December 2021 Monthly Newsletter

December 1, 2021

The following post will be a blog archive copy of Build Your Library’s December 2021 Monthly Newsletter. If you missed the email, you can subscribe to our mailing list here. [Scheduled to be sent 12/1/21 8:15 AM EST]

december newsletter

[December 1, 2021 ] – Welcome to our December Video Newsletter! You should have gotten our regular monthly e-mail newsletter in your inbox if you are subscribed. But you can now watch the video highlights and read the full details below or watch the BYL December 2021 Video Newsletter on Facebook.

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.

Monthly Newsletter

First off, Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! If I missed your holiday greeting, Happy Holidays!

We have a blog post dedicated to many of the various winter holidays: Lighting Up Your Long Winter Nights

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

Build Your Library Updates

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.

We have been on a much-needed update hiatus, but will get back into the swing of things with the New Year! The Level 4 update has been “slow-started” with plans to be picked up with priority at the beginning of January. We are shooting for a late February completion.

Also of note, Build Your Library will become an official Army of Two, full time. My husband has always helped out in the background with the website, editing, and formatting, packing boxes and envelopes, trips to the post office, etc. You may have even met him if you ever visited one of our vendor booths in person. But he has always had a day job for 50 hours a week too. Starting this month, he will be dedicated support to Build Your Library, which is both exciting and scary. We have a ton of new ideas we are looking to tackle, so stay tuned for all of the upcoming developments!

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale weeks

OH MY GOODNESS, Is it already that time of the year?? Well, here it is – take 25% off of all our products during our back-to-back Black Friday Week Sale. Technically the Black Friday portion is over (Nov 22-Nov 28), but our Cyber Monday week sale from Nov 29-Dec 5 is in full force. This includes all full-year programs, unit studies, and any remaining Family Reading Crates!


In the past, we have used food-based codes such as “cranberry”, “sugarplum”, “figgypudding”, “gingerbread”, “eggnog”… So in keeping with tradition, this year you can use the code FRUITCAKE at checkout!

Side note: Did you know December 27th is National Fruitcake Day? And if fruitcakes aren’t your thing, you can see how far you can throw one on Fruitcake Toss Day (January 1). While the jury may still be out on if anyone actually likes fruitcake, I think everyone can be a fan of 25% off at Build Your Library!

December Bookish Holidays

The month of December is designated as Read a New Book Month! Most likely you are bound to get a new holiday book sometime this month… December 24 is “Jolabokaflod”, also known as the Yule or Christmas Book Flood (Iceland).

As far as literary birthdays go,  we have Jan Brett (December 1, 1949 – a perfect day to start the Jan Brett Christmas Unit Study) and Jane Austen (December 16, 1775). We also have a couple of Harry Potter character birthdays with Rubeus Hagrid (Dec 6), Charlie Weasley (Dec 12) and although we probably should not speak of it, Tom Riddle (Dec 31).

Holiday Unit Studies

December is the perfect time for a holiday-themed unit study. With all of the festivities or anticipation, it may be hard to get much real schooling in. So why not compromise with some festive learning when time is short and attention spans are narrow!

2022 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

2022-Reading-ChallengeAre you looking for a fun reading challenge for the whole family? Well, look no further! We had so much fun the past couple of years with the 2019, 2020, and 2021 BYL Reading Challenge, we created a new list of 40 reading prompts to help you and your children stretch your reading muscles in 2022. After being cooped up in our homes for the last two years, I thought it might be time for something exciting – the theme this year is “We’re Going on an Adventure!”  Head over to our blog and download your checklist today!

History Book by Book!

History Book By Book (HBBB) is a database collection 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 useful 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 historical 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

“Read Aloud Book Club” Pack

Our December monthly “Read Aloud Book Club” subscription pack is now available! The theme is “Winter Magic”. This month’s selection is a story about a family who gets stranded in a very strange small town in the middle of winter.  The perfect winter read-aloud for the whole family!

Please Note: We posted a picture last month in reference to how few “Family Reading Crate” boxes still remain. We now have less but still a small number left… Once our supply of cardboard shipping boxes are gone, the FRCs are no longer available. We are not purchasing any more crates, no matter how many other materials we have. If there were any of these left that you might want, please order while we still have a couple boxes left.

“Tea with Emily” Facebook Live Streams

We hope you all enjoyed our last “Tea with Emily” Facebook Live Stream. If you missed our “Literature-Based Learning with Reluctant Readers discussion in October, you can find a recording by scrolling our Facebook or direct links on our past events page.

Our next Facebook Live will be this Friday, December 3, 2021, where we discuss our Build Your Library 2021 Reading Challenge wrap-up and unveil the 2022 Reading Challenge prompts!

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!

Build Your Library Support

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!

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 in a logical order for you to peruse.

BYL Social Media Shout Out

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 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 (we are on hiatus during the holidays, but I’ll be announcing the selections for January, February, and March in the coming weeks! ), or just want ideas for books to read (either for you or 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.

Wrap Up

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

See Also:

November 2021 Monthly Newsletter

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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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