Several friends have recently asked me to share some "Considering Homeschooling" or "Beginning Homeschooling" resources that I have found helpful. While it's tough to narrow down the books, websites, articles and blogs (there's so many great ones!), here are some of my favorites.
The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home
by Susan W. Bauer and Jessie Wise
Although focusing on Classical education, this book is hands down one of the very best for any homeschooler. The first book I read, and the one I refer back to the most. If you get one book, get this one. "This book will instruct you, step by step, on how to give your child an academically rigorous, comprehensive education from preschool through high school - one that will train him or her to read, to think, to understand, to be well-rounded and curious about learning."
More at The Well-Trained Mind website.
A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning
by Karen Andreola
"A thorough chapter-by-chapter overview of the inspiring teaching principles of Christian educator Charlotte Mason, this book reveals the practical day by day method of how to teach "the Charlotte Mason way". The author offers friendly advice, and humor, along with the joys and struggles of real homeschool life. The book covers education, parenting, homeschooling and lots of encouraging advice for mothers."
This book has really shaped my homeschooling philosophy. Though the Charlotte Mason approach to home learning differs from the Classical, I've found ways to incorporate what I love about each style into our homeschooling and loved the somewhat eclectic result. You don't have to be married to one "style". Find what works - read books on different approaches, take away what seems good and don't worry about the rest!
More at Charlotte Mason Research & Supply Company.
Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style
by Harvey Bluedorn and Laurie Bluedorn
Reading this book is what convinced us to homeschool Grace, over 5 years ago! The book is very big and an indepth look at Classical education. If you don't want to buy the whole book, I recommend checking out their website; they have condensed versions of many of the book chapters. Specifically, I recommend:
• Homeschools Should Increase, and Classrooms Should Decrease (Or, Seven Problems with Classroom Schools) - the article that started it all for us!
•Seven Undeniable Truths of Homeschooling - all parents are Homeschoolers. It's just that some parents Homeschool more than others.
• Ten Things to Do with Your Child Before Age Ten
More at Trivium Pursuit.
For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School
by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
The pioneering book about Charlotte Mason education, but offers so much more! This book is a classic and a must-read.
"For the Children's Sake is a book about what education can be--for your child, in your home, and in your school. It is based first on a Christian understanding of what it means to be human--to be a child, a parent, a teacher--and on the Christian meaning of life. At the same time it is deeply practical. Many of the central ideas have been tried and proven true over a century in almost every kind of educational situation. The ideas are in fact so true that they can be applied equally at home, in different schools, in Africa, in the inner city, and in your own community. But they are also ideas which Susan and her husband Ranald Macaulay have tried and proven in their own family and school experience."
I own all these books, plus several more good ones that I didn't mention here. Please let me know if you're interested in borrowing any of them!