Recommended Reads - Navigating Education

Has your experience with virtual learning caused you to seek alternatives to public education? Do you want to know how to survive virtual learning? Check out these books!

Wild Curiosity: How to Unleash Creativity and Encourage Lifelong Wondering

by: Shonstrom, Erik

Wild Curiosity brings together cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology research with simple, effective advice for parents and teachers on how to ignite the fire of curiosity in children. The author offers a new way to think about parenting and teaching-one that values autonomy, creativity, and celebrates the spontaneous and unexpected joys of learning. Following the groundbreaking work of researchers like Peter Gray and thought-leaders like Richard Louv, the book offers justification for the de-institutionalization of learning and a roadmap for how to create engaging, inspiring, and exciting experiences to nurture curiosity for children of all ages.

Available as a physical book. Check availability in our online catalog!

Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World

by: Hewitt, Ben,

When Ben Hewitt and his wife bought a sprawling acreage of field and forest in northern Vermont, they were eager to start a self-sustaining family farm. But over the years, the land became so much more than a building site; it became the birthplace of their two sons, the main source of family income and food, and even a classroom for their children. Through self-directed play, exploration, and experimentation on their farm, Hewitt’s children learned how to play and read, test boundaries and challenge themselves, fail and recover. Best of all, this environment allowed their personalities to flourish, fueling further growth.

In Home Grown, Hewitt shows us how small, mindful decisions about day-to-day life can lead to greater awareness of the world in our backyards and beyond. In telling the story of his sons’ unconventional education in the fields and forests surrounding his family’s farm, he demonstrates that the sparks of learning are all around us, just waiting to be discovered. Learning is a lifelong process—and the best education is never confined to a classroom.

Available in digital and physical formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child's Education

by: Arment, Ainsley.

Inspired by the spirit of Henry David Thoreau—”All good things are wild and free”—mother of five Ainsley Arment founded Wild + Free. This growing online community of mothers and families want their children to receive a quality education at home by challenging their intellectual abilities and nurturing their sense of curiosity, joy and awe—the essence of a positive childhood.

The homeschool approach of past generations is gone—including the stigma of socially awkward kids, conservative clothes, and a classroom setting replicated in the home. The Wild + Free movement is focused on a love of nature, reading great books, pursuing interests and hobbies, making the entire world a classroom, and prolonging the wonder of childhood, an appealing philosophy that is unpacked in the pages of this book.

Available in digital and physical formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life

by: Bogart, Julie,

Parents who are deeply invested in their children's education can be hard on themselves and their kids. When exhausted parents are living the day-to-day grind, it can seem impossible to muster enough energy to make learning fun or interesting. How do parents nurture a love of learning amid childhood chaos, parental self-doubt, the flu, and state academic standards?

Available as a physical book. Check availability in our online catalog!

The Indoor Epidemic: How Parents, Teachers, and Kids Can Start an Outdoor Revolution

by: Shonstrom, Erik.

The Indoor Epidemic is an accessible, readable book that educators, parents, policymakers, and general readers can use to develop an in-depth understanding of the role the outdoors has played in our evolutionary and cultural history—and how it affects their own daily life. Readers will be astounded by the depth to which a sedentary, indoor lifestyle has negatively affected their ability to live a fulfilling life.

But it’s also a story, the story of our connection with the world, its inhabitants, and our own relationship with nature. It’s the story of what we know is right for our children, and yet what we deny them because of the imagined importance and fabricated effectiveness of indoor schooling.

The book’s readability, and its emphasis on practicality, will deeply engage readers. Furthermore, it serves as a guide to parents who are seeking to understand how to utilize the natural pathways to learning—simply by getting children outside.

Available as a physical book. Check availability in our online catalog!

Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells us About Raising Successful Children

by: Golinkoff, Roberta M.

In just a few years, today's children and teens will forge careers that look nothing like those that were available to their parents or grandparents. While the U.S. economy becomes ever more information-driven, our system of education seems stuck on the idea that "content is king," neglecting other skills that 21st century citizens sorely need.

Becoming Brilliant offers solutions that parents can implement right now. Backed by the latest scientific evidence and illustrated with examples of what's being done right in schools today, this book introduces the "6Cs" collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence along with ways parents can nurture their children s development in each area.

Available in digital and physical formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results

by: Wojcicki, Esther.

Esther Wojcicki—“Woj” to her many friends and admirers—is famous for three things: teaching a high school class that has changed the lives of thousands of kids, inspiring Silicon Valley legends like Steve Jobs, and raising three daughters who have each become famously successful. What do these three accomplishments have in common? They’re the result of TRICK, Woj’s secret to raising successful people: Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness. Simple lessons, but the results are radical.

Wojcicki’s methods are the opposite of helicopter parenting. As we face an epidemic of parental anxiety, Woj is here to say: relax. Talk to infants as if they are adults. Allow teenagers to pick projects that relate to the real world and their own passions, and let them figure out how to complete them. Above all, let your child lead. How to Raise Successful People offers essential lessons for raising, educating, and managing people to their highest potential. Change your parenting, change the world.

Available in digital and physical formats. Check availability in our online catalog!

Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child's Education

by: Bauer, Susan Wise.

Our K–12 school system isn’t a good fit for all―or even most―students. It prioritizes a single way of understanding the world over all others, pushes children into a rigid set of grades with little regard for individual maturity, and slaps “disability” labels on differences in learning style. Caught in this system, far too many young learners end up discouraged.

This informed, compassionate, and practical guidebook will show you how to take control of your child’s K–12 experience and negotiate the school system in a way that nurtures your child’s mind, emotions, and spirit.

Available as a physical book. Check availability in our online catalog!

Better Together: Strengthen Your Family, Simplify Your Homeschool, and Savor the Subjects that Matter Most

by: Barnhill, Pam.

Better Together teaches you how to design a part of your homeschool day where the entire family can learn together. This time, known as "Morning Time,” has exploded in popularity since its inclusion in Sarah Mackenzie's bestseller Teaching From Rest. Now homeschool mom and former teacher Pam Barnhill breaks down the practice for every homeschooler.

Available as a physical book. Check availability in our online catalog!

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

by: Gray, Peter.

In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that in order to foster children who will thrive in today's constantly changing world, we must entrust them to steer their own learning and development. Drawing on evidence from anthropology, psychology, and history, he demonstrates that free play is the primary means by which children learn to control their lives, solve problems, get along with peers, and become emotionally resilient. A brave, counterintuitive proposal for freeing our children from the shackles of the curiosity-killing institution we call school, Free to Learn suggests that it's time to stop asking what's wrong with our children, and start asking what's wrong with the system. It shows how we can act -- both as parents and as members of society -- to improve children's lives and to promote their happiness and learning.

Available as a physical book. Check availability in our online catalog!

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