Coming August 6th!
Learn about Holly's new book, The Life of Chesterton: The Man who Carried a Swordstick and a Pen!
Featured Image

I wanted to include the work of current artists – authors, visual artists, musicians, etc. who have inspired me. See this list at the bottom of the post! These people help make the world a better place.

Looking For a Booklist?

Disclaimer: If you are here to find a booklist that incorporates good, living books into a 24-week-long study of multiple content areas (aligned with Classical Conversations Foundations), you are in the right place! Scroll past the brief post, “Six Tools to Use in a Living Education”. If you are curious about Charlotte Mason methods, you might want to take about 5 minutes and read my post.

Six Tools to Use in a Living Education

  • read living books
  • observe
  • tell it back/narrate
  • record it
  • memorize (this comes AFTER guided discovery)
  • create something new from what you have learned

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about a living education. I have experienced bits and pieces of this, but I still strive to make it part of the basic fabric of our homeschool. More continuity, more of an atmosphere. Here I write briefly on each of these tools for a living education. My thanks goes out to Simply Charlotte Mason. The Charlotte Mason Together Retreat was unforgettable, unhurried, life-giving.

Living Books

One obvious way we can cultivate a living education in our homeschool is by introducing my kids to living ideas found on the pages of living books. If I had it my way, we would probably buy all of our books, but frugality matters, too. So, we use our local library. However, when a book cannot be found there (unfortunately, this is the case more often than I’d like to admit), we either borrow it from a friend or buy it. And once we have it added to our library here, we have even more opportunities to seek out the living ideas found within, spread out like a feast on the pages. Time and time again. What is a living book, you might ask? I have created a cheat sheet for you here.


Picture Study. Nature Study. Composer Study. The list goes on, and in a Charlotte Mason education, we take the time to form a living, personal acquaintance with what we observe. The mere question, “What do you see? …hear?” without any interjection by the teacher can ignite the spark that allows a child to possess what he or she is beholding. To truly tell about, to put it into words, what he or she is taking in allows that child to form that living, personal acquaintance with something created by God.

Narrate/Record it

Know. Tell.

It begins with building oral fluency. It culminates with the goal of learning formal writing. Narration lays the foundation for writing well. When narration is done well, one possesses what he is beholding. This is a form of knowing, truly knowing. Therefore, narration is also a training exercise in thinking well. It’s an art. It builds relationships. If you are interested in starting this journey of narration with me, look no further than right here. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, take a look at the narration resource I made for those who are wanting to “test drive” narration.


Charlotte Mason taught IDEAS first, memorizing facts later. A common thread found throughout a Charlotte Mason education is “taking something into the mind’s eye”.

You can find this thread woven into the “spelling” lessons. What we call “spelling” Charlotte incorporated into the larger skill of reading and using language. Charlotte didn’t formally teach spelling as one might encounter it today in an institutionalized setting, but exercised this habit of attention to eventually have students write down a passage that was dictated to them. They would have to possess the passage in their minds’ eye, before attempting to write the dictation. This comes from memorization of words, yes, but usually within the context of a larger passage, after the students have already encountered the rich ideas found in the passage. Dictation would not be expected until around 10 years of age. Before that age, students would be practicing copy work and memorizing short phrases, pieces of a large poem or proverb.

You find this thread woven into the picture study our family has come to love.

You find this thread woven into the composer study, the nature study, the foreign language study, the list goes on.

It has taken a shift in thinking for me, to put such emphasis on the habit of attention. I will have to get used to short lessons. Only saying the directions once. I do believe it will reap benefits, not just for my kids, but also for me.

Create Something New

I think this is self explanatory. How could you create something new from ideas? You have surely done this before. Inspiration arises while one is living life. It usually doesn’t arise from anxiety or pressure to meet a deadline.

Let’s use my own blogging as an example. Create something new. I am starting to learn what this might be for myself. Cultivating habits that foster creativity, I hope to take incremental steps and be faithful in my writing, for example. It does not take an hour a day. It might take just 5 minutes a day. Inspiration arises from living life. So, I live my life. For me, a reliable writing routine is more about the life I live as a person, as a person who writes. I am not just a writer. So, I look for good ideas, but I am not in a frenzied state of searching. I admit, my mind does get caught up in some kind of crazy rumination at times! Nonetheless, I remember to pause and write. I remember to do something with my hands. I remember to play with my kids. I remember to go for a walk.

Books That Have Changed My Life

The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

The Awakening of Miss Prim: A Novel by Natalia Sanmartin Fenorella

A Charlotte Mason Approach to Classical Conversations Cycle 1

CYCLE 1, Quarter 1(Weeks 1-6)

Subsequent quarters below!

