Best Books To Read If You Are Considering Homeschooling

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If you are considering homeschooling, it can feel like a monumental decision. Let’s be honest for a moment, it isn’t something to take lightly. Homeschooling is a huge commitment to not only your children but can often mean an enormous shift in lifestyle. When I first started considering homeschooling for my family, I wasn’t really sure where to turn. I knew a few families that homeschooled but no one within my personal circle homeschooled.

sensory bin homeschooling toddler

If you are considering homeschooling, it can feel like a monumental decision. Let’s be honest for a moment, it isn’t something to take lightly. Homeschooling is a huge commitment to not only your children but can often mean an enormous shift in lifestyle. When I first started considering homeschooling for my family, I wasn’t really sure where to turn. I knew a few families that homeschooled but no one within my personal circle homeschooled.

The first place I went looking for the answers to all my questions was the internet (obviously). However, it can be challenging wading through a million websites and blogs then attempting to keep all the information organized. The easiest way for me to quickly and efficiently learn about homeschooling was to read a variety of books around education and homeschooling.

When I sought out literature to help inform my decision of whether I should homeschool or not, I looked at a wide variety of sources. I wanted books from the source, i.e. from people who had or are homeschooling, but I also wanted to read books about public education in general. I wanted to ensure that I wasn’t looking at the public education my children had received thus far in a biased manner. Reading literature about public education as a whole would help me widen my lens to ensure I wasn’t robbing my children of something that might actually be essential. You can’t show up to a debate with only half the story, you need to know the whole story.

The following books I recommend for a more holistic approach to learning about homeschooling and education in general. I think it is important to learn about the public education system alongside homeschooling to create an equal and balanced picture about whether homeschooling is for you or not for you. We as parents have a big job for caring and educating our children, no matter which path we choose, and an informed choice is an empowered choice.

Body sitting on a pile a books, feet on books. Pile of books for homeschool.

The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning and Life by Julie Bogart

The Brave Learner is a deeply inspiring and motivating introduction to the world of home education. Author, Julie Bogart, is a life-long parent educator who has graduated multiple children through home education. Julie offers encouraging words of advice for helping reluctant learners become engaged in learning and how to manage the chaos of home education against everyday life. The Brave Learner is an encouraging read for any parent looking to dip their toes in homeschooling and take control of their children’s learning.

The Well Trained Mind by Julie Wise & Susan Wise Bauer

The Well Trained Mind is a glimpse into classical education woven into a homeschool philosophy. A classical education is built on a rigorous foundation that is built around the cognitive ability/age of children’s abilities. While many may not believe a classical education is for them, this particular book gives great recommendations for age level appropriate work and expectations. When learning about homeschool, it is just as important to be exposed to the several philosophies of education to find what fit your family and home education goals.

Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve by Lenora Chu

While Little Soldiers does not focus on homeschooling in America, it is an illuminating journey into education across the world. The novel is a journalistic piece that focuses on the Chinese education system in comparison to the American. It is eye-opening and often a bluntly harsh look into the realities Chinese education and their standardized testing dominance. The incredible juxtaposition of American and Chinese education systems (both with their pros and cons) provided an easy backdrop for my own comparison in regards to home education and its benefits for my children.

The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley

The Smartest Kids in the World is another peek into top-performing education models across the world. Author Amanda Ripley worked hard to create a comparative analysis with students located in three counties; South Korea, Finland and Poland. The biggest take-aways is most of these schools are very low-tech, teacher education is very rigorous (and respected) and parents are involved in these schools in an entirely different way. While again, this book did not focus on homeschooling in America, I believe it provides important backgrounds for how American schools are not stepping up the plate. 

Project Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners by Lori McWilliam Pickett

My final book pick, Project Based Homeschooling, is an interested look at managing and creating student-driven learning within your home. This is another educational philosophy (much like Well Trained Mind and The Brave Learner) that provides another glimpse at how education can be shaped and formed to fit your children. I previously love the idea of Project Based Homeschooling but have not yet found a way to work this into my homeschool experience. If you dream of a learner immersed in topics of their choosing and diving in deep, this is a great read for you.

library with white bookshelves and many colorful books

Finally, this list is not exhausted. There are a plethora of books available on the market in regards to homeschooling. But I wanted to provide a very holistic approach, looking at education within all its angles and variables, and in comparison with other educational systems and models. Choosing to homeschool is an amazing and rewarding choice for both parents and their children, however, I would not advise one to go in blindly. My last note is I’ve tried to keep my book choices secular, as that is my personal preference and aligns with my beliefs. There are many books that include faith in their writing but it was not what I wanted to include her for my audience.

Whatever you though, best wishes on your homeschool journey!

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