Monday, October 12, 2009

By popular request

I have received several requests over the years for a list of must-read books on homeschooling. Last week a friend suggested that this would make a great blog post. So here it is. There may be some newer books that are missing. Since we've been at this for fourteen years, some of these may not be the most current books. I'm sure there are other worthwhile books that I haven't seen, but each of these is a gem.

You'll notice that many of these books tend toward learning theory and the unschooly. Well, that's me. I would argue that it would be good for anyone, homeschooler or not, to read the Gatto books. And any parent would be well-served by reading the Moores, John Holt, and Cindy Tobias.

Better Late Than Early by Raymond and Dorothy Moore
This is a book that I wish every parent and teacher of young children would read. I read this as the stressed out mother of a non-reading seven year old and it probably saved my sons academic life and my sanity.

The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn
This book isn't perfect, but as a homeschooling mom it really helped me to free myself from some of the school baggage I was carrying, and to free my children in turn.

Dumbing Us Down
by John Taylor Gatto
Weapon's of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
I consider these the "why to" books of homeschooling. Dumbing Us Down helped to bolster my flagging courage early on by reminding me that what my kids were missing wasn't all that great. These books are especially helpful when you are having to deal with critical and skeptical family members or if you--like me--spend lots of time asking yourself if you are ruining your kids' lives.

How Children Learn
How Children Fail
Learning All the Time all by Jon Holt (You can find all three on the same Amazon page.)
I didn't always agree with Holt, but overall found his writing about learning to make a lot of sense.

The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith
The closest thing to a how-to book on this list. So many people want to know HOW to unschool. Mary Griffith gives lots of ideas and helps to paint some pictures of what unschooling looks like.

The Way They Learn
Every Child Can Succeed by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
Both of these books are easy, quick, straight forward looks at learning styles and how to work with your child's strengths.

Homeschooling: A Family's Journey by Martine & Gregory Millman
This is the story of one family's homeschooling journey. Here is the review I wrote when I read it.

This is not an exhaustive list. I have enjoyed other homeschooling books over the years, but these are those that I believe are the most important and have contributed the most to our success and enjoyment of this journey. What are some of your favorites?


Elephantschild said...

Thanks! I've read several already, and am in the midst of Weapons of Mass Instruction right now.

I'll just bet that the Teenage Liberation Handbook will make me cry with frustration over what a waste my high school education was... not that I didn't know that already, really.

Wolf Pack said...

Nice list. Just got the Griffith book this week!
Jenny the good thing about a useless high school education is you know what you do NOT want for your kiddo! :)

Faith Allison said...

Amazing. Two library systems (St. Mary Parish and Terrebonne Parish) and NEITHER has ANY of these titles. (Terrebonne has one Gatto book, but not these particular ones).

Elephantschild said...

Why am I not surprised? I couldn't find the Moores' book in our entire 13-county system, either.