One of the best things I ever did when we first started our homeschooling journey was reading everything I could get my hands on about homeschooling.
Of course, I didn’t agree with everything I read in those homeschool books but all the different methods and topics helped me refine my own beliefs about homeschooling and the best ways of approaching the job with my own family.
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To help you on your own homeschooling journey, here’s a look at some of my favorite homeschooling books.
1. The Well-Trained Mind
Don’t let this big book overwhelm you!
The Well-Trained Mind covers a lot of information and spans all grade levels. This is one of the books I refer to every year and mention a lot throughout this book.
I reccomend skimming through the book first to get an overview of how the format of the book works and the topics that it covers. Then going back and focusing specifically on the grades and subjects which are relevant to you right now.
Then when you get some extra time (ha!) go back and read the rest of the book which should, in turn, provide you with a more rounded experience of The Well-Trained Mind.
2. Home Learning Year-By-Year
The book Home Learning Year-by-Year was released back in 2000, however, despite being 20 years old it’s as relvent today as it was two decades ago.
The idea of this book is centred around learning how to design a homeschool curriculum for children from preschool through to high school.
This includes covering the integral subjects required in each grade, standards for knowledge that should be acquired by your child at each level as well as recommended books to use as texts for every subject.
If all that wasn’t enough the book also features suggestions for how to sensitively approach less academic subjects, such as sex education and physical fitness.
3. The Latin-Centered Curriculum
If Classical education is really your jam, you’ll want to add this slim read to your pile.
Where The Well-Trained Mind is based in part on Dorothy Sayers’ ‘The Lost Tools of Learning’, it isn’t the only approach to Classical education.
The Latin-Centered Curriculum focuses on practical ways to bring the roots of Classical education to life, with plenty of curriculum recommendations and scheduling ideas.
4. Recovering The Lost Tools Of Learning
Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning is a fantastic book for those looking to learn more about classical education.
The author Paster Doug Wilson believes that education and faith should go one in hand, afterall any type of education is based on someones view of the world.
If you’re thinking about introducing classical education or already have some classical education / secular material within your homeschool curriculum then I highly recommend purchasing this book.
5. 102 Top Picks for Homeschooling
After The Well-Trained Mind, 102 Top Picks for Homeschooling is one of the first homeschool books I remember reading.
This book is a fantastic introduction to the many resources available. It has some great curriculum recommendations and a personality assessment section that I found very useful when I first started.
Even today, I sometimes go back and reference chapters of this book, especially when planning new years for my eldest child.
6. The Complete Home Learning Source Book
The Complete Home Learning Source Book is well worth reading as a foundation for home learning. However, due to it’s age I’d suggest pairing it with some of the other books listed here.
One of my key takeaways from this book was finding and using local support groups for other homeschooling families.
Both my children and I have learnt an incredible amount from the activities and people who are part of our homeschool co-op which I’m sure would have taken us an additional couple of years to find if not for this book.
7. The Core
If you’ve heard of Classical Conversations you may want to pick up The Core by Leigh Bortins. While it isn’t a manual for the program, it does provide some great advice about memory work.
Over the past two years or so memory work has been something I’ve featured heavily in our homeschool and here on the blog.
8. The Question
The Question also by Leigh Bortins is designed to teach children the basics of classical education. Many describe this book as somewhat mandatory when children reach middle school, and honestly, I couldn’t agree more.
In fact, I’d suggest reading the book when your children are in fourth or fifth grade in preperation, especially if your children are advanced learners.
The list of model questions at the back of this book really helped me to ask more advanced questions to my children designed to increase their depth of understanding about the topics which they are currently learning.
9. Educating the Whole-Hearted Child
Sally Clarkson’s Educating the Whole-Hearted Child resides on the bookshelves of many Christian homeschooling moms.
Her encouragement and insight, as well as practical information, makes this book a yearly re-read for many.
If you want to look at education as part of your life instead of something to be checked off your daily to-do list, add this book to your reading pile.
Educating the Whole-Hearted Child is one of the very first homeschool books I ever read.
Even now, years later it’s still the standard in which I set myself to achieve every day within my homeschool into one book that I return to again and again.
10. For The Children’s Sake
For The Children’s Sake is designed to demonstrate to parents how children’s learning experiences can be extended to every aspect of their life.
Giving them a new richness, understanding and love for living and learning.
This book really helped me to bring every day situations of life into our homeschool, and to think outside the box when it comes to teaching my children.
11. Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series
Charlotte Mason has done a number of books on home education which I recommend.
I read this series early in my homeschooling career and it had a great impact on my choices and helped me slow down just a little bit.
It can feel a bit daunting reading her original works but I recommend you at least skim them for thoughts and ideas which you can implement into your homeschool.
12. Teaching from Rest
This refreshing book is one I re-read every year – especially when I’m getting bogged down in the day-to-day expectations.
As a homeschool mom, Sarah understands the daily struggles we face and shares reflections and guidance in her book, Teaching from Rest. It always reminds me to put my worries and cares in the hands of the One who can handle them.
Sarah Mackenzie nailed it with this book. If I could sum this up in one sentence, it would be, ‘Let go and let God’.
After I finished this book, I felt like I had a huge weight lifted off my chest. If you’re feeling stress in your homeschool- and I think we all do at times- I’m telling you, read this. Seriously.
13. Desperate: Hope For The Mom Who Needs To Breathe
I’m yet to find a parent who doesn’t feel like they are drowning, isolated or frustrated at one time or another during their lifetime.
This book is the perfect hand-holding help we need in this time and one I’ve gone back to a number of times since my children were born.
14. Honey for a Child’s Heart
This is another ‘not necessarily a homeschool book’ however one I wanted to include as it’s what created my love for reading aloud.
Honey for a Child’s Heart is filled with inspiration and plenty of great books to read aloud with your children.
15. Books Children Love
Despite being almost 20 years old Books Children Love is still a great resource for moms looking to find new engaging books for their children.
Thanks to the detailed synopsis of each of the books listed you’ll find books your children will actually enjoy, and as a result, save money by not purchasing any and every book going.
16. In Praise Of Stay-At-Home Moms
Last but by no means least we have, In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms.
This isn’t about homeschooling, but it’s a great book for homeschool moms because it helps reinforce the importance of what we’re doing.
I know some moms work and homeschool, but I find this book really encouraging when I start to question why I’m staying home with my kids instead of sending them to school.