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 Granola Mama to 4 children ages 16-5. She is a Charlotte Mason style homeschooler and has been homeschooling for 13 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, Coffee and Green Smoothies!

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!

Truth For The Frazzled Mom

Children are a blessing from the Lord! Don't forget it! This printable is available at Proverbial Homemaker for subscribers!

Monthly Printable Calendar

Here is a wonderful editable Monthly Calendar Printable for all busy moms. Click here to check out this freebie now!

More Than 50 Fun Sewing Projects Perfect for Beginners

Have you ever been in a boutique and been shocked at the price of the adorable goods? What if I told you that you could make those yourself with just a few basic sewing skills? You've just got to check out these fun sewing projects! These projects - reading pillow,…

Seven Ways to Help Little Ones Behave in Church

Sometimes we just need some specific ways to help our little ones behave in church. Whether your children sit in church with you or whether they go to children's church, there is bound to be a time when you will need them to know how to behave in church. It can get…

20 Delicious Squash Recipes the Whole Family Will Love!

Fall is the best time to try out some new recipes and squash is one of our favorite winter ingredients to cook with!We love squash. If you have never tried it you need to! It is such an easy vegetable to cook and my whole family loves it! Squash can…

DIY Watercolor Succulent Notecards with Free Printable

The price of nice greeting cards and stationery has skyrocketed in the past several years. Make your own DIY notecards - they are much more affordable, and it's nice to customize them! Click here to download your free printables!

FREE Printable Menu Planner

Menu planning can be such a hassle for some of us. I envy the mom that can cook dinner on a monthly rotation, but it's just not my style. If you're trying to eat whole-food or as inexpensively as possible, planning ahead is a definite must. Check out this free, printable…

20+ Computer Maintenance Chores

If you use computers for homeschooling, you need to take care of them. And you need to teach your kids how to take care of one of your greatest homeschool assets.     Beth from Techie Homeschool Mom shares some routine computer maintenance tasks that will keep your computers working…

7 Ways to Use Coffee Grounds In the Garden

Coffee. I love it. I love the aroma and I love the flavor. It's liquid gold to me! Now, there are 7 more reasons to love coffee, because there are 7 ways to use coffee ground in the garden! Click here to use your coffee grounds! [adrotate banner="330"] Check out these…

FREE Printables for Thanksgiving

These free printables for Thanksgiving Day are beautiful! The place cards are helpful for assigned seating, but they're especially helpful for labeling your delicious food dishes! Also included are a banner, a Scripture print, and tags. Your Thanksgiving feast will look delightful!Click here to download your free printables!There's something else…

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL NEW POSTS

Notebooking Pages Free Resources