Creating a Homeschool Mindset: Must-Read Homeschooling Books

I’ve been perusing everyone’s must-read homeschooling books and have found that my list is very different. Maybe mine is more theoretical because that is what I appreciate rather than being given a checklist of what I “must” do.

I’m more of a big picture kind of gal.

Maybe it is that I’m just a little bit older and took a lot of inspiration from authors of the pre-blogging era. When I first started to consider homeschooling, there wasn’t the proliferation of homeschool bloggers there is today.  I’m not sure you can get a book published without first being a blogger anymore.

Must Read Homeschooling books

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What Are My Must Read Homeschooling Books and Authors?

So without further ado, here’s the rundown of my reading list that helped me create my homeschool mindset:

John Taylor Gatto

Need I say more?

I was reminded again of everything I learned from John Taylor Gatto. Without hesitation, I would place his books at the top of any required reading list for new homeschoolers.

Until you truly understand why the “system” operates as it does, you will feel the need to replicate it in your home. However, Gatto shows you exactly why you should push those thoughts of what school is “supposed” to look like right out of your head.

Read him, then again, and then a few more times.

On the days when you think you’re ruining your kids, read him.

On the days when you just want to be alone, and you don’t care how you make that happen, read him.

On the days when all you do is watch movies, do laundry, and feed everyone, read him.

David Albert

I think I first found David Albert while perusing the homeschooling section at the library and immediately loved everything he had to say. This particular library also had the no longer published Home Education Magazine in which he would be a frequent contributor.

I’m currently finishing his most recent book, Dismantling the Inner School, and it is superb. My favorite essay is “Simon Sez.”

When democracy is perverted to mean simply that we are occasionally allowed the opportunity to choose a new Simon, we know that somewhere things have gone off track.

David Albert

Homeschool Strewing

Laura Grace Weldon

I pulled this off my shelf to write this post, and as I flip through, I realize I need to read this again. Full of both theoretical and practical tips for homeschooling beyond the curriculum. She also blogs at http:\\

Sandra Dodd

Sandra won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but she will make you think. At first, you might think she’s crazy, but think a little longer and ask yourself why you believe that. You don’t have to accept everything she says to obtain value from her perspective.

Here’s a gift for you as a parent: Life will be better for all involved if you don’t label your children’s intelligence, or processing speed, or likelihood to reverse numbers, or ability to pay attention to something deadly boring. Don’t drug your children into being still enough to sit on an assembly line. It has nothing on earth to do with natural learning or unschooling. Neither does “giftedness.”

Sandra Dodd

Karen Andreola

This is probably one of the only homeschooling lists where you will find Sandra Dodd and Karen Andreola both listed! I’m weird like that.

If I could follow one “method” without deviating, I would choose Charlotte Mason. I do try to provide an atmosphere that encourages learning. However, ours is never as serene and perfect as what I imagine a CM education to be.

We, as persons, are not enlightened by means of multiple-choice tests or grades, but rather by the other people in our lives that we come to know, admire, and love.

Karen Andreola

Raymond & Dorothy Moore

Homeschooling pioneers, Raymond and Dorothy Moore, promoted a family-centered education as well as fought the ever creeping compulsory attendance ages. Better Late Than Early shows that most children are best served by being with parents until a much later age than what was becoming (and is now) the norm.

Yet it is more a denial of motherhood-and fatherhood-to unnecessarily send youngsters away from home before they are ready. Some parents say all they want is a little freedom or they simply have too much to do. So it is a question of parental values: Who and what comes first-parent’s liberty or their children’s welfare? True freedom implies responsibility to protect another person’s liberties. If the young child develops best at home, then it is the greater loss for him, and ultimately society, if he is sent elsewhere.

Raymond Moore

Must-Read Homeschooling Books

So there’s my list! I’ve read many others, but these are the first to come to mind when I think of homeschooling books that have helped to form my homeschool mindset.

I’ve enjoyed writing this one, but it has made my “to be read” list grow. Pick one and have it at the ready for when the February “homeschool blues” set it.

This post contains affiliate links, see my disclosure policy here.

Homeschool strewing

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About Bethany Ishee

Bethany is the mom of six, always-homeschooled children, who one day realized she'd lost herself in the process, probably under a pile of laundry. Her eclectic style of homeschooling draws upon Classical to Unschooling and everything in between.  While homeschooling her children and writing about learning outside of school, she tries to find time to read a book, drink coffee, and pay the bills.

6 thoughts on “Creating a Homeschool Mindset: Must-Read Homeschooling Books

  1. A great balance.
    It seems parents fall into Extremes–Selfish, or Obsessed with their Child’s Feelings.

    Its a comfort to see parents finding that Balance, or Middle Ground, again.

  2. This is a fun list. Thanks for sharing. Yes, quite eclectic. Love that you have both extremes (CM and John Gatto). It’s interesting to re-read some of those over the years and see how our homeschooling has changed. Looking forward to reading many of these.

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