When I was a teacher, our school district had us trained in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. One of these habits is called “sharpening the saw.”
Essentially, when you move beyond simply surviving and handling your daily business, you should set aside some time regularly to sharpen the saw–sharpen the tools for the trade. It helps us become better at our daily duties because we become stronger and more efficient.
For moms, this looks like a number of things we do on a regular basis. Getting plenty of sleep and exercising, knowing that by taking care of our bodies, we have more energy to care for our families, are some ways that we sharpen the saw.
Reading and constantly learning about our full time jobs, being moms, is yet another.
Each summer, as a teacher, when I wasn’t at a workshop, a conference or taking graduate classes, I would tackle summer reading projects. I would read great literature, classic books that I had never read before. I would read books on classroom management, trying to figure out what had gone wrong and right the year before so that I could learn from my mistakes. I wanted to be a lifelong learner. I am a lifelong learner.
I’ve taken that approach with motherhood too, and I love to read books that help me in my daily job.
This summer, I have picked just a handful of books to read that will help me in different areas of my job as a homeschooler and a follower of Christ. I’ve read so many books over the years on homemaking and frugal living. Lately, I have a desire to read more about homeschooling and to grow in my grasp of theology and God’s word.
You’ll notice that my list is super short! I struggle to make enough time to read, especially on top of sticking with my Bible reading too. I know better than to be too ambitious, so I’ve limited it to just a few books, no more than 2 per month.
That really is my book shelf. Can you tell I love classic literature?
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Summer Reading for Moms
Homeschooling: For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School, by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
Her maiden name speaks volumes–she is the daughter of Francis & Edith Schaeffer. She takes the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling, which is something I have wanted to read more about. We currently homeschool using the Classical method, but I’ve heard that the two methods can work really well together. I’ve liked everything I’ve read about Charlotte Mason’s views on education. A lot of people ask me about our homeschooling curriculum. Here’s a link to what we used for Kindergarten and what we do for preschool (learn through play).
Theology: Putting Amazing Back into Grace: Embracing the Heart of the Gospel, by Michael Horton
I was on a quest for a good book on theology and after much searching, I decided on this one at the recommendation of this post from Tim Challies. “Life changing” is a pretty convincing phrase, especially from someone who reviews books constantly. I’ve been swimming in motherhood for so long that I feel like I’m getting a little rusty, intellectually speaking. It’s been many years since I’ve read Piper’s Desiring God.
World view: Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith, by Rosaria Butterfield
I’ve been intrigued by Rosaria Butterfield since I watched an in-depth interview over a year ago, and I put her book on my mental list of books to read. This is the same author whose presence was highly protested by students at Wheaton recently because of her controversial testimony of leaving homosexuality.
This is where I’m stumped. The above books will definitely be enjoyable, but I’d love to have some suggestions on a good light fiction book to read this summer.
*Update! I’ve decided to read Rebecca as my fiction book this summer. In fact, I read it in just a matter of days and I’m already finished with it! It’s just that good.
Other Suggestions: Seasons of a Mother’s Heart, 2nd edition(for the homeschooling mom), Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, Don’t Waste Your Life, Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment (TH1NK Reference Collection), and Keep a Quiet Heart are just a few of the books that I highly recommend to other Christian moms.
Keri at Growing in His Glory has a vast list of books on her summer reading list, so check it out if you want some great ideas.
What’s on your reading list? Have you read any of the books on my list? Want to join me?