Resources

This resource section is a work in progress — we regularly add more links, so check back often!


PBH

Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners

10 Steps to Getting Started with PBH

How to Start a Project Group

The Introvert’s Guide to Building Community

What to look for in a DIY/Maker/hacker/tinkering group for kids

Journal gallery

Workspace gallery

PBH Kids — a tumblr blog of authentic kid projects

PBH Master Class


Homeschooling/Unschooling/Learning

books:

Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich

How Children Learn by John Holt

How Children Fail by John Holt

The Hidden Lives of Learners by Graham Nuthall (about classroom teaching but full of insights)

Raising Lifelong Learners by Lucy Calkins (not really about homeschooling but highly recommended)


Reggio Emilia, Reggio-inspired practice

books (in order of recommendation — many of these are expensive; try to get them from your library or through interlibrary loan):

The Hundred Languages of Children

Authentic Childhood: Exploring Reggio Emilia in the Classroom

Bringing Reggio Emilia Home: An Innovative Approach to Early Childhood Education

First Steps Toward Teaching the Reggio Way

Next Steps Toward Teaching the Reggio Way

We Are All Explorers

I specifically do NOT recommend Working in the Reggio Way.

online:

Three Approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia

Examining the Reggio Emilia Approach

Reggio Children

Aesthetic Codes in Early Childhood Classrooms: What Art Educators Can Learn from Reggio Emilia

Consider the Walls

Free downloadable pdf edition of ReChild dedicated to an early Hundred Languages traveling exhibit

Making Learning Visible: The Boys’ City and The Girls’ City — example of project documentation

The Ring-Around-the-Rosie Project — example of project documentation

Documentation: Transforming Our Perspective

My reggio-inspired pinterest board — lots of links here, some to Reggio-ish blogs


Project-based learning (PBL)

books:

While I’ve read many, many books on this subject, I can’t really recommend any of them. They’re primarily written in an academic style that’s hard to digest. I would instead recommend the books on the Reggio resource page. (Long-term projects are part of Reggio and they pursue them in a much more flexible way.)

online:

I have a PBL Pinterest page that links to PBL-related articles.

Edutopia: Project-Based Learning


Inquiry-based learning

This is a nice free online workshop on inquiry-based learning.

A More Beautiful Question — lovely book about inquiry, not entirely focused on children

Moon Journals: Writing, Art, and Inquiry Through Focused Nature Study

Exploratorium: A Description of Inquiry


Learning in general

Making Thinking Visible


Authentic art

books about children’s art:

Rapunzel’s Supermarket: All about Young Children and their Art

It’s Not a Bird Yet: The Drama of Drawing

In the Spirit of the Studio: Learning from the Atelier of Reggio Emilia

The Language of Art: Reggio-Inspired Studio Practices in Early Childhood Education

books for adult artists:

The Illustrated Life

The Creative License

some of our favorite how-to books geared toward authentic art:

Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine?

Making Comics

How to Make Webcomics

Making Things (the vintage volumes 1 and 2 are great but out of print; these are project ideas but no adult samples, very browseable!)

D.I.Y. Kids (same — bit craft-y but jumping-off points for kids’ own ideas) (we also have the design deck but unfortunately it’s out of print)

Do It Yourself Screenprinting (DIY) (aimed more at teens/adults but could be an adult-supported project for younger kids)

How to Make Books

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (for adults but my son starting using it around age 10)

Indie Publishing: How to Design and Publish Your Own Book (more for teens/adults but older kids may enjoy/be inspired!)

Watercolor School (out of print; your library may have a copy!; mostly for older kids/teens)

kid/teen gift ideas (in addition to those above!):

kids:

Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About Their Art

Winter Is Coming

The Yellow House

Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors

The Boy Who Drew Birds: The Story of John James Audubon

My Name is Georgia

Frida

Degas and the Little Dancer (and the others from the Anholt’s Artists series)

Story Painter

A Bird or Two

Tar Beach

Leonardo

Leonardo da Vinci

teens:

Wreck This Journal

How to Be an Explorer of the World (and Keri Smith’s other books)

online:

My Authentic Art pinterest page

 


Reading

All my PBH-friendly advice about helping children learn to read: Learning to read

My blog posts on reading:

In defense of reading … which should need no defense

Reading

Reading and gender and the messages we send

Teaching kids to hate reading

Ten tips for reluctant readers

The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

grown-up books about reading:

How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler

How to Read and Why by Harold Bloom

 


Math

(Note: this is not mathematics curricula but fun materials for using math.)

Books:

Puzzles from Penrose the Mathematical Cat

A Case of Red Herrings: Solving Mathematical Mysteries through Critical Questioning (there are a whole series of these by the same author; unfortunately they seem to be out of print)

How to Be a Math Genius

The Mysterious Benedict Society puzzle book (companion to the series)

Board Games:

Prime Climb

Nintendo DS game:

Professor Layton series — all of them (i have adult friends who love these, too!)

Personal Trainer: Math (for practicing/memorizing times tables)

 

Children’s Books

poetry:

My post about sharing poetry with children

The Anthology of Children’s Literature — if you can find an inexpensive copy of this wonderful vintage book (I like the 5th edition best), it is full of classic children’s stories, fairy tales, folk tales, poetry, book excerpts, and more.

The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh

The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury

favorite family read-alouds:

for younger kids:

The Anthology of Children’s Literature — if you can find an inexpensive copy of this wonderful vintage book (I like the 5th edition best), it is full of classic children’s stories, fairy tales, folk tales, poetry, book excerpts, and more.

