Homeschool Prep

Books to Read when you Consider Homeschooling

Are you thinking homeschooling your family? Here are a list of books that you’ll want to read to help you make that big decision.

If you’re thinking about homeschooling your children, the first place you’ll want to go, for reliable and complete information, are books.

Books to read when you consider homeschooling your children. Recommended reading and booklists!

From my experience, families who are considering home education for their children, often feel overwhelmed with books that are heavy on detail or educational philosophy.

Instead, what I’d recommend is that you read books that paint a picture of what homeschooling could look like for you. Rather than bogging you down in details, the books I recommend allow you to draw inspiration and take ideas that suit your family dynamic and belief system.

Primarily the books I’ve included in this list of books to read when you’re considering homeschooling, are memoirs of homeschooling families (real and fictitious) and a few others with a similar approach.

This blog-post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read the Disclaimer.


Books to Read when you’re Considering Homeschooling


A Funny Kind of Education by Ross Mountney

Ross Mountney is an ex-teacher from the U.K., who many years ago left the mainstream educational system to home educate her two daughters. In this memoir of their homeschool experience together, Ross Mountney shows the reader what homeschooling really looks like! It’s moving, hilarious and forces the reader to question what education can look like.

A Funny Kind of Education is one of the first books I ever read about home-education and is the one that inspired me to truly consider beginning our homeschooling journey.

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins

Over the years, there is one book that I come back to again and again. That book is “Mere Motherhood” by Cindy Rollins

Cindy Rollins began her homeschooling journey in U.S.A. in the 1980’s, and 9 children later (yes…that’s 8 boys!) she tells us all about her family’s experience home-educating.

The book is written so honestly, and with such a heart-felt message, that you can’t help but fall in love with their story. The author, after decades of homeschooling and facing the ups-and-downs of life, gives the reader perspective and consider what homeschooling could mean to them in the long-run.

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

If you’re looking for a book to show you what a true education is meant to be, then you’ll want to read For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay.

After years of research and personal experience, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay wrote this beautiful book. Based around principles set out by Charlotte Mason, the author forces the reader to consider what is education, and how can we provide that in our home.

Some sections of this book contain Christian rhetoric, and readers of other faiths may choose to skip over those parts.

This is the book that inspired me to begin learning more about the Charlotte Mason philosophy, and is the book I always recommend to families who want to know more about the CM method without being inundated with the finer details.

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


Homeschooling for Excellence – by David Colfax

The Colfax family didn’t begin homeschooling their family to get them into Havard, but somewhere down the road that is exactly what happened!

Homeschooling for Excellence is a memoir of a home educating family from U.S.A. who took their children out of school and gave them the freedom to learn whatever is was they wanted to learn!

The book is written in a conversational style, where the parents talk honestly about their approach to education, the lessons they learnt and lists some resources they used.

It’s a truly inspiring story. In fact, I feel like finding my copy now and re-reading again!

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola

Pocketful of Pinecones is a fictitious account of a homeschooling family, which was written to inspire mothers through hard times. Karen Andreola, the author, is an experienced homeschooler herself, and pours into this story the lessons she learnt along the way.

It’s written as the diary of one mother’s year of teaching her children at home, with a focus on nature study.

It’s a deligthful book to read, and will help readers to better understand their role as a homeschooling mother, as well as give some insight into what a Charlotte Mason homeschool day might look like.

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto

This list would not be complete without something from the legend that was John Taylor Gatto.

If you have ever struggled to justify home education to yourself, or others, this book will help. From years of working in education, and his extensive research, Dumbing Us Down outlines many deeply rooted problems in mainstream education.

This book is eye-opening and will soften the heart even the biggest cynic to homeschooling!

BUY BOOK HERE | UK | USA


I hope this has helped those of you who were unsure where to begin with their homeschooling research. Memoirs and personal accounts provide insight and inspiration, as well as information on “how-to” do it!

If you have any questions, pop them in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

99 names Allah children

P.s. Did you know I have a PODCAST, where I answer a lot of your questions about homeschooling? Make sure you check it out!

Be a Homeschool Planner! |The Benefits of Planning Annually

homeschool planner

If there’s one thing I have learnt over these past few years of homeschooling my children, it is the benefits of being a homeschool planner!

