Dr Ruth Beechick is a wise woman. Her quiet, calm, commonsense approach to homeschooling has been refreshing and relaxing homeschool moms for twenty years now. I would strongly contend that the only book you need to teach your children in grades one to three is her Three R’s: A Home Start in Reading; A Strong Start in Language; An Easy Start in Arithmetic ($12.00).
Dr. Beechick has an uncanny ability to examine a subject and think clearly about how it should be taught and how it can best be taught easily. She has a firm grasp of the history of education that makes her almost immune to educational fads and hype.
Last year, she published a foundational book that I cannot recommend too highly: A Biblical Home Education ($14.99).
Her central thesis is that Christian homeschoolers ought to make the Bible the foundational book of their children’s education. Amen!
Her first four chapter discuss practically how to do this:
Bible for Homeschoolers
World History to Match the Bible
Science to Match the Bible
Worldviews to Match the Bible
The next five chapters of her book focus on skills rather than content: Thinking, Reading, Studying, Writing, and Grammar after Writing. Cyndy (the beautiful Mrs. Greenleaf) strongly endorses Ruth’s ideas about “grammar last,” AFTER your students have mastered speaking clearly and have acquired basic writing skills.
Finally, she gives us a wonderful chapter on “Informal Beginnings,” that takes much of the sensible observations of the “unschoolers” and sets them in context as she talks about how young children first begin to acquire skills by conversation, manipulation, and play. The best line from this chapter, “. . . moms need to know that what their children need most is their natural, loving, peaceful home environment.”
The last chapter is titled Curriculum Materials. The opening line offers some of the best advice I’ve heard, “Curriculum materials are less important than we tend to think.” Dr. Beechick gives a concise summary of the many types of curriculum and offers her concise advice on the strengths and weaknesses of each. Of course, I like her advice on how to teach history, “use real books not textbooks.” Though I would quibble a bit with her dismissal of doing thing in chronological sequence. I agree its not absolutely necessary, but I think, overall, that it makes things easier.
This is a great book to recommend to new homeschooling moms. It will give them a valuable perspective and help to reassure them that homeschooling does not have to be hard.