The Best Homeschooling Books: A Great Big List
I am a lover of books, so I’d like to share my great big list of the best homeschooling books. Some of these I have read and some are waiting their turn in line. I need to learn to speed read!
Homeschooling books are a great way to get inspired, learn about different homeschooling methods and philosophies, or just find some encouragement on those days when you feel like nothing has gone right.
You can click on any of the images for a more detailed look at the book. I will update this list as I find more great homeschooling books, so be sure to pin it to refer back to later!
The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise
Susan Wise Bauer and her Daughter, Jessie do an amazing job of laying out the concept of a classical education in The Well-Trained Mind. This was one of the first homeschooling books I read and it took away a lot of the “I don’t know what to teach” anxiety.
The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart
If you want your child to have an “exciting, even enchanting experience” in homeschooling, then you should read this book. Julie gives inspiration and advice from her experience homeschooling her five children (now all grown). This book will inspire you to model life long learning for your children.
The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie
If you think you should only read aloud to your children until they can read on their own, then this book will convince you otherwise! Sarah does a great job of laying out the benefits of reading aloud as a family even as your children grow into middle and high schoolers.
Relaxed Homeschooling by Christine Owens
Relaxed Homeschooling is a “step-by-step guide that will teach you how to inspire learning at home”. I mean, what homeschool mom doesn’t want that?! Our homeschool is pretty relaxed, so I want to give this a read to get some ideas that would fit well with our family. The table of contents already has me excited! Some chapter titles include candy floss, the hidden secret of books, how to pick an awesome book, to watch or not to watch, and what toys are worth it. Those all really caught my attention.
The 5 Hour School Week by Aaron and Kaleena Amuchastegui
The 5 House School Week is an inspiring read for the homeschool mom who is looking to use the world as her classroom. This book talks about using experiences for education and getting your children engaged. The authors took their kids out of school to travel the world, so you can expect practical tips on integrating learning with real-life experiences. My husband and I want to eventually travel more, so this is on my short list!
Homeschooling 101 by Erica Arndt
Homeschooling 101 is a great book if you are just embarking on your homeschooling journey or if you need a little pick-me-up. Erica walks you through steps like choosing a curriculum, planning lessons, organizing your day, and staying on schedule. Erica is also the owner of Confessions of a Homeschooler, a great blog for homeschoolers.
The Unhurried Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson
One of the reasons we decided to homeschool was the increasing pace of hurrying early education. This book really interests me because it reassures me that it’s OK to take a more relaxed, slower-paced approach to learning “all the things”. Plus, it’s short, so my busy schedule appreciates that!
Home Learning Year by Year by Rebecca Rupp
Finally, an organized look at what our children need to know every year. If you struggle with “am I teaching enough” syndrome, then please pick up a copy of this book! Rebecca goes, literally, year by year starting with kindergarten and discusses every topic and how to cover it in that year. She even covers art, music, foreign languages, history, science, speaking, and so much more.
Homeschool Adventures by Melissa Calapp
The first part of this book talks about the advantages of using field trips extensively during homeschooling. It’s something I want to do, but never seem to have the time. I’m hoping this book can inspire me to make the change. The second part of this book is a huge list of suggestions for field trips. Yes, please!
Minimalist Homeschooling by Zara Fagen
We are not minimalists by any stretch of the word. I do feel like less can be more when it comes to homeschool, though. And, that “maximize learning and minimize stress” in the subtitle really got my attention! Dr. Fagen even offers worksheets to help you trip down your homeschooling schedule and get back to what’s most important for your family.
102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy
Cathy Duffy is very well-known for her in-depth product and curriculum reviews. I haven’t read this book and I do wonder about its relevance now that she has a website and there are so many reviews and previews available online, but I know several veteran homeschoolers who still use and refer to this book regularly, so it may be worth adding a copy to your homeschooling library.
Homeschoolers Are Not Hermits by Kathy Oaks
The subtitle is “a practical guide to raising smart, confident, and socially connected kids.” I mean, that’s what we all want, right?! Kathy hits on a lot of the big questions new homeschoolers have: how do I get started, is it expensive, what about socialization, etc. Kathy also does a great job of listing resources both online and physical books at the end of each section, which is always helpful!
The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas by Linda Dobson
At over 300 pages, this is a treasure of information! Linda talks about everything from getting started and feeling confident in your homeschooling to listing activities and science experiments you can do at home with your children. The portion on the difference between “school mind” and “education mind” is very insightful.
Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie
Could you use a little more peace in your homeschool? I know I could. Teaching from Rest is a great read for the type-A Christian mom (hello!) who needs a reminder that she is not in charge, God is. Sarah’s book is such a great reminder about what is important and how to ‘teach from a position of rest’ that we all need in our hectic homeschool lives.
