The following post will be a blog archive copy of the Build Your Library’s April 2020 Monthly Newsletter. If you missed the email, you can subscribe to our mailing list here. [Scheduled to be sent 04/01/20 8:00 AM EST]
Hey everybody, it’s Emily from Build Your Library! If you are just going to skim the beginning, here are the main topics in this month’s newsletter:
Now that I have your attention, here are the details on those items and more.
March was quite the month… and not in the ways I had expected or planned. Normally I’d say something here like, “I love April and the start of spring…” but that feels disingenuous. We are living through a stressful moment. I’m grateful that all of my children are home and safe, and I hope that all of you are safe and well.
We have some new information to share as well as some reoccurring monthly reminders.
We started the Spring Sale early this year, but have decided to extend it as many of you may be experiencing financial challenges due to reduced work hours or other Coronavirus complications.
All of our digital products are currently 20% off with the discount code “Spring2020”. This code is good on all full year programs, unit studies and other PDF items from April 1st (no joke) through April 12th.
At long last, Level 5 has been updated! This was a major overhaul – I’ve updated the history, literature, readers and poetry. I am so pleased with how this new Level 5 came out – there are some truly amazing books included!
If you are interested in getting the update, there are a number of ways to get it:
1) If you still have your original purchase link, you can download the new version from there.
2) Send me a message with the name and email you used on your original purchase and I’ll be happy to send you a new download link.
3) When you purchase Level 5 for the first time, you will automatically receive the updated version.
If you already have the previous required books in your possession, the previous edition is still valid and you can continue to use it, or use it again. If you want the updated teacher’s guide, you will have to purchase and/or borrow any new books to match the new set of lesson plans.
I’ve been seeing so much anxiety and stress from public school parents this week. I wanted to compile some advice and ideas for them, but also for the homeschoolers who are feeling a bit stressed about social distancing. Please feel free to pass along this link on your social media to others you feel may benefit from this information.
Our fourth monthly “Read Aloud Book Club” subscription pack is now available for April! If you loved our Family Reading Crates, I think you will love the Read Aloud Book Club too! We have updated our RABC FAQ and will continue to share information as this new project rolls out. The April 2020 theme is “BFFs.” The book for this month is wonderful – it’s everything I want in a middle grade novel. It’s a perfect read aloud for the whole family!
April might be the busiest bookish month of them all! The entire month is designated both National Poetry Month and D.E.A.R. Drop Everything And Read Month. The second week of April is National Library Week, which includes National Library Workers Day on Tues and National Bookmobile Day on Wednesday of that week.
Then we have Children’s Book Day (Apr. 2), National School Librarian Day (Apr. 4), National Read A Roadmap Day (Apr. 5), Encourage a Young Writer Day (Apr. 10), D.E.A.R. Drop Everything And Read Day (Apr. 12), National Scrabble Day (Apr. 13), National Librarian Day (Apr. 16), National Haiku Poetry Day (Apr. 17), National Columnists’ Day (Apr. 18), National Talk Like Shakespeare Day (Apr. 23), Last Saturday in April is Independent Bookstore Day (Apr. 25), National Tell A Story Day (Apr. 27), and National Great Poetry Reading Day (Apr. 28).
As far as birthdays go, William Shakespeare (Apr 23, 1564 – hence National Talk Like Shakespeare Day), Beverly Cleary (Apr. 12, 1916), Terry Pratchett (Apr. 28, 1948), and Harper Lee (Apr. 28, 1926) all celebrate this month.
We also have a couple of Harry Potter character birthdays with Fred and George Weasley (Apr. 1 – quite fitting), and Horace Slughorn (Apr. 28).
Some of these bookish holidays may end up being postponed or cancelled due to social distancing… I imagine events like Independent Bookstore Day and anything to do with actually going to the public library will be discouraged and hopefully rescheduled later on.
But there are still more than enough book related activities and excuses for a birthday cake in honor of your favorite author or Harry Potter character (goodness knows we could all use some cake right about now.) I know we’ll be participating in D.E.A.R. Drop Everything and Read Day!
We hope you are all enjoying our “Tea with Emily” Facebook Live Streams. If you missed any of our previous ones, you can find a recording by scrolling our Facebook or direct links on our past events page.
Our next livestream will be on Friday, April 10 at 1pm EST, where we will be doing a “Build Your Library Virtual Homeschool Convention Booth.” We had an idea for an exciting online event! In lieu of a physical convention booth, located in one geographic area, we have decided to go high-tech. Adhering to the current social distancing climate, we are going to host this during our next scheduled “Tea with Emily” livestream. We will run through our Build Your Library spiel as if you were to walk up to our booth at any homeschool convention. We will tour our booth, as I give a quick overview of each of our full year curriculum and unit studies, and flip through the printed copies on display. Grab a cup of tea and join us in the comfort of your own living room, as we vendor booth from ours.
Then we will open the floor to any questions you may have about any Build Your Library product. If you have any questions you want to make sure we cover, you can submit them via our Contact Us page prior to the event, so we don’t miss it in the scroll. This is a Facebook Live event, so you will just need to click through on Facebook to watch it live.
Every other month, I host a 30-60 minute Build Your Library homeschooling chat. You can ask questions about homeschooling, using Build Your Library curriculum, book recommendations, etc. We will announce the date ahead of time, and you will be able to submit questions you would like to cover. Additionally, you can also ask questions during the interactive live stream. Grab a mug of tea (or coffee) and cozy up with our virtual hangout!
This is the 3-month check in. How are your reading challenge checklists looking so far this year? The 2020 BYL Reading Challenge included a new list of 40 reading prompts to help you and your children stretch your reading muscles. This year we are reading around the world! Currently, I’ve completed 14 prompts, so I’m making pretty good progress! It’s not too late to jump in! Head over to our blog and download your checklist today!
Are you looking for help or advice on your homeschooling journey? We have compiled all of our helpful resources into one blog post for you. From the many BYL related Facebook groups to my book A Literary Education, there is a treasure trove of information and helpful parents out there to help guide you along your homeschooling adventure. If you have any questions, just ask!
We always have our Social Media “chicklets” at the bottom of our newsletters and webpage, but we wanted to make sure you are following us on our other platforms. The Build Your Library Facebook is our go-to social media site, and we post there frequently with cool Amazon products and book recommendations we think you would like, as well as all of our Family Reading Crate announcements, blog posts, full year and unit study product releases and updates, and more.
Our Build Your Library Instagram page regularly posts pictures and insider info about what I’m currently working on or what I’m doing with my kids.
Although not 100% exclusively Build Your Library related, our Arrrgh Schooling YouTube channel has videos about books and homeschooling – but let’s be honest – it’s mostly books. If you want to see what I’m reading, join my Arrrgh Booked Book Club, or just want ideas for books to read (either for you for your children) you are sure to find something useful! We also have a BYL Twitter feed where I share links and information about BYL and homeschooling. Or you can stay subscribed to our email list and browse our monthly newsletters.
I hope your school year is going well! If you are looking for inspiration, here are some articles you might find helpful:
We have well over 100 blog posts on various homeschooling and book-related topics if you want to browse for more.
I think that is about all for this month. Again, please follow us on whatever social media you frequent, there will be periodic updates posted there as well, but we will try to keep everyone in the know where ever you are surfing!
Thanks and Happy Reading! Emily