The top question that new homeschoolers ask is, "What books do I buy?"
And the #1 answer I give is: SLOW DOWN AND DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Homeschooling is a new lifestyle and a different kind of education. There are many right ways to do it, and the options are astounding! We truly live in the golden age of homeschool curriculum, compared to when I was raised in an 80's Homeschool!
So, when you're getting started, it's okay to take the time to DE-SCHOOL. What is that? This post at Living Joyfully has some great explanations (and a bit of info on Unschooling - which is one of the methods we will cover below).
Now, while you deschool, it's time to research.
Set aside an evening to read through this great site: Design Your Homeschool. There is LOTS of great advice to get you thinking.
Once you start reading and talking about homeschooling, you'll pick up the lingo. Among the many terms you'll hear and read are the "styles" of homeschooling. Ah, yes! You'll definitely have a style!
You may not know your style right away, but you just might be interested in a certain one over all the rest. That's a good place to start. But keep in mind that you may not stay there. Your homeschool will evolve with your circumstances and the ages and needs of the children.
So, let me introduce you to the most popular styles:
*Traditional Textbook Style: http://www.homeschool.com/Approaches/SchoolAtHome.asp
This is going to look like what most public and private schools use. It's comfy, and many people start here (and quite a few people stay here!).
- Abeka Book: https://www.abeka.com/default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
- Horizons/Alpha Omega: https://www.aop.com/horizons/overview.php
- Saxon/Houghton Mifflin: http://www.hmhco.com/at-home/homeschool
- Christian Liberty Press: http://www.shopchristianliberty.com/
- Alpha Omega: https://www.aop.com/homeschooling
- Rod and Staff: http://www.milestonebooks.com/#fwd=www.rodandstaffbooks.com
*Classical Style: http://www.homeschool.com/Approaches/Classical.asp
Classical homeschooling books
- The Well Trained Mind by Jessie Wise & Susan Wise Bauer
- Teaching the Trivium by Harvey & Laurie Bluedorn
- The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education by Leigh A. Burtins
Classical Christian Homeschooling: http://www.classical-homeschooling.org/v2/index.php?page=3
Classical Homeschooling Curriculum:
- Veritas Press http://www.veritaspress.com/
- Memoria Press
- Tapestry of Grace http://www.tapestryofgrace.com/index.php
- Peace Hill Press http://peacehillpress.com/
- Trivium Pursuit http://www.triviumpursuit.com/catalog/index.php
Classical Conversations (local groups) https://www.classicalconversations.com/
*Charlotte Mason Style: https://simplycharlottemason.com/what-is-the-charlotte-mason-method/
Charlotte Mason Homeschooling books:
- Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
- Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison More Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison
- Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home by Elizabeth Foss
- Meet Charlotte Mason by Sandi Queen
Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Websites:
- Simply Charlotte Mason https://simplycharlottemason.com/
- Ambleside Online http://www.amblesideonline.org/index.shtml
Charlotte Mason Homeschooling Curriculum:
- Queen Homeschool http://www.queenhomeschool.com/
- Winter Promise http://winterpromise.com/
- Trail Guide to Learning http://www.home-school-curriculum.com/pages/trail-guide-to-learning
- Ambleside Online http://www.amblesideonline.org/curriculum.shtml
- Living Books http://charlottemasonhomeschooling.com/
- Simply Charltotte Mason https://simplycharlottemason.com/planning/curriculum-guide/
*Unit Study Style: http://www.homeschool.com/Approaches/UnitStudies.asp
Unit Study Homeschool Curriculum:
- Amanda Bennett http://unitstudy.com/
- Weaver https://www.aop.com/Curriculum/Weaver
- Learning Adventures http://www.learning-adventures.org/
- Konos http://www.konos.com/www/index.html
- Learn and Do http://learn-and-do.com/
Literature Based Unit Study Curriculum:
- Beautiful Feet Books http://bfbooks.com/
- Five in a Row http://unplugyourfamily.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-detailed-review-of-five-in-row.html
- Sonlight (one of my favorites!)
- My custom literature-based history curriculum
*Computer/Internet Based Style:
A list of online and DVD programs found here: http://redriver-christianhomeschoolers.blogspot.com/2009/08/dvd-or-computerinternet-based.html
Khan Academy - free online math courses
Easy Peasy - free, complete online curriculum
Unschooling can look different depending on the family doing it, so do some googling to see all the aspects. Basically, unschooling is child-led learning. The parent gives their child the tools to learn and allows them to follow their interests.
Articles on unschooling:
- The Natural Child Project http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/earl_stevens.html
- John Holt http://www.holtgws.com/whatisunschoolin.html
*Eclectic Homeschooling: http://www.homeschool.com/Approaches/Eclectic.asp
This describes us. It's a mix of several styles. We used many things and found a great combination of what works in our house.
WHEW! Now that you've got all this information at your fingertips, you might have a better idea of what your homeschool will look like. And you'll know which books you want to order. Prayerfully consider your budget, your children, your schedule. Check out my post Choosing the Curriculum for some more tips.
Also be sure to click on the HOMESCHOOLING tab at the top of my page.
Have fun learning!