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases of these CC Cycle 1 books using these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Year-Round Resources


The Story Book of Science (Yesterday’s Classics) by Jean Henri Fabre
Pond and Stream by Arthur Ransome
Pond and Stream Companion by Karen Smith
R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Earth & Environment 1 by Blair Lee, M.S.
Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail: What Will You Find? by Editors of Storey Publishing
Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate
Science Encyclopedia Paperback Book w/Internet & QR Links

Science Encyclopedia Paperback Book w/Internet & QR Links is also something we have on our shelves for quick reference or longer reading sessions.

Fine Arts:

Website: (Exploring Art Elements in Picture Books)
Art from Simple Shapes: Make Amazing Art from 8 Simple Geometric Shapes! Includes a Shape Stencil
An Introduction to Art History: A Classical Approach to Art Part II by Barry Stebbing (Ancient Art: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome)
The Stuff They Left Behind from the Days of Ancient Egypt (Simply Charlotte Mason)
The Stuff They Left Behind from the Days of Ancient Greece (Simply Charlotte Mason)
The Stuff They Left Behind from the Days of Ancient Rome (Simply Charlotte Mason)
Picture Study Portfolios: Michelangelo (Simply Charlotte Mason)
The Arts: A Visual Encyclopedia
Music Study with the Masters (Simply Charlotte Mason) We will be studying Bach.
Singing the Great Hymns (Simply Charlotte Mason)
Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too by Mona Brookes


Classical Conversations has a Bookstore that would be helpful in finding comprehensive history resources. We are currently in the FOUNDATIONS Program. History cards, Trivium Table (for Cycle 1), Cycle 1 Audio CD for reciting memory work and timeline, History cards for Artists and Composers, and Ancient World Echoes are some examples of good resources we have used or are going to use in the future. If you are looking to save some money, look into joining Classical Conversations Connected. The Foundations Learning Center has a FILE SHARING feature that has helped me find resources like history sentence copy work, memory work flipbooks, and more.


My Pop-up World Atlas
Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason
A Child’s Geography: Explore the Holy Land Knowledge Quest
Eat Your Way Around the World by Jamie Aramini


Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians by Dale Seymour Publications
The Math Chef: Over 60 Math Activities and Recipes for Kids
Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series) by Laura Overdeck
Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series) by Laura Purdie Salas
The Lion’s Share by Matthew McElligott
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
The Greedy Triangle (Scholastic Bookshelf) by Marilyn Burns

Sites that promote mathematical thinking

Marcy Cook Math

Charlotte Mason Poetry (Math Resources)

Kate’s Homeschool Math Help

Free Number of the Day Worksheets

Lifestyle/Personal Development:

Embracing Screen-Free Life: When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones

Week 1

Science (Classification):

Karl, Get Out of the Garden!: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything
Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner
Animalium: Welcome to the Museum
Botanicum: Welcome to the Museum

Fine Arts (5 Elements of Shape):

When a Line Bends . . . A Shape Begins by Rhonda Gowler Green
The Greedy Triangle (Scholastic Bookshelf) by Marilyn Burns
If You Were a Polygon (Math Fun) by Marice Aboff & Sarah Dillard
My Heart Is Like a Zoo Board Book by Michael Hall

History (Commandments 1-5):

Exodus from Egypt (Bible Stories) by Mary Auld
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd Jones (10 Ways To Be Perfect chapter)
Old Testament Days: An Activity Guide (Hands-On History) by Nancy Sanders

Geography (Fertile Crescent):

One Small Blue Bead by Byrd Baylor
Chapter 1 Map, The Story of the World, Activity Book 1: Ancient Times – From the Earliest Nomad to the Last Roman Emperor
The Tigris and Euphrates: Rivers of the Fertile Crescent (Rivers Around the World (Paperback)) by Gary G. Miller
Ancient Agriculture: From Foraging to Farming (Ancient Technology) by Michael Woods

Math (1s and 2s):

Since I do not have any specific read aloud books for this topic of 1s and 2s, I think it might be a good idea to share how we will try to incorporate Math into our Morning Time this upcoming school year. I have a 7 and 4.5 -year-old who will be joining me, and our 2.5-year-old will be around.

Introducing the Math Loop

Note: A loop schedule allows you to complete any activity on any particular day, just picking up where you left off the next day you get to the list. Once all the activities on the list have been “run through”, you repeat the loop from the top.

