January 2023 Monthly Newsletter

January 2, 2023

The following post will be a blog archive copy of Build Your Library’s January 2023 Monthly Newsletter. If you missed the email, you can subscribe to our mailing list here. [Scheduled to be sent by 1/2/23 8:00 AM EST]

[January 2, 2023 ] – Welcome to our January 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 January 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.

Monthly Newsletter

Happy New Year! Ready or not, here comes 2023!

Another holiday season has passed and a new year has begun! It’s a time of reflection and goal setting, but it can also be a time of hunkering down and finding comfort in a good book, hot tea, and a warm blanket. I have always wished I could just hibernate until spring, but while I can’t actually sleep until April, I can find ways to ease into 2023 in comfort. January is the hygge season!

It can be tempting to do the whole “new year, new me” thing and set a bunch of goals. I think that instead, we should pick one thing to focus on. Perhaps you choose a word to meditate on and inspire you for the year. Or maybe you want to work on building one good habit. Whatever you do, I wish good things for you in 2023!

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.

― Edith Lovejoy Pierce

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

2023 Build Your Library Outlook

We are hoping for a great new year going forward in 2023!

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, with schedule details below. I also have some new unit studies and more Lit Bites in the works. I can’t wait to get more traction on these and release more details, but we are pretty excited!

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-to-late 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!

January Giveaway

Congratulations to our winner of last month’s Giveaway!


This month we will be giving away a Lit Bite of your choice! You will be winning a BYL gift card for $5.95, which you could either use to purchase the Lit Bite of your choosing or just put it toward your next purchase. We have 8 Lit Bites in our catalog as of January 1, with a new one releasing later this month, so there is something for every age and interest!

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!

January Bookish Holidays

Happy Birthday to Charlotte Mason, born 180 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 25) is Library Shelfie Day, so snap a picture of yourself at your local library (or your own personal bookcase if you don’t make the trip on the 25th)!

Also, although not book-related, if you have any leftover from the holiday season, January 1st is Fruitcake Toss Day. If you missed the 1st, throw one today!

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 January 6th!

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 Reading Challenge” in December, you can find a recording by scrolling through our Facebook or direct links on our past events page.

Our next episode is scheduled for the beginning of February. (Probably February 3rd, 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!

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. This month we’re reading A Scatter of Light by Malinda Lo! Or if 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

Again, we hope you had a great holiday season and wrap-up of 2022! As we look ahead to 2023, I would like to offer you two more New Years’ quotes:

“Packaged inside of every mistake there lays a great lesson. And while I don’t want to take the mistake into the New Year, I most certainly want to take the lesson that’s packaged inside of it.

― Craig D. Lounsbrough

“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.

― Anne Frank

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.

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:

December 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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