I love homeschooling. And I love books, so what better than to combine the two?
Now I’m not talking textbooks here – no thank you! As a homeschool mom, it is extremely important to me that my kids are learning in a way that is interesting and engaging, and, unfortunately, textbooks just don’t fit those criteria in my humble opinion.
My children and I find them just plain boring.
Thankfully, there is a wonderful – and often free – alternative to using the same tired methods used in the traditional school setting.
That alternative is living books.
While I’m fairly certain that most homeschooling parents realize that historical fictions, biographies, and trade books are very useful and can be fantastic resources when it comes to teaching your kids, I’m also fairly certain that many parents are just plain afraid to let go of the assumption that learning isn’t effective unless schoolish methods and materials are used.
It simply isn’t true, and that’s why I’m going to help you to overcome that today.
How to Homeschool with Living Books
I think it’s very important to point out that, with the possible exception of math, ALL subjects can be learned with living books. (If you’re scratching your head and wondering what a living book actually is, just picture the library and its vast array of publications. Those are living books.)
In this post, I’ll be offering tips on how to homeschool the three main (non-mathematical) subjects – language arts, history, and science – with real (aka, living) books. It goes without saying, however, that the use of these resources is not limited to these three areas. Living books can easily be used for art, music, and health as well. There really is no area they can’t cover.
Homeschooling Language Arts with Living Books
Have you ever considered the fact that language arts can easily be covered without ever even opening a textbook or workbook?
I mean it!
Whether using a book of poetry for copywork to cover grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and punctuation; trade books for notebooking to cover writing; or read-alouds and narration to cover reading comprehension, you will never, ever miss the tedious textbooks we all grew up with.
Homeschooling History with Living Books
(This post contains affiliate links.)
When I was in school, I hated history. Memorizing those names and dates was agonizing, and it had absolutely no meaning for me.
Since I began homeschooling my own children using books like Little House in the Big Woods, Johnny Tremain, and The Vikings, I have developed an absolute passion for finding out about our heritage and the history of the world around us.
Combining these types of books with notebooking and documentaries has brought the world to life for my children in a way I never knew until becoming a homeschooling parent.
Homeschooling Science with Living Books
This is the subject that seems to freak parents out the most – especially those with high school-age kids.
Science is supposed to be about exploring the natural world…why on earth do we think this is best accomplished with snippets in a textbook and a few power points?
If you think about it, those trade books (non-fictions) at the library contain an exponential amount of information when compared to the few paragraphs covering a given topic in a textbook.
If your kids are interested in amphibians, why stifle that interest by only covering it for one day because that’s all the textbook allows for? There are oodles of books on amphibians out there.
Don’t limit yourself or your kids!
On top of that, there are tons of books containing ideas for hands-on experiments and activities plus field guides for your kids to take along on their nature studies.
What more could you ask for?
Making the decision to homeschool doesn’t mean you have to recreate school at home. Far from it. It’s time to think outside the box and teach your kids in a way that will actually stick.
Homeschooling and education are my passion. It is my fervent hope to one day devote more time to creating content for you. If you’d like to support this ministry, consider supporting me on Patreon.
Thank you so much. I appreciate each and every one of you!