A List of My Favorite Homeschooling Books

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Our full month of homeschooling lists is nearing an end. I can hardly believe it. I’m joining up with The Nester’s 31 Days series and sharing 31 homeschool lists with you! Everything from sanity strategies to book lists to managing life details: I’ve got a list and I’m sharing it.

Organize your homeschool lists

Homeschooling Lists Galore

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: Essential Pantry List for Simple Meals
Next: Student Checklists

ed-books

Just as I decided to make the tough calls and limit my picture book list to the best 12, so I’ve made myself narrow my top homeschooling books to the best 5.

Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Clay & Sally Clarkson

This was my favorite book for starting out without stress and with perspective in the young years. It’s a holistic, well-rounded and well-grounded approach to learning that doesn’t limit what “counts” to worksheets and checkboxes.

Classical Education and the Homeschool by Doug Wilson & Wes Callihan

This is a brief and straightforward overview of classical education and an outline of the sort of hard work it will take to accomplish. I especially appreciated how “imagination” was a key principle developed.

A Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason

Volume 6 is the volume to begin with if you want to know what Miss Mason actually taught and why. It’s her overview of her principles and methods, and it is rich.

Leisure, the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper

This book is deceptively short. I wish there were a better translation available, because his meaning is clouded in places due to translation and the fact that he’s writing to a very specific audience that is foreign in culture and in time. Still, it is well worth the effort it requires. This is the book that introduces scholé to the discussion.

Norms and Nobility by David Hicks

I loved this book. It’s a dense read, but it is the book that taught me classical education was so much more than “trivium as stages.” It is a tradition that we can join.


There are several education books in my to be read stack that might supplant these. I bet Ravi Jain’s The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education will replace Classical Education and the Homeschool when I finally read it. I also really need to read Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education because I’ve heard so many good things about it.

But the book I’m so excited to read is by Karen Glass, and it’s now available: Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition. Whether you’re coming from the Charlotte Mason angle or the classical angle, this book will address your questions and show you how education has a long tradition that we can return to. If you want to know what Miss Mason drew on to form her principles, this is the book for you. If you want to have an overview of the leading ideas on education from the ancients through Christendom, this is the book for you.

The forward is by David Hicks – that same David Hicks who wrote Norms & Nobility, mentioned above. This is a book for classical educators and not just Charlotte Mason fangirls.

If you want a book that covers educational philosophy but is clear and straightforward, this is the book for you.

Karen graciously sent me a digital copy of the manuscript before it was edited, and it was fantastic. I hear that she’s improved it even more based on the feedback she received from those early readers, and I ordered my “real” copy today.

You should, too.

Essential Pantry List for Simple Meals

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Meals might not seem like part of homeschooling, but it’s all part of the package of making life happen. And I have lists to make it easier.

I love to make lists. I even have lists of the lists I have made and want to make. So, why not share all (well, some) of those lists during The Nester’s 31 Days series? Yes, 31 days of homeschool lists. It’ll be a ton of fun if you love lists as much as I do.

Organize your homeschool lists

A Bunch of Homeschooling Lists

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: Simple Meals for Homeschool Days
Next: Independent Work Checklist

Master Grocery List

I used to try to make a grocery list at the same time I menu planned – sometimes the magic synergy happened and sometimes it was pulling teeth. I needed to pick dinners to fit the amount of time and energy available for the days of the week, work that week’s grocery store specials, match up recipes from my various collections, double check I had all the ingredients I needed, and write it all down adequately enough so at 5pm each day I knew what I was supposed to do.

Yeah.

After baby #3, I decided this method was simply madness, and I had other projects I could do if I wanted to coordinate details. I decided what would be in my fridge, freezer, and pantry; I decided that I wanted to be able to buy any meat that was on sale at the store and know I could do something with it that didn’t require any extra or special ingredients. Then I decided to simply throw away all my recipes that didn’t match up with this new philosophy.

I used to try to make a grocery list at the same time I menu planned - sometimes the magic synergy happened and sometimes it was pulling teeth. No more. Now I have a mastery grocery list.

This is what I came up with as my master pantry list:

  • bell peppers
  • cabbage & lettuce

  • carrots

  • cilantro and/or parsley (fresh or dry)
  • garlic & onions
  • potatoes
  • vegetables & fruit (seasonal)

  • zucchini
  • basil
  • cinnamon, ground
  • dill
  • ground mustard
  • garlic powder
  • ginger
  • oregano
  • paprika
  • peppercorns or ground pepper 

  • thyme
  • baking powder
  • baking soda

  • beans, black
  • beans, chickpea

  • beans, pinto

  • beans, split pea

  • beans, white
  • cornmeal
  • cornstarch
  • dried cranberries

  • flour, whole wheat 

  • flour, white
  • oats, rolled
  • pasta
  • popcorn
  • raisins
  • rice, brown
  • salt, garlic and/or seasoning
  • salt, sea
  • sugar, brown

