I am eagerly partnering with Oak Meadow today to tell you all about the book The Heart of Learning. And Oak Meadow is generously offering this book to THREE lucky winners!
I first read The Heart of Learning a year ago and I have referenced it many times since then. To get prepared for writing this review I re-read it and I must say – it is still the most valuable resource I have for understanding and enjoying my time with my children.
This book is written mainly as a resource for homeschooling families, but it is a valuable resource for any parent or teacher.
Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed by these tiny humans that surround me each day, or I am feeling at a loss for certain behaviours or problems arising in my home, I turn to The Heart of Learning.
The Heart of Learning is written by Lawrence Williams who is the co-founder and president of Oak Meadow. He is a seasoned teacher with experience in private, public, and Waldorf education. Lawrence offers factual information intertwined beautifully with personal stories, making The Heart of Learning a beautiful book to read.
This book is divided into four sections, each section holding several chapters.
The first section is entitled The Nature of Childhood. This section is full of information on child development and learning styles. The respectful and loving tone of this book is present in every single chapter. Childhood is a beautiful time to be treasured and respected. By understanding our children’s development we are able to fully embrace them exactly as they are. We are then able to better understand their challenges and feel the desire to help them through struggles, feeling love and acceptance, not anger and frustration.
The second section entitled The Learning Process was the game changer for me a year ago. I wrote last year about The Secret to Peaceful Days at Home with Kids and in that post I talk in detail about the ideas and concepts discussed in this section of The Heart of Learning. This section is full of rhythm, explaining the power of contractions and expansions, and outlining a beautiful ideal for the rhythm of a day.
While the previous section has centered on our children and students, the third section is entitled The Work of the Teacher. This section focuses on many things, but for me, the thing I gained the most from it was the focus on – well – focus. Focus, mindfulness, and slowing down were all messages that seemed to be bolded on the page for me. I love (love) having little ones at home. I know how quickly time passes as I can not believe my oldest is already 13! I have been wanting to slow down and enjoy these precious years with my little ones, but I have been needing a little guidance on how to do just that. This section of The Heart of Learning has taught me all about this important topic.
And the ideas are so, so simple!
Tonight, for example, instead of yelling at the stairs that dinner was ready, I walked downstairs, looked at the beautiful tower my Benjamin had created, and sat down beside him for a moment. He quickly smiled and told me all about it. I then told him it was dinner and he simply said okay, took my hand, and walked to the table with me while telling me more about his play. It could not have been more simple. It was a quiet moment, he had my full attention, and he happily and calmly joined the family for dinner. My willingness to slow down and provide Ben with a few moments of my attention paved the way to a calm and enjoyable dinner.
The final section is entitled Homeschooling Issues. This section deals with all the issues that tend to arise, or one fears may arise, while homeschooling. The topics of socialization, electronics, and boredom are all addressed in detail. I really appreciated the part in this section on socialization. This was written about in length and the idea of ‘negative’ socialization was presented. This term was new to me, but as I read about it I had about ten “A-Ha!” moments. This term introduces the idea that all socialization is different, and addresses the importance of positive socialization and the harm with negative socialization. There is so much I could say on that topic, but I will save it for another post.
I believe The Heart of Learning is a fabulous resource book for anyone who works with children. Be it teachers, parents, grandparents, or babysitters, everyone will benefit from the information provided in this book.
It resonates with me as a teacher and a mother. I have found this book helpful when my little ones are experiencing undesirable (ahem) behaviours, when I am feeling overwhelmed, or when I am simply at a loss for what to do about an issue we are having in our home.
I feel so fortunate to have come across this book and I am thrilled to be able to bring you a Giveaway of this wonderful book.
Oak Meadow is generously offering this book to THREE lucky winners!
To enter the giveaway, simple leave a comment below. Winner selected Friday May 6th.
And if you don’t win, you can still grab a copy for a great price! Oak Meadow will be having their annual Mother’s Day to Memorial Day Sale! From May 8th through May 30th you will receive 15% off everything in the Oak Meadow bookstore. In addition, new enrollments will receive 5% off. Making this a fabulous time to grab The Heart of Learning!
Thank you for reading friends, I hope you have a lovely week!
I could really use the second section on establishing a rhythm. So often I feel like our days get away from us and, as I think about moving forward with homeschooling, one of the areas I have a hard time envisioning is how to balance the activities around town that we need or want to do with having a peaceful and relaxed pace to our days.
Thank you for your comment and for entering the giveaway Lindsay. The section on rhythm and also the section on socialization were very helpful to me in this regard. I was actually able to reflect on the fact that we were doing too much, and there was truly no need at all. Establishing the rhythm then came so much easier. Good luck with the contest!
Mary Jo says
I would love the new edition if this great resource! We are OM fans!
Thanks for entering Mary Jo! Good luck!
Thank you for this post! I also read the links within and I too did not feel “right” about having my child in daycare. We found a way to make it work for me to be at home and I am so much more at ease…but yeah, some days are frustrating. I remember learning about rhythm to days in some Waldorf books and it made sense to me…but in the busy days…I forgot about! Thanks for the gentle reminder.♡
Hi Raquel, Thank you so much for entering the Giveaway – good luck!
