December 2022 Monthly Newsletter

December 1, 2022

The following post will be a blog archive copy of Build Your Library’s December 2022 Monthly Newsletter. If you missed the email, you can subscribe to our mailing list here. [Scheduled to be sent by 12/1/22 8:00 AM EST]

[December 1, 2022 ] – Welcome to our December Video Newsletter!

You should have gotten our regular monthly e-mail newsletter in your inbox if you subscribed. But you can now watch the video highlights and read the full details below or watch the BYL December 2022 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.

“I heard a bird sing in the dark of December. A magical thing. And sweet to remember. We are nearer to Spring than we were in September. I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.”
― Oliver Herford

Monthly Newsletter

First off, Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! If I missed your holiday greeting, Happy Holidays! I hope you are having a relaxing and hygge holiday season however you celebrate (or don’t celebrate).

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!

Shop our Black Friday / Holiday Sale

OH MY GOODNESS, Is it already that time of the year?? Well, here it is – you can take 20% off of all our products during our Black Friday – Holiday Sale. Our Black Friday Sale runs from November 19th through December 4th. This includes all of our digital full-year programs, unit studies, Lit Bites, and more! Stock up now, only a few days left this year!

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

Announcing our Newest Lit Bite: Megabat

Lit Bites are small literature unit studies, based on just one book. These bites contain everything you need to study a piece of literature with your child. They include vocabulary, discussion questions, and activities based on the story. We released four Lit Bites already, with more coming soon!

Our latest Lit Bite: Megabat has just been released!

Daniel has just moved to a new house in a new town far from his friends. But something is weird about this new place – there’s a strange leak in his bedroom ceiling and sometimes it makes weird sounds. Could it be haunted?

With this Lit Bite, your child will learn about bats, cardinal directions, and geography! There are so many fun rabbit trails you can take with this story as you read about the budding friendship between Daniel and Megabat. They’ll be having so much fun, they won’t even know they are learning! This Lit Bite will take 2 weeks to complete (as written) and is perfect for children ages 5 – 8.

Have you tried a Lit Bite yet? Lit Bites are literature units focused on just one book. These bites contain everything you need to study a piece of literature with your child. They include vocabulary, discussion questions, and activities to help you get more out of the story.

These short units are perfect when you just want to study a specific title, or when you need to swap a book out of a level. Now you will have a ready-made literature unit to use instead of having to come up with something on your own!

Our first 8 Lit Bites are available in our store and I plan to add more soon! These are becoming the next evolution of our Read Aloud Book Clubs, as instead of buying the whole package, you can just order the “unit study” portion and source the book yourselves. This opens it up for you to either purchase the book online, locally, or borrow it from your local library. Or even download the audiobook version. Sadly, you will have to make your own bookmarks, although that sounds like a fun activity!

This also makes them available to our overseas customers who were unable to get the book club packs sent internationally. Now you can order the PDF lesson plans, and find the book on Amazon.UK or whichever vendor is local to you, without exorbitant shipping costs! We expect to be able to offer new Lit Bites approximately as frequently as the RABCs were offered in the past. So stay tuned for upcoming releases!

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.

I am currently plugging away at the Level 9 update. The high school level updates are going to be a slower process than the younger levels, but I still hope to move through them at a good pace. I am anticipating having Level 9 finished in mid-February 2023.

I’m also hoping to get to the Darwin and Evolution unit soon. It should also be a pretty quick update as the majority of the books will be staying as is. I mostly need to update links in that unit study.  I’m also on the lookout for a new atlas for Level 0 – a surprisingly challenging undertaking. There are also a few new Lit Bites in various stages of completion from concept to rough drafts. So hopefully we will get some more of those out in the not-too-distant future.

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

FRC and RABC Booklets Now Available as PDFs

At long last, our Family Reading Crate and Read Aloud Book Club “Booklets” are now available to purchase as PDFs! All previously sold-out FRC and RABC discussion booklets can now be purchased separately, allowing you to source any required books as you see fit. We have provided Amazon links to all of the books for your convenience, or you can visit your local library or used bookstore to acquire these titles.

We have now transitioned away from the mailing out of packages, except for the RABC that are still available. Our newest offering of this type is our Lit Bite series. The Family Reading Crates had more books in total, but the Lit Bite unit studies are more robust than the RABC… Now all of these options are available to you to use as your need for this type of material arises!

December Giveaway

Congratulations to our winner of last month’s Giveaway!


This month we will be giving away ALL (7) of our Harry Potter Unit Studies! Actually, it will be a BYL gift card for $55.95, which you could either use to purchase all 7 of our HP Unit Studies or just put it toward your next purchase. I don’t know about you, but the Harry Potter books and movies always seem to fit in great during the holiday season!

**PLEASE NOTE*** This contest will run from December 1 through midnight December 24th! The drawing will be held on Christmas morning, December 25th. Merry Christmas! 🙂

Each action gives you entries into this month’s drawing, with some allowing for daily clicks. 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!

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).

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?

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

Are you looking for a fun reading challenge for the whole family? Well, look no further! We had so much fun with challenges the past four years, so we’re continuing the tradition!  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’s going to be an amazing reading year filled with fun challenges and lots of science and nature themed reading! Head over to our blog and download your checklist today!

History Book by Book (HBBB)!

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

History Book By Book is our 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

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 and 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 consist of an approximately 10-minute “quick-bit” YouTube video and a corresponding blog post article.

Our next Homeschool Tidbit will be up on December 10th and that will be our last Tidbit for 2022!

Most Recent Episodes:

“Tea with Emily” Facebook Live Streams

We hope you all enjoyed our last “Tea with Emily” Facebook Live Stream. If you missed our “Build Your Library Q&A” in October, you can find a recording by scrolling through our Facebook or direct links on our past events page.

Our next Facebook Live will be this Friday, December 2, 2021, where we discuss our Build Your Library 2022 Reading Challenge wrap-up and unveil the 2023 Reading Challenge prompts! Let’s talk about how we did on the 2022 reading challenge and I’ll share some recommendations for the 2023 challenge!

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 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 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. Or if just want ideas for books to read (either for you or your children) you are sure to find something useful! We are currently on hiatus until January, I should have a video up in mid-December sharing the titles we’ll be reading for the first few months of 2023!

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

I hope you have a wonderful December! We’ll see you again in the New Year! Happy Holidays!

“December is a bewitching month.
The grey of cold teases
to explode into something worthwhile,
into a dream of cold,
a starlight shower you can taste,
a cold that does not chill.”

― Joseph Coelho, A Year of Nature Poems

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 wherever you are surfing!

Thanks and Happy Reading! Emily

See Also:

November 2022 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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