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Favorite books about unschooling/homeschooling?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Right now I'm taking a look through "Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners" on Amazon, and it's looking pretty good. My kids are 6 and 3, and my 6 year old is a kinesthetic learner and has a strong, leadership type of personality. I really think he would most enjoy unschooling, I just want to make sure I'm doing it right, and providing him a variety of opportunities to learn. :-)


post #2 of 19

I really enjoyed the book "A Thomas Jefferson Education". It seems like people either love it or hate it. Author is LDS. I am not, but I still really enjoyed the book and reading lists. 


I also liked "The Unschooling Handbook". Little bit of a gloss over in some ways, but a good book nonetheless. 

post #3 of 19

My sons are 6 and 3 too, and by coincidence, I'm going to post my most favorable review and summary of Project-based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert on my blog this Thursday. (www.mamaofletters.com)  I also asked her if I could interview her about PBH for young kids, and that interview will be posted next week in three parts (she wrote a lot!).  I really loved the book.  I would not call PBH unschooling, but it's definitely child-led, and it makes sense to me.  You could also do other things too.  For example, I am teaching my son how to read and do math with other resources.  But you could do just PBH, if you want to.


I asked her if I could interview her because I did have questions about starting it with such young children. I kept seeing how older kids could do it while reading her book.  She said she's working on some extra resources to help people get started.  Now that I've started PBH with my son, I understand more clearly, and I do think she's covered everything in her book.  It's just hard to see how it works until you've experienced it.


When I first started thinking about homeschooling, I read two books by Mary Griffith: The Homeschooling Handbook and The Unschooling Handbook.  They are general overviews of what homeschooling and unschooling is, but they are very good and just what I needed at the time.  The Homeschooling Handbook, for example, has a chapter that gives a brief account of most of the educational methods that homeschoolers might follow.  They are easy to read, and I highly recommend them.  I had also started reading a book by John Holt, but I never finished it.


Good luck to you! (I live in Georgia too!)

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Spabis, does PBH have ideas for kids just starting out?

Momsteader, I've looked at TJE online and it seems to me that I would be one of the ones that hate it. lol....I might check it out from the library just to make sure though.

I think I'm leaning more towards The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling ideas by Linda Dobson....at this point I'm not looking as much for books about homeschooling methods, but ways to keep my 6 year old engaged and interested in learning. He LOVES games, so I think this is a good starting place. 

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Oh, Spabis, do you live anywhere near Athens? We're relocating there pretty soon. I'm looking for other homeschoolers to play with. wink1.gif

post #6 of 19

I read just about every book I can find on the subject and my favorite so far is Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon.


I did just order Project-Based Homeschooling and also Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling, so I'm waiting on those to arrive.

post #7 of 19

I'm new at this journey (my kids are 4 and 2), but I love the Project Based Homeschooling book. I feel like it's given me strategies and ideas for being a better mentor -- for the things my kids are interested in and doing anyway. Nothing coercive in there at all, but I've seen a lot of growth in my older kid since I started using some of the ideas a few months back.

post #8 of 19

Learning All The Time by John Holt is good book for students

post #9 of 19

I like Free Range Learning also.  Some of it is a bit repetitive but it is very inspiring.

post #10 of 19

Did you mean to say online tutoring?

post #11 of 19

This is not a how-to but it is still one of my favorite books about homeschooling - My Year of Learning Dangerously by Quinn Cummings. 


If I had to name a book that offers guidance I would probably just have to pick the Continuum Concept, by Jean Liedloff, and also How Children Learn and Instead of Education by John Holt. 

post #12 of 19

Sandra Dodd's Big book of Unschooling and "Radical Unschooling: A Revoultion has begun" by Dayna Martin. Especially the latter, amazing!

post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by rumi View Post

This is not a how-to but it is still one of my favorite books about homeschooling - My Year of Learning Dangerously by Quinn Cummings. 

