January 2021 Monthly Newsletter

January 1, 2021

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

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

Happy New Year! Hopefully your house is winding down and recovering from a wonderful holiday season. With 2020 in the rear-view mirror, here’s hoping 2021 makes up for some rough times.

We have some new information to share as well as some reoccurring monthly reminders.

2021 Build Your Library Outlook

We are hoping for a great new year going forward in 2021!

Of course, we are planning on continuing our “Tea with Emily” Facebook Live streams in February, April, June, August, October, and December. We are also working on some continuous updates to our lesson plans, currently, Level 1 is in the middle of an update with the anticipated release of late January/early February. Then I plan to move on to Levels 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8 over the course of 2021. If time permits, we also have some new unit study ideas that we have been kicking around.

January Bookish Holidays

Happy Birthday to Charlotte Mason, born 179 years ago, on January 1, 1842! Several other notable authors also celebrate birthdays this month, including Isaac Asimov (also National Science Fiction Day – Jan 2, 1920),  J. R. R. Tolkien (Jan 3, 1892), A. A. Milne (Jan 18, 1882), and Edgar Allan Poe (Jan 19, 1809).

If you are trying to come up with some synonyms of commonly used words to spice up your vocabulary, the perfect day is January 18th which just happens to be National Thesaurus Day. The fourth Wednesday in January (Jan 27) is Library Shelfie Day, so snap a picture of yourself at your local library (or your own socially-distanced personal bookcase if necessary)!

We also have a couple of Harry Potter character birthdays with Severus Snape (Jan 9), Gilderoy Lockhart (Jan 26), and Lily Potter (Jan 30).

2021 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 this past couple of years with the 2019 and 2020 BYL Reading Challenge, we created a new list of 41 reading prompts to help you and your children stretch your reading muscles in 2021. This year’s challenge is all about Hygge!  Head over to our blog and download your checklist today!

Bookshop.org Book List Conversion

You may or may not have noticed, but we are slowly working on converting our Amazon affiliate book lists to a new website called Bookshop.org.

From their website  “Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores.

We believe that bookstores are essential to a healthy culture. They’re where authors can connect with readers, where we discover new writers, where children get hooked on the thrill of reading that can last a lifetime. They’re also anchors for our downtowns and communities.”
So basically instead of Amazon making all of the money, independent bookshops all across the United States get the sales. As a small business owner myself, I love helping out other small businesses. We are all going to buy books anyway, we might as well shop small when we can!

“Read Aloud Book Club” Pack

Our 13th monthly “Read Aloud Book Club” subscription pack is now available! The January 2021 theme is “Colors of Friendship”. This month’s selection is a historical fiction set in 1970s Uganda. It’s an important read that is sure to spark some great discussions! The perfect read-aloud for the whole family!

“Tea with Emily” Facebook Live Streams

We hope you all enjoyed our last “Tea with Emily” Facebook Live Stream. If you missed our “Homeschooling High School last month in December, you can find a recording by scrolling back through our Facebook or direct links on our past events page.

Our next episode is scheduled for the beginning of February. (Probably February 5th, but more details will follow)

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!

The Homeschool Printing Company

Many people ask us where we would suggest they go to get their instructor guides printed out. For the past several years, I’ve been telling everyone I can about The Homeschool Printing Company.

They are a homeschool family run business, they have very competitive prices, AND they do a beautiful job. I honestly can’t recommend them enough! If you ever saw us at a vendor booth (back when in-person conferences were still a thing…), our display copies of all of our instructor guides and unit studies were done by them.

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!

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 reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab in January), or just want ideas for books to read (either for you for 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

Again, we hope you were able to salvage a great holiday season and wrap up the challenging 2020 year! As we look ahead to 2021, I would like to offer you this quote:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever”

― Neil Gaiman

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:

December 2020 Monthly Newsletter

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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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