The Well-Adjusted Child by Rachel Gathercole
Ahh, socialization. What homeschool mom doesn’t worry about it? I mean, even if you say you don’t worry about it, I would bet money that you are still consciously aware of making sure your children don’t turn into hermits. Rachel discusses what is true socialization and make the case that homeschooling is the best way to achieve that. If you have people in your family who are homeschooling naysayers, this would be a good book to pick up to show them the advantages homeschooling can offer.
How We Teach by Jimmie Lanley (iHomeschool Network)
This is a great book if you are just getting started or struggling with your current homeschool method and considering a change. A bunch of homeschool moms share what homeschool in their house really looks like. It is more like a reference book on homeschooling methods than a “cover to cover” read. You will see what Charlotte Mason looks like or maybe classical education in the high school years. Does unschooling interest you? Unschooling moms describe their days, too. The book is divided by age groups, so you can skip to see whatever interests you most.
Managers of Their Homes by Steven Maxwell
This is almost 200 pages on scheduling! If you struggle with consistency or maintaining your homeschool schedule and keeping up with housework, then this would be a great read. It’s very detailed, gives tons of schedule examples, and is very practical.
How to Get Your Child off the Refrigerator and on to Learning by Carol Barnier
Your child doesn’t have to have ADHD in order for you to benefit from this book. Carol started researching ways to help her son, who does have ADHD, but I don’t know a parent who doesn’t have a child at some point is just plain fidgety. This book gives great tips on getting them focused on learning at different stages.
Called Home by Karen DeBeus
This book is for any Christian homeschool mom who needs a little encouragement. Karen brings her experience as a homeschool mom to show us that God will provide everything we need to properly educate our children – even enough patience. I found this little book while I was researching for this post and I can’t wait to get it and her previous book, Simply Homeschool.
Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst
While not technically a homeschooling book, most homeschool moms can related to the need to handle strong emotions and deal with conflict resolution in our important relationships. Please tell me that it isn’t just me who argues with my kids about school! Lysa will show you how to be honest, yet kind when someone offends. Sounds like something we could all benefit from!
12 Homeschool Myths Debunked by Kent Larson
If you have a family member who is skeptical of your decision to homeschool your children or if you are just starting out and have some doubts about whether you can do it, this is a great book to pick up. Kent was a skeptical homeschool spouse himself, but when he started researching homeschooling statistics about academic success and socialization….he turned into a huge proponent of homeschooling!
Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon
This book is a must read for every parent and teacher. If you are considering taking a more relaxed approach to your homeschool of if you feel like it needs to be very structured and look like a regular classroom, please read this book. Laura does a fantastic job of making the case for a slower-paced, more relaxed learning environment for children.
Books to Build On by John Holdren and E.D. Hirsch
If you find yourself struggling to good books to read for the various topics you want to cover, then this might be a good book to pick up. It is a bit old, but good books are still good books ten years later, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. This is written by the Core Knowledge folks, which I find to be pretty solid. They give great lists, by topic and grade level, of books to read with your children (or have them read as they get older).
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell
At over 500 pages, this is a huge resource! Even though the publish date is a bit old (2009), this is still a great resource for a lot of homeschool moms. Debra not only gives tons of resource suggestions like curriculum suggestions, homeschool supplies, and parent-tested ideas and solutions, but she also provides guidance on making homeschooling more enjoyable and effective for everyone involved.
Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt
Providing your children with good books is a fantastic way to encourage a love of reading in them from an early age. Gladys provides suggestions for great books in Honey for a Child’s Heart. She also discusses how to give your child a broad world view and to spark their imaginations with books. Gladys also discusses incorporating the use of good language through books. The book starts by discussing what is a good book and how to choose one, then the book lists are broken down by age group, making it very easy to find what you are looking for.
How Children Learn by John Holt
John Holt explains that “learning is as natural as breathing” for young children. In this book, he explains how children learn best and how we, as parents can encourage this learning. This is a great read for parents if you are feeling the pressure to have school look like a classroom.
10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen
Just the title makes me feel like I need to read this. Ugh, isn’t this one of the biggest worries a mother has…am I doing what’s best for my child in the long run? Esolen takes a look at some common parenting habits and the current state of childhood and makes the case that we are doing more harm than good in some cases, despite our good intentions. He also gives suggestions on how to encourage imagination in your child, too. Don’t worry, he builds you up after he tears you down!
Know and Tell by Karen Glass
I didn’t realize how narration builds into so many skills later in life until I read The Well-Trained Mind. Better late than never! Karen does a great job in this book of talking about what narration is, why it’s so important in your child’s education, and also how to help your child improve their narration.
Home Grown by Ben Hewitt