There are some books every homeschool mom needs to have in her library.
When we made the decision to homeschool twelve years ago, all I wanted to do was read and research. I am a researcher by nature, so I read all I could get my hands on and then some. I still read about various methods and approaches and learning styles, years later. I am always growing and my children and constantly changing, so it helps to have fresh perspective and encouragement in our journey.
I learned SO MUCH from those books. They gave me inspiration, motivation, ideas, encouragement, and just the TOOLS I needed to begin my journey. Even as I am heading into our 11th year of homeschooling, I still find books that encourage and equip me to stay along the path.
Some of these books are more of guidebooks, more practical information. Some of them are more inspirational and encouraging. Read through and pick a couple that fit the season you are in, and make sure to bookmark this page to refer back to when you enter a new season!
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MUST READ BOOKS FOR EVERY HOMESCHOOL MOM:
THE WELL TRAINED MIND BY SUSAN WISE BAUER
This was my first homeschool book that I ever read. I actually picked up this book when my oldest was in kindergarten, in public school. I assumed I would be reading it as a way to supplement his education. Little did I know, God had a whole different plan for me. I consider this my homeschool Bible. Although I do not do everything suggested in this book (really, no one can), I constantly refer to it throughout my homeschool years. The Well-Trained Mind will instruct you, step by step, on how to give your child an academically rigorous, comprehensive education from preschool through high school―one that will train him or her to read, to think, to understand, to be well-rounded and curious about learning. Veteran home educators Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise outline the classical pattern of education called the trivium, which organizes learning around the maturing capacity of the child’s mind and comprises three stages: the elementary school “grammar stage,” when the building blocks of information are absorbed through memorization and rules; the middle school “logic stage,” in which the student begins to think more analytically; and the high-school “rhetoric stage,” where the student learns to write and speak with force and originality. Using this theory as your model, you’ll be able to instruct your child―whether full-time or as a supplement to classroom education―in all levels of reading, writing, history, geography, mathematics, science, foreign languages, rhetoric, logic, art, and music, regardless of your own aptitude in those subjects.
THE BRAVE LEARNER
Finding everyday magic in homeschool, learning, and life. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? The Brave Learner is written by the creator of The Brave Writer curriculum. She shares her decade of experience to show how we can make education an exciting, enchanting experience for our kids. It is also full of practical insights, which I appreciate!
TEACHING FROM REST BY SARAH MACKENZIE
READ THIS BOOK. I now read this book quarterly. It is that needed. Sarah is a delight and you can find her book club videos on this book to help you even more. So needed and such a breathe of air for new and veteran homeschool moms. Those who have made the decision to homeschool their children have done so out of great love for their children and a desire to provide them an excellent education in the context of a warm, enriching home. Yet so many parents (mainly mothers) who have taken up this challenge find the enterprise often full of stress, worry, and anxiety. In this practical, faith-based, and inspirational book, Sarah Mackenzie addresses these questions directly, appealing to her own study of restful learning (scholé) and her struggle to bring restful learning to her (six) children.
THE READ ALOUD FAMILY BY SARAH MACKENZIE
The Read Aloud Family is another amazing book from Sarah Mackenzie and I am not sure which one I would tell you to read first. This book will not only encourage you to read aloud to your children daily, but it will equip and inspire you to do so and read more yourself!
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THE CALL OF THE WILD AND FREE
I can not tell you how highly I recommend this book!
This book, along with Teaching From Rest, are where I would tell you to start. The Wild + Free Community is a movement and it is wonderful. Reclaim the wonder in your child’s education and learn what education can really mean for your family. There is so much freedom in homeschooling!
From the book: “We believe this path isn’t just for childhood but for a lifetime of pursuing their own interests, responding to life and not bells, and building a life based on purpose, not perfection.”
HOME LEARNING YEAR BY YEAR BY REBECCA RUPP
This is a book that helps you to design a homeschool curriculum from preschool through high school. I did enjoy this book because we have used an eclectic style in our homeschool for years and I appreciate having a guide. Rebecca Rupp presents a structured plan to ensure that your children will learn what they need to know when they need to know it, from preschool through high school. Based on the traditional pre-K through 12th-grade structure, Home Learning Year by Year features:
The integral subjects to be covered within each grade
Standards for knowledge that should be acquired by your child at each level
Recommended books to use as texts for every subject
Guidelines for the importance of each topic: which knowledge is essential and which is best for more expansive study based on your child’s personal interests
Suggestions for how to sensitively approach less academic subjects, such as sex education and physical fitness.
BETTER TOGETHER BY PAM BARNHILL
Strengthen your family, simplify your homeschool, and savor the subjects that matter most. Pam Barnhill is a veteran homeschooler who advocates for Morning Basket – a beautiful way to start each homeschool day with the whole family. Better Together teaches you how to design a part of your homeschool day where they entire family can learn together.