I had never come across this one until you mentioned it. Downloaded it last night and am enjoying it a lot! It's probably been ten years since I've read a book about home education. This one is irreverent and funny, but packs a lot of wisdom. Thanks for the recommendation!

post #14 of 19

My own personal favourite is John Holt's collected letters- A Life Worth Living - because I found a lot of inspiration in there. I'm not sure how it would be for someone coming new to Holt and his work but if you're familiar with him I think its worth a look. I also really liked GWS actually and quite often browse the archives. There is something about the energy of homeschooling as a young, vibrant movement that is so inspiring. I also really like his book about learning the cello later in life - Never Too Late.


Another book I really like is the Teenage Liberation Handbook, mainly because its the book I wish someone had written for me as a teenager (well, she kind of did-I was a teenager when it came out, it just didn't seem to make its way over to England)

post #15 of 19

Legendary Learning: The Famous Homeschoolers' Guide to Self-Directed Excellence http://www.amazon.com/Legendary-Learning-Homeschoolers-Self-Directed-Excellence/dp/0983151008/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365396226&sr=8-1&keywords=legendary+learning


Here is the review I wrote on amazon. I geared the review to mainstream folks. The book is primarily about unschooling.


This is probably the best parenting book I have ever read. How you can offer your kids the skills they need to follow their passions and succeed (as they define it) in the world. Although it is geared to unschoolers, most of this can be applied to children who attend school. She discusses Montessori, Charlotte Mason, A Thomas Jefferson Education (a form of classical education,) and unschooling. She has researched how many highly successful people were educated as they grew up. Although all were homeschooled for some period of time, many also went to school for awhile as well. She discusses people like Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt, Pierre Curie, Agatha Christie, Margaret Leakey, and many, many others. The bottom line is to help your child find their passions and teach them the creativity and skills to attain their goals.

post #16 of 19

And let's not forget magazines like  Home Education and Life Learning

post #17 of 19

But Isn't unschooling all about doing what feels right rather then following some agenda and therefore following books on unschooling is a bit contradictory?

post #18 of 19
Originally Posted by DuckDuckDuck View Post

But Isn't unschooling all about doing what feels right rather then following some agenda and therefore following books on unschooling is a bit contradictory?


I'm not sure anyone is talking about "following books." 


In the past I've enjoyed reading a few books about unschooling because they inspire me. They reassure me of the value of what I'm doing, remind me of the reasons we chose this path, and encourage me to think even further outside the box when exploring the possibilities our lives and our interests offer us. And occasionally I've read books that talk about more prescriptive styles of homeschooling and I've been reminded of why we don't do things that way.


Yes, there's a sense in which unschooling is about doing what feels right. But sometimes it hurts a bit getting to that place. Letting go of comfortably-held assumptions. Taking a risk. Stepping outside of one's comfort zone. Taking on a bit of grunt-work that will open up other possibilities down the road. Compromising on something. Whether you're the adult or the child in the equation I think there are often times when you're not sure you're on the right path, when things don't necessarily feel comfortable and "right," even if they really are okay. Inspiration and reassurance can help, and sometimes I find that in a book.



Edited by moominmamma - 4/11/13 at 4:02pm
post #19 of 19

I also think that when you are starting out or if you are learning about anything, having a guide can help


A lot of people come to home/unschooling quite cold, not as an organic extension of AP parenting or consensual living but kind of propelled there by circumstance. Having a field guide would, I imagine, be really helpful.


I read very, very little specifically about homeschooling. Actually this is the only homeschool specific forum I use. I don't actually...not sure I should say it but...in many ways, after a few years of this malarky, its not even that interesting really to me to talk about it, in a general, philosophical sense. I know it basically works and works well. I'm more interested in how people live good and productive lives and my kids seem to be too, and if those people happen to be unschooling then great, but if not we have something to learn. Kids, adults...we all learn basically the same way. Anyone living life passionately is interesting to me, kid or adult. But home/unschooling itself...well aside from glitches quite specific to our own circumstances (which are often solved, say, by posting on here, or giving it a good deal of thought, or talking to my friends or family) , generally when you've done it for a bit its not rocket science, is it? And I don't feel any strong need to identify myself as a homeschooler, aside from, if need be, for political reasons. Its not really a strong part of my identity, I mean.

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