homeschool curriculum awards
Of course we would consider Build Your Library one of the best secular homeschool curriculum choices out there, but we actually have a stack of awards to back that up. Don’t just take our word for it, check out the comments and recommendations from others below!

Reviews and Testimonials of Build Your Library…

Are you wondering about what other people have thought of Build Your Library‘s literature-based secular homeschool curriculum? Here is a list of some of our reviews!

See all of our Reviews at our official BYL Facebook Page

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Other Customer Comments, Reviews and Testimonials



I’m basically just writing to say thank you for this curriculum. I’m a Jewish homeschooler, but mostly we do everything secular… been homeschooling for 8 years. I’ve bounced my way thru curriculum, basically doing my own thing. We have always mostly been Charlotte mason based, but my kids have learning differences, and most of the CM curriculums never worked for us. I found your 7th grade and we have been working through it. I love it so much. I SO appreciate all the effort for representation, great books but not all classics, interesting lessons… just everything. I’m SO grateful I found it. That’s all. I just wanted to say I KNOW how much work this must be to put together, not to mention running a business, updating, etc. It’s really helped me and I’m quite grateful, so I wanted to say a profound thank you.



I’ve been using Build Your Library to homeschool my 2 boys since the oldest was in kindergarten. We’re now in level 5. Yesterday, we had just finished reading a chapter of The White House is Burning, when Cameron (the oldest) said— “I love how all these history books always include the funny little details that you didn’t really need to know, but that make the story so interesting.” “Me, too,” I said.

Then, my voice cracked as I read the end of Jefferson’s Sons, another book we loved that I might never have found if you hadn’t included it in the curriculum.

I can only imagine the amount of time and care it must take just to find all of these awesome books. And the effort involved in deciding which pages should be read on which days so that everything—history, literature, poetry—all fits together so beautifully is astounding.

I am so grateful for the gentle way you’ve helped us to start conversations about challenging topics like the Holocaust, colonialism, and slavery. I’ve learned quite a bit myself from Build Your Library as my own public school education in Texas in the 80s and 90s wasn’t nuanced enough to include many voices beyond those of white men.

Thanks in part to your hard work, the two white men that I’m raising will know both the great deeds and the terrible ones committed by people who looked like them. They will understand both their privilege and their responsibility.

My boys and I will often say, “Emily finds the best books,” or “that was really cool—thanks, Emily!”

So I wanted to be sure that I said it right to you: Thanks, Emily, for all the love and care you put into Build Your Library. I hope it makes you smile to imagine all the families snuggled up on the couch together using the wonderful resources you so lovingly crafted.

We appreciate you.



I purchased the Level 5 curriculum for my 4th grader in the middle of the school year because she was bored with our previous curriculum (Evan-Moor) and didn’t feel she was learning much. She is LOVING BYL! She loves the book selections and is learning a lot! I wanted to thank you so much for putting together this curriculum–there are so few secular curricula out there, but the fact BYL is literature-based with such spot-on literature selections? Priceless. Will be purchasing level 6 soon and I love that you have all the way through level 12 if we continue homeschooling that long. Several times my daughter has remarked, unprompted, “I’m really enjoying this book!” While reading Winter People she said “I feel like I’m there,” because of such great descriptive writing. It must have taken you quite a lot of time and effort (and expense!) to select and stitch together all these books into a cohesive, chronological curriculum, fleshed out with vocabulary words, dictations, timeline figures, activity pages…and then you did it across all the different grade levels. Incredible. Just wanted to say how much I appreciate your efforts and how much we are enjoying your product. Hope you have a great summer!

Jill J. – (Recommendation on BYL Facebook page)

February 19, 2019

I am using Level 1 with my 7.5yo daughter, and it is going smoothly even with a newborn in the house! The curriculum is easy for me to understand and teach to her. I love being able to glance ahead and prepare for activities and heavier days as needed, but the layout is simple enough that if I don’t get to that, we can still open it and just begin the day’s lesson. We are both loving learning new things through beautiful stories and illustrations. Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put into creating this curriculum! 😊

Stephanie M. – (Recommendation on BYL Facebook page)

August 16, 2018

We are thoroughly enjoying this curriculum! I have never felt as happy and confident with our schedule, pace, and materials as I do with BYL.

Sarah R. – (5 star review on BYL Facebook page)

July 26, 2018

I recommend this curriculum to everyone! I was using the Charlotte Mason Living Books method with my kids but struggled to find updated books! Lots of digging. BYL has been fabulous! the books are so great and my kids interest has never lagged. The content is rich–so much so that we cannot do it all but that is okay. I love that movies and other books are offered as we study different topics.

Tania C. – (5 star review on BYL Facebook page)

May 17, 2018

We used BYL this year for homeschool and my children loved it. I appreciated having the schedule already laid out for us. We are a non-religious family, and have struggled finding secular curriculum. While some BYL does use Story of the World (which I previously refused to purchase), it went really well with BYL, and you are guided through which chapters to read. My children enjoyed SOTW, and so did I. We also got the activity book, which really adds to the book.

I just purchased our curriculum for next year, along with a few unit studies. We are very excited to get going again! We have yet to try a book crate, but are very interested in getting those, too. Especially with the #ownvoices inclusions.

