9 Essential Books for Homeschooling Parents: A Comprehensive Reading List

Let’s face it, homeschooling isn’t for the faint of heart. There’s so much to learn as a homeschooling parent. There’s countless curriculum options to compare, learning styles to navigate, and structure to create, all while trusting that you aren’t totally ruining your child’s education. With so much information available online you might think, “who has time to read an actual book anymore?” I’m here to tell you, these nine homeschooling books are worth the read.

They will give your homeschooling journey a boost, no matter what stage you are in. So put on some comfy pants (if you don’t already have them on), curl up on the couch, and dive in. You’ll be glad you did.

1. Homeschool Bravely: How to Squash Doubt, Trust God, and Teach Your Child with Confidence

I LOVE this book! Ask any parent who has homeschooled for even a day. If they are honest, they will tell you one of the biggest struggles of homeschool is trusting the journey.

Trusting that you are equipped to be your child’s teacher. Trusting that you are doing enough. And most of all trusting that homeschool is the right path for your family.

Homeschool Bravely helps reassure parents who are struggling and feeling overwhelmed with homeschooling, as well as those who are just getting started. On its pages, you’ll find guidance, heartfelt encouragement, spiritual advice, and practical wisdom aimed at lifting you up and keeping you motivated. 

Author Jamie Erickson is in the trenches with you through this journey, as a mother who homeschools all five of her children. But her insights aren’t just anecdotal. She has her degree in education and has taught in the public school system, along with years of experience working for a homeschool curriculum company.

2. The Well-Trained Mind

The Well-Trained Mind outlines the “trivium” of classical education, which focuses on the three building blocks (or stages) of learning to design the best education possible.

The trivium centers around the elementary grammar stage, the middle school logic stage, and finally the rhetoric stage of high school education. 

The book contains a discussion of curriculum choices and a variety of reading lists and online resources to help guide you through the classical learning model. You’ll also find tips and advice on topics like conquering learning challenges, the world of standardized testing, and college applications.

Authors Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise are veteran homeschoolers. They have decades of experience authoring books, developing curriculum, and teaching in a classroom setting.

3. 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child’s Learning Style

Given the amount of homeschool curriculum out there, choosing the right one for your child’s unique learning experience can be daunting. 

Homeschool expert and author Cathy Duffy aims to make the process easier on parents who are lost in a sea of curriculum choices. This informative guide details the best curriculum in all of the critical subject areas. It is a great starting point for new homeschoolers as well as those looking to make a change in their homeschool routine.

Duffy homeschooled her three kids and is a curriculum specialist with years of research under her belt. In 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, Duffy has done the homework for you. She’ll help alleviate the stress of comparing apples to apples when it comes to homeschool curicculum. 

4. The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life

The Brave Learner is written by Julie Bogart, the creator of the award-winning Brave Writer program and online coaching community called The Homeschool Alliance. Having homeschooled all five of her children into successful adulthood, she has massive street cred in my book!

Bogart’s aim is to remind parents that learning can (and should!) be fun. Throughout the book, you are encouraged to embrace learning as a chance to take risks, chase adventure, and create wonder. 

The Brave Learner helps parents overcome the feelings of burnout, paving the way to academic success and cultivating curiosity at all stages of learning.

This is one of the homeschooling books that you’ll want to keep handy through the years as you go through the ups and downs of homeschooling. It’s pages will not only help you find new ways to enjoy the journey you were called to, but also create learning opportunities that will stick with your children for years to come.

5. Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning For Purpose and Peace

In Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning For Purpose and Peace, author Pam Barnhill tackles one of the biggest struggles of the homeschool journey: creating structure and planning out your day. 

Barnhill offers step-by-step plans to map out your school year and daily schedule in just a couple of days. The book also shares tips about how to choose the best curriculum, advice from the homeschool community, and how to combat decision fatigue and burnout.

Pam Barnhill is an award winning educator who homeschooled her three children, so not only does she talk the talk, but she has walked the walk.

6. The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being

The Montessori Toddler is an in-depth guide to teaching your young child according to the ever-popular Montessori style of learning. 

As a certified Montessori teacher with over 15 years experience, Simone Davies will help you create unique activities that foster a love of learning. She also offers strategies to conquer the woes of homeschooling when your child is acting out or the day is not going quite as planned. 

Because let’s be honest, who hasn’t been there.

Davies is a mother of two children, both attending Montessori schools for their primary school education.

7. Home Learning Year by Year, Revised and Updated: How to Design a Creative and Comprehensive Homeschool Curriculum

Want a totally customized homeschool experience, but don’t know where to start? This is one of the best homeschooling books for you.

Home Learning Year By Year is a comprehensive guide that helps parents create their own homeschool curriculum, from preschool to high school. 

You’ll find a comprehensive list of subjects to cover in every grade, recommended resources and reading lists, techniques for teaching different subjects, and discussions on common homeschool topics.

Author Rebecca Rupp homeschooled all three of her kids into adulthood, and has over ten years of experience in the homeschool community. She has written more than a dozen books and over 300 articles on a variety of subjects. 

8. Minimalist Homeschooling

I think we could all agree to some extent that we could use a little minimalism in our lives. We live in an age of information overload and the instant gratification that comes along with two-day delivery. 

See a cool learning gadget at your latest homeschool playdate? I bet it’s in your Amazon cart by the time you strap the kids in the car to head home. (Guilty!)

Minimalist Homeschooling by Zara Fagen is all about harnessing the power of minimalism to help homeschooling parents refocus their priorities. Simplifying the teaching process not only leads to more effective learning, but also a more enjoyable homeschool journey in general.

In the book, you’ll find worksheets designed to help evaluate your schedule, daily tasks, curriculum, and supplies, so you can make positive changes in your day.

Zara has a PhD in neurobiology and is a mother of four children. Her minimalist approach to homeschooling was born through her own experience. She struggled with feeling overwhelmed and frustrated,  and fearing that she was approaching education (and life) all wrong. 

9. Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style

Last (but not least) on the list of essential homeschooling books is a book by Harvey Bluedorn, which helps parents combine classical style learning and spirituality. This classical style of learning goes beyond the textbook to deliver an education based on discovery, reason, and application.

Teaching the Trivium provides an actionable plan to incorporate Christianity into your daily lesson plans, and spans every grade level and subject.

Harvey and his wife Laurie Bluedorn are pioneers in the world of homeschooling and classical education. They embarked on their own homeschooling journey with their children decades ago. Throughout the years, they have hosted countless workshops and support groups to help homeschooling parents navigate the path to a successful education. 

So Which Homeschooling Books Do You Need On Your Bookshelf?

These nine essential homeschooling books will help you develop the confidence you need and the tools you are looking for to find success in your life as a homeschool parent.

Most of all, I hope these books show you that you are uniquely capable to educate your children, regardless of your official qualifications. Sure, someone with a degree in education will have a head start (and possibly a few less headaches through the learning curves), but you’ve got this. 

At the end of the day, the key is having the right mindset, being resourceful, and finding ways to enjoy the journey.

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