Inside you’ll find: The best books about homeschooling for mamas to read!
Reading is a luxury when you’re a busy mom. But it’s also a necessity.
Without quality books, we’d lack refreshment, inspiration, and growth. When I gear up to start our first official year of homeschooling, I knew I needed to arm myself with the wisdom of others who have gone on before. So despite the odds stacked against me, I made it a priority to read the best books for homeschool moms I could find. (Here’s how I find time to read while homeschooling four kids!)
We’ve now been homeschooling for 5 years. We’re heavily influenced by Charlotte Mason as well as a couple other philosophies. These books have permanently shaped the culture of our family and I hope you’ll be bolstered to enter this lifestyle. It’s messy, beautiful, and worth it!
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These books have me all revved up to get this homeschooling show on the road. They’ve helped me pick our family’s unique homeschool philosophy as well as given me the courage to start tackling the tasks ahead. I’m sure I’ll turn to them again and again as the years go by.
Best Books for Homeschool Moms’ Inspiration:
Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace I have a homeschooler crush on Sarah Mackenzie. As the host of the Read-Aloud Revival podcast, she encourages parents to create a cultural of literary greatness in their families. But this small book of hers is all about resting in God’s grace. It’s about the balance we all seek and can actually have when our faith is grounded in Christ’s finished work. It’s about ordering your life to fit your priorities; being faithful to what God is calling you to, while trusting him with the results. I’ll definitely read this one on a yearly basis. This is a book I re-read OFTEN!
Books about Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Method:
For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School If you’re curious about a Charlotte Mason education, most people would point to this book as the one that convinced them, even as very young mothers. I find this book so lofty and beautiful. This book will inspire you to greatness. When you need to pull yourself out of the trenches of worksheets and research papers, Macaulay will raise your eyes to your God-given calling of educating and loving a human soul. It’s humbling, but doable. If you want to get pumped up about the glorious task of educating your children, this is it!
If you want to understand Miss Mason, Karen Glass is the best guide out there! I recently read this book and found it so helpful in organizing my thoughts about the philosophies and practices of a Charlotte Mason education. It boils down CM to two essential principles and shows how the other 18 principales all fall under the headship of those two. She then goes on to demonstrate how CM practices and buzz words like “living books” and “narration” is shaped by the two essential principles. It’s not dry, and it’s so so practical. It will help you see education from a truly CM lens, instead of just haphazardly attempting to follow along. It will give you confidence to make educational choices for your own family. If you only read one Karen Glass book, this one is probably best.
Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition I always tell perspective and new homeschooling moms to nail down their philosophy of education before the nitty gritty of methods and curriculum. It will save you heartache and money. PROMISE! This book really helped me understand the motivation behind ancient classical educators and how Charlotte Mason embodied that for a more modern generation. It might sound dry, but it had my heart pumping and my motivation soaring! I’ve put up quotes from it all over my house! This is a glorious picture of what education should be. Not a how-to book, but a why-to book. This might be my all time favorite homeschooling book.
This book is a wonderful practical handbook on the practice of narration. As an essential part of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy, narration gives the child the opportunity to share what they learned, instead of testing to discover what they don’t know. It’s also essential in developing critical thinking skills, logic, and communication. Every question you could possibly think of to ask about narration from kindergarten stories to high school written narrations is covered in this book. She even discusses how to do narrations with special needs students.
I’ve been told over and over that if you want to really understand the beauty of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy, go to the source! This is the first volume of 6 books Charlotte Mason wrote. They are meaty and they are worth it. The woman was inspired! 😉 Expect to go through them slowly over the years.
Books about the Homeschooling Lifestyle:
One thing ALL homeschoolers agree on is the vital nature of reading good books. Sarah Mackenzie is a trailblazer, leading the revival of family read-aloud time as a way not to just grow in intellect but forge meaningful relationships and lasting character. The book lists in the back are GOLD!
This book is all about homemaking, but not in the stereotypical “cooking and cleaning” way. It’s about creating a haven of love and wonder. Organized by month and season, some of the topics covered include celebrations, rhythms and routines, play, heritage, and service.
It’s not making your home life beautiful for the sake of Instagram. No, the purpose is far greater! “I am keenly aware that my love of beauty is equaled by my total inability to force my life to be beautiful. The world and I myself are profoundly broken. My natural impulse in the midst of this is a quick discouragement… To cultivate beauty is to act in keeping with my faith in God’s goodness rather than my doubt.” Profound, right???
Not necessarily directed at homeschoolers, this book is a pronouncement to restore the glories of childhood. It’s written from the facetious perspective of a governing body set on erasing childhood in favor of producing robotic people who produce and are predictable. Think of it like the “Screwtape Letters” for modern parents.
Some of the fascinating chapters cover heroes, the outdoors, distraction, fairy tales, risks, alone time, differences between men and women, and transcendence. It’s fascinating and will shape your parenting for the better. A MUST READ for boy moms!
Educating the WholeHearted Child This book feels like you’re sitting in the living room drinking coffee with the most seasoned homeschooling family on the planet. The Clarksons help you step back and focus on what really matters, your child’s heart. Like Charlotte Mason and Classical Education, the emphasis in on wonderful literature. This book is quite the resource and covers much more than academics, as you might suspect. Who the child is as a person is of the utmost importance and lines between school life and “real” life are purposefully blurred.
This book reminded me of Jesus’ words, “What good is it to gain the world but lose your soul?” In the pressure to do more, be more and learn more, this book will help you step back and remember the real reason why you’re parenting and educating at home in the first place.
Books about Classical Education:
(I and Karen Glass would argue that Charlotte Mason was a classical educator and possibly more accurately follows what the ancient educators intended. See more in “Consider This”.)
The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home The trivium of classical education has always fascinated me. The idea is that styles of learning should match a child’s brain development. So when a child is young, they’re great a memorizing and absorbing facts, this is labeled the “grammar” stage. Next comes Logic when a child is in middle school and wants to know the “why?” behind everything. It’s analytical and meant to build a framework to hang the facts learned in the grammar stage. Next comes the Rhetoric stage which focuses on communicating with the rest of the world all the facts and logic they’ve gleaned. Instead of spewing facts, they practice using language to reach others and change minds.
This book definitely will push you to excellence.
Books about Unschooling:
I’ve heard this book described as a glitter hug of encouragement! If you’ve ever said you just want to raise kids that love learning, Julie Bogart shows you the practical “how-to’s” of achieving that seemingly out-of-reach ideal. Homeschoolers of all varieties will find inspiration to spark magic in their everyday life. If homeschooling has lost its spark, read this book and get inspired!
P.S. Curious about what curriculum we use? Well, I definitely don’t just get a box curriculum, and we’ve tried lots of things over the years. Here’s our first year round up. Here’s the math we’ve used for the last 3 years and ADORE! We also supplement some subjects with these delightful letters for learning.
P.S. Wondering how to find the time to read so many books? Behold, the wonder of the audiobook, my friends. I can’t believe how many books I can get through while in the car, making dinner or folding laundry because of my Audible subscription. ( Try Audible for FREE and Get Two Free Audiobooks) It’s been a game changer for me!
Are you a homeschooling mom? What are the best books for homeschool moms that would you recommend to a newbie??? Tell me in the comments below!