  • sugar, powdered
  • sugar, white
  • tortillas
  • walnuts and/or almonds

  • yeast
  • extract, almond
  • extract, lemon
  • extract, vanilla

  • honey

  • jam

  • ketchup

  • lemon juice
  • lime juice
  • mayonnaise
  • molasses
  • mustard, dijon and/or grainy
  • oil, canola or coconut
  • oil, olive, extra virgin
  • oil, sesame
  • peanut butter
  • salsa

  • soy sauce
  • vinegar, apple cider

  • vinegar, balsamic

  • vinegar, red wine
  • vinegar, white
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • olives, canned

  • pickles, whole

  • pineapple, canned
  • salmon, canned or packaged

  • tomato paste
  • tomatoes, crushed and/or sauce
  • tomatoes, diced
  • tuna, canned
  • butter
  • half-and-half
  • cheese, cheddar
  • cheese, mozzarella

  • cheese, Parmesan
  • cream cheese

  • eggs
  • milk
  • sour cream (or sub. yogurt)

  • yogurt, plain (or sub. sour cream)
  • meat, whatever is on sale

  • broccoli, frozen

  • green beans, frozen

  • orange juice concentrate

  • peas, frozen


You can get a pretty printable of this list to use as a master grocery list (I also have a post on how to make a grocery list here) along with a menu planning sheet at Simplified Pantry.

The great thing about having a basic list like this is that even when I forget my list, what I buy as I do my route through the grocery store is pretty automatic, and I know I will use these items I frequently buy, so even if I end up buying an extra, it’s ok.

Simplified Dinners eBook

I began menu planning at 11 years old when my mom delegated one dinner a week to me. Marrying at 19, I’ve had a lot of practice over the years. But between growing and homeschooling my family, meal planning often requires brain power and creativity that just isn’t there any more. Simplified Dinners is my solution to take the effort and thought out of healthy, frugal cooking. And now it is available for you, too! Use the discount code convivial to get $3 off through October only.

Simple Meals for Homeschool Days

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Dinner has to happen every day, whether we’re ready or not. I’ve had to seriously simplify this part of my day, and here are the go-to meals I’ve made a regular part of our rotation.

I love to make lists. I even have lists of the lists I have made and want to make. So, why not share all (well, some) of those lists during The Nester’s 31 Days series? Yes, 31 days of homeschool lists. It’ll be a ton of fun if you love lists as much as I do.

Organize your homeschool lists

And, if you do, then please do sign up so you don’t miss a single one:

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A Bushel of Homeschooling Lists

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: Elementary Fun-Reading Book List
Next: Essential Pantry List

Dinner has to happen every day, whether we’re ready or not. I’ve had to seriously simplify this part of my day, and here are the go-to meals I’ve made a regular part of our rotation

Quick, Simple, Healthy Meals for Homeschool Days

The thing that really makes a meal take less energy is being able to go into autopilot to put it on the table and to know how to flex the meal to work with what you have on hand. For most dinners, exact proportions don’t matter too much, and you can add diced zucchini to almost anything or simply use the amount of onion that suits your family’s taste. Go with your tastes and your supply and practice-into-habit a few basic meal types so you can vary dinner without recipe-browsing and reading and thinking through instructions the whole time.

These are my

  • Skillet chicken, either potatoes mashed or roasted or pasta tossed with butter and cheese, and a green salad
  • Homemade “no mess” (i.e. no sauce) pan pizza & salad (and no-crust pizza for me)
  • Potato hash with either ground beef or sausage (or sausage and sweet potato hash is a great variation) with a roasted or steamed veggie
  • Frittata or oven omelette with glazed carrots and biscuits or roasted potatoes
  • Taquitos or enchiladas with leftover chicken or roast, if there is any

And I’m so happy soup season is just beginning. Soup + bread + salad is the best, especially if I can get the soup in the crockpot during breakfast.

All these are in Simplified Dinners, not surprisingly. It really is the primary dinner-creation method I use every week. I rarely have to pull it out any more, because most of them are internalized now, but I know my handy reference is there if I’m totally brain-dead.

Make This List Useful For You

By 4 or 5 in the afternoon, I often don’t have enough creative energy left to make dinner the way I used to. Dinner – or any kind of cooking or baking – can be a creative outlet, but sometimes there are seasons where that’s not what works anymore. It’s ok, and it is likely only a season.

To get through a season like that, take as much of the thinking out of the process as possible and don’t feel bad about serving nearly the same things every week. Ma didn’t serve much variety, either. Changing up small details like the sort of marinade used for chicken can add variety while still keeping the process untaxing.

Simplified Dinners eBook

I began menu planning at 11 years old when my mom delegated one dinner a week to me. Marrying at 19, I’ve had a lot of practice over the years. But between growing and homeschooling my family, meal planning often requires brain power and creativity that just isn’t there any more. Simplified Dinners is my solution to take the effort and thought out of healthy, frugal cooking. And now it is available for you, too! Use the discount code convivial to get $3 off through October only.

