August 2023 Monthly Newsletter

August 1, 2023

The following post will be a blog archive copy of Build Your Library’s August 2023 Monthly Newsletter. If you missed the email, subscribe to our mailing list here. [Scheduled to be sent by 8/1/23 8:30 AM EST]

[August 1, 2023 ] – Welcome to our August Video Newsletter!

If you subscribed, you should have gotten our regular monthly e-mail newsletter in your inbox. But you can now watch the video highlights and read the full details below or watch the BYL August 2023 Video Newsletter on Facebook.

Hey everybody, it’s Emily from Build Your Library! If you are going to skim the beginning, here are the main topics in this month’s newsletter:

Now that I have your attention, I have the details on those items and more for you.

Monthly Newsletter

“This morning, the sun endures past dawn. I realize that it is August: the summer’s last stand.”
― Sara Baume, A Line Made By Walking


Welcome August! Summer is in full force, but so is planning mode! I don’t know about you, but this is the month I really buckle down and figure out all our plans and purchases for the new school year! I love planning season! It’s time to go buy all the fun school supplies – new notebooks and pens give me life and motivation!

As far as the newsletter goes, we have some new information to share and some reoccurring monthly reminders!

BYL Summer Sale!

I hope that you are all having a wonderful and relaxing summer! I know it seems like you just finished, but the new homeschooling year is just around the corner.

If you missed our Early Bird Summer Sale, have no fear! We still have some worms left! We kicked off the savings just in time to prepare for the next school year!

summer sale

Take 20% off your entire purchase using the code SUMMER23 at checkout until AUGUST 13! This code is only good for all secular, literature-based products listed on our website and used books in our newly revamped  BYL Online Used Book Super Store (now with a SEARCH feature!)

We hope you will try out a program and join the Build Your Library family – building young minds, one book at a time!

In an attempt to answer when the next level update will be ready, we have compiled our projected schedule into a post for easy reference. We will periodically update the chart when we make progress or have any changes to our tentative schedule.

The Level 10 update is almost finished! I’m so excited to get it out into the world. For now, you can check out the updated booklist! I am updating the science, of course, but I am also changing up the World Religions and Mythology course and freshening up the literature and history…I can’t wait to share more soon!

Last month, I completed a minor update for Level 0 – I replaced the atlas with the DK Smithsonian Children’s Illustrated Atlas and the sticker book with the Gold Star World Atlas for Kids: Fact and Activity Book. It was a minor update, but it will work much better for everyone now! 

I am always brainstorming and collecting books for various unit studies too. I have lots of exciting new things in the works! I hope to share more about those projects soon!

Happy Birthday Build Your Library!

cupcakesCan you believe Build Your Library will be 11 years old this month? We kicked off on August 22, 2012, with just two levels. Look how far we’ve come! Time does fly! I started Build Your Library because I was frustrated by the lack of a secular literature-based curriculum. I knew I wasn’t alone in this frustration, so in the late summer of 2012, I released Levels 1 and 5 with the hopes of writing more levels down the road.

Eleven years later, I’ve written levels for K-12 (and updated almost all of them at least once!), 16 unit studies, and a dozen  Lit Bites… it blows my mind! I have customers all over the world using BYL to teach their children, I wrote a book and created a massive database for history and historical fiction books at History Book by Book, and started an Online Used Bookstore – I can honestly say I never even dreamed that Build Your Library would grow this much. Thank you all for sticking with me all these years. I can never express what it means to me.

Build Your Library Reviews and Testimonials

We have always needed to improve at keeping up with trying to compile reviews and testimonials. Over the past 10-plus years, we have gotten a few here and there, but we really should get on top of them. We would love to hear about your experience with Build Your Library! Your review could be as short as a few sentences or as long as you’d like.

Google reviews make up a significant component of the SEO algorithms. We are told it is as significant as ~1/3 of the equation. With that said… We would really appreciate it if you clicked the link below and showed your support by leaving us a Google review, Facebook Review, or testimonial for our website. Our growth has been focused on customer interactions and building long-standing relationships. Thank you all for everything and for making it so easy to love what we review

August Giveaway

Congratulations to our winner of last month’s Giveaway!


This month for our 11th Anniversary, we will be giving away a free LEVEL of your choice! Pick from Levels 0 – 12.

Each action gives you entries into this month’s drawing, with some allowing for daily clicks. The odds of winning depend on the number of entries received.

Check out the contest page for more details, and come back each month for new opportunities!


Collab with Soul Sparklettes Glitterbombers!

I’m excited to announce that we are collaborating with Soul Sparklettes Art!  They have many fantastic art projects that blend well with Build Your Library. You can sign up for Glitterbombers membership through our affiliate link. Check the downloads on the Purchase Pages for Levels 0 – 5 to see what projects align!

Sign Up for Glitterbombers Here!

Awesome Deal Alert!!!

During the week of July 31 – August 5 if you sign up for a Glitterbombers membership using my affiliate link, you will get a free Lit Bite of your choice!

August Bookish Holidays

August has a few fun book-related holidays, like National Coloring Book Day (August 2) and National Book Lovers Day (August 9).

We have Suzanne Collins (August 10), John Green (August 24),  and Mary Shelley (August 30) for author birthdays.

BYL Online Used Book Super Store

We are pleased to announce our newest, most requested feature: an Author or Title SEARCH! We have also incorporated the bookstore into our regular website and consolidated shopping carts so you can purchase both used books and homeschool curriculum in the same place!

