I love to read. Love, love, LOVE to read. I love ALL types of books – self-care, cookbooks, histories, mysteries, sci-fi… and I am FINALLY reading through Harry Potter! It took having surgery to force me to sit and finally read it.  

Books are KEY to just about everything in my life. Have you realized yet how hard it is to be a homeschooling parent? I often wonder if I’m doing anything right! The two most important things that I need to do to remain a healthy homeschooling mom is to read encouraging books and spend time with veteran homeschooling moms who flood me with insight and encouragement. Every night, I try to read self-care/encouraging books for 30-40 minutes to help remind me why I do what I do.

Often, the books with the biggest significance for me come as recommendations from veteran homeschooling moms. My youngest attends a weekly “Wild and Wonder” school led by the most amazing homeschooling mom – Mrs. A. She has graduated two of her homeschooled children successfully (her third graduates this spring), and she has helped me so much with homeschooling through high school. She’s taught me, “Yes, your kids can go to college and get jobs! And yes, people will like them!” That’s really all we want, right? To raise children who fit in? Mrs A and I are always talking, and I am continually adding things to my Amazon wishlist after we chat. She has the most amazing insight on books that will encourage me! The latest purchase I made was after she said, “This was the best book I’ve read,” so clearly I had to get it.  

About the Book & My Review

The book is called The Call of the Wild + Free: Reclaiming Wonder in your Child’s Education which was written by Ainsley Arment, the founder of the Wild + Free homeschool style.  The term “Wild + Free” is borrowed from Henry David Thoreau and his quote “All good things are wild and free.” On Ainsley’s website, she says, “This quote is the inspiration for the Wild + Free community because it depicts an emerging group of mothers and homeschoolers who want their children to not only receive a quality education, but also to experience the adventure, freedom, and wonder of childhood.

For as long as humans have lived on this earth, children have been schooled at home. Still, we homeschooling mamas often feel like pioneers forging a new path for the next generation. It’s not easy, but with a community of women to support and encourage each other, we’re going to make it and have incredible stories to share and inspire. Here’s to being a pioneer!”  

I agree 100% with Mrs. A – it is a WONDERFUL, encouraging book. Do you ever feel that homeschooling is a lesser education? I do too! Even after I have graduated my first from highschool, I still have doubts as to whether this homeschool thing actually works. But Arment reassures me! On page 52, she says, “Homeschooling is not a second-rate version of education. It’s not Plan B for people who dislike public school. And it’s not a commune for families seeking ideological asylum. It is an enlightened choice for parents who desire a slower, more intentional way and want to thrive as lifelong passionate learners.” Doesn’t that encourage you, too?

Arment also writes, “At the end of the day, homeschooling is about relationships. It’s why I do it, and it’s why many other mothers do it. I want to savor every moment I have with my children. I know that one day, they’ll go off and have adventures with their own families. But the time we spend together as a family will root them deeply in values that matter and dreams that inspire.” A main reason my family has chosen to homeschool is to nurture strong relationships within our family. My children’s longest relationships in their lives will hopefully be with their siblings. I want to be a positive guide as they learn and grow up together. And I want to grow closer to them as they grow, too.

Everyone should read this book – even those who don’t homeschool! This book talks so much about slowing down and allowing our children to be children. Not rats running in a race. All parents need to hear this.

One thing the year 2020 has taught me is that we as a society (and even we as my little family) are on the go too much.  How does this always-on-the-go mentality affect our children? This year has made me re-evaluate our schedule and how busy we are. I want my children to have more of a Wild + Free childhood.

If you have read this book, please tell me your favorite takeaways!

Giveaway time!

And if you haven’t read it (or even if you have!) – I am giving away a copy! Click here to be entered in the drawing for your very own copy of The Call of the Wild + Free: Reclaiming Wonder in your Child’s Education by Ainsley Arment. And while you’re at it, check out my book – You Too Can Homeschool. I did all the research, so you don’t have to. It’s a quick read that compiles all the things you need to know to get started (or continue) on this journey! Check it out for yourself and share it with a friend!