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!