Book Shelf » Books For Parents on Homeschooling and Family Life
Take a look at some of my favourite recommendations of books on subjects of interest to homeschool parents about homeschooling, parenting, family living, etc., including Charlotte Mason books:
The Well-Behaved Child offers sensible, useful advice and opinion on a wide variety of parenting issues including tantrums (children’s, not parents’), sibling rivalry, stealing, lying, defiance and more. You can read my review here.
For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. A important book for your bookshelf and a home education classic; it gives a short introduction to the philosophy and practical application of learning at home. The author inspires with her warmth and gentle attitude; she covers each subject with comments and thoughts. This book is the antithesis to the high pressure, exam-related, politically correct stress of school learning, and focuses on learning as a pleasurable activity which will last a lifetime. Many people would say that this is the book every home educator should start by reading and should have on their shelf. I tend to agree with them.
More Books about Charlotte Mason Education Read about the various books available to help you understand and enjoy this wonderful educator’s philosophy of education.
Homeschooling on a Shoe String by Melissa L. Morgan & Judith Waite Allee. Here’s a book written by a homeschooling parent which stands out from the crowd. I like the way that this book offers inspiration, ideas and encouragement on homeschooling, and the suggestions pour off the pages, reassuring readers that not only is homeschooling a reasonable lifestyle choice, it’s also not an expensive one and not one restricted to the comfortably off. Chapter titles include topics like choosing curriculum, computing on a shoestring, simplifying home and your life, budget ideas, enrichment, character building, and more.
Educating Children at Home by Alan Thomas. This is an absolutely fabulous book; it is not so much a ‘how to’ book as an exploration of how home education works. It’s a useful and encouraging book with answers for some of those difficult questions that people sometimes have,and that home educating parents are often asked by family and friends, about how home education compares with school education. The author looks at the theory of teaching and learning, and the reasons why people choose home education. All of this in the context of families he has visited and studied. Then he considers how certain subjects are taught, or how they are learnt by the children.
Here’s a little example of the writing, in the chapter on literacy: page 109. “The finding that some children do not learn to read until they are between 8 and 10 years old without experiencing any adverse effect, challenges the almost general belief that it is essential for children to learn to read by the age of 7. Although most of the parents of the ‘late’ readers were understandably worried, their children were not.”
I wish I could quote a lot more; this book is a mine of useful information which will make home educating parents feel much more secure in the educational and parenting choices they are making.
How Children Learn at Home by Alan Thomas. In this book, Alan Thomas discusses his research among home educators in Australia and Great Britain. He noticed that the more experienced homeschoolers gravitated towards an informal style of education, very different from school education, and he saw the children developing their learning agendas. This book was republished last year, and I think it deserves a place on every home educator’s bookshelf; it’s an ideal book to refer to and to show to sceptical family members.
Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax. This book was published over twenty years ago and tells the story of how this couple homeschooled their children in an unschooling style, and how the boys were accepted at Havard University. A truly inspirational story.
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Raymond & Dorothy Moore
The Original Homeschooling Series by Charlotte Mason
The Three Rs by Ruth Beechick
You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Ruth Beechick
Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie
The Surprising Power of Family Meals: How Eating Together Makes Us Smarter, Stronger, Healthier and Happier By Miriam Weinstein. The author starts by asking, “What if I told you that there was a magic bullet – something that would improve the quality of your daily life, your children’s chances of success in the world, your family’s health, our values as a society? Something that is inexpensive, simple to produce, and within the reach of pretty much everyone?” Now I would say that absolutely every parent I know would want to know what this secret is.
Miriam Weinstein says that families who eat dinner together build up their children’s vocabulary and conversational skills, teach their children manners, and enjoy each other more as a family. The children in the family who eat dinner together do better at learning to read – in fact, eating together is even more powerful than reading aloud to your child in terms of helping your child with literacy.
She talks about how eating meals together promotes a sense of resilience which will last a lifetime, helps in passing on your ethnic, familial and religious heritage, helps prevent eating disorders, develops conversational skills and discourages smoking, drug use and teen pregnancy. “The Surprising Power of Family Meals” has interesting stories, ideas and suggestions for making this time of day a quality family time. And I particularly like the way this author has introduced me to new authors and new ways of looking at things.
If you have children and if you eat meals then this book applies to you, and will be a useful and important addition to your book shelf.
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teaching to Raise Self-Reliant Children By Wendy Mogel is referred to and recommended by Miriam Weinstein who is the author of “The Surprising Power of Family Meals”. Wendy Mogel is a clinical psychologist offering sage advice for for parents, discussing issues like overindulgence, overscheduling, overprotection, disrespect and ingratitude. This book is full of practical tips, humour and common sense; a refreshing and helpful read for all parents.
For the Family’s Sake: The Value of the Home in Everyone’s Life by Susan Schaeffer MacAulay
The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer
What Is a Family? by Edith Schaeffer
Your Child’s Growing Mind: A Guide to Learning and Brain Development From Birth to Adolescence by Jane Healy
Endangered Minds by Jane Healy
Brain Power by Dr. Karl Albrecht. To give you an inkling of what this book is about I have a quotation from the book: “A number of investigations have shown that, after spending about 30 minutes or more staring into a television screen at typical programming material, a viewer’s brain is in a condition qualitatively similar to hypnosis… respiration and heart rate may decline…shifting attention to other events in the room requires an unwanted mental effort… [The author says this pleasantly detached condition – like getting laughing gas – is why remote controls are so popular, not laziness, but addiction to the mind-altering effects of television]… From the point of view of brain activity, passivity is self-reinforcing. The longer one remains fixated on a sensory process that requires little or no active thought, the more fixated one is likely to come.” Do you think you want to know more about this very important subject?
The Lazy Husband: How to Get Men to Do More Parenting and Housework (Paperback) By Joshua Coleman. A readable, practical, entertaining book written by a former lazy husband who is also a clinical psychologist. If you are having difficulty working out how to divvy up the jobs in housework and child care in your house then this book might help.
Clean in a Minute by Don Aslett. The best of Don’s professional cleaning secrets boiled down to under a hundred pages. Great for those faced for the first time with cleaning or anybody who wants just the facts.
Chores without Wars: Turning Housework into Teamwork by Lynn Lott. Realistic and useful, tells what the family needs to turn housework into teamwork. Instead of family members falling into stereotypes, such as super-mother and spoiled child, a family built on the principles of reciprocity and teamwork can overcome the drudgeries of housework and lead children to value life skills necessary for their futures. Through chores, skills such as cooperation, planning ahead, managing money, and contribution are learned.
Parenting Teens with Love and Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood by Foster Cline and Jim Clay. The authors of this book recognise that teens learn best when they’re allowed to make choices and learn from the consequences. The trick is in setting up choices so the consequences are constructive.
The White Water Rafting Years: A Common-Sense Guide to Parenting Teenagers by Ian and Mary Grant.
For your teenager:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens: The Ultimate Teenage Success Guide by Sean Covey. Written by Stephen Covey’s son, Sean, this book applies the principles of the seven habits to teens. Filled with stories, cartoons, quotations and anecdotes and with practical ideas of how to resist peer pressure, achieve goals, get along with parents, build friendships and more. This book is highly recommended and well-loved by my teen daughter. (no delivery charge on this book)