Summer is halfway over and if you are like me, you are eager to renew your homeschool purpose moving into the new school year. When spring hit, I found myself in the same place. I am so glad I found some homeschool books to help. I hope you get a chance to read through this post and discover my chosen top 4 homeschool books. They will renew your homeschool purpose, create peace, calm unrest, inspire you, motivate you, and push you forward into the new school year!
This past April, I decided to take a break from writing. We were at the end of our second year of homeschooling and things just felt a little all over the place. We started experimenting with some new homeschool methods and when those didn’t seem to fit, I started to question my homeschool purpose.
Additionally, I felt pulled in many new directions that needed some time to navigate. I am so glad that I took the break here when I needed to. By doing that, I found some new direction and inspiration to bring back to this blog. Now that I have had some downtime, I realize so well the realness of the ebbs and flows of a homeschooling journey.
Finding homeschool inspiration
One of the best things that I have done over these last few months was to read a lot of homeschool books and search for new inspiration and direction. I was looking for inspiration, motivation, and information to guide me. When I started our homeschool journey, I read as much as I could about homeschooling methods and approaches. I followed blogs, read articles, and got informed. This spring, however, I found myself searching for something different. Something to calm the unrest and help me see where things were going and what to do.
My life is admittedly fuller now than it was a year ago. I have more things needing my attention, and I thought that was a good reason also to stop writing here for a while. As it turns out, however, I am pretty sure that I need to write here even more now. I have realized that I crave this personal outlet and the community that comes with it. This blog is entirely my thoughts, my ideas, our journey, my photography, and my outlet. I am so excited to have realized that spending time here creating an online presence where people come to interact with me that are on a similar homeschooling journey is food for my soul. I realize how helpful it is to myself and my family and I dream that these posts also are useful to others.
The following homeschool books are my top 4 picks as the most inspiring and influential when you need a homeschool mom pick me up! I have learned a ton from all of them and have been deeply inspired. Get your iced coffee ready, grab a good book, and find some inspiration!
Homeschool book #1: The Read-Aloud Family
Written by Sarah Mackenzie, Read-Aloud Family was a book that I could not wait to read. I was lucky to discover Sarah Mackenzie’s podcasts a while ago. In fact, her first book, Teaching From Rest, is still one of the most recommended books that I see in many homeschool Facebook groups. If you are familiar with The Read-Aloud Revival and implement the idea of reading aloud to your kids already, you may not think that there is anything new here. However, you would be missing out to pass this one up! This book is full of powerful inspiration for any homeschool mom. Reading her words felt like a conversation with a true friend.
One of the best things for me about this book was all of the why’s behind the idea to read aloud. Why it matters and how it’s revealed through time in her homeschool was a big takeaway for me. This book also comes with the very best read-aloud book list ever! She has it broken into categories for age and even gives recommendations on when to listen to specific books on audio vs. reading.
The other huge takeaway from this book for me was the idea of asking compelling questions. What a fantastic way to start a conversation about literature. We are not really into painful book reports or comprehension quizzes so this was perfect for me. Sarah outlines ten ideas for questions that can be asked about any book to start the conversations. These conversations become discussions about characters, plots, moral views, reasoning, life lessons, fears, excitement, and so much more.
Do you think you don’t have time to read a book all about reading books? This one has an audiobook! You can download a trial of Amazon’s Audible for free and try it out. However, I do think that having a print version of this book is helpful because of the print book lists.
Homeschool book #2: The Way They Learn
Written by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias, The Way They Learn was something I had no idea I needed to read. It captured me immediately when the author discussed the birth of her twins and their differences. I already knew from my own experience that children growing up in very similar circumstances and environments could be very different. I live this every day with my twins and older daughter. Learning how to know them individually and be a better mother and teacher to them intrigued me, and I couldn’t wait to dig in further.
One of the reasons I picked this book up was for information to help me identify M’s learning style. I wanted to use that to create a homeschool plan for 5th grade that would inspire, motivate, and teach her in the best way for her to learn. We have this fantastic opportunity by homeschooling. We get to create and experience a completely individual education. I just knew that building a school plan with her learning style in mind was going to be so crucial moving forward. We are super excited to start the new school year. I will be keeping her learning style in mind so that she continues to show interest and love for learning. It seems like such an essential thing for all homeschool parents to discover about their kids.
