How to Incorporate Living Books into Your Homeschool

Affiliate links may have been used in this post. To read our full disclaimer, click here.

FREE offers are often time-sensitive. Although they are FREE at the time of posting, please be sure to verify the offer is still free before claiming or purchasing it. (We are not responsible for price changes.) Thank you!

A living book is a book that fully engages a reader and draws him or her into the subject matter in a real and tangible way.

How to Incorporate Living Books into Your Homeschool

If you are familiar with the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling you will know that Charlotte Mason herself recommends that children read Living Books. Living Books are written by one person who is passionate about the subject in which they are writing and are usually an expert on that subject matter. It is most always written in a narrative or conversational tone. It does not list dry, informational facts, but has beautiful words and thoughts. A Living Book really does seem like it’s alive as it will pull you in, draw your attention and make you stop and think about what you are reading.

The children must enjoy the book. The ideas it holds must each make that sudden, delightful impact upon their minds, must cause that intellectual stir, which mark the inception of an idea,” ~ Charlotte Mason, School Education, p. 178.

Have you been wondering just how to incorporate Living Books into your homeschool? Switching from dry textbooks to living books can be a little overwhelming without a guide, or knowing where to start. 

Here are some ideas and simple ways to incorporate living books into your homeschool:

Find living books on subjects your children are interested in:
I love laying good books around on subjects that my kids love to learn about. This will make it so much easier for them to just grab a book and start reading it because it interests them. My girls absolutely love anything to do with nature and animals so I make sure to have good quality books on those topics for them to read. These almost always turn into a bigger learning experience, and you can use these for narration, copywork and dictation as well.

Here are some living books by subject and topics that may be of interest:
Living books on wildflowers from Harrington Harmonies
Living books for girls from Homemaking with Heart
Living books for boys from Homemaking with Heart
Free and Cheap Kindle Books: Thornton Burgess Nature and Animal Stories

Replace textbooks with spine books:
Instead of a boring history or science book that requires you to answer questions and take a quiz or test at the end of each chapter, try finding a living book spine as the core of your subject. A spine book is a book you are reading that gives an overview or main idea of that specific course. You can then bring in other living books on the different topics that are covered in the spine.

Some examples of spine books would be:
The Mystery of History
Truth Quest History
The Quark Chronicles (Science)
Wayfarers Curriculum Guide

Replace twaddle with rich literature:
What exactly is twaddle? It’s a fun word that Charlotte Mason herself used to describe something that talks down to a child in a babyish or child like manner. Books with twaddle would be very simple stories and books that don’t have a strong meaning with weak words, and plot lines. These could be silly, chapter books that are quick and easy for your kids to devour, but with no real meaning or with a good writing style. Try replacing these easy readers with quality, classic literature which would be the opposite of twaddle!

Here are some lists of good literature books to help get you started:
Twaddle Free Literature by Grade from Charlotte Mason Home
Free Classics List by Grade Level  from Heart of Wisdom
Read Aloud Revival Book List from Amongst Lovely Things
Elementary Reading List by Grade Level from Not Consumed

Use living books as read alouds for younger children:
Taking the time to sit down and read aloud with your little ones before naptime is a great way to wind down and rest in the middle of the school day. It also makes for a special time with your little ones, if you have spent most of the day helping your older students with their lessons. I also love having my older kids read to the little ones from good, quality stories. It helps them to read aloud and everyone is listening to great literature at the same time!

Read more about how to use living books with preschoolers here:
livingbooks

Written by Sarah

Sarah

Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Mama to 4 children (one who is a homeschool graduate!) She is a an eclectic,Charlotte Mason style homeschooler and has been homeschooling for over 16 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, and Coffee!

Opt In Image
Join our growing list of over 100,000 homeschoolers who LOVE free stuff!

Sign up to receive emails that include deals, sales, and free offers for homeschoolers.

We value your privacy and promise never to send you spam. You can unsubscribe at anytime. 

View our Privacy Policy for more information on how we process your data.

NOTE: If you are already a subscriber, you can find subscriber perks and downloads links in our Monday & Wednesday newsletters.

Similar Posts You Might Like:


Need An Affordable Approach to Learning?
Save time, money and stress with our award-winning online homeschool curriculum!

10 Ways to Study the Bible

Bible reading is one of the very most important disciplines a homeschooling mom can commit to. It imparts wisdom, truth, and hope to our weary souls, and, yet, it is so easy to push it off until tomorrow. Too many times, tomorrow never comes. Part of the reason it's so…

8 Gift Wrapping Hacks That Are Beyond Genius

Christmas is three days away. Are you marching triumphantly or hobbling toward the finish line? Some years I'm in such a frenzy and there's very little joy. Other years, I've learned to simplify and find some of the most commonplace things to hold deep beauty.Take, for instance, a roll of simple…

10 Items to Ditch When You Don’t Have Disposable Income

Most of us are trying to live within our means and be content with what we have. But what happens when that's not enough? What if you've already cut out paying for lattes and cable tv? Sometimes we're caught between a rock and a hard place and all the contentment in the…

DIY Lettered Dinner Plates

Since when did fabulous = easy? Today! Today is when fabulous equals easy with these DIY Lettered Dinner Plates! With a few supplies and some glass plates purchased from the dollar store, you can have these gorgeous plates ready to greet your next dinner guests. Assuming your next dinner guests…

Finding Support and Community as a Homeschool Parent

God created His church to be in community with each other. If you have been thinking about this lately, then read this insight about finding support and community as a homeschool parent. I think many moms feel like there just isn't enough time in the day for community. We barely…

DIY Paper Straw Flags with FREE Printable

When you're planning your next bbq, don't forget the little details that make everything seem special. These DIY Paper Straw Flags are perfect for adding a little flair to your drinks. The flags say "cheers!" and "let's party!" in an adorable font, and the video shows you how to print,…

16 Epic Baking Hacks

I love baking. It makes me so happy to look inside the glass window of my oven door and watch a pan of muffins expanding with the heat. It's like a glorious, homey piece of heaven, and the fact that I was able to craft it with my own hands puts…

How to Turn Your Child’s Art Into An Embroidery

Here's a lovely way to preserve your children's precious artwork! It looks like it would be a complicated process, but it's really not. There are lots of photos to document the steps - mainly tracing and embroidery.Click here to turn your child's art into an embroidery!

How to Make a Family Movie Night a Success with FREE Printable

Oh my word, nothing makes me smile and cringe quite like the mention of a movie night. My family loves the idea of sitting down together and enjoying an evening of laughter or tears and triumph, but it's the getting to that point that causes hesitation. I think we spend…

15 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Home

Summertime gives the illusion that our calendars will ease up and we'll find time to live life at a gentler pace. I can't remember the last time that this actually happened though! I usually trade out one busy schedule for another. What we moms do to make life happen for our…

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL NEW POSTS

Notebooking Pages Free Resources