Laura’s Favorite Books for Homeschool (and how I feel about starting over)


If you’ve been reading here long, you already know my favorite books for homeschool. But who doesn’t love talking about books? So I thought I’d share again and talk a little bit about what our school year might look like.

Do you like how I said, “…what our school year MIGHT look like”?? I’ve been homeschooling for many years (18!) and if I’ve learned anything about homeschooling or about life in general it’s that one should not make firm plans. Instead, one should try to be fairly organized, but be willing and open to changes that are sure to be necessary!

What? Life is uncertain?

Yes, just a little bit. I’m looking at you, COVID. But on a personal level, I will share this example:

Malachi is a sophomore in high school this year. (Asa has graduated from college, Justus will be a college senior, and Elias a college freshman/sophomore.) We had planned to homeschool for just three more years and then tra-la-la right out of this homeschool life that we’ve loved so much.

Then two years ago God (long story short) said, “You know how you got rid of all your elementary school books? Well, here are some more kids for you to raise and teach. Indeed, you are starting right over again. Go ahead and order all the books again.” If this hasn’t been the biggest lesson in not making plans, I don’t know what is.

It’s also been the most beautiful lesson.

So here I am, with my adult and college sons out of the house. And my sophomore “baby” who has now become the oldest of four boys at home, hahahaha.

What might school look like this year?

Malachi will be finishing most of his high-school-only classes this year and begin taking college classes for dual credit for the rest of his high school years. You can read here about how we do this for our family.

Brayden is a 1st grader this year, and I need to tell you this:

We have truly loved homeschooling our older kids. But I was tired and truly ok with and even excited about being finished three years from now. When God gave us more babes, I actually had to grieve a little (more than a little). I thought I was done raising kids and teaching and training and chasing. I was ready to move on, and I might have already danced a jig on the biology book I thought I would never have to teach from again.

While I was so grateful and amazed and excited that God was adding to our family, I simultaneously grieved the loss of what I thought my life would be at this point. It’s hard to explain, but my feelings were big and intense.

What if homeschooling wasn’t the answer?

We considered public or private school for our new guys. It’s not that we’ve been opposed to the school system anyway, especially in our area. Homeschool is simply what we believe God led us to with our older four sons. So sending our new ones to school when the time came…might that be what this new season would bring for us?

But God said no to that option, at least for now. We prayed for months over this, and we only had peace about homeschooling. Brayden especially needed the stability and daily consistency that homeschooling would provide. So I said, “God, if you want us to homeschool these babes, please, please make me want it.”

And He did.

Only after experiencing such hard emotions over what this new life brought could I experience the big joy over what God said yes to. He truly made me want to do this again. It is all Him.

God does not give us these challenging gifts with a pat on the head and a “go get ’em!” No, He gives us these gifts and He says, “I will provide you with everything you need to serve me in the ways I’ve asked you to.”

God absolutely made me want to – and even excited about – homeschooling all over again. I might even be more excited than I was when I homeschooled “Round One” because I know more now than I did when I first started out 18 years ago. Our God is good, big, faithful, and the best provider there is. I love how He works, and I love experiencing His goodness in these brand new ways.

There are no words for the beauty of this life with Bigs and Littles.

So we ordered this years’ books, and I cried.

Why? Because seeing the books and remembering the beauty of my time with our Bigs back when they were my Littles has been precious. And thinking about how much I love our new Littles and how I can’t imagine life without them now, and realizing that I get to live this life with them and enjoy these books and times of learning with them – well. I cried.


I snapped this picture when our box of Sonlight books came in and sent it to our Bigs saying, “Remember unboxing day?!” They had a variety of fun responses. Yep, they remember!

Brayden is excited to be considered a first-grader this year. He’s a bit behind in a few academic areas, so we’ll be working through the Sonlight’s Kindergarten history, readers, and literature books. We’ll give him a mixture of K-1 math lessons from a variety of sources. He’ll do grade 1 handwriting (Getty-Dubay). We’ll get books from the library to learn about whatever he is interested in. We’ll do lots of enrichment activities (more about this soon!).

I started with Sonlight 18 years ago and while there are many more options now, I still always go back to Sonlight. Part of this is because it’s familiar and comfortable. But it’s also awesome, so why change what’s working for us, right?

My Favorite Books for Homeschool

My favorite thing about Sonlight curriculum is how there are no textbooks involved. We read awesome literature together, learning history and science in a more natural (and more fun!) way. Not only that, the history and the reading options almost always sync up. So when we are learning American History, the readers are from that time period too. Or if we’re studying World History, the readers go along with that era. And they are age/grade appropriate. I just love this!

So that’s a bit about our upcoming school year. Though I have more to share about how I’m trying to organize our days to actually make school happen since we are also chasing around two busy toddlers while keeping up with a high schooler and a college community. So stay tuned for that post!

Tell me what your upcoming school year is looking like! So many are choosing to homeschool this year because of the changes COVID has brought to us all. Have any questions? I don’t know everything, but I do have many years of experience and can answer what I can!


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