Even though we are still wrapping up our current school year, my heart and mind are already dwelling on the next school year that we will start in August. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to the break we are going to take but I know how fast the new school year comes.

I like to use the months off of school to get recharged as a homeschool mom. The books are set aside and the stress of trying to make sure we are on track is gone. Summer days are full of reading books, playing outside, getting wet, and sleeping in. I can’t wait!

But the summer months still pass by quickly, so you need to have a plan on what resources you will use. We are blessed to have an abundance of resources, and we must use wisdom with our time.

I’m going to share with you some of my favorite books I’ve read in the past, and what is on my list to work through this year. I am a fast reader and I’m also a skimmer, meaning I can pick up a book and skim through to find what I need to read for my current season of life. I might have more on my list to read than you, but that doesn’t mean I’m reading every single word in the book.

Teaching From Rest, a MUST HAVE book for Homeschooling Moms!

If you read just one book this summer, make it the Teaching From Rest book by Sarah Mackenzie! I’m planning on reading it all over again with a highlighter in hand. It’s not a long book (only 81 pages!), but there is so much goodness found within these pages. She is Catholic (which I am not), so there are a few references to reading about the saints, etc. It’s super easy to substitute those references in your mind to reading about the heroes in your faith.

I had the pleasure of hearing Sarah speak at a conference this year and I was able to meet her. She was a delight to visit with!


Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clary Clarkson is one book I’ve never read from cover to cover. There is just so much to this book, and I tend to pick it up and read the sections that I’m struggling in, or needing inspiration in. I’d like to say I will read it all this summer, but I know I won’t have time. This book makes you stop and think through not just your school year, but family devotions, home life, what books your children are reading, and so much more. I highly recommend it!

Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins is a new book I discovered recently. I wrote a blog post reviewing it here, and I would love to see every mother read this book over the summer months! It’s such an inspiring read and the nuggets of truth you learn through her years of homeschooling are why I love this book so much.


If you homeschool using a Charlotte Mason Education, this workbook and DVD are great to use as you plan your new school year. I am always inspired hearing Sonya Shafer speak! I don’t use much of her curriculum (we do love her art packs!), but her DVD set on homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way is a fantastic resource! I have an older edition, and hope to watch a few of the sessions this summer again.

Somehow I’ve managed to have this book sit on my bookshelf for years now and I’ve never read it. This book actually used to belong to my mom, and I remember her reading it several times. A Pocketful of Pinecones is a story of a mom named Carol, and it tells all about her life of caring for her children, being a homemaker, and of the nature walks she enjoys with her children.

I’m looking forward to reading this book, as well as the sequel book, Lessons at Blackberry inn this summer! We are not strong in Nature Study at all, partly because of where we have lived the past four years. But I know Nature is all around us, even in a small city yard! My goal is for each child to have a Nature Journal this new school year and go on weekly walks and sketch things out.


A Charlotte Mason Companion is one book I’ve read several times. Here is a funny story, My mom used to be penpals with Karen Andreola years ago when they were both homeschooling. I remember reading a section of a letter she was sending out that talked about how horrible my spelling was, and she was asking Karen for ideas on how to fix it. I was so embarrassed, especially because I wrote to Karen’s daughter! Ha! Oh well. I think I’ve improved in spelling over the years. 🙂

This book can either overwhelm you with how perfect she seems to be in her Charlotte Mason education, or inspire you to do what you can. I love her ideas, even though I am not the perfect Charlotte Mason homeschooler. We use lots of living books, and I ask them what they learned from a book (so I use narrations), but know there are others out there who are devoted and use all of her methods faithfully.
The Ultimate Homeschool Organization ecourse

I’m super excited to work my way through this Ultimate Homeschool Organization eCourse this summer! I’ve met Kristi Clover several times and love visiting with her! Her organization skills are something I dream of, and I know a big part of being organized is being prepared, and having things filed away before school starts. Her energy and enthusiasm on camera is contagious, and I love that she includes printables in this course! She just updated the course and added even more videos, so I’m going to watch them all over again, and hopefully implement it this time.

When Children Love to Learn is a very practical application of Charlotte Mason Philosophy for Today. This is another book that I skim through, I take the sections I need help on and glean from those. I like that this book quotes from the original Charlotte Mason series, so you get samples of her real writing without diving deep into the series.

Finally, I plan to use the summer to write down all my thoughts and schedule things out in my homeschool planner.

I won’t be lesson planning out the whole year, but I want to write down specific things to work on, such as:

Memory lists of poems and scriptures to for the year. I never have this scheduled out, so I randomly grab things as the year goes on and that never works. It’s important to me that my children memorize scripture and some poems, so I’ll definitely be planning this out.

Reading list for each child with books I want them to read throughout the school year.

Plan out some general routines to aim for.

If you are looking for a new homeschool planner to use, you can grab a copy of our Homeschool Planner on sale through Monday for just $9.99, a savings of $5.00! 

I would love to hear what books or courses you are wanting to go through this summer! I’m always looking for a new book to read. 🙂






3 Comments on Resources For Planning A new School Year

  1. Thanks so much for the shout out! What a blessing to be included in such a great line up of resources. So great seeing you at Teach Them Diligently. Hope our paths cross again soon.

  2. I am reading “Charlotte Mason companion” also. I remember back in the days when I was being homeschooled reading reviews of different books and curriculum from her and her daughters in the CBD catalog. I remember seeing the purple companion book too. This year, a good friend gave it to me, and also the “Pocketful of Pinecones” and “Lessons from Blackberry Inn.” I finished the pinecone one, and am loving the Blackberry INN one. That one, and the “Charlotte Mason Companion” are ones I am reading this summer, as well as some of the “Life-Giving Home” which I am loving by Sally and Sarah Clarkson. I plan to read more from Charlotte Mason herself too. We will start 2nd grade in the fall ( more like a conglomeration of first and second), so I am still learning a lot, and feel that we need to tweak some areas. and honestly, it’s a bit overwhelming! Love your blog!

  3. I participated in Brandy Vencel’s (Afterthoughtsblog.net) Charlotte Mason Boot Camp beta a few weeks ago and there was so much great information to ponder, I decided to go over it this summer. So that’s a big part of my Summer reading. I also bought Mystie Winckler ‘s (simplified organization/simply convivial) Art of Homeschooling course. So that’s on my list as well. Plus the following books:
    How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig
    The Living Page by Laurie Bestvater
    Nurture by Nature by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger
    The Law’s Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling
    Like you, I may do a bit of skimming an a couple of the books to just get pertinent information.
    I just finished reading Teaching From Rest and I would LOVE to read Mere Motherhood and Pocketful of Pinecones.

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