Thursday, August 16, 2018

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn {Homeschool Crew Review}

We are entering our 22nd year of homeschooling; I guess that means I am a veteran homeschooling mom myself. One of my main goals as a homeschool mom is to raise life-long learners. I do this by example, as a life-long learner myself. I truly do enjoy learning, and jump at every new chance to learn that I can.

I was recently blessed with a copy of God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn, by Julie Polanco. I appreciated how well-researched this book is, and how similar are our philosophies of homeschooling.

About the book

The main focus of this book is to assist the parent in learning what it means to homeschool her children the way God intended them to learn. Some term it as unschooling; some term it as delight-directed; others term it as relaxed homeschooling.

Julie quotes from several well-known homeschool advocates, such as John Taylor Gatto, John Holt, Mary Hood, Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore, and Charlotte Mason. With references from such as these, I knew much of what she says would resonate with me!

God Schooling is only 9 chapters long, and the book is divided into two parts: Dispelling Myths, and Practice.

The titles are:
Biblical Support for Natural Learning
Motivation and Excellence
Thoughts on Teaching Children Under Age Eight
Thoughts on Teaching Children Aged Eith to Twelve
Giving Teens the Wings to Fly
Spreading the Banquet
Getting Started
Some Q & A
Record-keeping and Structure
Concluding Remarks

About the author

Julie is a veteran homeschool mom and freelance writer living in the Chicago area. She is involved in her church, and her local homeschool community. Her articles have appeared in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Home Education Magazine, and many trade publications. She has also developed a high school botany course for She is also still "in the trenches" of homeschooling her 4 children; her first child graduated in 2016.

Connect with Julie Polanco via social media:

What we thought about the book

From the beginning of our homeschool journey, I have been a firm believer and strong advocate of delayed formal education, so I was excited to see this in God Schooling.

Research shows that young children's "emotions, body, mind, eyes, ears, sociability, and more are not sufficiently matured for formal learning until the child is at least eight years old." These young children need movement, and time spent in nature.
But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
   or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
   or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of these does not know
   that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In His hand is the life of every creature
   and the breath of all mankind. ~Job 12:7-10, NIV 
I agree that children learn best about God through nature. Nature is, after all, God's second book (the Bible being the first, of course).

Julie points out, from the Moores' book, Better Late Than Early, that "Some researchers and scholars insist that there is strong evidence that a child's eyes are not physiologically ready for continual and consistent reading until he is at least eight or even older."

For the eight to twelve age range, Julie brings up that service and entrepreneurship should play a large role, which are what the the Moores recommended as well.

Children are still full of wonder at this age, or they can be if we don't hinder them. Julie says, "Life is like a smorgasbord of little delicacies waiting to be sampled...and then sampled again. Tickle your taste buds with many delights, but chew slowly. Savor each bite, and don't be afraid to discover a new favorite even as you enjoy old ones. Recline at the table and prepare to be there a long while, dining with friends."

I especially appreciated what she shared about schooling our teens. Yes, I have graduated three of my four, and my youngest is mid-teens. Due to his learning challenges, though, he is just now entering high school. I have been trying to figure out how best to guide him through these high school years, so I'm thankful for Julie's insights through God Schooling. Yes, I've learned some things, even though I've already guided three through high school! <grin>

I've known that I want to mainly have him focus on vocational training, and not so much on academics, since he struggles so, especially in the language arts. He needs a more hands-on approach, and always has.

So we made a trip this morning to the library, to pick up a few books, some of which she suggested in her book. Maybe even Jen will glance through these books.
I will definitely be sharing this book with others, beginning with Miss M's mama (you've met Miss M in the past, including my last review).

Check out God Schooling on Julie's website, sign up for her newsletter, and you can get the first chapter free. Also, you can purchase the e-book version for half price now through August 22.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Crew's reviews by clicking the banner below.
God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn {Julie Polanco Reviews}

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