The Best Books For New Homeschool Moms
Because you’re going to homeschool your child, you understand the importance of education. You want your children to learn, grow, develop, and excel at life. If you’ve chosen homeschooling as the best avenue to achieve this, you’ve got a lot of responsibility on your hands. Homeschool Base is an excellent online resource, but there are also many books that I highly recommend you add to your growing bookshelf.
Note: All of the books on this page are books that will help you, the parent, get started in homeschooling. Some of these books are grade specific, and I did my best to organize them. They aren’t curriculum and they aren’t books for your child to read.
If you go to Amazon and start searching for books on homeschooling you will be flooded with results. Today I searched for “homeschool” under the “Books” section and I was served a page with 16,623 results. That is nonsense! How could anyone ever decide which book to pick from all of those? All of the outgoing links on this page lead to Amazon.com books that I've had personal experience with. With no further adieu, here are my personal recommendations.
General Guides to Homeschooling and for All Ages
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell and Michael Farris.
This is a massive resource. The self-proclaimed “best homeschool resource” continues to grow with new editions. This is a Christian book, but I know secular friends who have found this book massively helpful. I think this is largely because while the author is Christian, she not extremely self-righteous. The ultimate guide is truly a wealth of information. One of the book’s strongest points its organization. Caution: this book could offend you – it is brutally honest and sometimes very opinionated. You might walk away from the book feeling guilty that you don’t do everything exactly the same way that she does. But, this is also where I think some of its strengths lie (besides its extremely thorough and wide coverage). It is evident that this book is written by a real author who did not set out to target her book to broad consumerism.
The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. This book is both a guide to classical education and a classic! This just might be the highest rated homeschooling book on Amazon reviews. This book is not written for obsessive micromanaging parents. This book focuses on excellence which requires hard work. I’ve had friend criticize this book as being too demanding. Nevertheless, I don’t personally think that such criticisms hold enough weight to discount using this book as a superb resource. If you aren’t interested in the classical approach, your time and money might be better spent elsewhere. Another fair warning – some people feel that this book makes broad generalizations and claims. The book also lacks references to the newest neurological research on the learning process (most families probably won’t find this to be a serious problem). But even so, I would encourage you to consider it. Or at least look inside. In sum: lots of resources, extremely informative, based in hard work philosophy, and rooted in classical education.
Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe by Todd Wilson. I think it’s better to get this book and start reading it before you reach a point of crises and truly need it. I can’t promise that you will never question yourself, your homeschool, and your method, but I haven’t met a single parent who hasn’t. Before your homeschool starts to collapse from fears and myths about education and homeschooling, give this book a skim through. You will come back time and time again to reorient yourself. Please be aware that this book has its ‘downsides’ just like any other book. Mr. Todd Wilson does make claims that at some point ‘every believes they are failing their children,’ which some people will find too strong and forward. For real though??? Most parents will at some point second guess themselves, and this book is there to help. The purpose of the book should not be forgotten.
Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool by Karen DeBeus. Karen started homeschooling in 2006 and published this book in 2014. She firmly believes that God directed her towards homeschooling and has guided her path ever since. The book gives wonderful insight into her life and is full of Christian examples of how she was able to regain her focus. The book’s message is that if you are focusing on your ministry, which is raising your kids, and teaching them God’s word, there can be no greater joy or calling.
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Second Edition: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It - (Focus on the Family) by Lisa Whelchel. This one has been around for quite a while now. It’s one of those books that deters some readers when they see ‘Focus on the Family,’ and immediately attracts others. There is a lot of “Jesus” material that some people will love and others will hate. What I like is that there is very little ‘bashing’ of public schools, and it is primarily positive and upbeat. What you will find are accounts of REAL people who have encountered the same problems, scenarios, decisions, and doubts that you will. Most of their concerns about the public school systems are probably yours as well. Like most of these books, it should help you get more familiar with homeschooling terminology and culture. Heads up: the beginning might be a little cheesy as each ‘family’ welcomes you into their home.
For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Macaulay. I’ll make this one short and sweet – if you want your homeschool vision to be warm, intelligent, and full of life, you should check this book out. It’s a treasure, a must read, and not just for homeschoolers! – I think many families could benefit from reading this.
Start Homeschooling Books for Young Children (K-3rd Grade)
The Three R's by Ruth Beechick. Disclaimer: I wish I had read this book when my children were still young. Unfortunately, I only found a copy of this book years too late. But, I’ve been recommending it to people ever since. The book gives an overview of teaching young children three subjects: reading, writing, and arithmetic. The essence of this book is rooted in its description of different methods such as the standards in preschool and primary school. What piques my interest is that the author goes deeper than this. She describes and critiques the philosophies, theories, and research behind all of the methods she lays out. Ruth gives great insight on how and when to start teaching phonics and reading comprehension skills. The book shows parents how to develop writing skill naturally – just as we naturally learn to talk. And the math section focuses on learning core concepts, not just memorizing facts.
Start Homeschooling Books for Middle-Age Children
The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. Note: This book is a Focus on the Family book. This book is for children of all ages, but goes best with younger children and middle children. The book is designed to help parents recognize the strengths of their children and themselves. This book will help you identify your child’s learning type! You will get practical knowledge that leads to understanding how children develop, deal with information, and behave as they grow into adulthood.
You Can Teach Your Child Successfully: Grades 4-8 by Ruth Beechick. This is both a classic and Christian inspired. For the most part, it’s easy to read and easy to implement. I found that I gained self-confidence in my homeschooling abilities after reading this book. What I enjoyed the most, was that Ruth taught in public schools and wrote text books. So, she has a wide range of knowledge about education in general. Most people who have read this book will tell you that they have re-read it as well.
Start Homeschooling Books for High School Parents
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens by Debra Bell
This book isn’t just for high school students, it’s for middle school students as well. The book is primarily about introducing you to tools and skills that will help you maximize the learning potential of your teenagers. How do you help your children determine their talents? How do you encourage critical thinking skills? Want tips on curriculum? – its covered. What guidelines for knowing what to expect? – this book has you covered. The book will take you all the way up through college applications / scholarships / and financial aid. It’s definitely a must have if you’ve got children nearing (or in) high school years.
What to look for when buying homeschooling books
Did you know that lots of publishing companies tell their writers to author books in subject fields in which they don’t have any personal experience? That means that some of the books you can purchase on websites and in bookstores are written by people who have simply researched homeschooling – they’ve never actually done it – they have 0 firsthand experience!
You don’t want that!
That is why its always important to screen a book before you buy it. Look at the author bio on the publishing company or on Amazon. Do a quick 'look inside' and see if you can read the author's bio. Experience is most important!