November 2020 Monthly Newsletter

November 1, 2020

The following post will be a blog archive copy of the Build Your Library’s November 2020 Monthly Newsletter. If you missed the email, you can subscribe to our mailing list here. [Scheduled to be sent 11/02/20 8:00 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

We are quickly closing in on the end of the year, which means my family has gone into full holiday mode. We had our first snowfall the day before Halloween, which my husband and children took as the perfect time to put up our Christmas tree. Normally I’m a stickler for one holiday at a time, but I think this year we could all use some early holiday cheer.

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

Level 0 Update is Complete!

I am so excited to announce that the Level 0 update is available to download! If you have already purchased, you can use your original download link to access the update. If you cannot find your link, just send me an email along with proof of purchase (the email you used to purchase is fine) and I’ll be happy to send you a new link!

This wasn’t a major update like Levels 5 and 6, however, I still added 18 new books! I replaced several out-of-print titles and added some new fun picture books to the mix! We also added some new activity pages and updated the old ones with new and improved art. I’m really pleased with how this level turned out. I think you are going to love the new books and activities!

If you already purchased the old version, printed out the Instructor’s Guide, and purchased the books, you can certainly continue with the previous edition. But if you want the latest update with the new book list and enhancements, you will need to acquire some more resources. 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

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 anyways, we might as well shop small when we can!

November Bookish Holidays

November is another huge month for bookish holidays, most notably National Novel Writing Month. November 1st is both National Authors Day and National Family Literacy Day. The first Saturday of the month (Nov 2) is Book Lovers Day. We also have National Nonfiction Day (Nov 6), I love to Write Day (Nov 15), High Five a Librarian Day (Nov 18), and the third full week of November is National Young Readers Week and National Book Award Week. It’s also Non-fiction November all month long!

As far as literary birthdays go,  we have Bram Stoker’s Birthday (Nov 8, 1847), as well as Neil Gaiman (Nov 10, 1960), Robert Louis Stevenson (Nov 13, 1850), and Madeleine L’Engle Camp (Nov 29, 1918). We also have a couple of Harry Potter character birthdays with Silvanus Kettleburn (Nov 22) and  Bill Weasley (Nov 29).

History of Thanksgiving Unit Study

We’ve all heard the story – the Pilgrims sailed to America on the Mayflower and landed on Plymouth Rock. After a rough start, they were saved by the Indigenous people who then celebrated with a Thanksgiving feast… But how accurate is that tale? With this unit study, you and your child will explore the history surrounding Thanksgiving. Why did those brave people sail to an unknown land to start their own colony? Did the Native Americans really save them? Who were the Pilgrims and why did they come to America anyway?

I have a bonus blog post with my favorite Thanksgiving books to read to younger children.

We also have a “Thanksgiving-themed” – Can Your Teach Creativity? article from a few years back. This was a fun and interesting twist on an old holiday decoration project.

Is it time for NaNoWriMo again?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or nano for short) is a yearly write-a-thon that challenges aspiring writers from all over the world to write a complete 50,000-word manuscript in just 30 days. It is not for the faint of heart, and even some of the most gifted of writers still find themselves unable to complete the full 50k. But it’s a challenge that few writers can pass up.

For younger writers, I recommend checking out for their Young Writers program!  It’s basically the same thing as the main event, but the final word count and stress level are lower. Additional resources are also provided, like workbooks for story-planning and daily writing prompts to keep the story going if you get stuck!

I always try to participate, but this year I’ll be sitting it out. Perhaps next year will be my year to finally write that novel bouncing around in my head! Are you going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year?

“Read Aloud Book Club” Pack

Our eleventh monthly “Read Aloud Book Club” subscription pack is now available! The November 2020 theme is “Back to the Drawing Board!” This month’s selection is art-themed! It’s a wonderful story about friendship, magic, and art! 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 “Q & A Session last month in October, you can find a recording by scrolling our Facebook or direct links on our past events page.

Our next Facebook Live will be December 4, 2020. 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!

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 (this month we are reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig!), 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

I hope you are all enjoying fall in your neck of the woods! Remember to get outside and observe the changing of the seasons. Even if you don’t do formal nature study, it’s a great time to get outside and note the transition of the seasons!

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:

October 2020 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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