I think we all can do with some guidance from time to time. i love the idea about finding the rhythm of the day. sometimes things get so hectic that you forget you’re dealing with kids. thanks for sharing this, Sarah
Hi Nadee, Thanks for entering the Giveaway. It is so easy to get caught up in everything that needs to get accomplished in a day that we forget what is truly most important in our day. This book has really helped me to establish a rhythm (and find a balance). Good luck!
Mike Bullins says
This sounds like a great book and I would love to win it!
It really is a great book. Thank you for entering – good luck!
Renee Bloomquist says
I am a teacher who has gone back to teach kindergarten after my own children were all raised. I still find myself hurrying the little people along and have to catch myself being more intentionally in the moment with them. While I do not agree with all things abut being back in a public school,and wish they would just let teachers teach how they have been taught to by giving children what they need according to certain assessments, I have much respect for homeschooling moms. I have 4 of my 5 own children each with a different special need and think warm, caring adults are best for children of any age. Love following your blog and have recommedned it to many colleagues.
I loved reading your comment, and completely agree with you. Intentionally slowing down is a challenge for me, but my little ones help me remember — every hour. I believe my path may be similar to yours, as I intend on returning to the public school Kindergarten classroom once my little ones are all big. Thank you for your kind words about my blog, and for recommending it to your colleagues – that makes my day. I truly appreciate it. Thanks for entering the contest – Good luck!
I have been considering homeschooling for a few years now. My oldest is 13 and we also have an almost 4 year old and an 18 month old…all boys. I have been interested mostly in Oak Meadow as I really want to integrate more of a Montessori/Reggio/Waldorf style into our home as well. However, I am not sure if the oldest will take to it okay. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book! It looks incredibly helpful!
Oh I think this book will help you immensely Kendra! This book references children of all ages, all the way through the teenage years. Good luck with your decision, it can be challenging to take that leap, but there is a HUGE community of Oak Meadow homeschoolers online – they have a Facebook group, if you have Facebook? Thanks for entering the Giveaway! Good luck
Rebekah Hayes says
I feel like there’s a reason I came across this post today. Perhaps it’s because this is exactly the resource I need to find refreshment and understanding as I approach the end of another year in a classroom of two-year-olds. It’s at this time that I like to reflect on the past year and look forward to positive changes to work on and incorporate into next year’s classroom. This book sounds enlightening!
And you sound like a magnificent teacher Rebekah – thank you for entering and good luck!
I hope that you and family are well. As a preschool teacher,
Childcare provider and grandma to nine wonderful and beautiful grandchildren, this book would be an extra
helpful tool for me!
Thank you,not only for sharing your stories,but also how
Mia White says
Awesome! I would LOVE to read this, thanks for sharing and for the chance to win. 🙂
Wonderful – thanks for entering Mia – Good luck!
This looks like a great book .
Thanks for entering the Giveaway – good luck!
This looks terrific!
Thanks for entering Lauren – good luck!
This sounds like an amazing resource. Would love to win, but will purchase if I don’t.
It truly is Robin. Thank you for entering the Giveaway – good luck!
Darby Porter says
I am a preschool teacher and would love to win this book. I realize that you said it was geared towards homeschoolers but I still think that I would be able to take away a great deal from it. Thank you for the opportunity.
Amy Alexander says
This book is in my list of top things to purchase before we transition to homeschooling in the fall. I will definitely be getting it, but thank you for telling me all the reasons why it is a must have.
Best of luck with your exciting transition Amy – I’d love you to keep me posted! Good luck with the Giveaway – and thank you for entering!
Samantha Pomp says
I am a homeschooler looking to change curriculum next year to something less intense. I think I found what I want in OM and would live the opportunity to read this book before purchasing OM.
Good luck Samantha! Thank you for entering.
Heliana Villa says
Thanks for the giveaway!! I homeschool my 3 kids and this looks like a fantastic book 🙂
Hi Heliana, It really is a fantastic book – thanks for entering, good luck!
This looks like it could be a valuable resource for so many parents and teachers. Thank you for the opportunity!
Thanks for entering Anne – Good Luck!
We use Oak Meadow for our eldest and love it, would love this fantastic book!
That’s wonderful Sandra! Thank you for entering the Giveaway – Good Luck
Lisa Michele Henahan says
We are just starting on our homeschooling journey, and I am trying to read everything that I can get my hands on. This book looks like a perfect fit for my homeschooling philosophy. Thanks for posting about it!
I have a six year old homeschooling son, & we have recently had a young girl & boy join our family that we are currently homeschooling as well. It has been quite a change in rhythms & dynamics, especially this late in the year! I think this would be a wonderful resource to have & would help or immensely!
This looks like an excellent resource! Thank you!
Misty O"Brien says
I’ve been debating about going back to Oak Meadow for our homeschooling now that my littlest is joining the Kindergarten ranks. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!