Planning annually has so many benefits for us especially as we reside in Saudi Arabia and spend our summers in England. Regardless of where you live though, I find having a rough plan for the year can benefit your Homeschool in many ways.

Be a Homeschool Planner!

Looking at your calendar for the upcoming year and being realistic about what is happening, whether it is a holiday booked, a wedding to attend or you’re giving birth, will allow you to focus on balance and ease for your Homeschool life.

Of course not all plans are set in stone, but preparing yourself mentally will ease any stress that comes along with unexpected events.  So here are my top tips on why you should plan your Homeschool for the year if you aren’t already doing so. 

Homeschool Planners are One Step Ahead!

The biggest benefit being a homeschool planner, and preparing at the start of the year, is being one step ahead in acquiring resources, finding books, planning outings or activities.

Of course spontaneous and unplanned events/days can have their own benefits too, but that feeling of seeing the bigger picture when you’re in the midst of homeschooling life or things aren’t going as planned really is a life-saver on your difficult days of homeschooling.

So annual planning helps you keep on ball without worrying about what could have been because you’re one step ahead with your vision for the year.

Homeschool Planner

You know exactly what you want your children to achieve by the end of the year. This should also prevent you from worrying if you fall into the social media comparative trap. 

Related: Preparing your Homeschool for a New Year

Keeping in Budget

Many people ask me about my Homeschool budget and I tell them I spend under £200 or less annually, depending on how many books/resources we may need and I’m sure this varies from Homeschool to Homeschool.

But if you are finding you’re spending way more than you need to or way more than you can afford to, you need to ask yourself why that is. Is it because you found yet another Homeschool bargain buy or that you feel your children really need it because everyone else seems to be buying it too?  We can all fall into that trap!

Homeschool planner

But with an annual plan, where you are focussing on an overview of the year, knowing what your possible learning topics will be, budgeting can prove to be quite useful. Always ask yourself if the resource is re-sellable, can be used by all your children and is it good quality and long lasting before you buy.

Having a plan to fall back on 

Even if you take a more child led approach to your homeschool, and feel that being a homeschool planner may not be worth it, there are some things beyond our control.

Seasons, the weather and nature being some of these. If you enjoy nature studies, then it may help to look ahead at the seasons of the year to jot down a loose plan to focus on seasonal plants, grow a garden, butterflies or visit farms etc. The same can be applied for certain topics linked to festivals and celebrations.

Homeschool planner

Nevertheless, on days when life is chaotic and you feel you may be losing your vision or goal with your homeschool, it may just be handy to have a plan or vision to fall back on. Its reassuring coming back to the goals for the year and knowing you’re actually doing great!

Related: Productivity and Time Management for Homeschool Mums

Acquiring resources ahead of time

As mentioned above, acquiring resources ahead of time (in sales) or at the start of the year allows you to take a more intentional approach to what you need.

Having said that, recently I found my children are immersed in stuff! Much of this is because we haven’t had the opportunity to sell on our used games or books we no longer need at the end of each year, especially as we tend to buy more each summer.

homeschool planner

When you’re a homeschool planner, you can assess what resources you already have, which you could possibly swap or sell on and use that same money or more to purchase whatever it is you need for the year. There may be times you find resources at a great price to use in your Homeschool in a few years, but ask yourself do you actually need it now?

Focus on your annual plan to keep within your budget and allowance. Reserving library books ahead of time and ensuring you have the books you need for your topic is another advantage.

Related: Homeschool Curriculum 1st & 3rd Grade

Homeschool Planners Don’t Panic!

Being mentally ready for your homeschool year could reduce some of the stress and panic that can come with homeschooling especially when things aren’t going to plan!

Homeschool planning at the start of the year means you have sat down and thought out in a realistic way of how much you can actually teach your children in a year.

Sometimes we tend to want to teach everything and so very quickly because of their interests. So, this is a great time to get your children involved, ask them what they want to learn, give them some options and find out their interests.

homeschool planner

Finally, because you will already know your child/children’s ability levels, therefore aim to plan realistically for progress by taking the whole year into account, you won’t have time to panic, hopefully!

Author Bio

Hafsa is a former Primary School Teacher turned Homeschooling mama teaching her two daughters the love for learning through arts, crafts, fun and play. Originally from London, Hafsa now resides in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia where she loves to share her Homeschool journey, tips and planning advice over at http://www.mamateachesme.com