Many young homeschoolers won't recognize the name, Raymond Moore, which is unfortunate. He and his wife Dorothy were pioneers of the modern day homeschooling movement, homeschoolers before homeschooling was 'cool'. Dr. Moore passed away this past weekend. (Dorothy died several years ago) He is a presence who will be sorely missed.
I had the privilege of being introduced to their books, Better Late Than Early and Home Grown Kids early in my mothering days. While I have definitely not been perfect at applying the principles I believe in, they rang true with me then and after nearly 16 years of mothering, still do. Their thoughts gave me something to aspire to:
Delaying 'formal' schooling doesn't = procrastination.
Being attuned to your child's needs does not make them self centered.
Give them have a childhood full of love, play and family.
When you do introduce schooling, keep a good balance between bookwork, real life activities like cooking, sewing, singing, manual labor and free time.
Read to your children a lot.
It works. Trust your mothering instincts!
I was going to give a list of must-reads for new homeschooling mommies, and the Moores would be at the head of it. Some other voices who carry on the same "Moore message" would be Steve and Jane Lambert, the Five in a Row people. Read anything they've written and definitely check out their website. Their message is 'enjoy the journey' and 'homeschooling is a marathon, not a race'. Their literature based curriculum is really good too.
A couple more....some of my regular summer reading usually includes re-reading something by this woman, Diana Waring Her book Beyond Survival literally changed my life when I first read it. It's the first resource I lend to any mom who tells me she is harried and 'can't do it all'. I also love Reaping the Harvest and Things We'd Wish We'd Known. She is funny and inspiring!
Last one....I have gotten the Timberdoodle catalog for years. They have a great website with recommendations for all ages.
The overarching theme for all of the above is, relax. This isn't complicated. It is not easy, but it IS simple. Enjoy your time homeschooling with your children and don't waste time and energy searching for 'perfect curriculum' (pssst.....I'll tell you a secret. There isn't one!). In the words of Steve Lambert, enjoy the journey!