Someday I’ll write about how we came to the decision to homeschool, but for now, all you need to know is this: I love having my children home with me. I am in love with the days we spend together, and I rarely look forward to a “break” (I know I am the minority, it’s okay!). I believe that I can provide them with a rich, individualized, and (most importantly) fun education at home. Lastly, after much thought and discussion, my husband and I truly believe it’s the right decision for our family.
Now, this decision didn’t come easily. It took several months of research and groundwork. I’m still learning new things about home education every day! I wanted to compile all of the resources I’ve come across in my research for you all too. Just in case you’re wrestling with whether to homeschool or not! Keep reading to see a few homeschool research resources I’ve found.
Homeschool Research Resources
NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list. There are thousands of books, podcasts, curriculums, and groups with homeschool resources out there! I’m simply sharing the ones that interest me and that I considered during my research period. (And ones I’m still considering!) So please make sure you do other reading in addition to this post if you’re serious about homeschool!
(Additional note, any of the resources below with an asterisk next to them (*) have a Christian element and may not appeal to those who desire a secular home education 🙂 However, do not be discouraged! There are many ways to carry out a home education without the influence of religion or faith, if that’s your wish!)
I’ve looked into several methods of homeschooling. There are methods that provide tons of structure. Co-ops for example, meet once a week, then you’re at home with your kids the other days. . Another method is Charlotte Mason based schooling, which is very nature-based. Lastly, there is the “unschooling” method, which provides little to no structure, and instead focuses solely on your child’s interests. Honestly, I believe I’ll be doing a bit of all of these! Again, there are many other types of homeschooling out there. These are just the ones I’ve researched for our family.
I definitely love the idea of Nature-based schooling. Spending time on trails, hiking with my girls, and learning about the world around us is one of the goals I have for our home education. If you’re interested in learning more about a nature-based education, check out Wild + Free. I also recommend a couple of books in the “book” section below on nature, children, and learning!
Unschooling is a homeschool method provides little to no structure, and instead focuses solely on your child’s interests. This isn’t something I plan to do with my girls because I know I for sure want to use a curriculum. But unschooling has been successful for many families. Watch this TED Talk if unschooling interests you further!
Classical Conversations is a Classical Education group I’ve considered checking out. I love reading about Susan Wise Bauer and her family. I recommended a couple of her books below. This classical way of learning is largely based on structure. They utilize memory work, traditional learning methods, and a child’s natural inclination for curiosity as they develop. Essentially, this is the opposite of Unschooling, but I also know several families who have had greats success with the program. If you’re interested in learning more, check out their site.
Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived during the mid-1800s. Her philosophy of education is still widely practiced both in schools and in homes! Many homeschoolers I know use the Charlotte Mason (CM) philosophy. In a nutshell, CM believed that living books were a crucial part of any learning experience. Meaning, books that bring a certain time-period of history alive through narrative. She also advocated for children’s need for nature. She’s most well-known for her phrase “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” In other words, the CM method focuses on educating the whole child, not just the mind! It’s a philosophy I’ve seriously considered for my girls. I’m doing more research on it, but there are a few books below by Susan Schaeffer MacAulay about Charlotte Mason and her philosophy! Check them out!
Unit studies are giant themed units (that tie in all or most subjects) for a more holistic learning experience. Meaning, whatever project you and your children are studying (frogs for example) will tie into math, reading, science, and whatever project you’re doing for that term. It’s a wonderful way to learn, especially if you create units for your children based on their interests!
Get ready for along list of book recommendations! Honestly, reading about home education has been the one thing that’s helped me not panic about our decision. I love learning about other families, curriculums, methods, etc. Reading books has been a great way to do research!
Here is a giant list of books you must read if you’re considering homeschool:
(CM = Charlotte Mason Books)
Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child’s Education by Susan Wise Bauer (I recommend reading this if your children are already in traditional school and you’re having second thoughts.
Encouragement for Mom
I love listening to podcasts. I usually have one playing during any chores I need to get done, before bed while I nurse Norah, or even when I cook dinner. There are surprisingly a giant number of homeschool podcasts available. They’ve helped me in my decision so much because I can listen to the experiences of other families. Learn about new methods, and really get down to the “why” of why we want to homeschool! I listen to them through my Podcast app on my phone or through Spotify. Here is a comprehensive list of my favorites so far:
Wild + Free Podcast – I love listening to this mama and her podcast guests. Ainsley is insanely inspiring!
Read-Aloud Revival – After reading The Read-Aloud Family, I knew I had to download this podcast. I absolutely adore it. I also recommend it to everyone, not just homeschool families!
Honey I’m Homeschooling the Kids – A great podcast that gives a look into homeschooling families lives!
The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast – Love this one because it’s just interviews with various families around the world who homeschool!
The Mason Jar (CM) – This one talks all about Charlotte Mason philosophy!
Simply Charlotte Mason (CM) – An extremely informational podcast all about Charlotte Mason’s homeschool methods.
Your Morning Basket – Love this one by Pam Barnhill. The morning basket is a time designated for connection for the family, first thing in the morning. Check it out if that sounds like something you’d be into!
Homeschool Curriculums I’ve Considered
If you’re looking for a curriculum, here are the ones I’ve looked at so far:
(I’m still researching these extensively. I’ve only decided on a preschool curriculum for now, so as I learn about more, I’ll add them to the list.)
Morning Time/General Preschool: Gentle + Classical Preschool* (I think this is what I’m going to use for preschool for G(4) this year.)
Preschool/Phonics: The Peaceful Preschool (ages 2-5) (we are using this for G(4) as well!)
General/Project Based: The Playful Pioneers (ages 5-12)
Preschool Math: Preschool Math at Home by Kate Snow (we are using this this year!)
Preschool: Letter of the Week Preschool Curriculum
General: The Good and The Beautiful*
Reading/Phonics: Dash Into Reading
History: Story of the World
Literature: Beautiful Feet Books
Grade School Math: Right Start Math
Grade School Math: Saxon Math
Writing: Handwriting Without Tears
Nature: Exploring Nature With Children
Nature: Wild + Free has amazing curriculum bundles. (I’m eyeing the nature journals!)
The Read-Aloud Revival website is amazing. It’s also not a homeschool only program. Sarah Mackenzie’s book, podcast, and all of her work is something I’d recommend all families check out! See her site here.
The Morning basket method (if that’s what you want to call it) is a wonderful resource created by Pam Barnhill. I included her book in my book recommendation sections, and also her podcast Your Morning Basket in the Podcasts section. Make sure to check out her website too, as she is a wonderful resource!
Watching the documentary Class Dismissed: A Film About Learning Outside of the Classroom. The film ultimately led me to dive deep into research mode for our schooling. (I was able to rent it on Prime Video.) I loved seeing other families’ experience with pulling kids out of school, and also another family’s experience of having their children at home from the start. It was helpful to my husband too. I think until you’re aware of how ineffective public school can be for some children, you don’t really know. As a former teacher I just assumed I would send my kids to school. I was looking forward to it, but things change, and I’m so glad I got to watch this film. I’ve also loved chatting with other homeschool moms. Anyway, check out the documentary if you want to get your family or spouse on board!
I hope this list of homeschool research and resources has helped you! It’s important to delve deep and really make sure it’s the right decision for your family. Reading and researching allowed me to feel ten times more confident in our decision. I hope this post helps you do the same. Thank you so much for reading!