This year I managed to read quite a few books related to homeschooling . I found a lot of them extremely beneficial , helpful and life changing too and I thought that it would only be fair if I shared them with you all. Because sharing is caring 🙂 So below you will find my favourite homeschool books for 2019. Please note that this post includes affiliated links.
- A Gracious Space by Julie Bogart– If there is one book that every single homeschooling parent should have in my opinion is honestly this one. What a treasure! I wish I discovered these books earlier. Julie Bogart is the owner and creator of Brave Writer, an innovative company that teaches writing and language arts to homeschooling families. “Since its inception in January 2000, Julie has taught thousands of homeschool families not only how to write, but how to create rich homeschool lives—the sort that we all imagine we’ll have but often fall short of living. Julie is a popular speaker at conventions in both the United States and Canada. She’s written curricula and online writing courses for grades PreK – 12th grade, and adjuncts as a professor of theology at Xavier University. She home educated her five children for 17 years, all of whom are adults now. Julie lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. ” A Gracious Space has three editions – Fall , Winter and Summer. It is basically a collection of thoughts and reflections on home education, drawn from Julie’s personal experience and the lives of thousands of Brave Writer families .
This particular edition provides ” daily readings that offer insights into the home education experience, as well as supplies encouragement, inspiration, and companionship on the journey. The entries are honest reflections drawn from Julie’s life and her interaction with the thousands of homeschoolers that are members of the Brave Writer community. Each entry is accompanied by a “quote of the day” written by a parent like you, or a notable individual. The day’s entry is concluded with a “sustaining thought” to take with you. “
I just finished The Fall edition, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I am now embarking on the Winter one. What I love about this book, is that it is not aimed at a specific curriculum strategy nor a singular homeschool philosophy. It doesn’t matter what type of a home educator you are , whether you are religious or not, any homeschooling parent will resonate with the daily reflections. The book can be bought from Amazon-https://amzn.to/2LOLVUJ
2) Give Your child the World – Raising Globally Minded Kids one book at a time by Jamie Martin – “Jamie Martin is a highly sensitive, introverted mama of three, who loves books, tea, and people (not always in that order) and avoids answering the phone when possible. Author of Give Your Child the World, she shares thoughts on parenting and personality over at http://www.introvertedmoms.com. ” She lives with her family in Connecticut.
What a Gem of a book this is ! This is truly more than a book- you do not read it just once and put it back on your bookshelf. It is a super inspirational guide book that contains over 600 children’s book recommendations from all around the world. The Book is separated in two parts: Part 1 : Falling in love with the world and Part 2: Read the World. I really enjoyed Chapter 2 ( part 1 of the book) which looked at practical ways to invite the world into your home, whether that’s home decor, food tasting or ethical spending. Part 2 includes the reading lists ( fiction and non-fiction, which are carefully curated. What I love about these reading lists is that they are organised not only by region ( Asia , Europe etc) and country, but also by age range too . There are three age ranges 4-6, 6-8, and 10-12. Each listing includes a brief description of the book and its themes, as well as any content of which parents should be aware . I cannot imagine the amount of time and careful research that Jamie must have done for her to produce such a fantastic and diverse list of incredible books. We were recently looking at the continent of Africa and it was so easy to find relevant books and it saved me so much time, as the reading lists were already in the book and I was able to find the relevant books for all my children. I was also pleasantly surprised that a lot of her books , I was able to borrow from my local library, which meant that I spent less money on purchasing books. I also loved the ” Global Perspective ” sections which are spread throughout the book. In this section, parents from all over the world,give their answers to the question “How do you give your children the world in your home?. “
This is truly one fantastic resource, that every family should own ( homeschooling or not) if you want to expose and broaden your children’s minds to some first rate literature from around the world. The book can be bought from Amazon –https://amzn.to/36yJjCD
3)The Read Aloud Family – Making meaningful and lasting connections with your kids by Sarah Mackenzie
“Sarah Mackenzie is an author, speaker, and podcast host. She created the Read-Aloud Revival podcast in 2014. That fateful decision resulted in a highly rated show with millions of downloads. Sarah helps families all over the world fall in love with books. She lives in the Northwest with her husband, Andrew. She homeschools their six kids and considers it her high calling to make sure they are well-stocked in the best books she can find. ”
” “When read-aloud time doesn’t look like we originally hoped, we begin to doubt that it’s giving us any of those wonderful benefits we discussed in part 1. But here’s the thing: it still works. Even when it’s noisy, messy, and more chaotic than you’d like it to be, it works. Even when kids are grumbling, complaining, and don’t seem to be listening, it works.”
|To say that I enjoyed reading the ” The Read Aloud Family” By Sarah Mackenzie will be for sure an understatement. I absolutely loved and have been using it ever since I discovered it a few months ago. The Book is divided in three chapters:|
Part 1 ” Time is now ” looks at how reading aloud can change the your world, tips on how to be fully present , as well as some of the many benefits of reading aloud to your children ( increased vocabulary and highly sophisticated language patterns, the ability to make connections and last but certainly not least , the love for learning ).