Elementary Fun-Reading Book List

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Bookmark

One month full of homeschooling lists! I’m joining up with The Nester’s 31 Days series and sharing 31 homeschool lists with you! Everything from sanity strategies to book lists to managing life details: I’ve got a list and I’m sharing it.

Organize your homeschool lists

If you’re interested in homeschool lists, make sure to sign up so you don’t miss a single one:

Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
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A Collection of Homeschooling Lists

Index: “Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: “School Supplies for the Homeschool Mom
Next: What’s in our K-1st Bin

An extensive list of non-twaddle series to keep elementary readers (boys & girls) in books.

Books for Elementary Kids to Read for Fun

The problem with having kids who read is that you have to keep them in books.

Here are the series I’ve collected or returned to at the library to keep my elementary student readers in books.

Start with

When they’re older and need more, turn to

Plus we have a shelf full of Eyewitness Books that the boys love to page through and browse and copy pictures out of.

I’m just glad my boys have formed no prejudice about reading the same books over and over again! Remember and teach your children: real readers reread.

Rejoicing in Repetition: Towards Joy in Housework will help you find the beauty in the mundane

Are you often frustrated with the repetitive nature of housework? Do you wonder if it’s even worth your time at all? Do you get angry when your work is immediately undone by your little ones?

If so, Rejoicing in Repetition: Toward Joy in Housework, a meditation on the beauty found in the mundane and repetitious, will lift you up and help you regain a clear perspective.

For the month of October, this $2.99 ebook can be yours for free.

Name:
Email:

Homeschool Mom Teacher Supply List

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As a busy homeschooling mom of 5 kids, here are the supplies I use daily to keep things running (somewhat, sometimes) smoothly.

This month I’m sharing homeschool lists all month during The Nester’s 31 Days series. Everything from coping strategies to book lists to supplies to digital and paper-based organizing, I’ve got lists and I’m excited to share them.

Organize your homeschool lists

Homeschooling Lists Unlimited

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: Homeschool Supply List
Next: Elementary Fun-Reading & Free-Reading Book List

Here are the supplies I use daily to keep our homeschool days running (somewhat, sometimes) smoothly

My supplies all have a place in my portable teacher supply bag, so I can move from table to desk to couch to park, wherever we end up doing school.

These things tucked into my open craft tote make an ideal portable command central.

Rejoicing in Repetition: Towards Joy in Housework will help you find the beauty in the mundane

Are you often frustrated with the repetitive nature of housework? Do you wonder if it’s even worth your time at all? Do you get angry when your work is immediately undone by your little ones?

If so, Rejoicing in Repetition: Toward Joy in Housework, a meditation on the beauty found in the mundane and repetitious, will lift you up and help you regain a clear perspective.

For the month of October, this $2.99 ebook can be yours for free.

Name:
Email:

Other 31 Days series I am reading:

Elementary Homeschool Supply List

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What do elementary students need to do their school work? Not much. This is my essential homeschool supply list for the kids. It’s pretty basic.

Yes, one month full of homeschooling lists! I’m joining up with The Nester’s 31 Days series and sharing 31 homeschool lists with you! Everything from sanity strategies to book lists to managing life details: I’ve got lists and I’m sharing them all month.

Homeschooling Lists Unlimited

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: Essential Picture Books
Next: Homeschool Mom Teacher Supply List

What do homeschooled elementary students need to do their school work? Not much.

Elementary Homeschool Supplies

What’s on my shopping list for school supplies before we begin our school year? Despite my love of office supplies and my tendency to go overboard with excitement over new “solutions,” I’ve honed it down to these few necessities now:

  • My new favorite school supply containers, one per child – they keep track of their own stuff, starting at age 9 (I tried this method younger and it failed miserably).
  • Their choice of 50-count colored pencils or 64-count crayons for the year (if they lose them, they simply have fewer – no resupply until the next school year). I went with Crayola and will upgrade them to something nicer in middle school when (if?) they stop leaving their
  • A mechanical pencil (so they don’t have to spend 45 minutes of every school morning walking back and forth from the pencil sharpener)
  • A clipboard
  • A composition notebook for their own common placing, note taking, and drawing.

Except for lots and lots of books, which you’ve already seen, and their Memory Work Binders, that’s all. Their clipboards hold their weekly checklist (which I will share) and any pages they are working on that day. All our school stuff has a home to live in when school time is over, and putting their own stuff away is on their daily checklist. I still have to call them back to remind them half the days, but it works better than leaving it to my reminders and nagging only.

Rejoicing in Repetition: Towards Joy in Housework will help you find the beauty in the mundane

Are you often frustrated with the repetitive nature of housework? Do you wonder if it’s even worth your time at all? Do you get angry when your work is immediately undone by your little ones?

If so, Rejoicing in Repetition: Toward Joy in Housework, a meditation on the beauty found in the mundane and repetitious, will lift you up and help you regain a clear perspective.

For the month of October, this $2.99 ebook can be yours for free.

Name:
Email:

Other 31 Days series I am reading: