Homeschooling. Unschooling. Worldschooling. Is there an app for that? Not really. It would be awesome if there were, but until there is, parents who decide to homeschool will have to figure it out as we go. Our children are our best teachers, after that, we look to other parents and area experts who have gone before us and took the time to share their wisdom. Here are some of my favorite homeschooling books, unschooling books and resources on child-led play and learning.
Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
Developmental psychologist Peter Gray is a hero in the world of homeschooling and unschooling. I had heard complaints of pressured, miserable, uninspired kids years before even having kids. I personally knew how negatively Standardized testing had impacted both students and teachers. When my child went to Pre-K, common core, race to the top learning demands were already happening alongside very little play. It felt like, if we complained about the system, we looked like a bunch of demanding, helicopter parents.
Peter Gray gave concerned parents a voice backed up by research, reason and compassion. Peter Gray is bringing back play and giving a voice to overworked, stressed out children everywhere.
Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners
I wish I had read this book much earlier in our homeschooling journey – like when my kids were aged 3 or 4. Starting out as a homeschooling parent, I assumed I needed to teach my children. I quickly learned, with the help this and many great books, that my kids don’t need or want me to teach them. Learning to scaffold, assist, and mentor my children has produced far greater results for them. This books helps parents understand how to provide support to the child in their interests and projects without taking over or cutting off creativity and learning.
Family Math (Equals Series)
Math IS FUN! especially when children learn math through play. I learned of Family Math through the folks at Math for Love, creators of Prime Climb, a fantastic game – highly recommend!. There are many great games in the book for all levels and many only require dice or pen and paper. My son grew up playing ‘Math’ and has no fear when it comes to math. We play games from Family Math at restaurants, practices, long journeys. You can play a game a day and figure out which games you love most. Though you shouldn’t need it, YouTube is always there if you want a human to explain the rules.
A few good math games and hangman is all you need to make any restaurant visit a success!
The Brainy Bunch: College Ready by Age Twelve
As parents of 10 kids, the Hardings couldn’t do it all or afford it all and yet each of their kids was able to discover what mattered to them and enjoy vastly different careers / passions. The Brainy Bunch, by Mona Lisa and Kip Harding shares the Harding’s personal experience of homeschooling and helping their 10 children find and follow their passions. The book is written with a particularly strong Christian POV which may feel distracting even if you come from a Christian background. If you can get past that aspect, there is much to glean from the book about simplifying homeschooling, parenting and helping children run with their interests.
- Don’t Go Back to School, A handbook for learning anything by Kid Stark
- John Holts Books for Unschooling
- One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School by Nikhil Goyal
- Sandra Dodd’s Big Book of Unschooling
- The Homeschool Scientist
- Seattle Homeschool Blog
- Unschooling Conversations
- Willow & Birch Homeschool blog – Love her Book recs
- Counting Coconuts ( Montessori based ideas / printables for the younger years )
- Future Learn – Courses from leading UK and Int’l Universities. History, Sustainability, Public Policy, Prep for College, Math, Science, Linguistics and more.
- Gifted World On-line community for advanced learners and those who support and nurture them
- Guide to approaches and curriculum
- Homeschool Association of California
- Homeschool Buyers Co-op
- HS Proficiency Exam California
- HSseque find events/classes/tutors in your area
- I can teach my child (Reading)
- Live Education – Waldorf Homeschool curriculum online
- Mama of Letters – Accountability, record production
- Maria Montessori
- Open Education Database Free and for Credit resources and options
- Teach with Movies
- Time 4 Learning Pre-k – HS Curriculum $20-30/mo
- To grow vocabulary transition from fiction to include more non-fiction books
I would love to hear your favorites! Comment below if you have any top picks to add.
xo – Bar