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When my eldest children grew out of naptimes and into kindergarten, I hit what I call “full-time motherhood”. Truth is, when they nap, you get a break; when they don’t nap, you don’t.  I was facing more than twelve hours a day caring for children whose needs and desires were maturing beyond food and clean pants. I needed to grow, too, in order to learn to parent them well.

I headed to the nonfiction shelf for some answers. I’d been skipping over recommended reads in favor of fiction for too long. I have found a wealth of knowledge in the books that had guided my parent’s generation, but finding time to glean it all was a challenge! I thoroughly wished I’d buckled down and fed my mind this good stuff in the many hours of free time I’d had while single or as a mother of one.

Now I desire to encourage other young moms and moms-to-be to make the time to read certain titles before the squalls of full-time motherhood arrive. Get direction now, so that when the winds of “Which curriculum do I choose?” or “How do I teach my children to share?” hit, you’re not scrambling through the rigging trying to figure out which rope to tighten.

I encourage other young moms and moms-to-be to make the time to read certain titles before the squalls of full-time motherhood arrive. Get direction now, so that when the winds of "Which curriculum do I choose?" or "How do I teach my children to share?" hit, you're not scrambling through the rigging trying to figure out which rope to tighten. Set your sails with these classic reads...When I hit what I call "full-time motherhood", I headed to the nonfiction shelf for some answers. I'd been skipping over recommended reads in favor of fiction for too long.

Set your sails with these classic reads…

Home Grown Kids by Raymond and Dorothy Moore

This was the book that inspired both my parents and my husband’s parents to homeschool back in the 1980’s. Though some of the content is now outdated, the Moore’s research into childhood development is still fascinating. Whether you plan to homeschool or not, this book is an eye-opener on how and when children learn best. I feel the Moore’s books are essential to gaining confidence and direction as we begin educating our children.

“The unqualified parent or teacher is one whose attitude is indifferent to a youngster’s real needs, or whose motives place his or her own freedoms above those of the child. We firmly believe that the greatest teaching talent in the world lies in the warm, responsive and consistent parent whose love makes the needs of his children his highest concern… Parents’ daily one-to-one example amounts to master teaching at the highest level.”
(Home Grown Kids by Raymond and Dorothy Moore)

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

I literally wept when I first read this book, wishing I’d understood the Biblical vision for child training sooner. Thankfully, it was not too late to implement the practical tips and sound advice and to see a change in our home. The book gave me the direction I needed to love my children with a love that reflects our Heavenly Father, with the purpose of pointing their little hearts to Him.

“Communication not only disciplines. It also disciples. It shepherds your children in the ways of God. Like the teaching of Deuteronomy 6, this full-orbed communication occurs while lying down, waking, rising, walking, sitting. Parents are often to busy to talk unless something is wrong. A regular habit of talking together prepares the way for talking in strained situation. You will never have the hearts of your children if you talk to them only when something has gone wrong.”
(Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp)

For The Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer MacAulay

This is a lovely book that encapsulates the best teachings of the renowned educator, Charlotte Mason. Once again, whether you feel led to homeschool or not, this book will provide vision and inspiration as you make decisions for your child’s education.

“The person rises to understand, master, and enjoy whatever he is surrounded with in language, ideas, literature, and in appreciation of beauty. If you share with the children the very best, carefully chosen to meet their needs, they will amaze everyone.”
(For The Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer MacAulay)

Add these books to your reading list now to craft a vision for your season of motherhood!

And if you’re already up to your ear lobes in motherhood, here are a few more titles I’ve been gleaning a lot from…

So, that’s what’s on my reading list. What’s on yours? I would love to hear what your favorite parenting or mothering book is. Please share in the comments? Thanks!

Photography: JenniMarie Photography
(originally published in 2012; edited from the archives)