Topic | Books Which Influenced (or Confirmed) Your Decision to Homeschool

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  • Hi all,

    I’m new to this forum. I spent last Spring in a study group on When Children Love to Learn as my husband and I prayerfully seek God’s will on how to educate our children one day (my son is 18 mos and we are pregnant with another blessing).

    After seeing it recommended on Ann Voskamp’s website, I’m currently reading through Hold on to Your Kids ( and am finding it to be paradigm-shifting for me and really influencing me toward home-education.

    I’m curious what books have profoundly influenced you in your decision to home-school? Perhaps they were books you read when you were first considering it, or maybe you’ve read them later, but they’ve truly confirmed your decision. I’d love to hear the particular insights from this group of CM-minded people.

    Thanks in advance!

    Sally Clarkson’s Educating the Wholehearted Child is a great beginning book. I still refer to it at times.—-Third/dp/1932012958/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316398203&sr=1-1

    You are so blessed to start studying this so early with your precious little ones. Enjoy the journey!

    sara p.

    I just finished reading When Children Love to Learn also. It only reaffirms that homeschooling is right for our family and the way we teach them. However, it wasn’t so much the books I read. It was what we were hearing from other parents who have their kids in public school. It wasn’t good and we knew that we didn’t want to send our kids into that environment. Then after talking to another homeschool family it made sense and felt that is where He wanted us. We also listened to some of Voddie Bachman and Ken Ham’s talks about homeschooling. It only made us want to do it even more.After homeschooling for four years I can’t imagine sending them into a public school knowing that would never learn as much as they are at home. It has been such a blessing for all of us. I have to say the glue that holds it all together though is dedicating your homeschool to Him. It will not work if you don’t draw on his strength and guidance everyday. Good luck!


    I am new to SCM and homeschooling also.  My kids are 1 and 4 so we are not quite there yet, but feel so blessed that God led us to homeschooling before our kids were school age.  The book that really convicted me was I Saw the Angel in the Marble by Chris and Ellyn Davis.  Their website is here.   Hope this helps.




    I am currently making my way through When Children Love to Learn; life it pretty hectic right now, so I’m going at a slow pace, but I’m really enjoying it. I second the recommendation of Educating the Whole Hearted Child; I have an older copy, but they have a new, revised edition out now, and I’m really looking forward to reading it. 🙂

    Hold On to Your Kids was eye-opening as well.

    One book that really helped me go from “on the fence” to “committed homeschool mom” was When You Rise Up, by R.C. Sproul.


    “So You’re thinking About Homeschooling” by Lisa Welchel really took a lot of the intimidation out of the equation by showing me there isn’t one right way to homeschool. She profiles about 15 different homeschooling families who are using different styles at different ages for different reasons, and they all homeschool successfully.

    “For the Children’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay really established the “Why” for me in homeschooling our family and introduced me to Charlotte Mason, who I had never heard of. I have sentences and passages underlined on about every other page throughout this book.


    I want to second maynegirl’s suggestion to read “For the Children’s Sake” — we’ve been homeschooling for 10 years and I still go back to that book sometimes. I have many marked passages too. It is such a helpful book.


    Not books so much for us…but God used a number of other means to lead our family towards homeschooling…We started homeschooling mostly because my dd wasn’t socially/emotionally ready for “preschool” when all of her peers started…then preschool morphed into K, and now here we are planning to at least go all the way through middle school if not all the way through high school. I am a former classroom teacher so never thought I’d homeschool, but as I started working 1-1 on my daughter I realized what a better and more personalized educational experience we could give her….things that even the best, most caring teacher in the best Christian school could give to her. (As a classroom teacher, even in a school with a great environment, I know all to well the limitations of the classroom setting.) At the same time, I had read a number of Sally Clarkson’s ‘mom’ books (not even their homeschooling one yet) and was getting a vision for a family life that was lived together rather than everyone always going their own separate ways all the time. Then as we started stumbling into our home “preschool” I stumbled across lots of homeschooling blogs which refined our vision for our family life, and homeschooling seemed a natural component of this. One in particular that stands out is Ann Voskamp’s blog A Holy Experience – not strictly a homeschooling blog per se, but she does occasionally write about how their family homeschools and I found that very influential in our decision to keep going beyond the preschool/kindergarten phase. And then I stumbled across CM methods – I think Karen Andreola’s A Charlotte Mason Companion book was the first I read – and also have read and was very inspired by For the Children’s Sake and When Children Love to Learn as other’s have mentioned….and around that time found the SCM community. Anyhow…sort of sealed the deal for us. =) DH was initially opposed to the idea (mostly becuase it wasn’t what everyone else does or how he was raised), but has now come around as he realized the benefits to our family spiritually and our children academically. So…that was how we ended up where we are now. Definetely a journey for us. =)