The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh

The Little House on the Prairie series

Rabbit Hill

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Just So Stories

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

The Wind in the Willows

for older kids:

Rascal

Harriet the Spy

Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing

Treasure Island

Alice in Wonderland

Peter Pan

Anne of Green Gables

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

anything by Roald Dahl

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Harry Potter series

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (series)

The Phantom Tollbooth

Holes

Sarah, Plain and Tall (series)

A Long Way from Chicago

Percy Jackson series

Charlotte’s Web

The Hobbit

project-based children’s literature (suggested by PBHers in the forum!)

Ada Twist, Scientist

This Is Sadie

Rascal

Roxaboxen

Weslandia

Andrew Henry’s Meadow

The Wheel on the School

Tony’s Hard Work Day

Dahlia

Komodo!

Billy’s Picture

Bored — Nothing to Do

The Curious Garden

Oh Were They Ever Happy

Lawn Boy

The Seventeenth Swap

Johnny and the Tool Chest

The Toothpaste Millionaire

Henry Reed, Inc. (several in a series)

The Boy Who Invented TV

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon

For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson

Snowflake Bentley

Me … Jane (about Jane Goodall)

Rocks in His Head

You’re a Genius, Blackboard Bear

Crafty Chloe

Fanny

Bon Appétit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Henry’s Amazing Machine

What Do You Do With an Idea?

Moe the Dog in Tropical Paradise

Little Bear’s Dragon and Other Stories

Christopher Nibble

My Side of the Mountain

Rosie Revere, Engineer

Iggy Peck, Architect

Vincent Shadow, Toy Inventor

Winter Is Coming
 
 

Please send us more suggestions or project-based literature!

classic children’s literature in our home library:

Andrew Lang’s Fairy Tale books

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths

Tales from Shakespeare

Tom Sawyer

The Story of King Arthur

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Treasure Island

Kidnapped

The Jungle Book

Kon-Tiki

The Secret Garden

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Little Women

The Chronicles of Narnia

Black Beauty

The War of the Worlds

The Three Musketeers

The Count of Monte Cristo

Journey to the Center of the Earth

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

The Adventures of Robin Hood

King Solomon’s Mines

The Call of the Wild

White Fang

The Westing Game

A Wrinkle in Time

The Hobbit

The Dark Is Rising (series)

Black Horses for the King


Writing

children’s books about writing:

Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook

Rip the Page

Guy-Write

places where kids can publish work online:

storybird - i know many people who use and love this site - and they also do illustrations: http://storybird.com

articles about storybird:

Commonsense Media review: Storybird

Storybird gives kids a safe and free place to read and publish

With 2 million members Storybird is reverse-engineering the picture book

storyjumper - purportedly similar to storybird; i’m not as familiar with this one

figment - for older kids

(and then there’s wattpad for teens and adults)

magazines that publish kid writing:

stone soup magazine - a classic

magic dragon - no personal experience

creative kids magazine - no personal experience with this one

a list of places that will publish children’s writing

and another one: for young writers

national writing project’s list of online publishing opportunities for students

an app i know nothing about: Scribble Press

teaching writing:

I don’t have personal experience with it, but several PBHers have recommended the Bravewriter program.

books on writing for adults:

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

On Writing by Stephen King

The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White, illustrated by Maira Kalman

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass

This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley

The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing (you can read a version of this online — very short book but great list)

Save the Cat (on screenwriting)

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

 

The LEGO Ideas Book

The LEGO Technic Idea Book: Simple Machines

All of the LEGO Technic Idea Books

The Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Guide

Forbidden LEGO: Build the Models Your Parents Warned You Against!

tools:

LEGO Digital Designer: a free program for designing models on the computer

LEGO Ideas (formerly CUUSOO): submit your LEGO design and have people vote to make them real sets!

online:

forum thread: what to do with a LEGO obsession (lots of ideas here)

cool National Geographic video of lego designers working: Designing the LEGO City

free online scans of LEGO Idea Books at Peeron

the Lego Quest Kids blog is defunct now, but there are still 51 LEGO challenges in their archive

if you need special parts for a LEGO project:

LEGO Pick-a-Brick

BrickLink

BrickOwl

for kids who like construction in general:

a list of essential 3-D art materials/construction toys


Minecraft

minecraft projects on PBH Kids

Handy Minecraft Tips for Parents

some advice in the forum about setting up your own Minecraft server

unschoolers Minecraft server

Intercraften — family-friendly Minecraft server (no griefing)

Minecraft Realms — a way to invite other people to play in your world without hosting a server

pbh’er-recommended kid-friendly Minecraft Youtubers:

Paulsoaresjr

Stampy


Researching

Check out Safe Search Kids and FactMonster. And here is a list of the top-10 search engines for kids as ranked by Alexa. 


Parenting

books:

Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent’s Guide by Lucy Calkins

Teach Your Children Well

Mind in the Making

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

Parenting from the Inside Out

Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves: Transforming parent-child relationships from reaction and struggle to freedom, power, and joy

The Whole-Brain Child — interesting book about helping kids integrate their emotions and their reason

Touchpoints by T. Berry Brazelton

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined

books recommended by others:

Parenting with Love and Logic

Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline


Financial literacy/financial independence

I Will Teach You to Be Rich

Your Money or Your Life

The Millionaire Next Door

Think and Grow Rich

The 4-Hour Workweek

The Soul of Money

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias

One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch


Self-employment/starting and running a small business

books:

Making Ideas Happen

Rework

Manage Your Day-to-Day

Maximize Your Potential

Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day

The $100 Start-Up

The Long Tail

The Little Book of Talent

Craft, Inc.

The Handmade Marketplace

Grow Your Handmade Business

online:

a collection of good links at my Pinterest board Business Time


Living a better life

The How of Happiness

Stumbling on Happiness

168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think

The Happiness Advantage

Daring Greatly

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story

Making Ideas Happen

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter

Flow

Changeology

Drive

Predictably Irrational