Just about every homeschooling family has their own list of "favorite homeschooling books" and we are no different. Being a research-orientated person, in those first years of teaching my kids, I poured over just about everything I could get my hands on that was even remotely related to homeschooling and teaching. I would take notes or make photocopies of pages from those that I had borrowed from the library and highlight in those that I had purchased. While I may not have followed any particular philosophy to the letter, each one provided fuel to keep going, ideas to implement, inspiration for things to try and insight into what was a foreign world to me. And even though my last homeschool child graduated a few years ago, several of my favorites still sit on my bookshelf at the ready to lend to another family if the need should arise.
Here are a few of my "favorite homeschooling books" in no particular order of preference.
The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer – If you are interested in classical education, this is an excellent resource to check out. It encouraged us to do history chronologically. You can also visit the Well-Trained Mind website for more information.
A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola – This book encouraged us to dig deeper into the Charlotte Mason philosophy of learning through short lessons, copywork, nature study, living books and so much more. In fact, I did end up getting The Original Homeschooling Series by Charlotte Mason, but only used the six-book series for reference. Check out Karen Andreola's website to learn more.
Home Learning Year by Year by Rebecca Rupp – We used this book as a rough guide to what needed to be covered in a given year.
What Your Child Needs to Know When by Robin Sampson – We loved the checklists in this book. The author's website is the Heart of Wisdom.
Homeschooling through the Teen Years by Cafi Cohen – Because our homeschooling journey began when my oldest was in high school, this book was recommended to us. Lots of great ideas and resource suggestions.
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell – This was one of the first books I read that helped me understand what homeschooling was and taught me to have a goal and plan for our school. The author blogs here.
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook and Home Grown Kids by Raymond and Dorothy Moore – The Moores are homeschooling pioneers and these books inspired us to create our own curriculum plan based on what my children were interested in, incorporating every day life skills into our education goals and provided ideas for lowering the stress levels in our homeschooling day.
Homeschooling on a Shoestring by Melissa L. Morgan and Judith Waite Allee – Always wanting to be thrifty with our resources, this book provided a boatload of ideas for saving and making money while homeschooling.
Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax – While this book was written many years ago and many of the resources mentioned may be out of date, it did encourage us that not all learning is done in the classroom, that not every child learns at the same pace as another and reinforced our desire for our kids to pursue their passions.
In Their Own Way by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. – This book helped me to better understand how my children learn and to recognize their strengths. The American Institute for Learning and Human Development is Dr. Armstrong's website.
Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling by Diana Waring – Written in a warm and friendly way, the author provides a glimpse inside her homeschooling world and provides encouragement to tailor your own school to fit your family. You can check out her website here.
Home Sweet Home-School by Sue Maakestad – In this book filled with humor and encouragement, the author, a veteran homeschool mom of 8, shares her homeschooling experiences and tips she discovered along the way.
Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botdford Comstock – This book is timeless for all things about nature. You can view this online or download it at the Internet Archive here.
I absolutely love lists of all kinds. The next few books fall into this category and we used them for reference throughout our homeschooling years. These books were not only great when we needed quick information but were also wonderful for memory and copywork as well as just plain interesting. 😉
The Homeschooler's Book of Lists by Sonya Haskins – This is the mother lode of information across all subjects with facts, lists, dates, famous people and so much more.
The Reading Teacher's Book of Lists by Edward Bernard Fry, Ph.D., Jacqueline E. Kress, Ed.D., and Dona Lee Fountoukidis, Ed.D. – I have the 4th edition version which provided lists for phonics, words, literature, writing, spelling and just about anything related to reading. These lists provided guides, rules, examples and more.
Literature Lover's Book of Lists by Judie L. H. Strouf – This book is broken into sections including an introduction to literature, book lists by type and age group, poetry, drama, literary periods, and what they call a "potpourri" of other literature helps.
Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson – Because this book is sorted by topic, we used this to help us find books during our various courses of study during my kids' elementary school days.
All through the Ages by Christine Miller – This was my go-to resource for finding living books to go along with our history studies.
This list only scratches the surface of the many, MANY homeschooling books I dug into over the years. What are some of your favorites?