Parents who are considering, or have recently decided to homeschool can be overwhelmed with information. My oldest son had attended six years of Catholic school before we made the transition, and all my experience with schooling was developed through the institutionalized system of education. I sought any and all resources that would aid the transition into our new homeschooling journey. Though I learned a great deal, I was overloaded with too much information.
These are the top five homeschooling books that I believe to be invaluable resources to homeschoolers, particularly in the beginning stages. Each veteran homeschooler has his/her personal favorites and would have varying opinions on which books are the best resources. These five outstanding titles are concise and cover the topics of philosophy, organization, curriculum, resources and fiction.
I Saw the Angel in the Marble is a collection of articles by homeschool pioneers Chris & Ellyn Davis that have been written over the course of many years. The Davis’ offer insight & wisdom they have gained over 20 years. Their experiences help us understand reasons to homeschool and methods & styles of homeschooling.
100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum is the most comprehensive guide to homeschool curricula. Cathy Duffy helps parents match their child’s learning style to the curriculum consistent with his/her educational philosophy. The most popular homeschool curricula are summarized, then laid out by subjects in a table for parents to compare. The table rates each material according to key features or characteristics of resources, which include: child’s learning style, prep time, ease of use, grade level, amount of writing, availability of teachers manual, religious perspective and if it supports Charlotte Mason’s philosophy or Classical Education. When it comes to comparing educational materials, I’ve never found another of this caliber. This book rates & reviews the most popular curricula among homeschoolers.
Homeschooling at the Speed of Life helps homeschooling families learn to balance school, family and the real world. Marilyn Rocket offers the solution for maintaining order in your home and school in this step-by-step guide to making choices about priorities, de-cluttering the home, organizing papers, and important life skills. The book includes a CD-ROM with the author’s easy and versatile File-a-Plan organizing system. It includes record keeping forms for attendance, chores, tracking expenses, field trips, health & vital info, transcripts and much, much more. This book is the best for learning to manage your homeschooling day and keeping records organized.
The Homeschooler’s Book of Lists is more than a reference book. Sonya Haskins has compiled more than 250 lists about great people, important dates, government, geography, mathematical formulas, art, word origins, award winning literature and much more. Topics are organized by academic subjects and can be used according to your child’s interests and needs. Another great feature is that any list from the book can be printed from the CD-ROM which is included. The Homeschooler’s Book of Lists is an awesome resource to supplement any homeschool curriculum.
Surviving the Applewhites, by Stephanie S. Tolan is a title you may not find on other lists of homeschool books to read. It is a fictional story about a troubled teen who has “burned all his bridges.” His only place left to go is to live with an eccentric, unstructured family, the Applewhites. The educational philosophy of this family is a thought provoking example of what homeschooling could be like. It raises questions in the reader about his/her philosophy of education. Surviving the Applewhites is a humorous and endearing story of transformation. I recommend it for parents, and children alike, to spark ideas and discussions about your homeschooling perceptions and goals.
A search in “books”on Amazon.com for homeschool turns up 2,452 results. Sifting through those titles for the best of them is quite a challenge. This list is a quick reference to those I have found to be among the top, which cover homeschooling philosophy, curriculum, organization, resources and fiction.