What’s in the Box?!?

January 23, 2017

What exactly does the Build Your Library curriculum

If you are new to our curriculum programs, you may not yet be familiar with the layout of our secular, literature based homeschool products.

Build Your Library prides itself on providing a time-saving and stress-reducing secular homeschool program for your family to use, full of meticulously chosen living books to enjoy with educational and fun activities to complete. When you purchase a full year Build Your Library curriculum, you are immediately sent an e-mail link to download your several hundred page lesson plan PDF. Contained in your lesson plans are the full schedule, activities, and a comprehensive list of books and required supplies that you will need over the course of the year. All you have to do is purchase or borrow the books on the list as well as any additional supplies you might need.

Boom, instant homeschool!

What? We don’t get one giant box in the mail to open?

Well, sort of… All of the required books are listed as hyper-links to Amazon.com, so you can purchase them all together and get your big box to open. Actually, with the way Amazon ships from their closest distributor, you will likely get several boxes to open. As a homeschool family, you must have Amazon Prime for free shipping, right?


But, we designed our products with homeschooling families with homeschool budgets in mind. Sure we could have cobbled together a complete single box for $700 or $800 or $900 for you… but what if you already had a couple of the books in your home library? What if you wanted to borrow some of the books from your local library or inter-library loan? What if you have a local used book store or homeschool co-op book swap and could get some of them for cheaper? Or what if Amazon was running some sort of deal or sale?

Surely frugal homeschoolers would welcome the option of being able to find some bargains or buy only a few months worth of books at a time instead of all at once up front…

What? We only get a PDF, not a physical paper copy of the lesson plans?

That is correct. You immediately get an instantly available PDF download. Again, by design we opted to supply you a PDF for numerous reasons. First, instant access. Of course you will still have to order the rest of the required books and wait for them to arrive, but you will be able to browse through the lesson plans and immerse yourself into planning out the rest of your homeschool year right away.

Also, if any updates to the lesson plans are required, we would be able to quickly provide thousands of digital copies to our customers without having to reprint 350+ page books. Yikes! So whether we are fixing an occasional typo, replacing a now out-of-print or hard to find book, or just updating and enhancing our curricula… we can do so easily and conveniently for us and for you.

Not to mention the savings for you! By only selling our guides in PDF format, we are able to keep the costs low. As a homeschool parent myself, I wanted to be able to make our products affordable because I know what it’s like to homeschool on a very tight budget.

You have several options how to use this PDF copy. Probably the quickest and easiest way would be to use it on your laptop or computer screen. If you did want to have a printed copy in hand, you also have a couple options. With your new purchase, you are allowed to make a printed copy for your immediate family’s use either at an office supply store such as Staples, or on your personal home printer. You would also have the flexibility to just print out a week’s worth of lesson plans and activities at a time, so you do not have to print out the entire book all at once. There are also several activity pages that you will need to print several on-demand copies anyways, so those will be printed when and as often as you need them.

We suggest you check out our friends at The Homeschool Printing Company or on their Facebook. Everybody that we send to them for printing our Instructor Guides or Unit Studies have had great experiences. Also, if you have ever checked out our printed display copies at our vendor booth, they were also from THPC.

No math included?

Math can be hard, and every child learns math differently. We have some good suggestions, but you will have to find the perfect program that works for your child. Personally, I have 4 children and have tried more than 4 different math programs with various degrees of success, depending on which child and which year they are studying.

But this is quite possibly one of the reasons you are homeschooling your children in the first place… having the flexibility to try different options that are customized to your child’s exact learning style. We feel that every student should read The Hobbit, but not every student necessarily needs to try (or possibly struggle with) Math Program X.

You might want to check out our article about suggested math programs in which I review the various programs we’ve used over the years. Be sure to read the comments where several customers weighed in on programs they have used as well.

Wait! Build Your Library does have boxes?

Yes! Have you seen our Family Reading Crates? It’s a monthly subscription-style box full of captivating books and fun for the whole family! Every month you get a picture book, a family read aloud, a book for older children, and a book for mom (or dad!) all based on an engaging theme!

What else do you need to know about Build Your Library curriculum?

We also have a Frequently Asked Questions and a Build Your Library Support page. If there is something else you have a question with that has not yet been answered in either of these places, leave us a comment below (it will not be published, just sent to us). We will either send you an e-mail or add it to our FAQ list! Thanks!

Emily CookEmily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-12 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 21 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves to share her love of literature with others. She and her family also makes incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books and more on Youtube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Post Comments from Comments from facebook Facebook

Steve N Jessica via Facebook (1/23/2017) I saved a ton of money buying used books on amazon and at my local used bookstore. While having “box day” is exciting, homeschooling should be teaching us to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

  • Build Your Library curriculum (1/23/2017) Exactly! We just bought a “used” book on Amazon for $0.24, plus shipping instead of the list price of $15.
  • Laura via Facebook (1/23/2017) Plus, I find so many of the books at the library! Huge money saver.
  • Tanya via Facebook (1/23/2017)  I agree, box day would be thrilling but since we buy used from many sellers we get many box days

Shannon via Facebook (1/23/2017) I love having the PDF version and the printed version (via fedex!) together.

  • Tanya via Facebook (1/23/2017)   Me too!

Kristin via Facebook (1/23/2017) Or you can get all the books and squirrel them away in one big box and have an unboxing day when they all arrive. 🙂

Kate via Facebook (1/23/2017) – Before BYL, we spent hundreds of dollars in shipping from our previous homeschool provider to our home across the Pacific. It was really painful because 25 to 30% of each package was overtly religious content we didn’t use anyway. This year is our first time to do BYL and as a single income family. We really appreciate all the $$$ saved.

Shannon via Facebook – (1/23/2017) And it’s really amazing to be able to spread out the cost through the full 36 weeks too. Buy the books you need and/or can afford and then wait until you need the next ones.

Stephanie via Facebook (1/23/2017) I would much rather have a PDF than a physical work book, that way I can easily save it for my younger child. Additionally, I spent most of last summer ordering books for the year. I rather enjoy getting multiple packages of “fun” mail instead of one big box!

Melody via Facebook (1/23/2017) I love this format. I was an unexpected homeschooler this year and bought most of my books (using the link in the BYL page) on Amazon the night before school started. As I get ready for next year I find that I am still using Amazon for the most part. Compared to the cost of private school this is a drop in the bucket. Plus we get to reread the books, which are wonderfully curated!


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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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