Best Reference Books for Homeschooling- In building your own homeschooling bookshelf, there are considerations to make. It will be preferable that the books you add to your library are books that you can always refer to and will continue to give you the necessary insight into homeschooling.
While some books could offer you insight about homeschooling guides, showing you the advantages of learning from home, methods of imparting knowledge, and how to structure your homeschooling path. Other books could be more focused on some particular topics such as literature, history, and so on.
However, what should be of utmost importance is that your choice of books should help you settle in well in your homeschooling journey.
List of the 10 Best Reference Books for Homeschooling your Child
So, let’s check out some of those books that would put your homeschooling library in great shape for the journey ahead.
1. The Home Education Handbook from Gill Hines and Alison Baverstock
The Home Education Handbook is a useful book for those wanting to educate their children at home. It has everything you need.
This book helps you to plan and work out the best methods of teaching. The book raises a strong case for homeschooling by showing a lot of the benefits that come with it. It also goes on to explain some issues that parents could encounter in homeschooling, it is just the complete guide for teaching at home.
The book prepares you for learning explaining how to organize your environment to make sure it is a place that facilitates teaching and learning easier. The authors also give a guide on how to plan the day for your kids so you don’t choke them with activities and they are fresh for every task.
The authors have worked with kids previously and this shows in the several tips they gave through the pages of the book. They also shared stories of parents involved in homeschooling. These experiences can help motivate you as you set out on this journey. There is also a section that talked about how parents stay motivated in being fully involved in their kids’ education on a daily basis.
2. Igniting Children’s Writing by Mark McCaughan
Igniting Children’s Writing is an eBook that teaches children how to write. It is better than the average because it is very interactive.
This book is of great value for parents who have kids who are not really confident in literacy or who are starting to take up interests as wordsmiths. This volume has 50 games and each game is designed to help your kids get interested in words and writing. It is actually for older kids who want to better their writing.
The book shows how important joined-up thinking is when it comes to teaching about writing. It buttresses all core areas of language which includes spelling, listening, reading, and grammar, and how they should be seen as a whole and not sectioned. Mark McCaughan talks about the fact that seeing things from that perspective will help the kids in their writing.
The activities that accompany this volume are very engaging. We have an activity called Reading Rummy where there is a traditional pack of cards and a grammar-based task on each card. There is also Sentence Palette where four kinds of sentences are put together to have a story.
One major takeaway from this book is McCaughan’s take on the fact that reading is the key to writing. So, if nothing else is working, you should stay with reading.
3. Five Minute Mom by Daisy Upton
The ultimate guide for parents who are homeschooling their kids. This book is loaded with life-changing tools and techniques that will help.
Any parent who has longed for a five-minute rest will gladly receive this book with open arms. There are more than 150 activities embedded with each activity needing five minutes to set up and another five minutes to do away with. The activities have been quite designed to engage kids between age one and five while giving you the busy parents some form of rest.
Upton is a teaching assistant and so, all the activities in the book tend towards education. Most of the activities are in tandem with the skills gained from the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage. These activities are fun, playful, and original.
There is an activity in the book called POP, a game that has to do with placing the letters that make up a word on separate pieces of paper in a balloon. There is also another called Toddler Pong, it has to do with throwing a small ball into cups that are laid out. A successful throw by anyone will mean that the one who threw the ball will have to carry out the instruction in the cups.
The book also offers advice for people who are not very experienced as educators or childcarers. You should not announce that an activity is about to start as it, in her words, puts off children. Children are very smart so they quickly realize when they are about to be taught. You should just put it out for them to find it or start playing and let them get curious about the game.
4. Phonics at Home by Kate Robinson
Teaches children to read by using the same methods used by foreign language students, i.e learning the alphabet and decoding sounds.
This book is a practical guide for parents and it contains games and activities that help make bring phonics strategies to come alive. They can be selected at random depending on your preference and what your child can work with.
Furthermore, there is a part of the book dedicated to introducing newbies to phonics. It teaches how to pronounce sounds and what kind of problems one is likely to have.
The games in the book are not difficult at all and they do not need anything expensive but items found in the home. You can choose to increase the difficulty level of the game for kids that are older.
5. Teaching on a Shoestring by Helen Lewis and Russell Grigg
Perfect for anyone looking to start teaching with little to no experience. Teaching on a Shoestring is the comprehensive guide to independent homeschooling.
This book focuses on making fun, thoughtful, and interesting lessons and activities with the leanest of budgets. The first series of chapters explain how important it is to use physical objects in teaching as it stirs up curiosity. The principles detailed in the book are very interesting and of good value.