I have wanted to open an independent bookstore my whole life. A cute, cozy Hobbit hole of a bookstore with new books, used books, maybe tea… After many delays and setbacks, a brick-and-mortar store is currently out of the cards.

However, since I have a storage unit (and house) full of books I’ve been collecting for a store, we have decided to try to set up the BYL Online Used Book Super Store! We are so excited to announce that we are open for business! So yay! Happy book shopping!

We are adding new books almost daily, so keep checking back. We have something for every reader!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge Check In

We are over halfway through our reading challenge this year. How are your reading challenge checklists looking so far this year? For 2023, we created a new list of 40 reading prompts to help you and your children stretch your reading muscles. This year’s theme is Adventures in Science and Nature! It will be a fantastic reading year filled with fun challenges and lots of science and nature-themed reading! Head over to our blog and download your checklist today!

I’ve already checked off  32 out of the 40 prompts; I am SO going to finish this year’s whole challenge!

Back to “Home” School Series (B2HS)

Every year we update and re-feature our Back to “Home” School series towards the end of August, right before we all get back to business. But I decided to turn this series into Homeschool Tidbits last year for something different! Same great information, some new updates, and a new fun video package! So stay tuned each Friday as I reshare these for some back-to-homeschool inspiration!

History Book by Book (HBBB)!

History Book By Book is our database of engaging, entertaining, and educational books about various historical topics. Whenever possible, we have cross-referenced topics, internally linked additional suggestions based on like subjects, and created helpful, categorized lists for you to search and browse. Hopefully, you will be able to glean a vast amount of information and find as many history-related books as you would ever want to find. We discussed it in depth during a recent Tea With Emily Livestream on Facebook, you can view the recording here.

As a long-time homeschooling parent and the author of literature-based homeschool curriculum, we designed HBBB to help:

(1) homeschooling parents looking for additional resources to read to their children,
(2) homeschooling parents looking for more historically based books to give their children to read themselves,
(3) any teen or adult looking for categorized historical reading material for their own enjoyment and knowledge.

Reading your way through history… one book at a time.

History Book By Book Main page

We have recently started to create some blog post articles on HBBB! You can check out our first couple on our HBBB Blog.

Homeschool Tidbits Blog and Video Series

We have an ongoing series on both our blog and YouTube channel called Homeschool Tidbits!

In this weekly video series, I will briefly discuss a homeschooling-related topic. I will share some of my knowledge and expertise as a long-time homeschooling mother of 4 children, Three of whom have graduated high school, and one is also a brand-new college graduate!

This series will include an approximately 10-minute “quick-bit” YouTube video and a corresponding blog post article.

I took most of June and July off from filming Tidbits, but I plan on filming some more towards the end of August! 🙂

Most Recent Episodes:

“Tea with Emily” Instagram Live Stream

We hope you enjoyed our last “Tea with Emily” Instagram Live Stream. If you missed our “Bringing Learning into the Slower Summer Months” last month in June, you can find a recording by scrolling through our Facebook, Instagram, or direct links on our past events page.

Our next Instagram Livestream will be on Friday, August 11, at 1 pm (EST), where we will have a Build Your Library/Back to Homes School Q&A! During this live stream, I will hype you up for the new school year by answering all your burning questions!

I host a 30-60 minute Build Your Library homeschooling chat every other month. You can ask questions about homeschooling using the Build Your Library curriculum, book recommendations, etc. We will announce the date beforehand, and you can submit questions you want 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!

Build Your Library Support

Are you looking for help or advice on your homeschooling journey? We have compiled 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 to help guide you along your homeschooling adventure. If you have any questions, ask!

For a comprehensive, everything you ever wanted to know about homeschooling with Build Your Library, check out our “Build Your Library University (for Parents).” We have collected the definitive list of articles, videos, and books about Build Your Library, Charlotte Mason, and general homeschooling, all categorized logically for you to peruse.

BYL Social Media Shout Out

We always have our Social Media “chicklets” at the bottom of our newsletters and web page, but we wanted to ensure you follow us on our other platforms. The Build Your Library Facebook is our go-to social media site, and we post there frequently with excellent Amazon products and book recommendations we think you would like, as well as all of our Read Aloud Book Club 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 projects 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. This month we’re reading Babel by RF Kuang! Or if you want ideas for books to read (either for you or your children), you will indeed find something useful!

You can also stay subscribed to our email list and browse our monthly newsletters.

Wrap Up

I hope you have a wonderful August! I can’t wait to see what this new month brings!

“It was August and the fields were high with corn. In the orchard the last of the peaches clung to their branches and the apples were showing their first pinkish blush. The vegetable garden overflowed with produce: peppers, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash.”
― Melanie Gideon, Valley of the Moon

“But they had found the Tansy Patch a charming place and were glad to go again. For the rest of the vacation there was hardly a day when they did not go up to it– preferably in the long, smoky, delicious August evenings when the white moths sailed over the tansy plantation and the golden twilight faded into dusk and purple over the green slopes beyond and fireflies lighted their goblin torches by the pond.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Emily of New Moon

If you are looking for some more 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.

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 wherever you are surfing!

Thanks, and Happy Reading! Emily

See Also:

July 2023 Monthly Newsletter

Browse the course work
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About Build Your Library

Have you been looking for a literature based homeschool curriculum that is secular? How about a way to incorporate narration, copywork, dictation and memory work into your child’s education? Or art study that ties into history?

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