Jennifer Hartsig says
I’m planning to take the online course Foundations in Independent Learning @ Oak Meadow this spring. The course uses The Heart of Learning as it’s textbook. I’ve been home schooling for a while and need some rejuvenation myself. I’m feeling a little burned out. Your post has given me a little boost! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!
Lissadell Greene says
This book is exactly what I’m looking for and needing!!! Remembering to slow down with children is do important!
Katie Alexander says
Sounds like a fantastic read before I welcome baby #3! Needing some mama motivation! Thank you
Heather c says
Being a new home school mother of 4 girls I would love a copy of this. We are stuck in such a rough patch right now. Thank you for this opportunity!
Hi Heather, so sorry to hear of your rough patch – BUT congratulations! You have won a copy of The Heart of Learning! Please check your email for details.
This could be useful in our home! Thanks for the give away!
Jenna Shepherd says
It sounds like a wonderful book, what a great giveaway!
Nicole Patterson says
As a mother to three children, who is also in education, I would love to read this book.
I had been wondering about the contents of this book. If I don’t win I’ll put it on your wish list for orating. But id love to win it. 🙂
Michele Brazil says
Just found out about Oak Meadow’s curriculum and have been wanting to grab a copy of this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win one! ?
My oldest kid is an adult, and I still feel like I’m learning all the time. I’ll see if the library will get this book. It seems to be a delicious and much-needed gentle resource for parents.
Jennifer D. says
This sounds like a fabulous book, would love to read it!
Alicia Taylor says
This book looks so beautiful, and what the world needs to read 🙂
I can’t wait to read this book!
Thank you so much!
We are looking into Oak Meadow and homeschooling, and this looks like an interesting book!
Laurie White says
I think this book is just what the doctor ordered. It will make an excellent guide for my homeschooled daughter, good source of encouremnt for her public schooled husband and much needed refresher for grandma (that would be me). But one special little boy would benefit the most!
Aqua Cairo says
This book sounds amazing and just what i need.
Lacie Eubank says
We will begin our homeschool journey in the coming Fall and I’m 99% sure Oak Meadow is our curriculum choice. I’ve been thinking I should get this book in advance for prep. It sounds exactly like what I need!
New to all of this. So far I love it.
Any help always appreciated!
Maria Goldsberry says
This is our first year homeschooling and we love it! This book sounds like exactly what I need! If I don’t win one, I’ll buy one. 😉 thanks!
I would be so thrilled to win this book!
I’m returning to homeschooling 4 boys, after a stint working in a private school…so excited!
Hi Beth – congratulation! You have won a copy of The Heart of Learning. Please check your email for details. Thank you for entering this Giveaway!
I would love the opportunity to read this book. I’m new to homeschooling and am starting this year with my twin 5yr and a 4yr. I’m excited to learn as much as I can to help me learn their learning styles and for me to help them be successful! The journey begins…
This sounds like it would be a wonderful resource!
Thank you for highlighting this book. I am looking forward to adding another homeschooler to our mix in the fall and am looking for advise on balancing the needs of a “mixed age classroom”.
I have an older copy of the Heart of Learning that I adore. I would love to win a copy of the newer version. My kids have flourished using Oak Meadow! Thanks for the chance to win!
Hey- This looks great. I am mom and teacher to one student and we are in our first full school year. I am looking at Oak Meadow for next years curriculum. I hope it’s going to be a great fit for us…. Still reviewing samples and marinating in it.
Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!
Hi Ellen – congratulations! You have won a copy of The Heart of Learning. I just sent you an email. Thank you for your support!
Christy Faucheux says
Our family would love to win! We’ve been dying to get our hands on this book and our first OM curriculum. We are hoping to order it during the sale. I stay home with my 4 and 6 year. This has been our first year unschooling/homeschooling. We love it. I know that this book would help us a lot during this new adventure. Thanks for the chance!
This looks like a fabulous resource for us homeschooling newbies!
Thanks for the chance to win!
Nicole McCorkindale says
Thank you for the opportunity! Would love to win this. We are planning on enrolling our daughter at Oak Meadow in the next couple years! 🙂
I really think I could learn more from working with negative behaviors. Occasionally my almost 4 yr old and I butt heads. I’m concerned we won’t have a successful working relationship as we homeschool. Would he fit better w an actual teacher and kids to play with, as he is an only child. Thanks!
Schooling is such a personal choice. The most important thing, I think, is that we do our research and know all of the options available to us, and then decide on what is best for our family, our child, and ourselves. This book is a great place to start! Good luck with your journey Elizabeth, and thank you for entering the giveaway!
Erika Welch says
As a new homeschooler I would love this book!
This sound a fantastic book, would love the chance to own it.
I have recently pulled my son from school so we can homeschool. I am so excited to get my Oak Meadow curriculum ordered this week. (I have been waiting for the sale). I’m at the hospital (just had our 4th child) and came across this contest when I was checking to see if the sale had started yet. Thank you for letting me know when it starts!
Wow, lots of excitement for you and your family! Congratulations on the birth of your newest little one. Thank you for entering the giveaway – good luck!
We could use the knowledge base of this.
Giveaway closed! Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to Beth, Ellen, and Heather.