A book review of The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming the Wonder in Your Child’s Education (A New Way to Homeschool) by Ainsley Arment
Harper One (2021)
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.
Summary: Allow your children to experience the adventure, freedom, and wonder of childhood with this practical guide that provides all the information, inspiration, and advice you need for creating a modern, quality homeschool education.
Inspired by the spirit of Henry David Thoreau—”All good things are wild and free”—mother of five Ainsley Arment founded Wild + Free. This growing online community of mothers and families want their children to receive a quality education at home by challenging their intellectual abilities and nurturing their sense of curiosity, joy and awe—the essence of a positive childhood.
The homeschool approach of past generations is gone—including the stigma of socially awkward kids, conservative clothes, and a classroom setting replicated in the home. The Wild + Free movement is focused on a love of nature, reading great books, pursuing interests and hobbies, making the entire world a classroom, and prolonging the wonder of childhood, an appealing philosophy that is unpacked in the pages of this book
The Call of the Wild and Free offers advice, information, and positive encouragement for parents considering homeschooling, those currently in the trenches looking for inspiration, as well as parents, educators, and caregivers who want supplementary resources to enhance their kids’ traditional educations.
The Call of the Wild and Free
Personal Intro, skip to next paragraph for book review
As you can see from looking at the books I’ve reviewed lately, homeschooling is big on my mind. We homeschooled preschool in 2008-2010 but then decided on public school for certain reasons. We just went back to homeschooling in January 2022 and we are loving it. I read a ton of homeschooling books in 2008 but the homeschooling world has changed a lot and so have the books. I have been eating them up lately.
This book is one of my absolute favourite homeschooling books and I recommend it to EVERYONE who homeschools or is interested in homeschooling, no matter what type or how long it’s been.
The most beautiful thing about the book is the photographs. Full page, full colour photographs of (I assume) the author’s family. They are learning through living and having so much fun. Just the photos alone inspire me.
The book is broken up into sections labelled The Mission, The Myths, The Manner and the Method. The Mission is about choosing to homeschool, preparing for your journey and what Wild + Free means. The Myths is just what it sounds like, a discussion of the most common myths of homeschooling including the socialization myth, the qualification myth, the learning myth, the rigor myth and the college myth. I really appreciated this section. I know the basics of these myths but this book went way more in depth. It would be nice to have a brief guide to this section to hand out to naysayers.
The Manner is about the different homeschooling styles, influences of homeschooling, finding your rhythm and creating a family culture. Even if you have already figured out your homeschool style the last two chapters in this section are very helpful.
The Method talks more about the Wild + Free way of learning and how to incorporate nature study, living books, play, curiosity and wonder into your homeschool. This is the second best part of the book after the myths section. The section is full of good ideas for your homeschooling family.
This book needs to be everywhere so it’s accessible to more homeschooling families. I hope every library stocks it and every homeschooler finds a copy of it bought or borrowed. Yes I did receive a copy to review but I don’t gush this much about every book I review. I really mean it.
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