Best 10 books for the free-spirited child (stuck at home)
By Sarah Surette - March 16, 2020

My family first chose to “deschool” our children because it encourages children to use their natural curiosity to direct their own learning.

Of course, as a parent, it is still my responsibility to provide opportunities to learn. But what can you do for a free-spirited child who might not find a typical book exciting?

These books fit perfectly with the child-directed model of education because they give your child the freedom to explore knowledge AND the expanses of their own imagination. While many other books follow the usual format, these books offer 10 opportunities to turn reading into an exploration– or even a life-changing experience.

What Do You Do With an Idea? By Kobi Yamada

Have you ever had an idea that started out small then grew into something amazing? Inversely, have you ever had an idea that fizzled out because you lost interest or lacked the confidence to see it through?

In this book, a child gets an idea. He cares for it, feeds it and gives it lots of attention. The child recognizes that others may not understand his idea but also that it doesn’t matter because it is his idea and no one else’s.

This book is a valuable lesson for children about self-reliance and perseverance.

 Big Book of the Body By Mina Lacey

This visually engaging fold-out book is full of awesome facts and fantastic functions all about the complex machine that is the human body. Whether your child wants to take a trip through the digestive tract or learn about how the body communicates with the brain, Big Book of the Body is sure to capture and hold their interest.

Curiositree: Human World: A Visual History of Humankind by Aj Wood and Mike Jolley

Starting from the beginning, this book takes a visually appealing, interactive approach to learning all about the human race. Following different paths set out, a child can take a unique journey through time, every time they open the book.

 Curiositree: Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature by Aj Wood and Mike Jolley

Much  like the Curiositree book above, this book is interactive. A child can learn all about what characteristics all living things possess, different habitats, the food chain and so much more. If they find something wildly interesting, chances are, there is more information about it somewhere else in the book.


How Nearly Everything Was Invented by the Brainwaves by Jilly MacLeod

Open this fold-out book to find what mankind has invented and why they did it. Meet inventors who changed the world with their amazing ideas. Watch the ripple effect that their inventions had and what advancements were made because of those ripples.

 Under Water, Under Earth by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski

What is in the ground under our feet and in our oceans? Satisfy curiosity and engage a young mind with a window into the unseen. Learn about sinkholes, diving apparatuses, archeological digs, volcanos, coral reefs, water pressure and so much more. This book offers an in-depth (literally) look at the world below us and how everything works together to impact the world around us.

Suffragette: The Battle for Equality by David Roberts

Use history to inspire the next generation. Teach them to stand up for equality and the power of change. Read all about the campaign for women’s suffrage and what women overcame to gain the right to vote and achieve equal footing to men. Thanks to the determination of the women and men who participated in the movement for women’s suffrage, women today have the same rights as men both inside the voting booth and out.

 When the Stars Come Out by Nicola Edwards

What habitats, plants and animals are nocturnal? What is the history behind the constellations? Why do we have an innate fear of the dark? Open this book to answer these questions and many others about nighttime and the night sky. Every page will captivate the young mind with descriptive language and beautiful illustration.



Journey, Quest, and Return by Aaron Becker

This wordless trilogy follows a lonely child and her red crayon. She creates worlds, escapes danger and discovers freedom and contentment. Your child can tap into their creative mind and narrate as they go, discovering new adventures on every beautifully illustrated page.

Just Because by Mac Barnett

Just Because  is a great book for children and adults alike. It reminds adults of the curious minds of children and provides children with simple, sometimes silly, answers to some of their most common questions. Endless questions can be tiring, especially at bedtime, but they are a vital part of growing up and forming a love of learning that will serve them for a lifetime.


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