This book flows with the idea that every physical object has a story and as a teacher, you have the responsibility to help your kids find that story.
6. The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart
The Brave Learner is a great guide to help any student learn faster, better, and more efficiently than ever before.
Bogart is set out to make learning magical. She wants kids to have this strong desire for learning, to be hungry for information, and to have a willingness to succeed. Having a curriculum centred on risks, surprises and adventures make it less tedious for parents.
Bogart homeschooled all her kids and she is of the opinion that parents should let their kids explore and encourage it. Bogart shares some of her personal experiences making this book one of successful homeschooling showing you how to do it too. Bogart is much more about helping your kids nurture their curiosity and helping it bloom.
7. Quick Crafts for Parents Who Think They Hate Crafts by Emma Scott-Child
Helps parents to get their children involved in the magical world of crafting. The book contains a lot of fun and easy crafts which are good for kids.
Parents do not generally like the thoughts of crafts as they feel that their kids will mess up the whole place or they might not have the right equipment or the guides for the crafts do not make sense.
Scott-Child’s book however comes to the rescue, especially parents who get edgy about crafts. This book has about 40 projects to delve into as a family and each activity produces an object that your kids can use for play.
The very first idea in the book is enough to encapsulate anyone’s heart. It is called funny little monsters and it comes from scrunched papers that you could have thrown away thinking you’ve made mistakes on it. You can even make a hotel for your monsters to live in. The PomPom Garland also provides a lot of fun resulting in an object of decor for your child’s bedroom.
8. The Core by Leigh A. Bortins
The Core has a unique approach to homeschooling and provides the curriculum needed to cover the basics of reading, writing, and mathematics.
In the past, the basics that children used to be taught in schools were the names of state capitals, multiplication tables, and democratic leaders. Today, however, there has been a shift in focus and most curricula end towards political correctness than teaching children how to study.
Leigh Bortins is however here to instil those forgotten foundational basics. She is a firm believer of the fact that there are core areas to master in every knowledge. For instance, students cannot advance to Algebra if they don’t know multiplication tables.
Students who don’t know about grammar will find it difficult to express themselves. So, for students to understand the in-depth knowledge, they have to first know the basics. This book gives parents the tools and methods to have a well-detailed curriculum.
9. Relaxed Homeschooling by Christine Owens
A guidebook that shows parents how to give their children a quality education while still providing them with the care and love they deserve.
This book is structured to help you learn how to homeschool in a relaxed manner. So, peradventure, your tasks seem to be draining you and your kids, or maybe you dread some subjects and you have to teach them or your homeschooling journey is just about to begin, this is surely a book for you. It has a step-by-step guide to teach you how to motivate learning in your kids.
The book will also teach you how to observe the interest of your kids and it helps you be a mentor to them rather than just a straight-faced teacher. The book is ideal for anyone who is willing to homeschool in a relaxed, child-led approach but feels that they lack creativity and experience.
Christine Owens has about 7 years of homeschooling experience and she has tested the methods and approaches she shared in the book and she has seen results. This book encourages you to follow trails that will motivate the interests of your children. This book will help the education environment in your house better. It will have your children begging you to learn, be excited to learn and you will also be learning too.
The tips in this book will change the perspective you have for your children and their education. You just must ensure to keep reading. Each chapter will provide you with tips to become a better mentor, see the hidden curriculum embedded, and shape your home environment.
Jody from North Dakota says that the book helped reduce her stress and helped her children’s desire to learn. She also says that the book supports all learning styles.
10. 12 HomeSchool Myths Debunked by Kent Larson
This book debunks the myths that home-schooled children are lonely, suffer from socialization issues and are uneducated. Recommended for anyone interested in homeschooling.
Kent Larson shares his journey of how he became an advocate of homeschooling from being an opponent entirely. He uses facts that are compelling to answer the most common homeschooling arguments. Kent is a best-selling author who has homeschooled over the past ten years and he is more than able to shed the light on homeschooling amidst several myths that exist about it.
This book points out and refutes the most common myths including those that have to do with academic grades and admissions into colleges. You will find in this book that one myth you must do away with as it will make you believe others.
You will be able to answer questions centred on why homeschoolers are getting into good colleges, how biases, assumptions, and stereotypes can affect your kids, why people wrongly that they don’t have the patience for homeschool, or whether homeschool is overwhelming and so on.
This book clears the air allowing you to make any suitable education option without bias from the choices you have available.
In all, homeschooling is one big journey and like some of the books, we have observed it goes beyond trying to replicate what we have in school at home. So, you could have been seriously failing at this whole homeschool thing but all you need is just that giant step.
That giant step could be lying in wait in those books waiting for you to execute them. What would it be for you?