DayActivity (roughly 10 minutes)
1Counting exercise on the hundreds chart
2Number of the day from Kindergarten Mom (trace, count, frame, draw, tally, write)
3Word Problem from Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series)
4Practice telling time on analog clock like DHCHAPU Student Learning Clock Time Teacher Gear Clock 4 Inch 12/24 Hour
5Charlotte Mason Math Tables
6Marcy Cook Math Game – Turn Over Tiles to Find X or Bearly Balanced Tiles

Week 2

Science (Kingdoms):

A Mammal is an Animal by Lizzie Rockwell
About Fish: A Guide for Children (About…, 6) by Cathryn Sill
About Amphibians: A Guide for Children (About…, 5) by Cathryn Sill
The Burgess Animal Book for Children (Dover Children’s Classics) by Thornton Burgess
The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess

Fine Arts (Mirror Images):

History (Commandments 6-10):

Exodus from Egypt (Bible Stories) by Mary Auld
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd Jones (10 Ways To Be Perfect chapter)
Old Testament Days: An Activity Guide (Hands-On History) by Nancy Sanders
These are the same suggestions from Week 1.

Geography (Assyrian Empire):

Map Trek The Complete Collection (I would only get Map Trek VI: Ancient World)
Gilgamesh the King (The Gilgamesh Trilogy) by Ludmila Zeman

Math (3s and 4s):

See the above Math Loop resources from Week 1 Math.

Week 3

Science (Animal Cell):

All in a Drop: How Antony van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World by Lori Alexander
Cell Biology Diagram
Newton’s Workshop Bug Safari / Cell – A – Bration DVD by Moody Video (January 01,2010) (TRACK #6)
Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C. Holling (one of our very favorites)

Fine Arts (Upside-Down):

Optical Illusions In Art: Or–Discover How Paintings Aren’t Always What They Seem to Be by Alexander Sturgis
Imagine a Day by Sarah L. Thomson

History (Greek and Roman gods):

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
The Illustrated Book of Myths : Tales and Legends of the World by Neil Philip
Roman Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean
Classic Myths to Read Aloud: The Great Stories of Greek and Roman Mythology, Specially Arranged for Children Five and Up by an Educational Expert by William F. Russell

Geography (Hebrew Empire):

The Phoenicians: Mysterious Sea People (Ancient Civilizations) by Katherine E. Reece
Ten Best Jewish Children’s Stories by Daniel Sperber

Math (5s and 6s):

See the above Math Loop resources from Week 1 Math.

Week 4

Science (Plant Cell):

Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring The Earth To Life by Molly Bang
Cell Biology Diagram
The World of Plants (God’s Design) by Debbie and Richard Lawrence
Newton’s Workshop Bug Safari / Cell – A – Bration DVD by Moody Video (January 01,2010) (Track #6)

Fine Arts (Abstract Art):

Touch the Art: Catch Picasso’s Rooster by Julie Appel
Touch the Art: Make Van Gogh’s Bed by Julie Appel
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock
Vincent Can’t Sleep: Van Gogh Paints the Night Sky (KNOPF BOOKS FOR) by Barb Rosenstock

History (7 Wonders):

How the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Were Built by Ludmila Henkova
The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World: A Pop-Up by Celia King

Geography (Hittite Empire):

The Archaeology Book (Wonders of Creation) by David Down
How Many Donkeys?: An Arabic Counting Tale by Margaret Read McDonald

Math (7s and 8s):

See the above Math Loop resources from Week 1 Math.

Week 5

Science (Invertebrates):

The Bug Safari and The Cell-A-Bration DVD (Track #5: Entymology)
1001 Bugs To Spot (Usborne 1001 Things to Spot) by Emma Helbrough
Where Butterflies Grow (Picture Puffin Books) by Joanne Ryder
The Big Book of Bugs (The Big Book Series) by Yuval Zommer
Seashells: More Than a Home by Melissa Stewart

Fine Arts (Perspective):

How To Draw 1,2,3 Point Perspective: For Beginners | Perspective Drawing For Kids Made Easy by Square Root of Squid Publishing
Perspective Drawing for Kids: A Perspective Drawing Guide for Kids, Including Detailed Explanations and Step By Step Exercises by Liron Yanconsky

History (Romans):

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction by David Macaulay
Rome Antics by David Macaulay
Galen and the Gateway to Medicine (Living History Library) by Jeanne Bendick
Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfield
Danger in Ancient Rome (Ranger in Time 2) (2) by Kate Messner
The Story of the Romans (Yesterday’s Classics) by H.A. Guerber
Animals in Rome: A Latin Vocabulary Coloring Book and Primer Titvs Classics

Geography (Egyptian Empire):

Mummies Made in Egypt (Reading Rainbow Books) by Aliki
Of Numbers and Stars by D. Anne Love
The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo
Tutankhamen’s Gift by Robert Sabuda

Math (9s and 10s):

See the above Math Loop resources from Week 1 Math.

