November 2023 Monthly Newsletter

November 1, 2023

The following post will be a blog archive copy of Build Your Library’s November 2023 Monthly Newsletter. If you missed the email, subscribe to our mailing list here. [Scheduled to be sent by 11/1/23 8:30 AM EST]

[November 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 November 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

“But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when she felt it was almost indecent to intrude on the woods…for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

How is it already November? I feel like I blinked, and October ended. The trees are bare and air is chilled – it’s sweater weather, tea weather, blanket weather. Time to snuggle down for the long, cold winter ahead.

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

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 just finished updating the History of Thanksgiving unit study! I spent the whole of October working on it and I’m thrilled with how it came out! This is a full-on overhaul – new books, new activities, everything! I hope that you find it works much more smoothly now!

So what am I working on next?

I’m going to be buckling down and getting some new things out – I have lit bites I really want to write, as well as unit studies. I am dedicating the rest of this year to focus on that. January 1, I will be diving into the next full level update – Level 11!

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

November Giveaway

Congratulations to our winner of last month’s Giveaway!


This month we’ll be giving away a $20 gift card to anything in our store! Use it on curriculum or used books!

Each action gives you entries into this month’s drawing, with some allowing for daily clicks. The 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!

November Bookish Holidays

November is another huge month for bookish holidays, most notably National Novel Writing Month. Both National Authors Day and National Family Literacy Day are on November 1st. The first Saturday of the month (Nov 4) 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),  Neal Shusterman (November 12, 1962) Robert Louis Stevenson (Nov 13, 1850), and Madeleine L’Engle Camp (Nov 29, 1918).

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 (or NaNoWriMo 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?

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!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge Check In

We are almost finished with our reading challenge this year. How are your reading challenge checklists looking so far this year? 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 will be a fantastic reading year filled with fun challenges and lots of science and nature-themed reading! Head over to our blog and download your checklist today!

I’ve already checked off  39 out of the 40 prompts; I am SO close to finishing! Just one more book to go!

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.

Most Recent Episodes:

“Tea with Emily” Instagram Live Stream

We hope you 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 last month in October, you can find a recording by scrolling through our Instagram, or direct links on our past events page.

Our next Livestream will be on Friday, December 8th at 1pm (EST). Mark your calendars, because you won’t want to miss it! Our December live is always when I unveil the Build Your Library Reading 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 November! I can’t wait to see what this new month brings!

“In November, the smell of food is different. It is an orange smell. A squash and pumpkin smell. It tastes like cinnamon and can fill up a house in the morning, can pull everyone from bed in a fog. Food is better in November than any other time of the year.”
― Cynthia Rylant, In November

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:

October 2023 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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