Ready to dig in and learn more about homeschooling methods and educational philosophies? Here’s a great booklist to help you make sense of it all.
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We live in a time when there’s no shortage of great reading options for home educators. I’m incredibly grateful for that because that’s exactly where we turned when we began homeschooling.
We turned to our local library and researched diligently to prepare for our journey. Since then, I’ve continued to turn to books for homeschooling parents for encouragement, learning ideas, and to gain greater understanding of homeschool methods and educational philosophy.
What to Read: Digging Deeper into Homeschool Methods & Educational Philosophy
There’s plenty to choose from in the way of homeschooling books about philosophies and methods, but today I’d like to share some tried and true options.
These are all books that either give a good overview of specific educational philosophies or could serve as continuing education for homeschooling parents. Let’s take a look:
What to Read: Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
Charlotte Mason’s own volumes are the best place to start digging into her philosophy of education. However, if you don’t find yourself ready to dig into Volume 1, Home Education, quite yet, consider the following books:
- A Charlotte Mason Education – Catherine Levison’s A Charlotte Mason Education is the perfect book if you’re a homeschool parent who is curious about the Charlotte Mason homeschooling method or need practical steps for implementing Charlotte Mason’s philosophy in your homeschool.
- For the Children’s Sake – One of my favorite books for homeschool parents, For the Children’s Sake helps homeschooling parents explore a Charlotte Mason education, while also connecting the Charlotte Mason method to child development, parenting, and family life.
- Consider This – This is a great book to explore if you’d like to see how classical education influenced Charlotte Mason and dig in to the similarities and differences between the two philosophies.
- A Charlotte Mason Companion – In a nutshell, Karen Andreola’s A Charlotte Mason Companion is Charlotte Mason’s philosophy written in modern language. It’s written with her family’s experience with a Charlotte Mason education in mind and also shares her personal studies and reflections from her Charlotte Mason homeschool.
What to Read: Classical Education
Looking to gain a greater understanding of classical education? Here are some helpful books to add to your reading list:
- An Introduction to Classical Education – Exactly what it sounds like, this small book is a good introduction to classical education. It’s a non-intimidating overview of the method and is perfect if you’re considering classical education for your homeschool.
- The Core – Wondering how to actually implement that classical education in your home? Leigh Bortins’ The Core explains the need for classical education and how to build your homeschool around the philosophy.
- The Well-Trained Mind – This well-loved homeschooling book breaks down classical education subject by subject and provides clear instructions for what to teach and when to teach it, along with resource lists to help you make it all happen. If you’re studying classical education with the intention of implementing it at home, this is a book you’ll turn to over and over again.
- Beauty in the Word – I found this book to be especially helpful for digging deeper into classical education as a whole, and not necessarily at home. It was incredibly inspiring and insightful, but does spend a good amount of time highlighting classical education in a school setting.
What to Read: Unschooling
It’s a pretty amazing thing to recognize that our children are learning all the time whether we’re directing it or not. Not so sure about that? Maybe it’s time to read up on unschooling:
- The Unschooling Handbook – This one is great to have on hand because it trains you to recognize natural learning and understand how to track progress and quantify the self-led learning that happens through an unschooling lifestyle.
- Home Grown – This fascinating book looks at unschooling with a particular emphasis on a natural, gadget free environment.
- Free to Learn – From the Amazon description, “A leading expert in childhood development makes the case for why self-directed learning–“unschooling” — is the best way to get kids to learn.”
- Unschooling Rules – It can be tough for those of us who were “sent to school” to truly grasp homeschooling. That’s even more the case when it comes to unschooling. Unschooling Rules aims to change all of that by helping parents unlearn the ingrained impressions of education and learn to see the possibilities available through unschooling.
What to Read: Other Homeschool Methods & Educational Philosophies
What if you’re looking for help outside the realms of Charlotte Mason, classical education, or unschooling? From well-respected methods to lesser-known homeschool styles to educational philosophy that’s more like a lifestyle, you’ll also want to add a few of these to your reading pile:
- The Montessori Method – This one the best source for Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy behind and practice of her teaching method.
- Relaxed Homeschooling – Need to be reminded there’s more to education than kill-and-drill worksheets, tests, or massive textbooks? Inspired by a Thomas Jefferson educational philosophy, Relaxed Homeschooling teaches you how to encourage learning through books. day-to-day life, and your child’s natural interests.
- The Brave Learner – While Julie Bogart’s Brave Writer Lifestyle is considered by some to be educational philosophy all on its own, this book shares practical teaching methods and homeschool encouragement inspired by several different philosophies.
- Homeschool Adventures: Learning Through the Power of Field Trips – Interested in the idea of roadschooling? Homeschool Adventures isn’t necessarily about living and learning on the road, but it’s a good place to start when it comes to planning these adventures and knowing how to make the most of them.
- Project-Based Homeschooling – This book is a great resource for those who want to implement child-led learning in their homeschools. It focuses on how to mentor kids through their chosen projects and how to know when to step in and help them.
What about you? What are your go-to books on homeschool methods and educational philosophy? Share them with us in the comments below!
Looking for more books to add to your homeschool shelves? Stop by iHomeschool Network and peruse The Massive Guide to Homeschool Reading Lists.