EDUCATING THE WHOLE HEARTED CHILD BY CLAY AND SALLY CLARKSON
I am a huge Sally Clarkson fan, so of course I picked this up devoured it multiple times. This is an excellent resource for the Christian, homeschooling family. It is full of so much wisdom and advice that will help you build a solid biblical foundation for educating and nurturing your children’s hearts and minds. In this book you will discover how to:
* Make your home and family the heart of your children’s education
* Train your children to become creative, self-directed learners
* Enrich your family’s life and education with living books
* Identify and work with each child’s learning style
* Help your children love to learn as naturally as they love to play
* Gain confidence to teach using practical, common-sense methods
Whether you are a first-time homeschooler or a longtime veteran, this comprehensive guide will equip and empower you for your journey of faith as a family. Discover the joy of bringing relationship-based, book-centered learning into the natural daily life of your home.
How to squash doubt, trust God, and teach your children with confidence. Homeschool Bravely is another book that will encourage and inspire you in your homeschool journey! Jaime Erickson helps us change our perspective that transforms the way we plan, teach, and homeschool.
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WHEN CHILDREN LOVE TO LEARN BY ELAINE COOPER
I was so inspired by this book. Elaine really shows you how learning is natural to our children, if we just take the time to observe and help develop the love.
It can’t be denied-children have an inherent desire to know. Teachers and parents can either encourage this natural inquisitiveness or squelch it. There is joy in the classroom when children learn-not to take a test, not to get a grade, not to compete with each other, and not to please their parents or their teachers-but because they want to know about the world around them!
LET THEM BE KIDS
Adventure, Boredom, Innocence, and Other Gifts Children Need. With the world the way it is today, this book is a breathe of fresh air! Jessica Smartt is also the author of Memory Making Mom, another fabulous book for moms. She encourages us to let our children be just that – children.
POCKETFUL OF PINECONES BY KAREN ANDREOLA
This is such a sweet book. Pocketful of Pinecones is a story about Carol. Carol is on her feet a lot-industriously caring for her family. In her diary Carol pours out her secret worries, hopes, joys, and disappointments. She also writes of the nature walks she enjoys with her children. Her goal is to safeguard their sense of wonder. Together they observe God’s marvelous creation and the children record their finds in their Nature Notebooks. Carol reads Home Education by Miss Charlotte Mason and attempts to put the advice into practice. Designed to be a pick-me-up, each chapter is short enough to minister to a mother who has only snatches of time in which to nourish her soul.
102 TOP PICKS FOR HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM BY CATHY DUFFY
Most, if not all, homeschool moms know about Cathy Duffy. I have had this book from the beginning and still refer to it when picking my curriculum. It helps determine your child’s learning style and your teaching style, and develop your own philosophy of education. Then, it gives you charts that break down the different curriculum that may suit your family’s style. Cathy thoroughly reviews each selection as well.
BUSY HOMESCHOOL MOM’S GUIDE TO DAYLIGHT BY HEIDI ST JOHN
This book is such a delight! If you have ever experienced a series of days, weeks or even months when you felt like you just could NOT get on top of all you had to do, you are not alone. Juggling homeschooling and homemaking can be challenging-or so we’ve heard! Whether you’re struggling with managing your day, or simply looking for encouragement and fresh ideas for tackling your list of things to do, you will enjoy hearing from the heart of busy homeschool mom of seven, wife and author, Heidi St. John. You’ll laugh out loud, learn some of Heidi’s favorite tips on everything from home organization to meal preparation, and discover how you can homeschool in freedom and joy. Are you ready to be encouraged? Then join Heidi in discovering that real moms sometimes serve cereal for dinner-and live to write about it!
THE UNHURRIED HOMESCHOOLER
This book is a short book on purpose, which I appreciated. I read this book in a day and was so glad I did. Durenda draws on her twenty years of homeschooling eight children to gently remind us about the things that really matter as a homeschooling family. Reading this short book is like having coffee with a trusted friend.
HONEY FOR A CHILD’S HEART BY GLADYS HUNT
I’m sure you can tell I love books and book lists. I love this book because it gives me lots of book lists broken down by age and book type. Since its publication in 1969, this has been an essential guide for parents wanting to find the best books for their children. Now in its fourth edition, Honey for a Child’s Heart discusses everything from the ways reading affects both children’s view of the world and their imagination to how to choose good books. Illustrated with drawings from dozens of favorites, it includes an indexed and updated list of the best new books on the market and the classics that you want your children to enjoy.
THE UNSCHOOLING HANDBOOK BY MARY GRIFFITH
Now, I am not an unschooler. However, I have read this and many other unschooling books and articles. I think every homeschool mom should read this book, even if you don’t unschool. The world is your child’s playground and this book opens your eyes to the possibilities. We do not have to teach in one particular way. Mary Griffith and thousands of other unschooling parents believe that learning is as natural to children as breathing. If allowed to pursue their own interests, children will cover all the subjects taught in school. And, more importantly, they will continue to love to learn and explore their world. Filled with advice from other unschooling families (parents and kids), “The Unschooling Handbook” should be on hand for the inevitable days when you wonder if your kids are really learning. All homeschooling families, whether they use a curriculum or not, will find inspiring reasons to let their children have some freedom in how they learn.
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Aryn The Libraryan ?August 12, 2020 at 11:33 am
I loved Let them be Kids, and Teaching from Rest. I’ll have to look into the Unschooling Handbook too. Thanks for this list of must read books for homeschool moms. I appreciate your time and care in putting it together for us!