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Legendary Learners

TheHomeSchoolMom: Legendary Learners

Photograph of Beatrix Potter, aged 15, taken by her father. Photo from the National Trust.

What drives big thinkers, creators, and leaders who achieve success on their own terms? Jamie McMillin wanted to find out, hoping her quest would help her raise and educate her own two children.

She delved into biographies of luminaries including Margaret Mead, Pearl Buck, Marie Curie, Louis Armstrong, Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Beatrix Potter looking for educational similarities. She found plenty. She also discovered common threads in their upbringing and experiences. These and many other great people may not have been geniuses, but they had the drive to pursue their particular passions with determination and optimism. Although different in many ways, they tended to seek out mentors, find inspiration in nature, creatively overcome adversity, and seek self-education.

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McMillin has written Legendary Learning: The Famous Homeschoolers’ Guide to Self-Directed Excellence so you too can raise and educate your children using excellence as a guide. This book is an extraordinary resource for all parents. In it you’ll find out how to foster a child’s passion and determination, enable your child to unleash his or her creative genius, and live the habits of success.

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If authentic engagement represents your homeschool philosophy, read more about how to engage your children in these posts from our contributor Living Education by Oak Meadow covering topics like nature-based learning, creativity, handwriting, homeschooling multiple grades, authentic engagement, and more.

Living Education posts »

In the book and on the author’s site you’ll find stories of Frederick Douglass teaching himself to write in the shipyards using a piece of chalk, Alexander Graham Bell listening to wheat grow, and Mary Leakey in a convent classroom frothing at the mouth thanks to illicit use of soap. Learning from history has never been approached quite this way, through the childhoods of history’s fascinating people.

Read this one with a highlighter. You won’t be sorry.

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything, a resource guide for raising life-long learners. She’s a columnist and book editor for Home Education Magazine. She also writes about learning, sustainability, and hopeful living for other print publications as well as GeekMom.com, Mothering.com, and her blog. She lives with her family on Bit of Earth Farm where they raise cows, chickens, honeybees, and the occasional wild scheme. Connect with her if you’d like to contribute ideas or artwork to any of her upcoming projects: a book on cheap yet bountiful living, a guide to subversive cooking, a follow-up about grown homeschoolers, or a 1,000 ways to foster delight-led learning.

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Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything, a resource guide for raising life-long learners and also a collection of poetry titled
Tending. She writes about learning, sustainability, and hopeful living for GeekMom.com, Mothering.com, and her blog. She lives with her family on Bit of Earth Farm where they raise cows, chickens, honeybees, and the occasional wild scheme. She's slow at work on her next book, Subversive Cooking.

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