The following post will be a blog archive copy of Build Your Library’s February 2024 Monthly Newsletter. If you missed the email, subscribe to our mailing list here. [Scheduled to be sent by 2/1/24 8:30 AM EST]
[February 1, 2024 ] – Welcome to our February 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 February 2024 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.
“February is the border between winter and spring”
― Terri Guillemets, “Years”
Welcome February, with your cold winds and snowy weather! It’s the shortest month, but also one of the hardest. Spring is so close, yet still so far away. This is a time to hunker down, and snuggle under blankets with plenty of warm, cozy drinks and good books!
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 in the thick of the Level 11 update – at this moment, I’m up to week 7, and I’m making good progress. I’ve shared a picture of the potential new books, but that doesn’t include the updated science to better match the current CK-12 flexbooks and a few other little touches here and there. I’m excited about how it progressing! I am very much on track to have it finished by the end of Spring.
Last month we released a new Lit Bite for The War that Saved My Life ! Because I’m working on an update as well as another secret project (more to be revealed soon!) I don’t know when I’ll get to another new lit bite. Just know that I have an enormous stack of potentials!
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 do.
Congratulations to our winner of last month’s Giveaway!
This month I’m giving away a free Prehistory unit study! This is a great unit to bridge Levels 0 and 1, or just a fun way to explore the prehistoric world with your elementary-age children!
Check out the contest page for more details, and come back each month for new opportunities!
I’m excited to announce that we are collaborating with Soul Sparklettes Art! They have many fantastic art projects that blend incredibly 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!
The membership includes hundreds of art projects, videos, and resources designed for homeschoolers and art teachers BY a homeschooler and art teacher team. There are three completely DONE-FOR-YOU curriculums: Global Art Hop, Elements & Principles (PEP), and a USA Curriculum. Everything is included when you join – there are no surprises and no waiting.
There’s a reason kids love these projects – Glitterbombers is the only curriculum out there that is 100% kid-tested, kid-approved, and developed with kid input. All projects are cross-curricular, match with other homeschool curriculums, and offer standards and differentiation. It’s a full art experience for kids – so they can learn THEIR way.
February is National Library Lovers Month, and on the 14th it is Library Lover’s Day! Make sure to plan a trip to your local library and let them know that you appreciate what they do for your community!
The first week of the month is also Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week. This is a great time to pull out your favorite picture books to peruse, or re-read a favorite children’s book!
For author birthdays, we have Charles Dickens on the 7th (1812), Mo Willems on the 11th (1968), Judy Blume on the 12th (1938), and John Steinbeck on the 27th (1902).
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!
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 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.
We have recently started to create some blog post articles on HBBB! You can check out our first couple on our HBBB Blog.
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 who is a college graduate!
This series will include an approximately 10-minute “quick-bit” YouTube video and a corresponding blog post article.
Most Recent Episodes:
We hope you all enjoyed our last “Tea with Emily” Instagram Live Stream. If you missed our “BYL Reading Challenge 2023 Wrap up and 2024 Unveiling“ in December, you can find a recording by scrolling through our Facebook or direct links on our past events page.
Our next Facebook Live will be on February 9 at 1:00pm EST! I’ll be sharing tips about How to Study Nature Indoors. Maybe you live in a cold climate, or maybe you just don’t enjoy being outside. There are still plenty of ways to engage in nature! Let’s chat about it!
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!
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.
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 year is especially exciting because I have a brand new co-host – Tanya from Project Happy Home! This month we’re reading Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum!
You can also stay subscribed to our email list and browse our monthly newsletters.
I hope you have a wonderful February! I can’t wait to see what this new year brings!
“February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer.”
― Shirley Jackson, “Raising Demons”
“[Y]ou have such a February face, so full of frost, of storm and cloudiness”
― Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing
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