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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

7 Books for Prospective Homeschoolers

Decided to homeschool, but don't know where to start?

Or been homeschooling and need some re-inspiration or redirection?

Read on for some not-to-be-missed books!

My blogger friend, Jessica at Homemaking Through the Church Year, has just made the decision to homeschool, at least for next year. (Her posts on making the homeschool decision are admirable in their prayerful, reasonable decision-making.) She asked for reading suggestions as she prepares for her homeschool year.

When we decided to begin homeschooling our then 7 year old almost 6 years ago, I spent the spring and summer before we began devouring all the books I could find on the subject. I continute to read on the subject here and there, too. Here are some that I've found particularly helpful over the past 6 years:

1. Should I Home School?: How to Decide What's Right for You & Your Childby Elizabeth and Dan Hamilton - I took copious notes from this book. I found it to be a really well-balanced guide to making the decision about homeschool.

2. The Moore's The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook - a really great place to start. Actually, anything by them (Better Late Than Early: A New Approach to Your Child's Education is another good one)! The Moores are pioneers in the homeschool movement. To miss this book is to miss what many consider to be the "soul" of home education!

3. Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum
- This book is more than just product reviews (which are excellent, by the way). It begins with an excellent section on the various methods of education, personality and learning types, and a fantastic chart detailing what curricula matches which method of education and personality type. That portion is invaluable...and then come the thorough product reviews!

4. How to Homeschool: A Practical Approach- by Gayle Graham is a fantastic resource as you begin to figure out how you'll get it all done. She covers everything from tacking the laundry to tackling spelling! This book may be hard to find, but if you need help juggling home and education, this is a gem worth digging for.

5. Ruth Beechick has a series of books: Home Start in Reading, Strong Start in Language, and Easy Start in Arithmetic. These are for teaching early elementary. She also has another book: You Can Teach Your Child Successfully: Grades 4-8. These are classics from another homeschool pioneer. If you need to educate on a shoe string or keep homeschool simply and effective, these are not to be missed!

6. For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and Schoolis particularly good for those interested in following the Charlotte Mason method. But I'd recommend it for anyone contemplating home education! Susan Schaeffer MacCauley (yes, that is Schaeffer as in Francis and Edith Schaeffer) presents a winsome vision for home education.

7. Climbing Parnassus by Tracy Lee Simmons is an highly recommended book for those interested in Classical Education: "...defense and vindication of the formative power of Greek and Latin. His persuasive witness to the unique, now all-but-forgotten advantages of study in and of the classical languages constitutes a bracing reminder of the genuine aims of a truly liberal education."

Learn more about each of these titles, and see other recommended books, at the Ten O'Clock Scholar aStore.

This post is part of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

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Amanda said...


I've been lurking on your site for a while now, trying to decide if we are being called to homeschool. God is truly using you to speak to me, and I appreciate your willingness to be His modern-day mouthpiece!

Thanks for this list. Please say a prayer for us as (Amanda, Chas, Charlie 7yo & Henry 4yo) we continue to. God Bless all of you!


Kerry said...

Oh, Amanda! You don't know how your comment just blessed me! Sometimes blogging seems like I'm talking in a big quiet room, but your comment has encouraged me that my blog is a true help to someone out there.

I will pray for you this very morning, Amanda. Specifically that the Lord would give you a clear call and vision for what your family is to do for education. You know, there is no "perfect" choice...they all have their benefits and drawbacks. But the Lord does have a perfect plan for you and He will make it known to you!

Will you email me sometime and let me know what the Lord leads you to?

Jessica said...

Thank you, Kerry!

Kathleen said...

Love "For the Children's Sake"! I'm reading it again and plan to make it an annual read.

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Thank you for these resources. I'm going to start working my way through them. My oldest is four right now, so I don't have to make the decision for awhile, which is good because I have no idea what we should be doing. I don't want to homeschool, but I'm pretty sure public schools aren't for us, and private school may be out of reach. Not sure what God is saying about all that. Anyway, thank you!