“This book posits a simple idea — that children need the opportunity to direct and manage their own learning — and then suggests ways that adults can help them do that.”

Project-based homeschooling combines children’s interests with long-term, deep, complex learning. This is an essential experience for children: to spend time working on something that matters to them, with the support of a dedicated mentor.

This book is an introduction and guide to creating the circumstances under which children can teach themselves. It gives parents concrete tips for helping children do challenging, meaningful, self-chosen work.

From setting up a workspace that encourages independence to building a family culture that supports self-directed learning to concrete suggestions for a step-by-step approach to inquiry-based investigation, Project-Based Homeschooling shares techniques for mentoring independent, confident thinkers and learners.

From the book:

Project-based homeschooling is an approach to learning that prioritizes doing real, meaningful work. That work must meet certain criteria.


It must be self-chosen. It must grow out of your child's genuine interest. His unique viewpoint and curiosity determine the path his project takes. He controls where the project goes.


It must be self-directed. If you are doing the planning and making the choices, what you have is a unit, not a project. Even if you choose a subject that you are absolutely sure your child will love, and even if he enjoys it, \textit{if you do the planning, it is not a project}. The point of project-based homeschooling is not the topic — the objective is to give your child the chance to direct and manage his own learning. He decides what to do and how to do it.


It must be self-managed. Your child must set her own goals and measure her own progress. She must identify and then solve her own problems. You have to stay out of her way so she can do that. This can be very challenging for adults, especially if they feel it's their job to ``teach'' their child. They want to goose things along; they want to herd the child in the ``right'' direction. They want to point out what isn't going to work so time isn't wasted. But here's the thing — it is not a waste of time for children to solve their own problems. And to learn to solve problems requires being allowed to have them in the first place. Let them make mistakes.

What Readers Are Saying


“The book spells out the different steps in implementing student-directed projects, and every chapter has an inspiring list of specific ideas/formats. My only complaint is I want more — I can’t wait to read what Pickert publishes next.” — Deirdre Keating


“PBH actually assisted me in focusing on my own unique style and listening more closely to my own creative voice (as well as that of my children, and being less seduced by everything new and shiny when things lagged in our learning), not just as a parent, but as an individual. The positive impact that this focus has had in my personal and family life is profound.” — Amy Chionis


“In addition to teaching how to do project-based homeschooling it’s like a manual on how to live.” — Teri


“I’ve noticed big changes in my child’s play since I began doing the things suggested, and I am utilizing it for my own projects!” — H. Acuay

After just one day of trying her advice for projects, my kids already seem more confident and excited to do things on their own. The best part is, this book constantly reminds you that your family is unique, your children are unique, and these methods can be used for ANY situation and ANY kind of homeschooling. It’s the best homeschooling book I’ve read to date! — MelJen


“Do yourself a favor and read this book with a highlighter and pencil in hand.” — So Long Yellow Dog

“Although the title says ‘Project-Based Homeschooling,’ it is really something that any parent could incorporate into their lives, homeschooling or regular schooling. — Jennifer Lumb


“[A] must read for all parents and educators who are interested in raising/encouraging children to take charge of their education and make learning a lifestyle and not just a chore. This book is filled with practical advice…” — Nancy Henry


“Anyone who considers themselves the ultimate guardian of their children’s education … will find ideas to think about and act upon.” — Amy @ Kids in the Studio


“There is so much practical, useful information in this book. Any parent would benefit from reading it and learning from Pickert about the importance and significance of letting children (and adults) take ownership of their own learning. … Pickert gives us the tools to be great mentors to our kids.” — E. Latshaw


What I have experienced while reading this book and since changing my mindset a bit has been amazing. — Candace


Lori Pickert writes in a way that accomplishes just what she’s advocating: she’s a resource, an encourager, a hands-off mentor, never forgetting that the project of being a homeschooling parent belongs to you. — Shaun


[A] rare book that both inspired me to make changes in the way I homeschool and gave me the practical means to make them. — Lula

“I’m now reading through it the second time, and am amazed at how rich and layered her work is.” — Tig“[T]his isn’t just a homeschooling book. It is a guide to parenting.” — Annie @ Bird and Little Bird

“PBH is hands down my favorite book on homeschooling.” — Amanda

“There are only a handful of books that I can honestly say have changed my life. This … is one of those books.” — Dawn @ To the Outskirts


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Amy’s review

“Anyone who considers themselves the ultimate guardian of their children’s education … will find ideas to think about and act upon.”

Annie’s review

“[T]his isn’t just a homeschooling book. It is a guide to learning.”

Shelli’s review

“What Pickert has done with her book is explain in an easy-to-read and practical manner what parents can do at home to ensure that children will take charge of their own education an gain essential skills. If that sounds far-fetchd, I suggest you read the book.”

Dawn’s review

“There are only a handful of books that I can honestly say have changed my life. This … is one of those books.”