This book also has an audiobook
Homeschool book #3: Better Together: Strengthen Your Family, Simplify Your Homeschool, and Savor the Subjects That Matter Most
Written by Pam Barnhill, Better Together: Strengthen Your Family, Simplify Your Homeschool, and Savor the Subjects That Matter Most, was a book I stumbled upon after recently discovering The Homeschool Snapshots podcast. In each podcast, she interviews homeschooling parents, and we get to hear a little bit about their days. Hearing the struggles and advice has been so helpful.
|Better Together: Strengthen Your Family, Simplify Your Homeschool, and Savor the Subjects that...||$12.45||Buy on Amazon|
One of the exciting ideas in this book is the concept of “morning time.” I find this idea intriguing. Pam says, “When you start your day with something that delights you and your children, they are more eager to begin the school day, and so are you.” The idea of morning time seems simple. However, when you are distracted about what you think you have to accomplish or clouded by the expectations that come from any given direction it is not always easy.
I adore the idea to focus on relationships in homeschool. Allowing that to fuel your day for productivity seems so important. I found a lot of things in this book that could apply to morning time with an only child and am excited also about how it will work when the twins are older. Pam gives tons of ideas and snapshots of what lots of different homeschool families’ morning time look like. I love the simplicity and the peacefulness that it seems to be and am eager to try it!
This one doesn’t have an audiobook but is available as a Kindle download.
Homeschool Book #4: Dying To Win
Written by Teri Capshaw, Dying To Win was an amazing book! I came across this book accidentally. It felt so meant to be that I just had to read it. I read the first half of this book with my eyes wide open. I was shocked at the realities of other education systems that were discussed. It talked a lot about academic pressures. These extremes are killing the love of learning for many kids in many places. I was fascinated and sad as I read about the lengths parents and educational systems may go through to ensure the performance of their students on standardized tests. It was eye-opening.
|Dying to Win: How to Inspire and Ignite Your Child's Love of Learning in an Overstressed World||$14.89||Buy on Amazon|
In the second half of the book, the author outlines seven steps to inspiring your child. The ideas are presented through many profiles of other homeschool families. The book’s goal is to encourage you to ignite a love of learning in your children. Even as we may be homeschooling in an overstressed world. The profiles in the 2nd half of the book were inspiring. I don’t think I have read any other book that comes close to giving such an explicit representation of what the possibilities are with homeschooling. After finishing the book, I felt empowered with how individualized education can help our kids reach their unique potentials.
When we decided to homeschool, I knew these years with our kids being young would go fast- and they are! It is not always only about what to teach but also how to educate. We want to inspire, motivate, and so much more. I think I will be a better teacher, learner, and mother after reading this book and I am happy I found it while my kids are still young.
This one doesn’t have an audiobook but you can download it as a Kindle book.
A note about religious undertones in homeschooling books
When I set out to read books to help me with my homeschool purpose, I read several books with a Christian undertone as well as more secular ones. The homeschooling world is diverse. However, there is a significant amount of homeschool materials by Christian authors that are really fabulous.
I would like to disclose that the above titles that ended up being the most inspirational to me were ones that did have some Christian undertones. They have Christian references ranging from frequently to just a few times. The lessons and encouragement that I personally found in each of them were not religiously motivated, however. I only mention this in case the reference to any religious inspirations for the author might be a distraction in your reading. For me, it wasn’t an issue and I found all of the books enjoyable and applicable. For me, all of these books would seem to be helpful to anyone who has a secular homeschool or a faith-based one.
I’d love to hear your thoughts
Have you read any of these homeschool books? I’d love to hear from you and talk about what was inspiring for you! Please join the conversation if you can! I hope these homeschool books inspire you as much as they did for me! If you liked this post and want to read more ideas on the inspiration for the homeschool mom, check out my post about Why I needed Hygge in our Homeschool.