In the closest ever Senate vote, Betsy DeVos was confirmed today as Trump’s Education Secretary. But it’s not just senators who are concerned about DeVos’s ability to effectively serve in this position–parents, committees, and organizations around the country are severely concerned about DeVos’s notable lack of experience with the public education system as well as her views on special education and minority students.
The Executive Director of The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates has said that DeVos “is not and never has been an advocate for students with disabilities.” GLSEN (an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, and transgender students), the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights also opposed DeVos’s nomination.
In light of all this, it is more than possible that concerned parents across the country will prefer to homeschool their children rather than subject them to DeVos’s new policies. To those parents, I say bravo–and here’s a book list that might help you out:
1. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer
This book is a step-by-step guide for parents looking to provide a comprehensive, rigorous education for their children. It helps parents instruct in all sorts of areas of study–reading, writing, history (and not just U.S.-centered history), geography, mathematics, science, foreign languages, rhetoric, logic, art, and music.
2. The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12 by Linda Dobson
Want to help your child learn the alphabet? Make letters out of French Fries. Want to teach your student about architecture? Build igloos and sugar-cube castles.
3. Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling by John Holt and Pat Farenga
A follow-up to Holt’s first book, How Children Learn, Teach Your Own both discusses Holt’s observations of how children actually learn (and how our education system actually crushes their natural desires to learn) and also provides practical advice for parents hoping to raise their children as social, active learners.
4. The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How To Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn
Written by an actual teacher, this handbook addresses all the essential questions for teens who want to reclaim their natural ability to learn by taking charge of their own education. It discusses legal concerns, designing an education system, finding volunteer positions, and getting into college without having gone to high school.
5. Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood by Paula Polk Lilliard
The Montessori education philosophy focuses on hands-on experiences, teaching children to answer their own questions, develop a strong intellectual curiosity, and learn to balance freedom with responsibility.
Were you homeschooled? How do you think the education system will change over the next four years? Share your thoughts below!
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Featured image via Edweek