If you’ve thought about homeschooling, it’s a good idea to consult a homeschooling guidebook to help you hit the ground running.
Many parents pick up these helpful resources to develop an organized approach to homeschooling. The books don’t just cover curriculum — rather, they cover a broad range of subjects that explain learning styles, how to select materials, and methods of teaching. Some homeschooling guidebooks discuss more focused topics as well, such as accommodating multiple learners as well as those with special needs.
We’ve assembled this buying guide to help you find the right homeschooling guidebook. We’re sharing essential information so you can compare books, plus we’re including our favorite titles at the end. Our top choice, The Everything Guide to Homeschooling by Sherri Linsenbach, is an approachable, well-rounded text that offers practical insight.
Considerations when choosing homeschooling guidebooks
It’s common for homeschooling guidebooks to include insight on choosing a curriculum for your kids. They aid in identifying appropriate learning goals and choosing materials and resources accordingly. Homeschooling books covering this subject also shed light on the importance of age- and grade-appropriate curriculum.
The term “differentiating instruction” refers to personalizing learning for each student. As many homeschooling guides explain, one way to differentiate instruction (especially in homes with multiple learners) is by understanding and identifying styles of learning. One of your kids, for example, may be a visual learner, while another may be a kinesthetic learner.
Since parents are in control of all aspects of learning, the pacing is a constant concern. Homeschooling guides help parents create balanced schedules that move through lessons in a timely manner without glossing over subject areas where kids need more instruction or reinforcement.
No matter which homeschooling guidebook you choose, there will be at least one section that offers reassurance. These chapters or passages speak directly to parents, explaining that homeschooling is a learning process for kids and parents alike. More than anything, they aim to alleviate fears and anxieties parents have as they prepare to homeschool their kids.
Popular homeschooling guidebook topics
It’s common for homeschooling guidebooks to discuss routines. This includes developing realistic routines that can be maintained, or at the very least, adapted in certain circumstances. Routines are often discussed in terms of daily, weekly, and year-long learning objectives, such as final exams or long-term projects.
Most homeschooling guidebooks present ways for parents to foster social skills development. They share recommendations on how to grow communication skills between parents as teachers and siblings as fellow students. Some homeschooling guidebooks also introduce parents to ways they can involve their children in sports or extracurricular activities with other kids.
Certain homeschooling guidebooks focus on accommodating students with special needs. They may address common learning disabilities or how to find resources or manipulatives that can help learners remain engaged or stimulated.
Parents of high school-age kids pick up homeschooling guidebooks that cover the college prep experience. Some books have a heavy focus on the application and interview process. Others take an involved approach to preparation for PSAT, SAT or ACT exams.
Homeschooling guidebook price
Most paperback homeschooling guidebooks run between $12-$15, though their ebook versions usually cost $10 and below. Homeschooling guidebooks that are comprehensive or have dense curriculum guides may cost $50 and above.
Homeschooling guidebook FAQ
Q. Is it normal to disagree with some of the advice in a homeschooling guidebook?
A. Absolutely. In fact, many parents find their way or solidify their positions on certain subjects by reading opposing viewpoints. It’s also important to note that if you’re using an older edition of a homeschooling guidebook, some advice won’t seem relevant because it’s simply outdated.
Q. Do all homeschooling guidebooks discuss Common Core?
A. No. Many parents choose separate books and materials to discuss the complexities of Common Core. Many books published more recently, however, provide a brief overview of it.
Homeschooling guidebooks we recommend
Best of the best
The Everything Guide to Homeschooling by Sherri Linsenbach
Our take: A comprehensive introductory guide that covers everything from curriculum to learning styles.
What we like: Shares tips on essential duties such as recordkeeping and teaching methods. Addresses Common Core in an approachable manner.
What we dislike: Some readers felt the tone of the guide was a bit too relaxed at times.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Best bang for your buck
The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life by Julie Bogart
Our take: The general theme of this book is to promote the joy of learning for kids by keeping them stimulated and engaged.
What we like: Offers a refreshing perspective with practical solutions. Covers the importance of relationships within the homeschool environment.
What we dislike: Leans rather heavily toward child-led learning, which is met with mixed reviews.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guidebook to Unshakeable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie
Our take: A gentle, faith-based approach to managing the difficulties related to homeschooling.
What we like: Highly supportive and encouraging to parents. Presents a family-focused approach to homeschooling.
What we dislike: Not every approach is ideal for parents of middle school or high school learners.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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