4 Non-Fiction Books That will Set Your Teen up for Success!

/ February 4, 2017/ Homeschool/ 1 comments

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One question that gets asked often in the high school homeschool world is,

“what books do I need to make sure my child reads?”

Often we worry that if our child doesn’t read all the works of Shakespear and other classic fiction literature they will not make suitable adults. However, in our house, we work on only requiring things that will set them up for success in life and leave Shakespear for fun study** and road trips.  Can I get an AMEN for www.audible.com?! 🙂

A non-fiction book about working with change as it comes

We started short and simple, Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson.  A quick read with profound wisdom.  The book is written in a parable format and a great story about making the most out of change.

We figure life is AMAZING at throwing curve balls, let’s help her be in a mindset that is prepared for such occasions.


A book about creating good habits for success

The next book we had her read was The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens, by  Sean Covey.  As we read this book, we found ourselves constantly saying, “where was all this info when I was a teen?!”

The book is written with teens in mind and keeps chapters entertaining but to the point.  There are also challenges at the end of each chapter to drive the point home. Good stuff!

The publisher gives a great summary, “Imagine you had a roadmap—a step-by-step guide to help you get from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future. Your goals, your dreams, your plans…they are all within reach. You just need the tools to help you get there.

That’s what Sean Covey’s landmark book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, has been to millions of teens: a handbook to self-esteem and success.”  We couldn’t agree more!

A classic book about how to be the most dynamic you in life.

Lastly, we chose a classic and again, one we feel should be required.  How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.  This book was life changing for me.  It helped me understand the best way to be a good friend and how to lead without my team feeling shoved or abandoned.  Carnegie was SUCH a great teacher.  He pulls from real-life examples to drive the point home and they really do help the ideas stick.

To this day, my daughter will point out a real life example of her’s that parallels one from this book.  She says if she handled it well or what she would do differently next time.

A book on how to actually be wealthy in life – not just look it.

The last one is The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley.  A great book about living below your means and succeeding!  It is amazing how simple it is to live below your means when you don’t care what other’s think of you.  Thomas Stanley did an amazing job helping us learn that just because you look rich doesn’t mean you are rich.  And the same is true of those who look … normal.  I am hoping it helps my kiddos keep more money in the bank for their future.

The School Assignments

After she finished each book we would have her right a 1-2 page report on what she learned, create a Power Point presentation of the highlights, and then present it to us.  It was a great way to see her takeaways from each book. The class made for a nice and easy semester-long composition course before summertime.

I would love to hear your recommendations as well!  What non-fiction books would you recommend for teens to read before they hit the real world?

** And funny enough, our daughter decided to study the works of Shakespear as one of her electives for her junior year.









1 Comment

  1. These are all awesome selections! My kids are not at the teenage years yet, but we have definitely been answering a lot of questions about entrepreneurship as of late. I think I might read that 7 Habits book – I have the original which was a book I needed for a college course on small business management…many years ago.

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