Kimberly S. – (5 star review on BYL Facebook page)

June 2, 2017

I can’t say enough good things about this curriculum. Emily has changed our lives! The curriculum is thorough, advanced, and always leaves us feeling so interested in the material that we want to learn more. I learn right along with my children! The curriculum is extremely affordable, and since this is a living book based approach we’re able to get many of the books from the library. My gifted child was always bored by other approaches but has blossomed with BYL, and one of my children with special needs who struggled tremendously with every other approach is now doing college level work through BYL, and loving it! The kids beg to do unit studies in the summer! Thank you for making homeschool what it ought to be.

Trish B. – (5 star review on BYL Facebook page)

Sept 22, 2017

I now own K-3rd grades. I can’t say enough good things!! All my kiddos thrive and are learning from each other. I love all the snuggle up reading time we get together. Memory has improved for all three kids, vocabulary is through the roof in our house now and they know so many interesting things. We love this program!

Lacy M. – (5 star review on BYL Facebook page)

Sept 17, 2017

I cannot recommend Build Your Library highly enough!! It needs more stars!! Emily picks amazing books for her curriculums. Even if you don’t have a student to homeschool, you will love her picks for books to read!! Don’t hesitate, you will be so pleased with Build Your Library!! heart

Shannon (posted at the BYL Facebook page)

That is one of my favorite things about this curriculum is that I know I can move things around a little and/or adapt for different ages if need be. My daughter is going to public school for K next year but will likely HS 1st grade and up. My son will be in 3rd grade by then and I am betting I will have no problem adapting that curriculum to her needs as a first grader as well. Like you said, great literature is still great literature! She has been following along in the 1st grade curriculum now. She doesn’t retain a ton of it but she LOVES the stories we read every day at lunch.

Jennifer O. (Comment left at the Build Your Library website)

My kids are loving the copywork from Build Your Library. If they peek ahead in my planner, they listen to hear that phrase in the reading. I have been typing out the copywork for them and just putting it in a binder for them along with lined paper.

Jennifer (posted at the BYL Facebook page)

We’ve used a popular christian literature-based program in the past (and we are evangelical Christians), but we are really liking BYL! The books have been great, the lessons flow easily, the memory work is fun. My kids are really enjoying it, and I am, too! I do find that there is less hopping around with books; the whole curriculum just is easier to implement and allows us plenty of time to add in other supplements!

Meredith (Comment left at the Build Your Library website)

We are on week 2 of this [Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone] unit study and LOVE it, I’ve recommended it to all my friends. You did a great job making this and I absolutely adore the books you used. The worksheets are really fun and nicely designed. Thanks so much for doing this.

Jessica (posted at the BYL Facebook page)

We have taken a bit of a break from school lately (we are doing BYL Around the World) and yesterday my son asked me when he gets to start doing learning about all the kids and their countries again. Yes, he was actually anxious to start school again. I call that a win! Thanks BYL, for having such a super program that my kid loves learning and doing their school work!

Ellen (posted at the BYL Facebook page)

We are loving the BYL 5th grade curric! It is exactly what I imagined and hoped homeschool to be when we started 5 years ago.

Christina (posted at the Build Your Library Forums)

I just wanted to say, Emily, that your book suggestions are phenomenal. I just received my last shipment from Better World Books and Amazon today and I can’t wait to get started! I am so excited to get reading with my kids and can’t wait to see their excitement and growth as they learn from such beautiful living books! Thank you for setting this program up!!!!!!

Sarah (posted at the BYL Facebook page)

Just wanted to say THANK YOU! I just purchased the kindergarten units and it is so refreshing to have such a literature rich curriculum that includes sciences and is not based around the bible. It has taken me over a year to find you but I am so happy to say that we have finally made our choice <3 now just to save up for the other years I will need ? Thank you so much for such an amazing curriculum.


I discovered Charlotte Mason in 2008, when my eldest was in 1st Grade. I struggled and I struggled with it . . . I LOVED Charlotte Mason and her principles but I knew I needed secular. ALL these books in your booklists I’ve either looked at and considered, already read, or own.

We are THRIVING in our homeschool now . . . I have one regret: why couldn’t I find you ten years ago, right when I wanted to start off with Charlotte Mason? You know how long I looked?!? I must have searched at least 1000 times . . . I can’t even remember now how I came across you finally, but I’m sooooo very glad I did!

THANK YOU. Thank you for doing this! SO MUCH WEIGHT of my shoulders–and the kids’ co-parent is on board! He’s volunteered to purchase all the books this year!

Keep up the awesome work!

Monica S. (submitted as a BYL review)

August 24, 2018

We found BYL right in the middle of our homeschool journey. January 2016 we started Level 8 and in 2017 my two middle schoolers started Level 7 and my high schooler started Level 10. This fall my youngest is starting Level 5, my middle schoolers are starting Level 9, and my oldest is starting Level 11. I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about what we had missed, what I wasn’t teaching them, etc. I’ve since realized that by the time they reach Level 9 the cycles will start over and they’ll learn all the science and history we may have missed in earlier levels.

As I sit here tonight going over the writing assigned to these classes and the History of English assignments, I understand how the writing technique is evolving. Between Level 10 and Level 11 I have learned that I can relax and trust that they will learn all they need to and then some. I no longer feel like I have to pack in so many extras (although my oldest is going to catch up on the books in Levels 7-9 because they’re just so good)!

Are you a Build Your Library customer and want to submit a review? Please feel free to post a comment below and share your thoughts on why BYL is one of the best literature-based secular homeschool curriculum!


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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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