Week 6

Science (Vertebrates):

The Snake Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) by Sy Montgomery
Match a Track: Match 25 Animals to Their Paw Prints (Magma for Laurence King) GAME!
Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky
Box Turtle at Long Pond by William George
Bones: Skeletons and How They Work by Steve Jenkins

Fine Arts (Final Project):

Take a look at the Picture Study Portfolios from Simply Charlotte Mason. Choose one portfolio to focus on for the next term. Revisit the fine arts principles of shape, mirror images, upside-down, abstract art, and perspective as you study these full-color works (8.5″ x 11″ prints) by an original artist of your choice! Picture study is simple. Each portfolio includes a 5-step process to explain how picture study is conducted. Portfolios also include an artist biography, leading thoughts, Charlotte Mason inspiration regarding picture study, and specs on each masterpiece.

For first quarter, our homeschool will by doing its picture/history study on Ancient Egypt and for second quarter, Ancient Rome. Since these are not conventional artist picture studies, we will follow them with a true, artist picture study third quarter.

We will be doing our picture study in the third quarter on Michelangelo.

History (Ancient Greeks):

Geography (Ancient Greece):

Our Little Athenian Cousin of Long Ago (Yesterday’s Classics) by Julia Darrow Cowles
Our Little Spartan Cousin of Long Ago (Yesterday’s Classics) by Julia Darrow Cowles
The Aesop for Children (classic fairy tales for children): illustrated with MP3 Downloads (Dover Read and Listen) by Milo Winter
Geography Matters in Ancient Greece (Geography Matters in Ancient Civilizations) by Melanie Waldron

Math (11s and 12s)

See the above Math Loop resources from Week 1 Math.

Cycle 1, Quarter 2 (Weeks 7-12)

Week 7

Science (Reproduction)

Fine Arts (tin whistle)

Tin Whistle for Children by Stephen Ducke

History (Hinduism)

Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel
Indian Children’s Favorite Stories by Rosemarie Somaiah

Geography (Roman Empire)

Roman Diary: The Journal of Iliona, Slave Girl by Richard Platt
This would be a good read-aloud for a few weeks.

Math (13s)

Times Tables the Fun Way!
NOTE: This book does not teach 13s, but it is GREAT for teaching times tables (I think at least up to the 9s) in a VISUAL, STORY-BASED WAY. So, if you have a struggling student, this may serve as a HELP to you! I personally have seen it used in the public schools with a couple of my past students, and it worked! Sometimes we classical and CM moms need to think outside the box and do what’s best for our own children.

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”

Charlotte Mason

Week 8

Science (seed plants)

From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

Fine Arts (dynamics)



Math (14s)

Week 9

Science (Parts of Plant)

Fine Arts (note values and staff)

History (Lao-Tzu)

Geography (China)

Math (15s)

Week 10

Science (Leaf Shapes)

The Magic Treehouse: Ninjas and Samurai by Mary Pope Osborne

Geography (Japan)

Let’s Go Sightseeing in Japan! Baby Professor

Math (squares)

Amazing Visual Math by DK Publishing

NOTE: Although this book does not focus specifically on square numbers (i.e., 2 x 2 =4), it looks amazing for those of us who are visual learners!

Week 11

Science (parts of a flower)

Fine Arts (note names and scales)

History (Byzantine Empire)

Geography (Byzantine Empire)

Math (cubes)

Sorry, guys. I do not have any books that exclusively teach cube numbers. However, looking at a 3-D cube might help solidify the concept.

simple video to demonstrate the concept

Week 12

Science (Plant Systems)

Geography (Western Africa)

I Wonder Why the Sahara is Cold at Night by Jackie Gaff (more of a desert climate book than specifically Sahara Desert)

Why Mosquitos Buzz In People’s Ears: A West African Tale by Verna Aardema

Africa, Amazing Africa: Country By Country by Atinuke

Math (Liquid Equivalents)

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids

Week 14

Science (Three Kinds of Rock)

A Rock Is Lively by Dianna Aston

Volcano Rising by Elizabeth Rusch

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

Rocks & Minerals (Smithsonian Handbooks)

Fine Arts (Ghiberti)

Link to Ghiberti’s Work

Pippo the Fool by Tracey E. Fern (see Lorenzo in a DIFFERENT light in this story!)

