Build Your Library University (for Parents)

June 7, 2020

BYL University

Have you ever received a snarky comment from an acquaintance along the lines of “Oh, you homeschool your children? I didn’t know you have a teaching degree”?

I could go on for an entire separate article of how and why you as a parent are fully capable and qualified to homeschool your children. If you have read any of my blog posts before, you will see this discussed.  But just to scratch the surface, let’s briefly discuss a fundamental difference between public school and homeschooling. You are a homeschooling parent, not a homeschool teacher. Your main focus is on helping your children learn, and many times learning together.

If you are a numbers person, there are studies indicating homeschoolers of parents with college degrees only score up to 4% better on standardized tests. Compare this with homeschoolers in general, scoring over 30% better on average. It’s not necessarily how much you know, it’s how much you care.

Are you just starting out on your homeschooling journey and feeling overwhelmed and not quite sure where to start? Or are you a veteran, but looking to brush up or expand your knowledge?

Have we got a program for you!

Build Your Library Homeschool Parent Certificate Program

We have collected the definitive list of articles, videos, and books pertaining to Build Your Library, Charlotte Mason, and general homeschooling. To earn your “certificate” student parents are expected to complete all required modules in this syllabus. Credit can be given if the material has been previously completed, although a refresher may be preferred.

Please feel free to take these lessons at your own pace.

Full disclosure: While yes, this is meant as an attempt at humor, it is quite literally overflowing with information and could almost be considered “everything you ever wanted to know about homeschooling but were afraid to ask”. Your Build Your Library Homeschool Parent Certificate may not get you transferable college credit, but will certainly broaden your horizons, help you get the most out of the Build Your Library curriculum and aid in successfully helping your children learn.

term-oneTerm One

BYL101: Introduction to Build Your Library
About Build Your Library (article)
Which Level Should I Choose? (article)
What’s in the Box?!? (article)

BYL102: Intermediate Build Your Library
Skip this book. (article)
Can I Combine My Children in One Program? (article)
Multi-Grade Teaching – An Example (article)
Build Your Library Virtual Homeschool Convention Booth (video)

BYL103: Literature-Based Education
A Literature-Based Education: Teaching Academics (article)
A Literature-Based Education: Reading Aloud – Making it Happen (article)
A Literature-Based Education: Choosing Great Literature  (article)
Literature-Based Learning: Creating a Rhythm to your Days  (article)

BYL104: General Homeschooling 
B2HS: Advice to the New Homeschooling Mother (article)
B2HS: Getting Organized for the New School Year (article)
B2HS: Tips for Avoiding Homeschooling Burn Out (article)
“Avoiding Burnout” Facebook Live (video)
B2HS: Build Your Own Timeline 101 (article/video)
B2HS: Tips for a Great First Day (article)
Turning Temporary “School at Home” to Permanent “Homeschooling” (article)

term-threeTerm Two

BYL201: Introduction to Charlotte Mason
Charlotte Mason in the Secular Homeschool (article)
A Literary Education: Adapting Charlotte Mason for Modern Secular Homeschooling by Emily Cook (book)
Teaching With Living Books: A Tutorial (article)
Charlotte Mason 101: Living Books (article)

BYL202: Copywork and Narration
What is Narration? (article)
How to Teach Copywork (article)

BYL203: Dictation and Vocabulary
How does Dictation Work? (article)
Learning Vocabulary in Context (article)

BYL204: Nature Study
Nature Study Tips and Tricks (article/video)
Nature Study When It’s STILL Winter (article)

term-twoTerm Three

BYL301: Reading Aloud
The Importance of Reading Aloud (article)
The Benefits of Reading Aloud to Teens (article/video)
Read Aloud Sabotage (article/video)
“The Art of Reading Aloud” Facebook Live (video)
How to be a Read-Aloud Superstar (video)

BYL302: Reading
The Most Important Thing – Reading (article)
Read every day. I love books. (article)
How to Hook a Reluctant Reader (article/video)
Bibliophile Training 101 (article)
No, You Read to Me (article)

BYL303: Art Education
Can You Teach Creativity? (article)
How to Homeschool Art, Even if You are Not Artistic (article)

BYL304: Supplementary Recommendations
Recommended Readers for (Levels) Grades 1 and 2 (article)
Recommended Math Programs (article)

Term Four

BYL401: Advanced Homeschool Studies
“Are worms made out of metal?” And other great rabbit trails. (article)
 Homeschooling While Social Distancing (article)
A Structured Approach to Interest-Led Learning Podcast (audio)
Homeschooling: A Beautiful Education (article)

BYL402: Building Your Library
How to Source Books for Build Your Library (article)
Why I Love Teaching with Graphic Novels and Comics (article)
I Have Just the Book for That! (article)
Apocalypse Schooling (article)

BYL403: Family Bonding
Keeping Dad Involved with Homeschooling (article)
Happy, Hygge Homeschooling? (article)
Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone (book)

Homeschool Tips for Traditionally Non-Homeschooling Families (article)
How We Study Shakespeare in our Homeschool (video)
How I Use Checklists to Simplify our Homeschool (video)
“Reading Through History” Facebook Live (video)
Tips for Budding Writers from a College Creative Writing Student (article)
The Writing Revolution: A Guide to Advancing Thinking Through Writing in all Subjects and Grades by Judith C. Hochman (book)


Congratulations!  With the successful completion of reading, watching, or listening to all of the above material, you have just earned your non-accredited, honorary Build Your Library Homeschool Parent Certificate! Please continue to monitor the Build Your Library blog for additional learning activities as they become available to keep your certification current. 🙂


Meet the Build Your Library Faculty:

Emily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-12 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 21 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She and her family also makes incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books and more on Youtube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also check out her author page on Amazon.

Sarah Cook has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She loves to read, daydream, and fangirl over her favorite anime and manga. As a K – 12 homeschool survivor and graduate, she is currently a creative writing major in college. She hopes to someday travel the world, write bestselling novels, and own 152 cats. You can follow her on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

Tea with Emily

Tune in to us on August 7, 2020 – 1PM EST for our “Tea with Emily – episode 10 – Welcome to Homeschooling! Facebook Livestream. Since we have had a HUGE number of new homeschooling families join Build Your Library in recent weeks, we decided to feature a “welcome to homeschooling” livestream in August. We will talk about some topics for new homeschooling families, refresher topics for the veterans and how experienced homeschoolers can help new homeschooling parents when asked.

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?

Read more