This post combines two of my very favourite things: homeschooling and books! Today I’d like to share with you my top 5 recommendations for homeschooling books — especially if you’re after a literature rich, classically leaning, wholesome education for your children. I’ve read a lot of homeschooling books — as many as I could get my hands on through our public libraries, but these all have a permanent home in my own personal library.
The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
I list this book first because it is the single, most used reference book in my homeschooling library. I began by checking this book out regularly from the library, was constantly renewing it, requesting it, etc. until I decided that I just needed my own copy. It provides a good insight as to the why of homeschooling your child, but even better, it explains the how. This book was my first taste of classical education, and it had me hooked from the beginning. It lays out in a simple format the progression of a child’s learning through the various stages of the trivium (which it names grammar, logic, and dialectic), and what and how to teach each level. It is full of practical information, including such things as approximate length of time to spend on each subject, curriculum recommendation and how to organize your child’s notebooks. This book is gold, and I need another copy just to loan out to friends because I recommend it so much!
For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
For the Children’s Sake is a lovely read which introduced me to many of the educational principles of Charlotte Mason. What I really appreciate about this book is that it puts the relationship into education. This is the furthest thing from current textbook, workbook, one-size-fits-all, and checklist education models we see today. I love the focus on building habits, relationship, and appetites in our children as the basis for education. There is so much loveliness in this book!
Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay Clarkson
This book focuses on educating the heart of your child, and educating them with the motive of helping them to become the person God has made them to be. It sets forth home education primarily as discipleship, which I really love. It is quite Charlotte Mason-y in many ways, but refers to books as “wholehearted” instead of “living” as do the Charlotte Mason educators. It’s definitely the same thing though. There are also many examples from the Clarkson’s own experiences home educating their four children as well as inspirational quotes, recommended reference and literature books, and practical forms and helps. This book is a good combination of inspiration and application.
102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy
This book is purely practical. It is a great starting point for people who are new to homeschooling as it provides overviews of teaching styles, educational models, and learning styles as well as providing comprehensive curriculum reviews. It is perfect for helping you decide what to use based on your own preferences and the needs of your children.
Honey For a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt
This is such a lovely book! It is not a homeschooling book per se, but it is an amazing resource as you search for quality books for your children. This book is so helpful in selecting books that will furnish your child’s imagination with beauty, wonder, delight and adventure. It discusses role of reading and books in giving your children a large view of the world, encouraging imagination, and developing good use of language. It has booklists with over a thousand recommendations organized by age and subject including both classics and new books. In my opinion, this book is a must read for parents who want their children’s hearts and minds to be positively influenced by the books they read.
What are your top picks for homeschooling books?