The goal of home schooling isn't to roll our kids through 12+ years of schooling to keep the state machinery running—it's to mold high-functioning, conscientious citizens who exemplify our Christian beliefs and standards of behavior. Like every important endeavor, home education requires a measure of trial-and-error, but that doesn't mean there aren't books that can help.
Over the years our selection of home school "how to" guides has multiplied like tribbles on the U.S.S. Enterprise. From Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum offering reviews, basic info and selection guidelines for curriculum from kindergarten to 12th grade, to Just Around the Corner by Steven and Teri Maxwell (a collection of encouraging devotional essays for home school parents), there's no shortage of "atlases" for newcomers and veterans alike.
One of our favorites is The Language Wars by Ruth Beechick. In a number of short readable essays she identifies and addresses some of the most daunting elements of home education (understanding educational philosophies and methods, selecting curriculum, integrating character and Bible education, etc.). Beechick is a longtime educational writer and expert whose no-nonsense approach has made her books staples among home school families. Susan Macaulay's classic For the Children's Sake focuses on the sacrifices parents must make to give their kids a sufficient education; Macaulay's educational model is based firmly on the Charlotte Mason method.
Debra Bell's The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling takes a scattergun approach, covering pretty much every aspect of homeschooling in surprising detail and welcome good humor. Reaping the Harvest is Diana Waring's manifesto on the difficulties and (often ignored) joys of home schooling teenagers. Most of the books in this section have reviews—browse until you find the one that seems to best fit your needs, because with the proliferation of home school literature the perfect fit is probably out there.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviewshere.