give us empty words, but saturated us with His Words. Not a moment was wasted while reading this book. As a matter of fact, I was disappointed when it ended. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest review of the book. Honestly...it was amazing! Highly recommended.