My favourite books

Here is a core list of books that have inspired, confirmed or reformed my parenting and educational visions.  Most of these books move my heart and speak to my spirit.  Others challenge me to stretch out beyond my comfort zone!   These books remain rich and full of wisdom, and every time I read them, I am inspired.

For The Children’s Sake Foundations of Education for Home and School 

by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay ISBN 0-89107-290-Xrecommended books 002

A book about the wonderful, life-enriching, joyous experiences of home education. An inspirational book on Charlotte Mason’s methods.

Charlotte Mason Study Guide A Simplified Approach to a “Living” Education 

by Penny Gardner ISBN 1-57636-039-3
Recommended Book

An excellent Charlotte Mason study packed with many condensed exerts of her methods and ideas. Penny arranges these quotations and inspires her readers with her own wonderful insights and experiences.

Charlotte Mason Companion Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning

by Karen Andreola ISBN 1-889209-02-3recommended books

Karen’s book is easy-reading and inspiring as she weaves Charlotte Mason’s methods through her teaching experiences.  As the title suggests, Karen shares Charlotte Mason’s principles as a mentor and guide.

A Charlotte Mason Education A How-To-Manual

by Catherine Levison  ISBN 0-9655044-0-9recommended books 001

A concise and clear outline of many of Charlotte Mason’s principles with Catherine’s applications and experiences.

Seasons of a Mother’s Heart

by Sally Clarkson ISBN 1-888692-03-0recommended books 003

A most inspiring book! It speaks to mothers in an intimate and encouraging manner.  She shares her insights in parenting, education and marriage and her reader is stimulated to apply these personally.

The WholeHearted Child Home Education Handbook

by Clay and Sally Clarkson  From Whole Heart Ministriesrecommended books 011

This was my first Homeschool ‘Bible’!  This handbook gives a broad overview of many approaches and methods and education principles. The layout has broad margins containing quotes and scriptures.  I have added many notes of my own!

My favourite aspect of this book was the Home Centred Learning Model.  This illustration gave a comprehensive plan of all the areas of education and provided an excellent structure to form my own educational outlines.

Heartfelt Discipline The Gentle Art of Training and Guiding Your Child

by Clay Clarkson ISBN 1-57856-583-9recommended books 007

Another gem from the Whole Heart Ministries!  This book offers Biblical discipline with loving and faith-building applications.  Clay Clarkson’s own experiences and fatherly advice resonate with warmth and encouragement.

Mission Motherhood Touching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity

by Sally Clarkson  ISBN 1-57856-581-2recommended books 006

A book which speaks to my heart!  Sally Clarkson’s writings are affirming and encouraging and she shares an intimate yet Biblical approach to motherhood and its ministry.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart

by Tedd Tripp  ISBN 0-9663786-0-1recommended books 008

Dr. Tedd Tripp mentors his readers in parenting and disciplining, giving Biblical and practical advice. Each chapter ends with application questions and could be used in a group study.

An inspirational, helpful book.

Wild Days Creating Discovery Journals  

by Karen Skidmore Rackliffe ISBN 1-57636-073-3recommended books 005

An inspiring how-to book on nature journaling and Charlotte Mason’s principles of allowing time outdoors and journaling.  Karen’s photos illustrate techniques and practical skills and she shares her own experiences and her discovery journal.

Pocketful of Pinecones Nature Study with the Gentle Art of Learning A Story for Mother Culture 

by Karen Andreola  ISBN 1-889209-03-1recommended books 004

A delightful fiction story set in 1930’s of a mother who starts homeschooling her 2 children and uses Charlotte Mason’s methods.  Nature journaling and education principles are woven into the story and are warmly encouraging to other ‘new moms’.

Confessions of an Organized Homemaker The Secrets of Uncluttering Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life

by Deniece Schofield  ISBN 1-55870-361-6recommended books 009

An OUTSTANDING book!  It revolutionized my life! It covers all aspects of home-keeping and organizational principles, planning and efficiency methods. It is a helpful, empowering book.

Siblings Without Rivalry Helping your children live together so you can live too.

by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish ISBN 1-85340-630-9recommended books 010

This book is filled with anecdotes and cartoons that illustrate the authors’ relationship guidelines in practical situations.  It is humorous and compassionate, yet their principles are presented in a very clear way. A gem!

My treasured reference books ~

These books are invaluable for my planning.  I refer to others  for solutions, activities and suggestions.  Some are relevant for junior children, while others are excellent reference books for high school learners.  Many of these books are so comprehensive that they form the foundation of much of my curriculum planning.

I’ve included the devotional books (*) that are precious lamps to our path as we continue our homeschool journey.

Ruth Beechick’s “3 R’s”

  • An Easy Start In Reading ISBN 0-940319-00-4
  • An Easy Start In Language ISBN 0-940319-02-0
  • An Easy Start In Arithmetic ISBN 0-940319-01-2

These 3 little gems are an essential “must-have” for new homeschool moms or for moms with young children.  They have pages of  practical ideas and basic principles.  I have found enough material in each book to use as she suggests that I did not need a single workbook or curriculum package for these subjects!  Easy to read and apply her ideas – and they work!

