I. LOVE. This book. The Call of the Wild and Free is absolutely my new favorite homeschooling book. Maybe even my favorite parenting book. I am definitely a Wild and Free homeschooling mama, but until yesterday, I had no idea there was a group of people whose philosophy aligned so perfectly with mine. This book is all about filling your children’s lives with nature, great books, and time to play. It’s about giving your kids a beautiful childhood. From now on, if anyone wants to know the guiding principles of my homeschool, I can just hand them this book. The author has eloquently explained everything I believe about homeschooling in a more articulate and convincing manner than I could ever hope to achieve.
Title: The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child’s Education
Author: Ainsley Arment
Publication Year: 2019
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book cover to cover (figuratively speaking). I actually listened to the audiobook, but I enjoyed it so much that I am tempted to buy the hardcover. It looks like it is gorgeous. If I weren’t so frugal, I would have ordered it already, but I will probably wait and keep this one on my birthday wish list.
I resonated so completely with everything the author said. We even had similar experiences of sending our firstborns to preschool and loving the child-centered, gentle environments. We both have spent a lot of time researching the many different homeschooling styles. Ultimately, we both opted to bring our kids home, not because we had a problem with public school, but because we wanted our kids to have time to enjoy their childhoods.
Before reading this book, if someone would have asked me how we structured our day, I probably would have said something like, “Well, we read A LOT of books, and I make sure we spend at least an hour or two outside every day. We play games and enjoy life as a family learning about subjects like art, music, literature, science, and history together. It’s important to me that my kids have a lot of unstructured free time to pursue their own interests. On top of that, I try to squeeze in a little school work once in awhile.”
Even hearing myself say it, I know it sounds pretty weak. Even though I have given a lot of thought to how I homeschool and my approach is much more intentional than I’m sure it appears to an outsider, I feel completely validated after reading this book. Not only does it explain my philosophy so perfectly, but it has the science to back up these choices. It debunks many of the myths that surround homeschooling with solid evidence.
At some point, I will definitely own this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about homeschooling and even those that are deep in the trenches.