Are you new to homeschooling? Have you been homeschooling for years? Do you need encouragement to press on in your homeschooling journey? Do you struggle with how to listen to your husband’s advice when it comes to homeschooling? Then I highly recommend Marcia Somerville’s book called Love the Journey.
Marcia Somerville is the lead author of Tapestry of Grace. She homeschooled her six children and is now watching as her grandchildren begin to use the curriculum she wrote for her own children. Marcia has a very easy way of writing. She is kind and encouraging, but tells it how it is. I have greatly enjoyed reading Love the Journey over the summer and would if I could give it to all the new homeschooling parents I meet as well as those who are struggling in their journey of homeschooling.
Love the Journey is divided up into sections. There are five sections and each is well worth the time reading it. The first section called Your Homeschool is YOUR Homeschool, focuses on helping the reader figure out why they are even on this journey called homeschooling. She brings some simple questions to the table such as why do YOU homeschool?, do you have a guiding star and what is it? After these questions she then encourages the reader to clarify the ends we have in mind for our homeschool and to develop a pedagogy. A what? You may ask…you need to buy the book and find out…ok, I will tell you, it simply means “your approach to education, specifically your teaching philosophies and methods.” This last chapter on pedagogy really helps the reader to sit down and define their philosophy of homeschooling. Once the pedagogy is beginning to form (don’t worry it will change over time) then a family can better evaluate curriculum and other activities to determine if those things will help or hinder their philosophy of homeschooling.
Mountaintop Views is the next sections of Love the Journey. This section is like sitting down at a table and sipping tea with Marcia as she talks about what she has gleaned over the years in her own homeschooling journey. Relax and listen as she unfolds the fact that as teachers we share who we are with our children, therefore we have to stay in God’s Word because “discipleship is at the core of the homeschooling process, whether we realize it or not.” A major one that really hit home with me is that because we are with our kids so much, who we are day to day really matters. Marcia says “Who you are will most impact your children, and keeping your heart passionate for the glory of God in Christ is the surest way to help them become faith-filled, Christian disciples.” The last three chapters in this section are titled Training in Liberty, More Isn’t Always Better, and Who are Your Best Friends? All of which really made me evaluate some things in my life. The section of this book is packed with encouragement, exhortation and practical advice on living our lives for God’s glory and keeping the proper focus in our lives.
What would a book written to homeschooling moms be without a section on Titus 2? The third section is called When You Stay At Home. Marcia in these chapters … “will argue for the value of submitting to one’s husband, and also of scheduling your time in order to bring stability to your and your children’s lives so that you and your family can reap the benefits of regular rhythms of learning, play, rest, nutrition, and recreation as the foundation for successful homeschooling, to the glory of God.” That sums up this section of the book and for me, it was the most helpful section. The four chapters that have really helped me this homeschooling year are called Keeping a Quiet Home, Schedules and Structure, and A Time to Plan.
Section four which is called As You Walk Along the Way, is really the practical tips and “how to’s” of the book. She talks about modalities, broad categories of curricula marketed to homeschoolers, and the importance of trudging. These chapters are painted with a broad brush. Marcia gives many examples of paths of the journey you might like to try as well as places she has visited that she would rather not see again.
The last section, but by no means least is When You Lie Down and When You Rise. In this section she returns to the “big picture” principles and practices. Marcia sums up this section when she says “…this section pulls you back up to the God’s-eye view of life. And reminds us of over arching principles (and practices) that, when used, will refresh you in wilderness times and remind you to glorify God when things are easier.” The titles of the chapters show you what she is going to hit on, they are as follows It’s About Commitment, Love is Patient, Love is Kind, Love Does Not Envy, and Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude. Talk about hitting a grand slam at the end of the book.
I found this book to very helpful as I prepared for this school year. Most chapters and engaging to read. They are short and can be read pretty much in any order. If don’t have a lot of time to read, don’t worry, you can pick up this book and just read a chapter here and there as time permits. This is the book that if I could, I would give to all new to homeschooling families as well as those who are struggling to stay the course. Remember, we are on a Journey and one that God has called us to therefore we need to Love the Journey.
If interested, you can pick up a copy of the book from Lampstand Press
By Taneil Lawton