You an Teach Your Child Successfully Grades 4-8 

by Ruth Beechick ISBN 0-940319-04-7

This book takes parents beyond the basics of Ruth Beechick’s “Easy Start” three R’s (above)  and is a continuation of  reading, writing, arithmetic through middle school.  Again Ms. Beechick outlines all the principles and basics and describes very practical applications and exercises to develop all the necessary skills.

A homeschool mom’s “How-to-Bible”.

The Essential Spelling List by Fred J. Schonell

A basic book of spelling lists, ranging from beginner 3 letter words to 5 syllable high school words.  I use this with the high-frequency /common-words from Ruth Beechick’s lists (above).  By adding your thematic words you will have a complete spelling program!

Simply Grammar An Illustrated Primer

by Karen Andreola  ISBN 1-889209-01-5

Karen Andreola’s book uses Charlotte Mason’s approach to teaching grammar.  She presents short lessons.  Each grammar element is simply explained and there is an easy application for each lesson. Each lesson ends with summarized principle or grammar rule.  It is beautifully illustrated.

Our 24 Family Ways Family Devotional Guide

by Clay Clarkson of Whole Heart Ministries ISBN 1-888692-07-3

A beautiful family devotional book focusing on growth in Christian character. He presents each family way over 5 days with a special story, scriptures, discussion topics and prayer guide for each day. We have used this book twice and it has challenged us yet encouraged each one in character. We will certainly reuse it again in the future and trust the Lord to take us deeper.

Beautiful Girlhood

by Karen Andreola  ISBN 1-883934-02-8

A wonderful intimate book to read to a blossoming young daughter.  She shares precious values  and the book offers many principles  and attitudes not found in this modern era, but which are infinitely more precious.  I’m re-using it with my middle daughter and I have found that the book acts as a “third party” so that we can discuss the ideals  without the sense of being challenged by the other person.  I’m so grateful for this tool to guide my young women into womanhood.

Remedial Education in the Primary School

M.C. Grove’ & H.M.A.M Hauptfleisch,  1982

I purchased this amazing resource when I was at college (back in the 1980’s) and have used it extensively during my homeschooling years.  It presents the theory and assessment of remedial issues or difficulties. There are many  practical ideas, exercises and applications.  (This is where I get many of my remedial manipulatives, worksheets,  flashcards  and drill ideas!)

(I’m not sure if this book is still available, but you could look for something similar online or at educational bookstores.)

The Mind Map Book

by Tony Buzan  ISBN 0-563-37101-3

A wonderful book describes the thinking and learning processes and outlines the practical methods of mind mapping.  A very useful tool for High school scholars who need to revise and summarize a lot of material.  An excellent method to teach middle school children how to plan, summarize or present information.

Fun and Games with Smile

by Doreen Maree  ISBN 1-875077-09-X

Smile is a South African Education Company (yes, we live in South Africa)  and they specialize in educational games and equipment.  I found this website that sells their books ~ This book has ideas and games for all physical activities. Presented with occupational and physical therapy principles explained clearly.

What I enjoy most about this book is that they have basic applications for every skill and progress to more advanced levels for every apparatus. So if we are using bean bags (for instance) there are beginner games which lead to more complex activities. Fun, practical, colourful illustrations, easy to use ~ this is my junior physical education programme!

I’d love to hear from you ~  if you have enjoyed a download, need advice or just wish to contact me, please feel free to write in the contact form on my About & Contact page and I will respond to your private message  ASAP 🙂

Blessings, Nadene


13 thoughts on “Books

  1. Great list! Thank you for sharing. Would love to know what age you think is best to start reading Beautiful Girlhoold to your daughter. My oldest is 8, but I’m thinking she is still a bit young?


    • @Erin, I started reading Beautiful Girlhood to my daughters as they entered adolescence. They can identify more intimately with the content when they are slightly older, but will still enjoy it as a young girl. This book approached important topics as a “third voice” and it led to some meaningful discussions and laid a good foundation for my emerging young ladies. I’m holding out reading it to my youngest daughter, now 10-years-old.


  2. Hi Nadene,

    I am looking for a book and I can’t find it any where. “Remedial Education in the Primary School” ISBN 0798605375. I would like to download as an ebook. You would not perhaps know to wich site I can go to.

    Thanks Lientjie


    • @Lientjie, this book was my college course textbook (back in 1985) and may only be available through tertiary educational book stores. I recommend you Google similar online titles and see what you could find.


  3. Pingback: Fun Physical Activities for Children = Homeschool Phys Ed « Practical Pages

  4. Wow Nadene, your list is jam packed full of fantastic choices. I have heard of many of those books, and can vouch that they are brilliant resources/reference books. I wish I had heard of the parenting books when I was new Christian, as my children were still very little then. They are 20 and 17, so perhaps a little too late now, but I can always look out for these books and be ready and prepared for when I may have grandchildren. They would be great gifts for other’s with young children, too.

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog often. Your comments always refresh and bless my heart.


    • Amanda, thank you for your encouraging comments … and the lovely surprise on your blog!
      I so appreciate your posts for the refreshing beauty I find there. Blessings, Nadene


  5. Just found your site through Freebies of the Day link and Love it! As I was roaming through and learning about you, your book resource list says it all… I am definitely ‘a twin on the upper side of the globe’ — interesting how kindred spirits get connected… Thank you for your work!


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