Build Your Library · Curriculum · Homeschool · Review · Subscriptions

Build Your Library Crate Review

We are using the Build Your Library curriculum for our geography and reading. We follow it very loosely, but I really love the book suggestions and activities. This year they started a Family Reading Crate, where they ship 3-5 books all sharing a theme. Each crate has something for the whole family. Books included are generally a picture book for younger kids, a family read aloud, a book for older kids, and a book for adults. It also comes with a little something extra related to the months theme and bookmarks.

I was really excited about this since my son is starting to read on his own, and I want to introduce as many different topics and styles as I can to peak his interest. We missed the first two months because they sold out so quickly, so when I saw the theme for March was “Goblins, Magic and Fantasy, Oh My!” I jumped on it immediately.


Books included in the March box:

The Goblin's Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice
The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice

Shadow Magic
Shadow Magic

Wintersong: A Novel
Wintersong: A Novel

The Goblin and the Empty Chair
The Goblin and the Empty Chair

We’ve read The Goblin and the Empty Chair a few times already, but haven’t started the others yet. I was really excited about the book for adults, but honestly I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately, so this one is (literally) shelved for now.

Extras: The discussion questions are a nice addition. The bookmarks are also appreciated because even though we have a million bookmarks floating around, it seems like we can never find one when we need it. Honestly, I could do without the little plastic dragons because I’m trying to reduce the amount of *stuff* we have, but my 5-year-old likes them so…

Value: The box costs $34.99 (shipping included) and the value of the books in this month’s box per Amazon is $37.18. As with any subscription-style box, there is a chance you might already have something in it or might not care for the selection, but I trust Build Your Library to send quality books.

Overall: For future boxes, I will definitely buy boxes with themes that interest us. I probably won’t buy every month since we have a great library and I’d rather borrow them first rather than buy.

April Crate: The theme for April is “Bookception: Books Within Books“. If it interests you, jump on it quick because they sell out super fast!

Build Your Library · Homeschool · kindergarten

Learning about France


Photo by Carissa Gan on Unsplash

We are starting France! We’re especially excited for these stories because we hope to take a trip to Paris sometime in the near future. These are the France specific books we got from the library. We also own Linnea in Monet’s Garden (a favorite) and are using the Beginner’s World Atlas, Angry Birds Explore the World, and Children Like Me, along with a few other general books about Europe.


Oh and we already finished the Greetings from Somewhere book about Paris. Not so sure how Flat Stanley will go since we haven’t read the others before it. We just read Adèle & Simon and loved trying to find all the missing items in the illustrations.

We’ll probably watch the Madeline movie, which apparently has a scene in it about eating a chicken named Fred, who happened to be a friend of Madeline’s. I don’t remember if I’ve ever seen the movie, or know how the rest of that scene plays out, but it was an interesting little tidbit to find on YouTube.

For an art project, we are going to do profile silhouettes, from our Global Art book. I actually think we might be able to turn them into Christmas presents in some fashion.

There are several activities in our curriculum (Build Your Library) for Linnea in Monet’s Garden, including drawing a picture of your family, creating a Japanese bridge painting, and learning about the flowers in the garden. Since it’s late November and there are no flowers blooming here, I might get some from the grocery store and do a mini flower unit. We’ll do some more in the spring, but it would be a good tie in to talk about the different parts of a flower.

I haven’t decided what food we’ll make yet, but maybe an apple tart or chocolate filled  croissants.

Build Your Library · Curriculum · Holidays · Homeschool · kindergarten · Sales

Build Your Library Sale

Build Your Library.jpg

Build Your Library is having a sale of 25% off all of their curricula using promo code “cranberry“. The code is good from until December 8.  I’m ordering the 1st grade curriculum, Winter Holidays Around the World, and the Jan Brett Christmas unit.

We’re using the Kindergarten Around the World curriculum and love it. We follow it loosely, skipping some things (Little House book) and adding all of the relevant picture books we can find at the library. It includes geography, literature, poetry, science, art, and recipes.

We also have all of the Harry Potter unit studies, which I highly recommend. They are a little too difficult for my Kindergartner, but perfect for my 10 year old.

If you were thinking about checking out any of these secular curricula, this is the perfect time. Let me know if you have any questions!

(I have no affiliation with BYL. We love their curricula and want to share for anyone who might be interested!)


We are official!

vegan homeschooling
Our Work Area

All of our paperwork is turned in to the school district and we officially started yesterday, August 1st!

I used this super basic affidavit from and this set of objectives. You can find the .doc versions of them on this page. I was a lot more worried about this whole process than I should’ve been. Honestly, the hardest part was finding a notary public, and I just ended up at a UPS store. I was a bit worried that when I turned in the papers they would go over them and have questions, but they gave me a receipt and I was out of there in a matter of minutes. The affidavit states that I have at least a High School Diploma, and that I will be keeping track of medical/immunization records. I did not hand in a copy of either as from what I’ve read, the affidavit should be enough.

I plan on taking this year very easy. We will be using Build Your Library Kindergarten, but not necessarily all of it, or do it every single day. For the first day, we did some Rocket Math, read a story, went over 11 spelling words, and then spent the day at a state park. We had a beautiful picnic with sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwiches, blueberries, watermelon, celery, and then a slice of cake for dessert.

I’ve read different opinions about doing Rocket Math in K, mostly that it shouldn’t start until 1st grade. My little one is pretty good with the first levels of the math facts, so we are going to give it a shot. We use this reusable dry erase pocket that I got at Target for $1. That way we don’t have to print off more than one copy of each sheet. Once he can do the sheet in under a minute, we’ll move on to the next level, but I’m in no hurry. I want to read and do some kind of math every day because I think those are important foundations, but I want him to enjoy it and learn to love them on his own. I get the Rocket Math sheets from Dad’s Worksheets and printed off the tracker from there too.

Planner and Rocket Math

We are also using this reading log that I’ve customized. I grabbed the super simple booklog from Ask Pauline, and added an extra column to write whether the book was read by the student, parent, or if it was read together. I will probably keep a general, undated list of all the books we read through out the year as well as a list of field trips we go on. This is our Attendance Calendar.  All of these papers are in a 3 ring binder.

This is the student planner we are using. It serves as a list to see what we have planned for the day, ie Rocket Math, piano class, read Harry Potter, go to the park, and also so we can look back at the end of the year.

There is a spot for spelling words, and I’m going to pick a few from the Dolce Kindergarten sight words list, a few from flash cards, and a few that are relevant to whatever we are working on. For example, on the Keyboarding without Tears app, there is a section titled “Go to Work.” My little guy already knew ‘go’ and ‘to’, so one of his spelling words is ‘work’.

I’m have a few ideas about resources we are using, and some ways we are veganizing things. If you have any suggestions or questions, let me know!