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3 Benefits of Using a Living Books Curriculum

As a homeschool parent, you have the unique ability to bring learning to life. One of the best ways to do this is by using a living books curriculum.  This term comes from Charlotte Mason, an education pioneer. She believed that children should be taught through books that inspire great ideas. These books contain beautiful prose, bright photos and are enjoyable. Here are a few benefits you may experience from homeschooling with living books. 

1. Renewed Interest in Learning

There’s nothing more challenging than teaching a reluctant learner. Charlotte Mason believed that children were born whole persons and capable of great thinking. Where textbooks try to explain a lot of material in a lecture style, living books often use fictional stories to teach children. A great example of a living book in action is “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan. This book teaches character traits through an intriguing tale of struggle and triumph. Students will most likely relate more to Christian, the book’s protagonist, than a thesis on the Christian life. If your student has lost his spark for learning, try including living books in your syllabus. Your homeschool will be better for it! 

2. Closer Family Relationships

One of the best things about using a living books curriculum is creating a cozy atmosphere. After all, the books you’re reading are perfect for snuggling up on the couch. Most families who use living books prefer to include the entire family in reading time since everyone can enjoy these books together. In a sense, you’re creating your own book club each time you start a new read-aloud! Literary quotes become inside jokes, real-life situations tie into the book’s saga, and your students might even make recipes and handicrafts that correspond with the title. These things can give siblings a closer bond by sparking discussion and giving them a shared interest.

3. A Curated Library

 A living books curriculum automatically stocks your home library with the best titles. Whether you’re teaching Bible, geography, or science, living books are ones your students will come back to repeatedly. There are many methods of stocking your library. Some parents prefer to have every single book physically on their shelves, but most of us don’t have the room for that! Technology has given us a wonderful gift because we can access books digitally anytime without overloading our bookshelves. LightSail over 12,000 books in their Premium subscription, all vetted by educators across the board. There are books on every topic, from birds to World War II! Plus, students get access to World Book Encyclopedia’s over 50,000 reference articles.  

If homeschooling with living books sounds appealing, you’re not alone! Many parents have found joy in replacing textbooks with something more fascinating. It can be hard to discern what books are considered “living” if you’re new to this way of thinking. LightSail has pre-made collections of living books for students, including Charlotte Mason Early Elementary Bible Study and Charlotte Mason Intermediate Elementary Free Reading and Family Read Alouds.  These curated collections make learning fun for students and easy for parents! 

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Posted on 8.Aug.21 in Homeschool Tips

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