Thinking About Homeschooling? Books to Inspire.

Over the last two years, I have read about home education in any form I could find it. Blogs, articles, research papers {yes, even some of a PHD thesis} – anything. Once God lays something on my heart, all I want to do is learn and grow and read as much as I can get my hands on. Because of our awesome libraries in my town {over fifteen of them!}, I have been able to read quite a number of homeschooling books. This has been so helpful and inspiring. From reasons to experiences to philosophies, my passion for educating children at home has just grown.
I’m part way through another book at the moment and, as I have been reading it, I thought: I need to share all the amazing books I have been reading. I am sure there are some mother’s out there who, like me, want to learn but don’t know where to start. This list {though not comprehensive} is for you.


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Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Clay & Sally Clarkson
This was the first book on homeschooling I read and it definitely opened my eyes to a whole new world. The Clarkson’s are quite famous for homeschooling and have their own ministry. All their children are older now and successful in their own right. But that isn’t what homeschooling is about for the Clarkson’s – it’s about creating a home that brings life and learning naturally, part of the whole child, and not just their minds. It is a Christian-based book and really encouraging {and weighty}.


What is a Family? by Edith Schaffer
I have written about this book so many times because, just, oh. I love it. It isn’t a book on homeschooling specifically, but Edith’s whole message about the importance of family and home and relationships deepened my growing conviction that God really cares about families, how much He wants mother’s to invest in their family’s lives, how much a home atmosphere affects a child’s life. My desire to homeschool deepened after reading this book because my passion for the kind of life I wanted for my children doubled.

The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
Again, this isn’t a homeschooling book per se, but Sally’s message is clear: children need mother’s and it is vitally important that mother’s invest their all into their children for the season of life when they are directly under our influence and in our homes. Conviction, inspiration, encouragement, soul-warming – this book is for all Christian mothers, even if homeschooling isn’t on your radar. But if it is, this book will inspire you with a new vision for how you want to teach your children {educationally, spiritually, relationally etc}.


This book. It was hilarious and I loved it. It isn’t Christian at all, but that was really nice for a change. There are so many resources out there from a Christian perspective that it was a breath of fresh air to see why a non-Christian would homeschool. It was a one-year experiment for Quinn and her daughter, and each chapter follows Quinn as she researches, meets other homeschoolers, figures out what works for her daughter, goes to a conference. Her sense of humour made me giggle and I just really enjoyed following her along this journey.

The Well-Adjusted Child by Rachel Gathercole
I am currently re-reading this book and am enjoying it. It approaches that question all homeschoolers are asked, “What about socialisation?” This was a question for me at the start {because of my own naievity}, but I don’t have any qualms about it anymore. The question is no longer “Are homeschoolers socialised?” but rather, “What actually is socialisation?” The answer is not simple as people assume. A great book.

I was excited to read this book on many levels and I am surprised by my response to it. Being a Sproul, I knew it would be biblically-based and it is – but I wasn’t actually convinced by his arguments that homeschooling is a biblical mandate. I still love this book, but not for the reasons I think he intended. It made some great points, like, why are we surprised when our children turn out like Romans when we sent them to Caesar? This is a top recommendation from me, but with the sidenote that I don’t fully agree with it theologically.


The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

My father is a Professor in Children’s Literature, so by nurture, I am a reader. He gave me this book since he knows I am looking into homeschooling and, though it isn’t about homeschooling, I think it ought to be a vital resource for all parents – especially homeschoolers. Reading is so, so, so important for a child’s learning and for their well-being. Reading today in schools isn’t reading – it’s about quizes and comprehension. We need to go back to the belief that reading creates a love of learning, for life. One of my favourite schooling memories is when, at ten, our teacher read us aloud Watership Down. 


In my growing knowledge of how children learn, self-directed {or delight-directed} learning has really interested me. Allowing children to direct their learning by parents following their lead and providing outlines and lessons that fit into the child’s interests of the moment. Some call this unschooling, but I feel there is more parental guidance needed. This book studied the lives of famous homeschoolers and how they were educated impacted their pursuit of excellence {like Einstein, Teddy Roosevelt etc.}. Really interesting.


So there you have it. Have you read any of these? Would love your own recommendations!

8 thoughts on “Thinking About Homeschooling? Books to Inspire.

  1. So good to see someone do research before they jump into something. Homeschooling is not for everyone so to know what you are getting yourself into is a good thing. This is coming from a teacher who sees the pros and cons of it. Good luck.

  2. Thank you Michelle! The more I read on education, the more I am thankful for the vast array of options available to us. My parents are in education, too, so I get it! 😉

  3. To think I have homeschooled for 10 years and haven't read any of these! 🙂 Thank you for sharing these titles with us!

  4. Thank you for this! My boys are still little (2 and 2 months) but I've been lioking into homeschooling. We live in a really good school system, so it's kind of a toss up, but I can't wait to sink into some of these!

  5. I loved reading your review! The year of learning dangerously sounds like a really fun read! And I agree with the whole socialization thing. When that statement comes out of the mouth of a person who's never done it, I cringe. It's nothing like they think it is. I've homeschooled, and my kids LOVE people! Also, I agree with you – I don't think homeschooling is the believer's responsibility. I believe we all have options based on what we can do and what our children need. But I definitely preferred homeschooling although I didn't do it for all my kids!

    Thanks for sharing this with us on Tuesday Talk again – love your new bike pic up there on your header!

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