Our family began homeschooling in the fall of 2013, when our oldest children were in 3rd and 6th grades. Up until that point, our kids were in private Christian schools that we LOVED, but could no longer afford. I had a few good friends who I could go to for advice. But I also spent many hours reading great books for inspiration and information. Today, I am homeschooling 7 children (aged 18, 15, 10, 9, 8, 6, & 6). And most days I feel that we have a great rhythm and plan. But I STILL find myself going back to my favorite resource books for encouragement and continuing education!
Listed below are the best books for homeschooling inspiration that I’ve found!
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So you’re thinking about homeschooling: 15 families show how you can do it! by Lisa Whelchel
Who would’ve thought the first book I ever read about homeschooling would be written by Blaire from Facts of Life?!? So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling is such a little known jewel! The goal of this book is to show that ANYONE can homeschool, no matter their life circumstances. Whelchel and her team interviewed hundreds of homeschooling families in order to introduce readers to 15 composite portraits. These (fictional) unique families show how anyone can face the unique challenges of their situation if homeschooling is their goal. These interviews address common questions of time management, teaching weaknesses, outside responsibilities, children’s age variations, and learning disabilities. Whelchel also includes a resource guide with recommendations from real-life homeschooling families. This is a must read for new homeschoolers!
teaching from rest: a homeschooler’s guide to unshakable peace by Sarah Mackenzie
Homeschooling with unshakable peace. Doesn’t that sound like an amazing goal? Teaching From Rest is a must read for every Christian homeschooling parent and is in the top three best books for homeschooling inspiration in my opinion. Those of us who have chosen homeschooling for our families have done so out of love for our children. We have a desire to provide them an excellent education in a warm, loving environment. So why do so many of us get hung up in stress, worry, and fear? Mackenzie addresses this question directly in her easy to read book. She shares what she’s learned about schole (restful learning). She reminds readers that we have been CALLED to this task and that the Lord will guide us. Our job as homeschooling mothers is not to be successful – success itself is entirely beside the point. It’s faithfulness that He wants. Isn’t that freeing?
homeschool Bravely by jamie erickson
It is so hard to quiet the internal voice asking, “Am I good enough to take on this task?” “Am I making the right decision pulling my child/children out of public school and bringing them home?” “Will my kids miss out on important milestones and fun activities because of my decision to homeschool them?” Homeschool Bravely answers these questions and so many more. It doesn’t list new techniques, or shiny new curriculum. But it DOES introduce a change in perspective and the idea that homeschooling is a CALLING. Whether this is your first or tenth year homeschooling, I highly recommend you pick up this book. It reads like a sigh of relief to quiet the inner doubt.
The call of the wild and free by ainsley arment
The Call of the Wild and Free was written by the founder of the Wild + Free Homeschooling Community (www.bewildandfree.org). This is also in my top three best books for homeschooling inspiration because it goes against my natural bent in teaching my children. This beautiful book is all about allowing our children to experience the adventure, freedom, and wonder of childhood. It’s a practical guide that provides all the information and inspiration you’ll give your children a wild and free education. The Wild + Free movement is focused on a love of nature and reading great books. Also pursuing interests and hobbies, making the entire world a classroom, and prolonging the wonder of childhood. Even if you don’t consider your method of homeschooling “outdoorsy”, I promise you will learn something from this incredible book.
educating the wholehearted child by clay clarkson
Educating the Wholehearted Child is a Christian Education handbook written in 1994 (and since updated). I use this book as more of a resource guide than a book I sit down to devour. It is comprehensive and broken down into 4 sections; home, learning, methods, and living (with a resource section at the end). While reading through this book, you will discover how to make your home and family the heart of your children’s education. You will also be guided in training your children to become creative, self-directed learners. It will help you identify and work with each of your children’s learning styles as well as help them learn to love learning. My favorite section is the booklist at the end which you will be able to use to enrich your children’s education with rich, living books.
The Read-aloud Family by sarah mackenzie
The Read-Aloud Family was written by the founder of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast (a which is definitely worth your time). Mackenzie has spent her career teaching parents how to connect with their children over delightful stories. Studies show that reading aloud with our children impacts their academic success, inspires compassion, and gives them the inner strength they need to face the challenges of life. This book offers age-appropriate book lists that you can use to start a read-aloud movement in your own home. Read-aloud time is the very best part of our homeschool day and I have been inspired and encouraged by the help Mackenzie offers in this book. www.readaloudrevival.com
Better together by pam barnhill
Better Together explores the concept of “Morning Time” and why every homeschool can benefit from it, no matter the homeschooling method. At our house, Morning Time (which we call Together Time) is when I gather the kids around the table to enjoy a wide feast of ideas and we dive into the concepts of truth, goodness, and beauty. This is when we pull out poetry, art/handicrafts, music/composer study, art study, history read-alouds, bible reading, and scripture memory. Better Together tells the stories of real life homeschooling parents and how they’ve implemented Morning Time in their homes, alongside a ton of practical tips. It is also loaded with resources, book lists, and ideas to help your Morning Time be a time that you will treasure with your kids of all ages for years to come.
the brave learner by julie bogart
The Brave Learner‘s tagline is “Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life”. Doesn’t that sound like an amazing goal? This book is also in my top three best books for homeschooling inspiration because it is a guide to making education a part of everyday life with your children. We all want our kids to love learning, but it’s hard to know how to make that love happen on a random Tuesday when self-doubt and the stomach virus has hit your home. Bogart uses her decades of experience to show parents how to make education an exciting experience for our kids. This book is full of practical guidance on how to teach all manner of subjects hidden within our children’s passions while using the things in which they delight. Bogart also has a great podcast (Brave Write with Julie Bogart).
mere motherhood by cindy rollins
When I started my own homeschooling journey, I was fascinated by those families who began teaching their children at home in the early 1980’s, when homeschooling wasn’t even LEGAL in most states. I wanted to know everything possible about how they used only their Bibles as textbooks to teach their children and how those young people came away with solid educations and an unyielding love for the Lord. In my quest, I came across Cindy Rollins. Rollins used her 30 years of experience schooling her 9 children at home to write Mere Motherhood. It is about great read-alouds, Morning Times, and Nursery Rhymes. But it’s also about a dedicated mother’s journey toward the Truth and the family she brought along with her. I would love to sit across from Rollins at a quiet coffee shop. But this book is the second best thing.
plan your year by pam barnhill
Many new homeschooling parents that I’ve spoken with worry that they will somehow to forget to cover important subjects. Or they stress that their lesson plans are inadequate and hard to implement. Plan Your Year is an excellent resource to help with those concerns. It includes a step-by-step plan with action items; complete the included lists and you will have a flexible plan for your homeschool year. Barnhill addresses curriculum decision fatigue and gives us 3 vital steps to work through before purchasing the latest and greatest books that we think our homeschool won’t be complete without. It even includes forms which can be printed out and customized to your unique needs. I wish I had discovered this book before we started our homeschooling journey!
I hope you enjoyed my list of best books for homeschooling inspiration. I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments below!
If you are interested in learning more about my story, check out Meet Tanna From Megavan Mama. I hope you’ll also check out some of my other favorite books at Encouraging Books For Christian Mothers and 20 of the Best Books I Read In 2020.