Getting Started with Inspiring Classics

If you are new to Homeschooling, or just used to following a curriculum, this is a great list of Classics to get you started down the road of Inspiring Education.

Links are provided for your convenience, I am not an affiliate. Check your local library and used book stores first. Many of these can be found used.


Education - Books for Mom and Dad to read.

The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher by John Taylor Gatto (available free online)

Dumbing Us Down by Gatto

A Thomas Jefferson Education

A Mathematician’s Lament by Paul Lockhardt (available free online)

Leadership Education – The Phases of Learning

TJEd for Teens

Better Late than Early

Turn The Page Intro by Brady

How to Read a Book

The Read-Aloud Handbook

One-Minute Manager (great for mentoring Scholar Phase)


* Also available as a free audio book on Librivox,org

^ Elements that may be too much for sensitive kids


Excellent examples of:

F - Family

W - Work

M - Math

L - Language

E - Education

H - History

Mi - Mission

C - Core Lessons


All of the Children’s Lit are suitable for family read aloud, but pre-read if you have sensitive children.


Children’s Lit (4+ as read aloud)

Little House series - FEWC

The Railway Children* by Nesbit - FC

The Boxcar Children #1*-19 - FWC

Betsty Tacy series - C

The Cabin Faced West - HFC

The Hundred Dresses - C

Understood Betsy* - EWC

Winnie the Pooh (the originals by Milne) - C

Charlotte's Web - C


Children’s Lit (7+, fine for younger kids as read aloud)

Caddie Woodlawn - FHC

Number the Stars - FHC

The Chronicles of Narnia ^ - MiC

The Phantom Tollbooth – MLC

Cheaper by the Dozen ^ - FE

Anne of Green Gables series - FEWC

The Secret Garden* - C

Pollyanna* - CF


Children's Lit (10+, fine for younger kids as read aloud)

Little Britches ^ series by Moody  - FWEMiC

Laddie* by Porter - FWEMiC

Johnny Tremain - HMiC

Little Women*^ by Alcott (be sure you get the Unabridged) - FWEC

Little Men*^ by Alcott - FWEC

Carry On Mr. Bowditch - MEWHLMi

The Hobbit ^ - LMi

Across Five Aprils - FHEWC


Literature (teens+, most are fine for younger kids, but may not hold their interest)

Pride & Prejudice* - HL

Sense & Sensibility* - HLF

The Chosen by Potok – EHMi

The Hiding Place^ - FHWMi (descriptive of a WWII concentration camp, pre-reading recommended for younger kids)

The Lord of the Rings trilogy = LMi 


Math Classics (4+)

(Along with the literature books)

Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar and others by same author (many of these are for the very young, no words, just lots of things to count on the pages)

Sir Cumference series

Life of Fred series

Mathematicians are People Too 1 & 2

Mathemagic - Childcraft #13 (sets from the 80s and early 90s have this book, link given for reference only)


Math Classics (teens+)

String, Straight Edge and Shadow : The Story of Geometry

A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe 

Math Doesn’t Suck by Danika McKellar – don’t let the title put you off, this is a fantastic book aimed at young teen girls. Others by the same author are equally wonderful.

Secrets of Mental Math


I'd love to hear how these books have inspired the education in your homeschool.


Need a way to keep track of all the books you plan to find or read aloud to your kids?

In the Home Education Record Keeper you will find is a place to organize and deepen your ideas, record the learning in your home, and keep track of your inspirational resources, so you will have a clearer vision of how to be an inspiring leader of education in your home.

You may also like this post: A 10 year old's Favorite Free Audiobooks




  • Angel – I don’t have a PDF of it, but that is a great idea! I will see what I can do. Thanks!

    Heidi Nash - Project Inspire
  • Do you have this list and abbreviations in a pdf for to print??
    Thanks so much!

  • Wow, what a helpful list! Thanks


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