Part 2 is ” Connecting with our kids through Books”. I really loved this section, as it is full of tips and advice on topics such as how to create a book club culture at home, how to become a literary matchmaker , how to ask compelling questions and much more.
In Part 3 ” Meeting them where they rise “- Sarah gives the relevant read-alouds lists , split into a specific age group 0-3, 4-7, 8-12 and the Teen years. In this section, you will also be able to learn how to choose books for your children and what the most important aspect of this are.
This book will truly enable you to discover practical strategies to make reading a meaningful family ritual. Although the book is written by a homeschooling mum, the book will be great to anyone whether you home educate or not. “The Read Aloud Family can be bought from Amazon –https://amzn.to/34lBVcl
4)Better Together by Pam Barnhill
“Better Together teaches you how to design a part of your homeschool day where the entire family can learn together. This time, known as “Morning Time,” has exploded in popularity since its inclusion in Sarah Mackenzie’s bestseller Teaching From Rest. Now homeschool mom and former teacher Pam Barnhill breaks down the practice for every homeschooler. “
Pam Barnhill is a mom and former secondary teacher. When she’s not homeschooling her three kids, she can be found helping and encouraging homeschool moms at pambarnhill.com. She is the host of Your Morning Basket, a podcast devoted to helping families contemplate truth, goodness, and beauty in Morning Time, and The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast where she interviews homeschooling parents, providing a peek into their days. She lives with her husband, children, and a passel of dogs in beautiful Alabama.
I first heard about Morning time nearly 9 years ago , when i used to follow the blogs of a few American homeschool mums. Then when my eldest was 2 , I used to attend for a short period of time a Steiner parent adn toddler group once a week and we used to do a similar ritual , called Circle Time.
Morning time has always been part of our routine, although it has always looked different and needless to say changing depending on what stage of life we were/are at. So when I first discovered from Sarah Mackenzie that there is actually a book on morning time, I knew I had to read it. I loved reading it and it has given me even more well needed encouragement to persist with morning Time and also more ideas on what to include in our MT Basket. If you happen to be a morning time veteran, there is a lot of refreshment to be found in this book for you, too! I made a few really great tweaks to our schedule that have made a world of difference for us. I have included below ten tips ( my summary) that hopefully will give you an idea about what to expect from the book in regards to Morning Time:
- Anyone can benefit from morning time- no matter what type of a home educator you are and what method or religion you follow.
- USE MT to teach subjects such as science and history/geography to multi age children at one time
- Find engaging material to read together
- Quality over quantity- whether it is 10 minutes or one hour- it all counts
- Use MT to introduce art and poetrt, never to Maths
- There is no right or wrong anwer to how mcuh you read during MT
- Your children do not need to sit still and be quiet
- Morning Time does not have to be done on the table or even in the morning for that matter. Do it at a time and a place that works for you and your family.
Pam has also included snapshots/interviews of how other homeschooling families do Morning Time. I found them really very helpful and insightful. The book also contains lots of recommendations on what to include in your MT basket. The appendices at the end of the book had invaluable resources, many great ideas for MT areas of study. The book is written from a Christian viewpoint, so if you are a secular homeschooler, you may find the religious aspect a bit too much. The book can be bought from Amazon -https://amzn.to/38ANejS
5)How to Survive Homeschooling ( A self care guide for moms who lovingly do way too much ) By Brooke Benoit
“All mothers struggle to achieve balance in their lives, so how can homeschooling moms do it when they have taken on an entire other role? How to Survive Homeschooling: A Self-Care Guide for Moms Who Lovingly Do Way Too Much is the companion homeschool moms need to avoid burnout and to find their personal wellbeing. In this enjoyable and interactive book you will learn how to: Identify and take care of all of your various physical and emotional needs as an excruciatingly busy individual Track your progress as a homeschooler, a role model, and wholly-living person Further your personal goals aside from homeschooling your children Guard yourself and your family from interlopers Recognize how a homeschooling lifestyle is different and live it unapologetically Brooke also shares her unique story of homeschooling herself and then her children. “
” Brooke Benoit is a magazine editor and artist who attended the San Francisco Art Institute and earned a degree in Rhetoric from the University of Alaska Anchorage. After homeschooling herself for high school she began college at fifteen years old. When it came time to enroll her children in school, instead Brooke immersed herself in learning the various styles and means to homeschool. She has continued to work, returned to school and moved abroad while homeschooling. Brooke currently facilitates her seven children’s education (at home) on the southern coast of Morocco where she also enjoys photography, travel and lively chit-chat. ” She also runs Amsmoon, a third space, near her home where she helps other young people explore their interests and new things . Brooke is also the editor of “Fitra Journal” – four collections of wisdom from Muslim homeschoolers around the world. I cannot recommend this enough- they are so insightful and full of wisdom and advice. Once or twice a year Brooke very happily runs retreats for Muslim women in Morocco and London. Here are the details, if you would like to attend them.
