For parents who are newcomers to homeschooling or are just considering the idea, how-to books can be goldmines of information. The trick is to glean what will work for your family, and leave the rest. Here are some great resources.
The Best Books for New Homeschoolers
Cathy Duffy’s 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum
Duffy is a respected curriculum reviewer and a veteran homeschool mom. This book, written from a Christian perspective, is very helpful in figuring out learning styles, for both parents and children. Duffy guides parents in deciding what their homeschooling goals are and helps to match up families with curriculums they’re likely to enjoy. She categorizes the curriculums by such measures as parental prep, hands-on activities, amount of writing, ease of use, etc.
Mary Pride’s Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling
Weighing in at 620 pages, this book takes its title seriously. It covers everything a new homeschooler would possibly need to know, from learning styles to homeschooling methods to organization to support groups and co-ops. Pride, who is publisher of “Practical Homeschooling” magazine and mom of nine, includes other voices and opinions throughout the book. She also offers recommendations for further reading.
The Homeschooling Book of Answers by Linda Dobson
This down-to-earth book answers 101 of the most common questions about homeschooling, like “How will my child make friends?” “How much does it cost?” and “Is it possible to homeschool my child with special needs?” Dobson and her contributors provide honest answers, including the good, the bad and the ugly of homeschooling. It is realistic as well as idealistic. Dobson has also written other helpful books for newbies, including “Homeschooling the First Year” and “The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas.”
Things We Wish We’d Known, compiled and edited by Bill and Diana Waring
Full of been-there, done-that advice from some of the country’s most famous homeschooling parents, this book is a treasure trove of wisdom that comes only through experience. These pioneers and leaders share their secrets with us so that we can avoid their pitfalls and re-create their triumphs.
Educating the Whole-Hearted Child
Written from a Christian perspective, this book provides a glimpse into the home of Clay and Sally Clarkson, homeschooling advocates and parents of four. They emphasize using whole books and turning your home into a place where children will love to learn. For newcomers who don’t want to re-create school at home, this book is a breath of fresh air and inspiration.
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