Why make a list of 100 books that every homeschool Mom needs on her shelf? It’s the Count of Monte Cristo’s fault.

It is!

Have you read it? While the Count is in prison he meets a ‘learned Italian’. Who tells him :

“I had nearly five thousand volumes in my library at Rome; but after reading them over many times I found out that with one hundred and fifty well-chosen books a man possesses, if not a complete summary of all human knowledge, at least all that a man need really know”

Wow! Imagine that. All you need to know in 150 well chosen books. I have to say, I became fascinated 🙂

How to choose? Would everyone’s list of well chosen books be the same? Would you need to include works of fiction or just non-fiction? Can you learn from Shakespeare? Dickens? What would be all that a man need really know (or a woman!)?

100 Books every Homeschool Mom Needs

In all fairness my library probably looks more like the ‘five thousand volumes’ – at least that is what my husband thinks. But I have been really trying to nail one hundred good books that every homeschool Mom needs on her shelf. That gives you wiggle room to add 50 of your own 🙂

So what would be ‘at least all that a Homeschool Mom need really know’?  I played with the idea for some time and eventually set myself some rules:

  • I haven’t included the ‘bread and butter’ type books to share with your children (like history or science) but books that as a homeschool Mom I have turned to time and again.
  • I restricted the list to non-fiction.
  • I stuck to what I know/ have read / feel confident recommending. I realize I have missed out lots of categories (religion, cleaning, style) and put in some you may not be interested in (working from home!), but I wanted to give you my personal view based on my experience. And not just recommend a whole lot of books I had never read.


Here are my ideas.  I hope it helps you to find something fabulous to read – or even better, it inspires you to compile your own list.

Please note that the images and  links are affiliate links, which means if you buy I get a (very!) small percentage of the sale. If you would prefer not to support this site in that way, just go to Amazon and search for the book yourself.

Recipe Books

I don’t know about you but I feel like I spend half my life cooking. And you can probably guess by the number of books in this section, that I am not much good at it!

If I had to live with just one recipe book it would be River Cottage Veg. I LOVE the recipes in this book. It isn’t really a vegetarian book – more a way to cook vegetables. So great for side dishes, salads, soups and more. I think if I was really writing an ‘everything you need to know’ list then I should have a wonderful soup recipe book here – but I couldn’t find one on my shelf that I loved. Have you got one?

The camping cookbook doesn’t get very good reviews on Amazon but I love looking at mine. It makes me feel competent and a little bit ‘Enid Blyton-ish’ 🙂 Although to be fair I don’t think I have cooked anything from it!


Homeschooling to me seems naturally a messy thing to do. And I feel relaxed about that most of the time. But just occasionally I need to get organized 🙂

So, how to start? The ‘life-changing magic of tidying up’ is a good read, but daunting for me to actually try.  I don’t think there would be anything left in my house if I followed this approach. (Oh! I guess that is the point, right? Maybe I need her new book). ‘Not for Packrats Only’ is much more approachable and the book I like to flip through when I am steeling myself for a clear up.


Well if you are going to be homeschooling, then you are going to read a few homeschooling books! And these can be so varied depending on the type of homeschooling you decide to do.

I was tempted to just fill this section with John Holt books! But with great determination and willpower, I stuck to recommending just one (yeah me!). Don’t let that stop you reading all of them 🙂 I am sure you have your own favorite homeschooling books. Here are a few of mine.


About Education and Learning

I haven’t met many homeschooling parents who aren’t at least a little interested in education and how children learn. We all want to do the best for our children and are often looking for ways to help them develop educationally.

Yes, I sneaked in another John Holt book 🙂 This was actually the one that made me decide I wanted to home educate (even though at the time I didn’t think it was possible in the UK!). Shows how much I knew!


Feeling Great

Homeschooling can be a lonely business. I don’t mean we don’t have friends or family who support us. It is that feeling, at the end of the day, that the buck stops here.

Everyone’s children are different and no matter how well yours are thriving, I can’t always stop worrying about mine. So I think homeschool Moms need to work on supporting themselves and finding ways to feel good as much as they can. This section of my bookshelf contains the books that will help and encourage you and make you feel great about yourself.


I gave this a separate section because journaling has had so many positive benefits in my life. I honestly think it has kept me sane (or saner than I would have been anyway!). I love all the books below and couldn’t chose between them. I love that in Journal to the Self she refers to journaling as the ¢79 therapist. It is a small thing you can do for yourself – with big results.


I think while we are homeschooling this is our main job. So it seemed right to include some books to help out. We all have different approaches to parenting so again, this list probably represents my views.

If you have girls, then I really recommend finding a copy of A Sense of Self. The book analyzes fifty-five in-depth interviews with homeschooled girls. Not so much about parenting but a fascinating read.

 Rock Star Homeschool Mom

These are the books that will help you be a homeschool rock star! I feel like they are my secret weapon in homeschooling 🙂 These are the books that I have turned to over and over again. The ones I need to organize awesome activities (alongside my website) and just generally help my kids think I am genius!

Still reading? Thanks – you are half way through! I put together this post as part of iHomeschoolNetworks 100 Things Treasury and they are having a giveaway. Head over to this post to enter. Two lucky winners will win $100 each.

Knowing Stuff

Well, it is supposed to be a list of ‘all you need to know’. I confess that mostly I have learned as much as the children from homeschooling. But if you need to read up in a few areas then here are some ideas.

Reasons to homeschool

Motivation/Working from Home

I really want to encourage you to think about what you will do when you reach the end of homeschooling – and start putting a little of that in place now. I have always wanted to present my children with a really positive role-model and being the best I can be is part of that. So what does being the best you can be mean to you? It doesn’t have to mean starting a business – but it does mean figuring out what you are passionate about and finding a way to do it now.

And while I am here – Refuse to Choose is just the BEST book. If you are like me and can’t seem to focus on one thing then you need to read this.


Budgets can be tight when we are homeschooling so I added this section to help you not just survive, but thrive.

Some of these books will help you get your homeschool budget under control – and some will inspire you to go beyond that.


It is hard to homeschool and run a home when you are feeling under the weather. So I think I have a responsibility to keep myself healthy and fit – and in a good mood!

Find something that works for you and make time in your day to look after yourself. Here are some books I have found helpful.


Sorry, this section is a bit thin! Probably something I need to work on. Any recommendations?


I talked earlier about how I believe I have a duty to allow myself to follow my passions and be a role model for this to my children. I wasn’t sure how you would love to do this so this is an eclectic list of books you might love.

I can only urge you to take up a new hobby, read, inspire yourself and live your life to the full. You are important and you deserve to make time for yourself and go after your dreams. So if non of the books in this section inspire, find your own. Make a list, and find a way to do what you love.

Still with me? Thank you so much for reading this far.  How would you like to win $100? This post was written as part of a 100 things series for the iHomeschoolNetwork and they are having a giveaway! Head over to the 100 Things roundup to enter.

So as a homeschool Mom what would you have on your shelf? What have I missed? I would love to hear about it. Just leave me a comment or come visit my facebook page.

100 things for homeschooling


100 Books Every Homeschool Mom Needs On Her Shelf — 2 Comments