7 of the Best Home schooling Reads

Another lockdown and parents are once again supporting their children’s learning. These books on home schooling, offering support and ideas are perfect additions to your makeshift classroom. I have tried to include more books relating to the UK education system, but as I’m sure you can appreciate, many of the books on homeschooling are American.

There are many books out there and it is impossible and somewhat expensive to read them all! Below is a review of some of the most popular books on the market at the present time. (Please note: there are affiliate links within the text which give a commission but do not cost you anything, thanks.)

The Home Education Handbook

The book sets the stage for learning, explaining how to prepare your environment to ensure it is a successful place to teach and learn. It offers help with planning and the best way to teach lessons. The authors offer ways to structure the day so that it feels varied and balanced along with hints and tips on developing a curriculum across different age groups.

A helpful section in the book helps parents to find the impetus to work on their child’s education, day after day. This acknowledgement that home schooling can be really challenging is so important. Both the authors have worked extensively with children and this shows in the number of tips and ideas within the book. It was also lovely to read stories from parents who are home schooling. Hearing these experiences helps novices believe they can succeed in educating their children at home. This is a comprehensive guide to educating at home.

The Case for Home schooling: Free Range Handbook

A must-read for homeschooling parents and families considering teaching their children at home even after schools reopen. In this timely and acclaimed guide, teacher turned home-educator Anna Dusseau explores the benefits of home education, the ways children come to understand the world and how homeschooling can cultivate true creative learning for life. Her gritty, wisdom-filled approach shows how homeschooling can work brilliantly for families in post-lockdown times.

Alongside practical tips for getting started and answers to key questions, you will find a wealth of tried and tested activities. Here are carefully picked home learning resources and up-to-date legal advice. The informative, honest accounts of home schooling show different approaches so as to help choices.

Honey, I Home-Schooled the Kids

TV presenter Nadia and her husband Mark took their two children out of mainstream school five years ago. Since then they have home schooled them. At a time when so many of us are being forced to rethink our roles as parents and teachers, Mark and Nadia bring their experiences – the good and the bad – and offer a candid and practical guide to teaching at home. With great humour and frankness the couple share their home schooling adventure.

They share obstacles, insights and resources that all parents can learn from, whether they’re looking for help supporting their child at school or if they have decided to take the plunge and home school.

Homeschooling 101: How to Homeschool your child in the UK

When it comes to education, the hardest decision parents like you face is whether to go it alone or send your child to school. Schools aren’t the best place for every child. Some children can’t access education at all. Short and sweet, ideal for busy parents.

This book is for you if:
-You know you would like to homeschool but are not sure where or how to start.
-You need some new ideas for your homeschooling.
-You aren’t sure if you want to homeschool or if you are capable of doing it.
-You don’t know what comes next, except that you don’t want to send your child back to school.

Teaching on a Shoestring

This is a less is more type of book. It’s all about creating interesting, thought-provoking and fun lessons and activities without the need for a large budget or expensive equipment. The main theme through the book is that every object tells a story and it is up to you as the teacher to help your children find it.

It depicts how physical items, large or small, can ignite curiosity as well as a sense of adventure. The ideas laid out are genuinely interesting and add valuable context to children’s education. There’s an A to Z of everyday objects from apples to zebra-printed fabric. Each object is then investigated following the same format including background information, facts, learning goals and activities involving the object.

Homeschool Secrets of Success

 An invaluable guide to help you avoid the biggest reason homeschooling fails – battles with the kids over ‘school’ work.

This is an ideal book for those already homeschooling and for those who are about to excitedly but nervously take their first steps. This highly recommended guide will prove to you that the biggest secret to homeschool success is motivation. When you make the decision to homeschool, there is the so called elephant in the room. That is you! You are the parent and now you are the teacher too! That is potentially the biggest problem on the motivation side.

What happens when things don’t go to plan? The kids lose interest. They don’t want to learn. You are tearing your hair out. You worry…about their future. What if they don’t get any exams or qualifications? They will have failed. And you will have failed too

This guide gives you tried and tested ways to successfully home school your children, keeping them interested, enthusiastic and happy. It will not be all plain sailing though as the author says- learning to trust your child and accept what they say- even if you disagree will be one of the hardest lessons to put in place. Some of the areas covered are:

  • What makes a good homeschool teacher
  • How to make a schedule which works for all of you
  • Practical steps you can take if things start going wrong
  • Common motivational mistakes
  • How to deal with a potential homeschooling nightmare – the responsibility of motivating kids through high school exams.

The author was home schooled herself and went on to home school her children; her son took a traditional route and went to Oxford University, whilst her daughter went in a non-educational way to be an artist.

Five Minute Mum

This book is teeming with over 150 activities – each taking five minutes to set up and five minutes to put away. The activities are designed to keep youngsters – aged between one and five – entertained while giving busy parents a bit of peace.

Upton is a teaching assistant, all the activities have an educational leaning. Many of them cover skills found on the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage and are, fun, playful and original. Her “survival kit” consisted of every day items- glue sticks, scissors, cake trays and soft toys.

I loved POP – a game which involves placing the individual letters of words (written on separate bits of paper) inside balloons. Much popping (and shrieking) will commence, after which the word building can begin.

Upton also has some amazing advice for less veteran child carers or educators.

One of my favourites is this: “You need to set your expectations and assumptions at zero.”

Another pertinent tip:- don’t announce that an activity is about to begin as this puts children off- they are quick to realise when they are about to be taught. Instead, lay out the activity for them to find; or start to play it yourself and their natural curiosity will lead them to you.

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