Homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular as an educational option for many parents in the United States and beyond. Over the past 25 years there have been over two million children in the United States who are taught at home by parents and guardians. And the number of children home schooling is growing by an average of 5% a year.
The KidLit TV team put together a list of eight, kid-friendly books that you may or may not have known feature kids who are home schooled. Some of the listed books are well-known throughout the United States and are recommended by us because the books have a wide range of settings and characters, and reflect on the diversity in homeschooling families.
If your kids are home-schooled and would like to read books that feature characters who they can relate to, then this is a great list to stick your nose into. Even if you don’t homeschool your children check out this list to give your child the opportunity to walk in another child’s shoes and experience life from another perspective.
Some children’s books featuring home-schooled characters are:
The Swiss Family Robinson (Johann David Wyss): As their boat is swept off course by a raging storm, a Swiss pastor, his wife, and their four young sons are shipwrecked on an unmapped island. The Robinson family must construct a home for themselves and explore the ancient island filled unknown, beautiful creatures and all kinds of strange plants. The boys in this story are taught by their father, their mother and learn about survival, basic adventure skills and teamwork from the island. Rich in action and suspense, this is a classic story of survival and adventure and has entertained children and adults since it first appeared in 1812.
I Am Learning All the Time (Rain Perry Fordyce): This is the story about a young boy named Hugh who discovers the process of what it means to not go to school. All of his neighborhood friends go to school, while he is taught at home which makes him make discoveries about his education. This story is filled with colorful, bright illustrations with realistic scenes from a boy’s family life, that will help your child uncover the facts of homeschool life.
Wright On Time Series (Lisa M.Cottrell-Bentley): This series is dedicated to homeschooled families. Aidan and Nadia Wright, two homeschooled siblings travel the USA in an RV. Each book in the series brings them to a new state and has an educational theme in store for your kids to explore!
Author Lisa Cottrell-Bentley and her daughters went on a search to discover children’s books about homeschoolers, but found very few. So, they decided to create their own. Find out more on Lisa’s website.
Kandoo Kangaroo Hops into Homeschool (Susan Ratner): This book is a wonderful read for Christian parents who are home-schooling their children. It features a young kangaroo who asks a lot of questions, like many kids do. Her parents have her home-schooled and when the young ‘roo thinks there’s too much to learn, she turns her driveway into a blackboard and learns that she “kandoo” all things through Christ who gives her strength. This will also have kids drawing in the driveway and give them a look at the artistic side of life.
The Education of Little Tree (Forrest Carter): The Education of Little Tree tells the tale of a young orphan who is adopted by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression. The orphan is called “Little Tree” by his grandparents and is shown how to hunt and survive in the mountains, to respect nature in the Cherokee Way.
Little Tree is taken away from his family for schooling, and he learns that the world is much different than the Cherokee Way. This book will give children history on a new culture and will teach them all about nature.
The Education of Little Tree is a classic and an enduring book for all ages. It has also been redesigned for its twenty-fifth anniversary edition.
Meet Kaya: An American Girl Doll Series (Janet Beeler Shaw, Bill Farnsworth and Susan McAliley): As part of An American Girl Doll Series this book will have your girls reading all day long. This book features a young girl named Kaya who dreams of racing her beautiful horse Steps High. Her father warns her that her horse isn’t ready, but Kaya is determined to race with her when a pesky boy bullies her. It’s a story that is packed with fun, adventure and important life lessons.
Nim’s Island (Wendy Orr): Meet Nim, her iguana friend, her home island and an e-mail? Nim has chopped down bananas with a machete, climbed tall palm trees, and started a fire with a piece of glass. She’s a spunky tomboy who lives on an island and learns from her father and the island’s animals. But when this young adventurer’s father and his cellphone disappears, Nim has to be stronger and braver than she’s ever been before.
Sarah, Plain and Tall (Patricia MacLachlan): This Newbery Medal–winning book is the first of five books in Patricia MacLachlan’s chapter book series about the Witting family. It’s set in the nineteenth century and tells the story of how Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton comes from Maine to the prairie to answer a father’s advertisement for a wife and mother.
If your kids are a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie or historical fiction stories then Sarah, Plain and Tall is the perfect series for them.
Take this list with you the next time you visit your local library. Librarians are great resources for finding books the feature homeschooling kids or families.
If you’re interested in learning more about homeschooling, check out these great websites.
Or check out these fun and interactive apps!
Let us know why you’ve chosen to home-school your child. Or, let us know what activities you do together during the ‘school day’.
When my daughter was young, she stood in front of the chapter book section at the library and wondered why chapter books were always about school. So I wrote my new chapter book, Hanna, Homeschooler, in response to her question. In my book, homeschooling is presented as the norm. I hope that young readers enjoy seeing themselves represented in fiction. You can read more about the book here: http://www.sukiwessling.com/hanna.html . I’m happy to email a review copy to reviewers who have active websites. Thanks, Suki