December 2023 Monthly Newsletter

December 1, 2023

The following post will be a blog archive copy of Build Your Library’s December 2023 Monthly Newsletter. If you missed the email, subscribe to our mailing list here. [Scheduled to be sent by 12/1/23 8:30 AM EST]

[December 1, 2023 ] – Welcome to our October 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 December 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

“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

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 recurring monthly reminders!

Shop our Black Friday/Holiday Sale!

OH MY GOODNESS, Is it already that time of the year?

You can take 20% off of all our products during our Black Friday – Holiday Sale. This includes all of our digital full-year programs, unit studies, Lit Bites and more!

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

If this is your first time seeing our sale announcement, we have EXTENDED the sale to ensure you have a chance to get in on the savings! Instead of ending on December 3, the sale will run through Sunday, December 10!

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’m not currently working on any updates, as I always give myself December as a sort of break/reset. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not working on something – I’m still writing Lit Bites and I have another fun project I’ve just begun…more on that to come in the near future!

As to future updates, I plan to dive into the Level 11 update in January!

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 11-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

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!

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!

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).

My family will also be celebrating what we’ve dubbed “Booknukkah”. It’s Hanukkah, but for each of the 8 nights, we exchange books! This is a great way to build a home library that you and your children will be excited about. 😉

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?

You might like to watch this video I made last year about homeschooling through the holiday season:

Homeschool Tidbits: Homeschooling Through the Holidays Do’s and Don’ts

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!

2024 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 2024, we created a new list of 40 reading prompts to help you and your children stretch your reading muscles. This year’s theme is Reading Through History! It’s no secret that I love reading about history and historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. So this year I’ve created 40 prompts to help you dig into history! Need ideas for the prompts – I’ve got you! Just head over to History Book by Book!

It’s going to be an amazing reading year filled with fun challenges and lots of historical reading! Head over to our blog and download your checklist today!

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’m taking December off from creating new Homeschool Tidbits, but never fear, I’ll be back in January with more homeschooling inspiration!

Most Recent Episodes:

“Tea with Emily” Instagram Live Stream

We hope you all enjoyed our last “Tea with Emily” Instagram Live Stream. If you missed our How to Read a Book or Nurturing Literary Minds in Children and Teens Through Engaging Discussion and Literary Analysis 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 8, 2021, where we discuss our Build Your Library 2023 Reading Challenge wrap-up and unveil the 2024 Reading Challenge prompts! Let’s talk about how we did on the 2023 reading challenge and I’ll share some recommendations for the 2024 challenge!

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 livestream. 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. We have wrapped for the year, but we’ll be reading together again in January!

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

Wrap Up

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

“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 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:

November 2023 Monthly Newsletter

Browse the course work
people are raving about


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