Updated: Jun 1
You've decided you want to homeschool! Yay! Then you realized you have no idea where to start. Yikes! Eclectic homeschooling comes with a lot of perks - one being the variety of materials you can pull a lesson from! But it can be daunting, especially if you've got NO idea where to turn! Here's the secret: there are homeschool books to get you started!
When I got started, I scrounged up any and every book in the house. I tried to find a link to something I could teach them. It was HARD! But I've done the hard work for you.
Here are several books to help get you started in your homeschool journey!
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Books for you:
Start with The Call of the Wild + Free. Trust me. It's worth the investment. Before I pulled my kids, I found this book in my hands. I cried AND laughed! Finally, someone was preaching my kind of educational philosophy. I could see that other kids were having the light squashed from their spirits like my own two. Ainsley Arment lays out her message with her four concepts: mission, myths, manner, and method. You get so much USEFUL information all wrapped into one book! It will change your life!
The Educated Child was a lifesaver when starting out! Sure, I was a certified teacher, but I was only familiar with 5th grade and 2nd grade standards! This book breaks down each subject, each grade (up to 8th grade), and general concepts/skills they'd be taught in public school. You may not want to stick with "grade levels," but it was great to see what my five year old already knew, what was recommended she be taught, and what concepts I could accelerate her in. It also pinpoint exactly which grade level I could pull from if I chose a curriculum. It also enlightened me what my 2nd grader wasn't being taught.
Now you have the inspiration and the content guidelines, but what about the way school's have been disciplining your kids? Has it worked for your child? I don't know about you, but it just wasn't working for my kids. Then the behavior was rolling over into our home, and we were all miserable! No-Drama Discipline helped get my mind and home in order, and it allowed me to enjoy my kids again. Learning can't start until that relationship with your child is established, and it's different than the one you guys had while they were in school all day.
Books for the kids:
Do yourself a favor: get your kids these books! Science will never be the same! We have been able to dive deep into some beautiful topics with these beautiful books. The Julia Rothman Collection showcases different "anatomies" of farm life, nature, and food! It's not thoroughly informational, but it is a PERFECT subject starter. It has my kids asking all kinds of questions, and we're able to have meaningful conversations and research.
I don't truly think it matters what age your kids are: if they like being read to, The Magic Treehouse books are a great way to introduce history topics. They talk about dinosaurs, knights, Pompeii, the original Olympics, Shakespeare, and more. These books are based on real events, with children around 2nd - 3rd grade, traveling through literature books to solve mysteries, attend high-tail adventures, and learn more about history. They're brief, but again, a great starter for further research and conversations!
If you've got a beginning reader, these are a great space to start! My five year old started reading these after she learned her letter sounds. BOB Books goes up several grade levels and even focuses on "advancing" beginners. These books are short, sweet, and to the point (when using phonics). We usually work on one book for a week to really master sounds and word families.
These are just the beginning.... The world is your classroom, and every book you come across can teach a lesson. I am constantly adding books to our library, and I'm always looking for more suggestions! If you're interested in a novel study based on connections, creativity, community, and ELA skills, check out our Wisdom on a Whim!