    Michael Farris’s The Spiritual Power of a Mother was the clincher for me.  It wasn’t horribly profound and was a very quick read…but, looking back, that was the one that really spoke to me about the choice to keep them at home. 🙂


    I first had the idea of homeschooling put in my mind when I was about 17.  I was dating a boy who was homechooled (and the family was friends of our family.)   I don’t remember why it would have come up, but one day his mom said not to be in a hurry to send kids off to school – that they didn’t need preschool, kindergarten, etc… and that homeschooling is always an option.

    Although at the time I was “yeah, right”, the idea did stick with me, and by the time I married my husband, I figured I’d probably homeschool.  My husband’s experience with the school system with my step-kids had him also convinced that homeschooling would be the best.

    I took a book out from the library – don’t remember the name – but basically on homeschooling for free (or very little) – and I think with the attached website I learned about Ambleside Online, which got me researching CM education. (I also researched Classical, Unit Study, and others)

    For books, I read A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola (and a few other books – but LOTS of websites as the websites are free and easy to find) – and I knew I had found my homeschooling style.


     I had posted on here a couple of weeks ago about public education for early years, and many women quoted the Bible for spiritual confirmation to homeschooling.  I am familiar with all the scriptures quoted, but never applied them directly to homeschooling (just to parenting), but I can see the connection with teaching your children daily about the scriptures when you sit and when you rise, etc….. and that assuming you were with them all the day to do this.

    For me, I read “For the Children’s Sake” long ago for a book report in a child devlopmental psych class and got an A on the report.  Several kids a babysat for homeschooled (my intro to the option) and many of the moms had read it.  Then as dh and I have prayed about our dc education (age 5&3) I have read “A Charlotte Mason Education” and “A Charlotte Mason Companion”.  I plan to read the Sally Clarkson book  (can’t think of the title)about homeschooling soon now that it is looking like we will start homeschooling next year, and it has come highly recommended by other hs moms I know.  

    Oh, and on Ambleside Online there is a link the Charlotte Mason’s writings (6 volumes, all not necessary to be read when first starting) in the original English language and a modern English language.  I plan to start reading this after I finish the other books I am reading.  

    It seemed like a long way off when our dc were the ages of your dc (or ds or dd to be), but the past 5 years have flown by quickly and it is never too early to plan.



    I did not read the other posts. I read Lisa Welchel’s So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling and also some material from our state Christian home educator’s group and then went to a homeschool conference. Also prayer and talking with other homeschoolers.

    Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies. I’m looking forward to reading several of these and to continuing to glean more from the insights of others on this forum.


    I read “The Well-Trained Mind” many years ago and it made a big impression on me.  While I did not go on to use Story of the World or the classical methods described in the book, it left me with the revolutionary idea that a home education could be BETTER than a school education.  When we found our school system unsatisfactory in some areas, instead of fighting with teachers and administrators, we just left the system.  I am not sure I would have considered that an option without the influence of The Well Trained Mind.

    Just wanted to report that I ordered Educating the Whole-hearted Child, For the Children’s Sake, and one called The Well-Adjusted Child and they arrived today. I’m going to start with these three and I’m eager to dig in as soon as I wrap up Hold on to Your Kids. I’m also heading to a women’s retreat this weekend and looking forward to some good conversations with other moms I know who are homeschooling. Thanks again for the good recs. I imagine I’ll be returning to this list again.

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