Big List of Homeschool, et al., Books


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What I’ve been wanting to do for a while is put a list together of all of the books that I want to recommend offhand to people who are new to homeschool and not sure how or where to get their bearings. I am hoping that this blog post will serve that purpose. It is not by any means comprehensive in the general sense or with regard to me personally.

When we first began to consider homeschooling back in 2012, I went on a reading spree. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find many books in the library nearest to us, so essentially I put a hold on every book I could find at various branches quite a distance from us, and then I read them all.

The list that follows, then draws mostly from memory (which is fallible of course), and more heavily from my goodreads list! (Please note this is also why the formatting sucks, but I don’t have the time to make it pretty, just to get it out there 🙂 )

In the beginning I was hesitant to update all of the books I was reading on there for fear of judgment from friends and family. God forbid I out myself as a homeschool before I was ready. Now though, the cat has been out of the bag for several years, and I’m so glad that I was able to save that list!

One thing I wanted to add, is that when I was first starting out, I was yearning for informative and up to date homeschool blogs. These people must be out there! I thought. Entering our 6th year I now see the reality that homeschoolers are probably just to busy out there doing things to blog. Many of us do, however, frequent instagram (the waldorf accounts are particularly aesthetically pleasing). So I would highly recommend signing up on there if you would like a more vivid depiction of the oft asked question of beginners of, “but what do you DO all day?” I asked that question several times in various facebook forums “back in the day.” Here is one post I wrote for a friend’s blog on that topic:

This list is nowhere NEAR exhaustive. There are tons and tons of other authors, books, websites, blogs, and resources, so if you do not see something here that speaks to you, do not be disheartened. I just hope this can help give some direction to those interested in learning more!

Additionally, in doing this I realized how many particular curriculum/books/resources might be helpful for the actual day to day doing. I sprinkled in some websites in this post for that reason, although upon further reflection they’re pretty out of place, oh well!

Classical Ed:

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at HomeBauer, Susan Wise

Unschool/Life Learning Books:

The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World as Your Child’s ClassroomGriffith, Mary
Life through the Lens of Unschooling: A Living Joyfully CompanionLaricchia, Pam *

Free to Learn: Five Ideas for a Joyful Unschooling Life (Living Joyfully with Unschooling Book 1)

Pam Laricchia

Free to Live: Create a Thriving Unschooling Home (Living Joyfully with Unschooling Book 2)

Pam Laricchia 

Pam is AMAZING, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE her podcast. It always makes me think critically about things and inspires me to be a better homeschool parent. It was from one of her episodes that I learnt of The Gardener and The Carpenter book. I highly highly recommend it if you’re into that sort of thing. Check it out here: Living Joyfully With Unschooling

Pam also featured the author of this book, which I had forgotten I purchased!

Choosing Home: 20 Mothers Celebrate Staying Home, Raising Children, and Changing the World

Rachel Chaney, Kerry McDonald

What is Unschooling?: Living and Learning without School

Pam Laricchia

This is the other Pam that I know and love.

Even if you’re not interested in unschooling, PLEASE read about strewing here:

How Children LearnHolt, John
Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for LifeGray, Peter 
Free to LearnOldfield, Lynne
Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know about Schools and Rediscover EducationAldrich, Clark
The Unschooling UnmanualGestel, Nanda Van
Learning All The TimeHolt, John

Natural Born Learners: Unschooling And Autonomy In Education

Ekwa Ekoko, Beatrice

New Additions:

The Brave Learner, Julie Bogart

Rethinking School, Susan Wise Bauer

The Call of the Wild and Free , Ainsley Arment

These 3 books were all published within the past year and have a lot to offer those new to homeschooling, those considering homeschooling, and the Brave Learner is additionally & particularly useful to “veteran” homeschoolers.

Two books dealing specifically with reading aloud that I enjoyed include:

The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids

The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction

If you’ve talked to me in person, I have incorrectly been referring to The Enchanted Hour as “The Golden Hour,” whoops!


The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children

by Alison Gopnik — I am listening to this right now and absolutely love it. I even ordered a hardcopy so I could highlite and annotate! (Update: finished it and loved it)

Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn–and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less

by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory EducationGatto, John Taylor

Homeschooling Our Children Unschooling Ourselves

McKee, Alison

NurtureShock: New Thinking About ChildrenBronson, Po
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of CharacterTough, Paul *
Homeschooling for ExcellenceColfax, David

The Colfax children in Homeschooling for Excellence all went to Harvard. One of the sons is currently a public official in San Francisco.

100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child’s Learning StyleDuffy, Cathy

The 100 picks is now 102, she has a great website with all or most of the information.

So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do ItWhelchel, Lisa
Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl CultureOrenstein, Peggy

These series of books are amazing! They are vintage, so they are often in thrift stores or friends of the library. Very helpful for a snapshot of some things that MAY apply to your kid.

Your Nine Year Old: Thoughtful and Mysterious

Ames, Louise Bates

Thomas Jefferson Education/Leadership Education:

A Thomas Jefferson Education Home CompanionDeMille, OliverWaldorf Books:
A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first CenturyDeMille, Oliver
A Thomas Jefferson Education In Our HomeDeMille, Rachel

Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning

Oliver DeMille

For The Love of Learning, Giving Your Children a LOLIPOP Education

Amy Edwards

Websites for Kids:

Charlotte Mason:

Charlotte Mason CompanionAndreola, Karen

Home Education

Charlotte Mason


Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Nurturing Our Children from Birth to Seven

by Barbara J. Patterson

Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children

by Sharifa Oppenheimer

The Kingdom of Childhood

by Rudolf Steiner

The Christopherus Waldorf Curriculum Overview for Homeschoolers

by Donna Simmons

The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook  by Donna Ashton (I haven’t actually read this one yet, but I have it on my shelf.

Chirsopherus Homeschool, Waldorf Essentials, and Earth Schooling are the three most “legit” in terms of what is out there for homeschoolers that I have limited experience with. I have also seen praise for Lavender’s Blue and Wild Onions (may be just a blog). Oak Meadow is also Waldorf ish, but does not follow the typical Waldorf format of main lessons, and rather eschew’s the model for common core alignment (or so I have heard.

The Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore is fantastic & has all (if not almost all) of the harder to find Waldorf books out there. I try to get as much as I can from them.

UPDATE: This list is primarily, if not exclusively made up of white authors. Please check outthis list by the UNConventionally Brown Blog for a list of homeschool books by a diverse group of authors!

I will update as I learn about other books or sources as well.

Feel free to leave me a comment if you enjoyed the list or if you have a question!

See Also:

Homeschooling Kindergarten

Back to Home: What if you don’t send your babies to school this year?

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