Books That Changed My Life

(Editor's Note: This is not a reccomended reading list for homeschool students. This is a reading list for mature readers ONLY! Please be certain your student is ready for heavy topics & has your guidance if you choose to allow them to read any book on this list.  As always, the more involved you are in mentoring, the better off your student's reading experience.) 

Let me be clear, this is NOT a list of my favorite books. Many of the books I am about to list would not even make my "top 10" as far as my actual favorite  books go.  By favorite I mean books that I enjoy reading, whether entertaining or instructing, they are books I enjoy again & again.  Books that I totally "geek out" over ... these ARE NOT those kind of books!

What these books ARE???

Game changing. Life altering. Soul wrenching.

These are the books that lifted the rose-colored glasses from my eyes. The books that, once read, changed the way I viewed my world, for better or for worse. 

Not all of these books will be grabbed off the shelf every year and poured over with delight. Actually, some of these books I read just the one time. The Bible being the obvious exception ... that Book is on my TBR list everyday!

I began this list whilst considering what books were important for my children to read before graduation. Some of these books I am still prayerfully considering since they changed me as a person so radically. Some due to their content, or form. Some due to my season of life, or perception of my world at that given time.  In short, please choose with your child considering where they are, and who they are, before suggesting any of the books listed below.  These books changed me ... for good, or worse, jaded, or joyful ... these books will change you.  You must decide if you want, or need to be changed.  

These books stripped away forever the lack of knowledge that I may have possessed,  and that changed how I viewed life. Helped form me as a person. Stories that made me see the truth.

"You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know." 

~ William Wilberforce

•Gone With the Wind by: Margaret Mitchell
To Kill A Mockingbird by: Harper Lee
•The Giver by: Lowis Lowry
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
1984 by: George Orwell
East of Eden by: John Steinbeck 
•The Great Gatsby by: F. Scott Fitzgerald 

The Sun Also Rises by: Earnest Hemingway
Farenheight 451 by: Ray Bradbury
Night by: Elie Weisel 
•Flowers for Algernon by: Daniel Keyes

Middlemarch by: George Elliot
The Giving Tree by: Shel Silverstien
•La Petit Prince by: Antoine de Saint-Exupery

What are your "Game Changer" books?

Joyfully Learning with You,

The Joyful Socks Mom 

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Heather's Highly Recommended Helps: 


No School Room, Just Home and Family Please

This is not a school.
This is a home. 

This is where we live.
This is also where we learn.  

Do we, as home educators, really need to recreate a "classroom" environment?

Learning is a part of our everyday life, and not a separate experience.  I find a dangerous bend in our society to constantly compartmentalize every aspect of our lives.  There is a real need in many families to keep every part of their lives separate. Work. Home. Church. Sports. School. All separate from one another. 

The urge to recreate a classroom, I believe, comes from we parents who were educated within the public school system.  We literally have an institutionalized mindset without even realizing.  It has taken me almost our entire homeschool journey to un-learn this mindset!

Why bother to focus on NOT having a school room or classroom in our home?
Really, it comes down to a real heart issue for me. When I am recreating the classroom for my children, I personally begin shifting attentions to an academic focus. 

Well that's a good thing, right?

Home education is about RELATIONSHIP, not academic training!

We need to reach the hearts, minds & spirits of our children.  Sadly, I see the homeschooling movement shifting its focus toward academic training and away from the heart & soul training of our families.

I am not a homeschool mom that needs a homeschool room. I am a wife, and mother who educates at home, living our daily life is "classroom" enough for me.

Our life is not compartmentalized.
Our family has a life. This life is centered around Christ. That is our classroom.

Joyfully Learning with You,

The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitter, & Instagram and our IG SHOP
** This post may contain affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. You can read my full disclosure policy here.**

Heather's Highly Recommended Helps: 


The Meaningful Winnie-the-Pooh {Book Review}

The following review is presented by contributing writer Geek Bug, as part of our Geek Squad Reviews project.

Book Title: Winnie-The-Pooh
Author: A.A. Milne
Illustrator: Ernest H. Shepard
Published: 1954
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 161

Reviewer: The Geek Bug, 11 years old.

Winnie-the-Pooh is a fun and imaginative book.  Pooh and his friends go on hilarious adventures such as, trying to catch a huffalump. My favorite story in this book is when Eeyore looses his tail. 

The author, Mr. Milne, wrote Winnie-The-Pooh in a way anybody can understand. His tales show us good character traits in a laughable way.  He shows that working together is always a worth while work.  He also tells us what true friendship is. Simple. Meaningful.

At the beginning of this book, Mr. Milne is talking to Christopher Robin and telling him stories.  Throughout the book, Christopher Robin interrupts Mr. Milne to ask him questions about the story.  This makes it easy for all ages to understand what the author is trying to teach.

All of the stories in Winnie-The-Pooh  are fantastic.  They all teach lessons that remind us about friendship.   Winnie-The-Pooh  is a great book for all ages, but are certainly good for children ages four to eleven.

Winnie-The-Pooh  is the best book I've read in a long time.  This book is definitely worth the five stars I'm giving to it!  I love this book and hope you will too. 

RATING: 5 out of 5 Geek Stars

Contributing writer
The Geek Bug is a regular contributing writer to Geek Squad Reviews, and the youngest daughter of writer & editor, Heather Mac, the Joyful Socks Mom.  The Geek Bug is a fun-loving kid who enjoys reading, drawing, crafting, hand-knitting and more reading.  She has one sister, and three brothers, and is a home educated student currently in the sixth grade.  The Geek Bug is involved in her local 4-H club, competes in Horse Judging, and loves being part of the Silent Praise team at church. 

The Geek Bug - 
CURRENTLY READING: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by: J.K. Rowling 
NEXT REVIEW: Mary Poppins by: P.L. Travers

The Geek Squad Book Reviews project is a new column appearing exclusively on this blog, designed to encourage & promote family reading.  Our reviewers are both children & parents, giving you real opinions about classic books, living books & books they enjoy the most.  This column is designed to help you make a well-informed decision about what your family reads, giving perspectives of both children and parents.

Joyfully Learning with You,

The Joyful Socks Mom 

Be sure to keep up with Joyful Socks on PinterestTwitterInstagram & Facebook

** This post may contain affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. You can read my full disclosure policy here.**


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