I am a reader, and I inhaled books about homeschooling not only when I was just beginning to homeschool, but every year of my 23 year homeschool journey.
Actually, correct that. I am still reading books about homeschooling and my youngest graduated 3 years ago! I continue to have a heart to mentor homeschool moms, so I try to keep up with what is new and popular in the homeschool world.
I recently polled some currently homeschooling moms with kids ranging from preschool to high school to get their input on their favorite homeschool books for moms to read. So my list of recommended books for homeschool moms is going to include some old favorites (i.e. books I read way back when) as well as some new favorites!
I was actually surprised by a couple of moms who said that they never read any homeschooling books at all. That seriously never occurred to me!! They found it overwhelming to read about homeschool styles and methods and curriculums and learning styles, so they just bought a curriculum and plowed in, and asked questions of friends as they went along. So I guess that works too!
But I still want to encourage you to read, because I think knowledge gives you power. It gives you options. It gives you inspiration and confidence in your choices. Homeschool parents should always be learners themselves, and approach homeschooling as your vocation, whether part-time or full-time. Just as you would receive education and ongoing training for a new job, or go to childbirth classes before having a baby, or attend drivers ed before attempting to take a car out on the highway for the first time, glean from the wisdom of others as you venture into and navigate the world of homeschooling.
1. How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum (Cathy Duffy) – this is the newest book from veteran homeschool author and curriculum reviewer Cathy Duffy, which is now available as an e-book and can be used in conjunction with her website, Cathy Duffy Reviews, to choose curriculum that is a good fit for your child and your family.
2. Educating the Wholehearted Child (Clay & Sally Clarkson) – this classic was a strong favorite among the Christian homeschool moms I polled. The Clarksons look beyond just academics to consider the atmosphere of the home and the character of its occupants. Another wonderful book that approaches education from the viewpoint of Christian discipleship are For the Children’s Sake, by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. For Biblical character training materials, check Doorposts.
3. Teaching From Rest (Sarah Mackenzie) – this is another very popular book with the younger moms; author, blogger, and homeschool mother of six shares how to teach without stress and anxiety. Sarah is also the creator of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast and author of The Read-Aloud Family, in which she provides strategies and booklists to help you make reading aloud a treasured and integral part of your family life.
4. Honey For a Child’s Heart (Gladys Hunt) – this is another classic, a wonderful guide to help parents choose good books for children to not only help them to be avid readers, but also to develop a broad view of the world and a taste for goodness and truth. Honey for a Teen’s Heart provides recommendations for your older readers.
5. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Jessie Wise and Susan Wise-Bauer) – this book outlines the classical pattern of education called the trivium, presenting to homeschoolers a thorough, comprehensive, and academically rigorous model for educating children from preK through high school. Another book for those interested in classical education is The Core, written by Leigh Bortins, founder of the hugely popular Classical Conversations program.
6. The Three R’s (Ruth Beechick) – if you are homeschooling children preK – 3rd grade, I highly recommend this book! It was three separate booklets back when I started homeschooling, which have now been combined into one resource. This is the practical, down-to-earth, encouraging introduction to teaching the three R’s that everyone needs. Dr. Beechick continues her encouragement for home educating older children in You Can Teach Your Child Successfully.
7. The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning and Life (Julie Bogart) – this book is full of inspiration if you are wondering how you can actually make learning fun and help develop a love for learning when you have a crazy household full of willful children and a stretched-thin mom! Julie has created a unique, joy-filled Language Arts program called Brave Writer. Read one family’s experience with it here.
8. Call of the Wild and Free (Ainsley Arment) if you are looking to break out of the confines of traditional education thinking centered on textbooks, workbooks, book reports, and quizzes, this book introduces you to a more natural, child-friendly way of educating that instills curiosity, joy and awe. Other books about the Unschooling style of homeschooling , which is following a child’s natural curiosity and interests, are The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith and Unschooled by Kerry McDonald.
9. The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling (Debra Bell) – this is another classic that has been updated and expanded and is chock full of helpful advice and information. It is written from a Christian perspective and includes information specifically for multi-level teaching if you have a range of ages, and for homeschooling teens. Also check out Homeschooling 101: A Guide to Getting Started by Erica Arndt. Another book I found very helpful for navigating high school and transcripts was Homeschooling High School by Jeanne Gowan Dennis.
10. The Unhurried Homeschooler (Durenda Wilson) – here’s a book to help homeschool parents focus on the “why” of homeschooling and what is really important so they can ENJOY their kids again.