Back to School for Mom: Resources to Take You to New Heights!

Yesterday was our first official “back to school” day. We homeschool, so we have some flexibility in when we start our new school year. Technically I’ve always said that we study all year, especially math, but the more kids I have and the more stressful life gets, the harder it is for me to manage that.  I’ve always felt it was highly immoral to start school until after Labor Day, so our first day being the Thursday after Labor Day was a respectable beginning, even though it was close to 100 degrees outside and still seemed like summer. We are part of a new “Family School” called Liber Academy. It’s our Commonwealth School revamped to include children under 12, thanks to the awesome example and leadership of Brenda Haws over at New Commonwealth Schools. Our school is Hebrew-based. We are having thematic units for the younger kids based on the symbolism of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. I was so excited for our school to start, that even though I was in bed around 10 PM with lights out on Wednesday evening, I couldn’t fall asleep. I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve! I have been driving my scholar kids every Thursday to Bountiful for the Commonwealth School for 8 years now, and finally, after 8 years, my little kids could come and stay the whole day! We were gone all day yesterday with classes for all my five younger kids, ages 4 to 15. We meet once a week for our core day with another day for electives. More on our new school in a later blog post.

For now I want to present to you some great resources for mom to go to back to school at home. No need to go to some institution of higher learning. If you have books, and especially if you have Internet access, you can be pursuing your own formal education. I have been setting up my weekly schedule of things I want to listen to every week to continue my education. 2 Nephi 9:20 says that God is great and holy because He knows all things. The devil, as much as he knows, does not know all things. He knows not the mind of God. (See Moses 4:6) So education is necessary for us to become Godlike and to be less and less like the devil. Education is not something that ends when we graduate from high school or college. Thank goodness!

So here are some suggestions for your own Fall Semester 2013. And remember, you don’t have to sit and read a book to learn, you can be listening while you drive your car or wash dishes alongside your kids: You can replace all the time you spend wasting watching TV and read or listen to things that build your mind.

  • HIllsdale College online program has a great economics class. It is free! My son is taking an economics class at our Liber Academy. He said last night he loves it!

You may wonder if it’s right to spend time studying secular things like politics, current events, and history. Here is what an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ said when asked about studying secular things:

The above video was made in conjunction with Elder Bednar’s book, Increase in Learning, which I highly recommend. Here is the web site with all the videos that go along with the book, as well as his other book, Act in Doctrine.

  • Coursera is a web site where you can take the best courses online for free! This educational company has partnered with over 40 top universities and organizations to bring you online lectures for free.
  • Do the book reading and discussions with The Ten Boom Institute. You read the book on your own and then join on a conference call for the book discussion. On Sept. 10 they, Audrey and Blaine, the founders, will discuss Pinocchio, and on Nov. 5th it’s the Journal of Christopher Columbus. Just click on the link to get the phone number and code. You can also read all of their blog posts and watch all of the video book reviews to guide your study of other books. Yummy stuff!

  • Do you want to finally get the book of Isaiah decoded? Dr. Avraham Gileadi, a Mormon and a Jew, is one of the leading scholars of Isaiah. He has studied Hebrew extensively. With his knowledge he has translated Isaiah written in the original Hebrew into English. You can go to his web site here and see side by side, the King James Version Bible version of Isaiah with Gileadi’s translation from Hebrew into English. You can also watch the flash presentations on the web site that show verse by verse, the Isaiah chapters, and hear Dr. Gileadi’s commentary. This is so illuminating!

  • The LDS Church has a new enhanced audio page with the audio files of all the manuals. Listen to your Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society lessons during the week so you are ready to contribute to discussing the principles on Sunday! I teach Primary so this is a way I can keep up with what they are studying in Relief Society.
  • Khan Academy has free videos on math and humanities and other stuff.
  • My friend Katie, who is one of the driving forces behind our Liber Academy, has her Gathering Place for Families web site here. On the side bar, she has many links to resources about learning more about Hebrew, the language of symbolism, and great literature that supports the Hebrew way.
  • Wallbuilders has a Christian perspective on politics and news. I love listening to the daily podcasts at http://wallbuilderslive.com to be continually reminded of our Christian roots as an American, covenant nation.

I would love to hear your resources for learning as a mom! Please share below in the comments section.

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