Amsmoon – Collective Makers
Aourir is a working-class, fishermen’s community just outside the economically strong and tourist-friendly city of Agadir. The majority of residents live below the poverty line, so how are they supposed to access the kinds of services proven to boost lives?
If there is one thing that I can defintely say about this gem, is that I wished Brooke wrote this book 10 years ago when I first started became interested in homeschooling. There are hundreds of books on the varioys tyoes and methods of homeschooling, but not many about self care, about you as a person , and not losing yourself in the chaos that comes with being a homeschooling parent.
The book consists of two parts. The first part is a guided self care manual with short essays and lots of prompts with space for you to write your own answers and thoughts. I absolutely loved this section and enjoyed Brooke’s insights. This section will give you tips on how to identify and take care of all your various physical and emotinal needs, as well as how to track your progress as a home schooler, a role model and wholly living person.
Part 2 is a short autobiography of the author with a focus in her family, homeschooling and travel/living situation. I really enjoyed reading that memoir . Brooke truly is one inspirational woman and I honestly wish she wrote a book on her life in Morrocco while homeschooling her children.
The book is full of tips and advice, and written by someone who clearly knows about struggles as well as the results and joys of homeschooling. “Balancing everything and still caring for oneself may seem impossible, but Benoit reminds moms of the importance of taking care of themselves as well and how to make sure the family supports that. ” The book cane be bought from Amazon- https://amzn.to/2RJNnLU
Brooke Benoit also participated in my Homeschool Chat Series, so if you want to read my interview with her and get a glimpse into how she unschools her children, just click on the link – https://letslearnmama.home.blog/2019/10/08/homeschool-chat-with-brooke-benoit/
6)The Brave Learner – Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning and Life–
“In this book, Julie Bogart distills decades of experience–homeschooling her five now grown children, developing curricula, and training homeschooling families around the world–to show parents how to make education an exciting, even enchanting, experience for their kids, whether they’re in elementary or high school.
“Enchantment is about ease, not striving. Bogart shows parents how to make room for surprise, mystery, risk, and adventure in their family’s routine, so they can create an environment that naturally moves learning forward. If a child wants to pick up a new hobby or explore a subject area that the parent knows little about, it’s easy to simply say “no” to end the discussion and the parental discomfort, while dousing their child’s curious spark. Bogart gently invites parents to model brave learning for their kids so they, too, can approach life with curiosity, joy, and the courage to take learning risks. “
This book truly was well worth the read. It is such a brilliant, encouraging and practical book that truly deserves a place in everyone’s home. Julie writes so beautifully about how we can create magical learning environments for our children. And best of all – none of these ideas require a huge investment of time, money, or energy! I mean you gotta love this.
One thing about this book to bear in mind is that it can be overwhelming if you were to read it at once. Take your time, read chapter by chapter slowly, take notes ( I really recommend this) and dont just put the book back on the bookshelf , once you are finished reading it . I often re read chapters , depending on what i want to focus on .
This book is filled with practical ideas and tips on how to apply what she writes about, and also how to connect with our children and put relationships first. I honestly think that it is a parenting book as much as a homeschooling book. It truly is must read for any home educator and you will take a lot away from it, especially if are new to home schooling or in need of finding back your enthusiasm in home educating your children.
The book can be bought from Amazon-https://amzn.to/34jtgXE
7)The Unhurried Homeschooler: A Simple, Mercifully Short Book on Homeschooling
I love reading how other parents home educate and even more so from veteran home schoolers. The ” Unhurried homeschooler” is written by Christian American homeschool mum Durenda Wilson, who shares her advice and wisdom of home educating her eight children for over 20 years. Durenda is also a regular guest of the Busy Mom podcast and a contribution writer at the Busy Mom.
I loved her explanation about what unhurried homeschooling means – ” allowing childen to learn at their own space, willing to be flexible, starting “education” slowly and gently, remembering who we are and the example we set, remembering that education is a much, much bigger picture than ‘bookworm and memorisation and so much more.”
One of the best things about this book is that it doesn’t include any curriculum recommendations ( there is nothing wrong with having curriculum btw). But it is really nice to read something which does not focus on this. It was a very easy and short read (62 pages) and it is full of inspirational quotes and homeschooling advice. I throoughly enjoyed reading her three eldest children’s views ( now in their 20s) on homeschooling.
Although the book includes religious references, it should not be discarded by those who are of no faith or different faith than the author. The book is truly a must read for any homeschoolig mother who has been living with fears and doubts if she ever does enough to educate her children. Also it is a great book for the new homeschooling parent as well, who wants to start it right and fears not knowing where to begin or how to do it.
” Reading The Unhurried Homeschooler is like having coffee with a trusted friend. You’ll be encouraged as you learn to do what God has put before you. This book will lighten your load while helping you learn how to raise life-long learners and ENJOY the homeschool years with your kids. ” The book can be bought from Amazon –https://amzn.to/34i1Bq9