So you’ve decided to homeschool? Are you nervous? Overwhelmed? Just plain scared? It’s totally normal and Yes, you can!!! Homeschooling is just an extension of parenting. You teach your children everyday. They learn values, behaviors, attitudes, faith, and life skills from you whether you homeschool or not. And that is really the scary part (if you’re like me and fall short a lot). The academics are not so tough when you realize that homeschooling is more about tending to their hearts and instilling in them a love of learning. If you neglect their hearts, all the knowledge in the world will never equate to wisdom.
So here are my top 10 books (besides the Bible, that one is a must for everyday!) to help prepare your mama heart, both for training your children in the way they should go and for academia. I hope you find some that resonate and really help to calm any anxious feeling you may be having so you can focus on the excitement of the amazing journey you are undertaking with your little ones. You can do this, mama!
Top 10 Books to Prepare Mom for Homeschool
- Pocketful of Pinecones: A Story for Mother Culture A delightful look into how gentle learning and opening up to methods not used in public school can really help children to flourish and help mama to grow, too. This book is a fictional story about a family and reads like a diary. When you are finished it will feel like a dear friend and it is a good one to return to for a visit when you are feeling weary from this journey. It focuses on a Charlotte Mason model which works beautifully on its own or in conjunction with other learning styles.
- How to Have a HEART for Your Kids is a great resource for every mom. Having a heart for the things of God, Enriching your marriage, Accept your children, Release them to God, Teach them the Truth. All that goodness for your own heart in one small book. It’s another one you’ll want to keep on your resource shelf for those days when we might need a reminder of why we are doing this.
- The Well-Trained Mind If you think the classical model of education might be a good fit for your family, you need this book! TWTM explains in detail the stages of learning and how the classical trivium (grammar, logic, rhetoric) model of learning works and how to implement it in your home. The lists of literature and curriculum included are great for both new and veteran homeschool families and takes a lot of legwork out of finding good books for the classical learning style.
- A Charlotte Mason Education is a wonderful look at the gentle art of learning as described by Charlotte Mason. It includes lots of nature study and allowing your child to develop at their own pace and to learn things naturally. Lots of wonderful fine arts are part of a CM education and living books are a must. A great resource for families who lean toward a CM approach is SimplyCharlotteMason.com. Their artist study portfolios are stunning!
- The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance Just trust me on this one. You will find yourself exhausted, stressed, or cranky at some point and this book is a great reminder that without taking care of our marriage and letting our children see us actively doing so, we are doing a disservice to our spouse, our children, and to God. So take a few minutes to glean some wisdom and encouragement from veteran homeschool mom (and now grandmom) Heidi St. John. Your hubby will be glad you did 😉
- The Mission of Motherhood Sally Clarkson is a beautiful example of a Titus 2 woman who is sharing her heart with all of us through her books and blog. If you want to stretch out your heart and really dig deep into developing your mama heart, this book is for you. With ideas for keeping your home a life-giving place for your children to grow to creative ways to keep your child’s heart open to you and to God, this book covers it all.
- Educating the Wholehearted Child A resource for Christian homeschooling families that covers everything from getting started to biblical disciple to discipleship. This book is one every veteran homeschool mom who has read it will tell you to read. It’s as close to a how-to manual as you’ll ever get for homeschooling.
- Soundbites from Heaven will open you up for all those times you start correcting your child and in your heart feel God giving you that lifted eyebrow that says “Are you listening to ME yet?”. It happens, be prepared. All those “Why aren’t you ______” (listening, doing what I asked, paying attention to me, etc). It’s the best kind of conviction and awareness.
- 5 Love Languages for Children (or teens if that’s applicable) This book is a wonderful and eye-opening look at how your children receive love best. Especially if you are having to de-school before you begin homeschooling, this book will help you recognize the ways your child feels most loved and by filling up their cup first, you will make the process of homeschooling much easier for you all.
- The Giving Tree If you’ve never read this book, you are missing out! It is a great reminder of the journey that all mothers make and will help fill your heart at the end of long days. Another wonderful children’s book that helps after long days is The Little Engine that Could. Some books you are never really too old for!
I hope you find these titles useful and encouraging. If you already homeschool (or have graduated your not-so-little-ones), what would you add to this list?
Linked up to iHomeschool Network’s Massive Guide to Homeschool Reading Lists