Video: How to Create a Ghiberti Inspired Aluminum Foil Relief Panel

History (Trade in Africa)

When Sundiata Keita Built the Mali Empire by Baby Professor (I am hesitant to call this a “living book” since it is very dry in its style, but it is informative)

Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove

Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali by P. James Oliver

Geography (Ancient Africa)

This would be a great online resource if you’re just curious about Africa as a continent. Africa: Physical Geography (National Geographic)

Pair it with:


One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab (A Counting by Feet Book) by April Pulley Sayre

Week 15

Science (What is each continent’s highest mountain?)

Everest: The Remarkable Story of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay by Alexandra Stewart

The Lure of Mountain Peaks by Myra Weatherly

Fine Arts (Angelico)

Fra Angelico: Preaching Through His Paintbrush by Dr. Melissa McCrory Hatcher

Picture Study Portfolios: Fra Angelico (Simply Charlotte Mason)

This is a full-length webinar.

History (Prince Henry of Portugal)

Around the World in a Hundred Years: From Henry the Navigator to Magellan by Jean Fritz

The Sea Route to Asia by David Rutsala

Geography (Middle East)

Children’s Illustrated Atlas (DK and Smithsonian Institution)

Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel

Math (Metric Measurements)

The Metric System by David A. Adler

Metric Conversions Song

Week 16

Science (Four Kinds of Volcanoes)

Will It Blow?: Become a Volcano Detective At Mount St. Helens by Elizabeth Rusch

I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79 by Lauren Tarshis

Oh, The Lavas That Flow! by Todd Tarpley

Fine Arts (Durer)

Albrecht Durer Coloring Book

History (Mesoamerica)

Maya, Incas, and Aztecs (DK Find Out!)
This is obviously set in modern times, but it is about the people of Guatemala, descendants of the Maya.

Geography (African Waters)

The Elephant Keeper: Caring for Orphaned Elephants in Zambia by Margriet Ruurs

Family Reference Atlas (National Geographic)

Math (Area of a Rectangle)

My Rectangle Book by Agnese Baruzzi

The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns

Week 17

Science (Parts of a volcano)

Vladimir the Volcano: A Tale of Unforeseen Eruption by Rana Boulos

Oh, The Lavas That Flow! All About Volcanoes (The Cat in the Hat Series) by Todd Tarpley

Fine Arts (Michelangelo)

Picture Study Portfolio: Michelangelo (Simply Charlotte Mason)

Stone Giant by Jane Sutcliffe

Michelangelo’s Surprise by Tony Parillo

History (Aztecs)

The Sad Night: The Story of An Aztec Victory and Spanish Loss by Sally Schofer Mathews

Geography (African countries)

Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove

We All Went on a Safari by Laurie Krebs

Shaka, King of the Zulus by Diane Stanley

Math (area of a square)

The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns

Squares, Rectangles, and Other Quadrilaterals by David Adler

Week 18

Science (Four Types of Ocean Floor)

The Fascinating Ocean Book for Kids: 500 Incredible Facts! by Bethannie Hestermann

DK Find Out: Oceans by DK

Fine Arts (El Greco)

Spanish Art Coloring Book: Goya, El Greco, and Velasquez by Arthur Benjamin

History (Mound Builders)

The Indian Book (Childcraft Annual 1980)

If You Lived With the Iroquois by Ellen Levine (not exactly the mound-building civilizations, but in the same broad region)

Geography (Mesoamerica Regions)

Draw Mexico, Central and South America by Kristin J. Draeger

Math (Area of a Triangle)

The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns

Week 19

Science (Ocean Zones)

DK Smithsonian Ocean: A Visual Encyclopedia

Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea by Steve Jenkins

Fine Arts (Composers and Orchestra, Baroque and Classical periods)

Poppy and Vivaldi: Storybook with 16 Musical Sounds by Magali Le Huche

Poppy and Mozart: Storybook with 16 Musical Sounds by Magali Le Huche

Music Study with the Masters: J.S. Bach by Simply Charlotte Mason

History (Anasazi)

Dance in a Buffalo Skull by Zitkala-Sa

Anasazi Coloring Book: the story of the Ancestral Puebloans by Sandra Stemmler

Geography (Mesoamerica)

National Geographic Kids Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture: Stories, Timelines, Maps, and More

Munching on Churros in Mexico – Geography Literacy for Kids by Baby Professor

Living in… Mexico: Ready-to-Read Level 2 by Chloe Perkins

Barefoot Books: Off We Go to Mexico! by Laurie Krebs

The Adventures of Lily Huckleberry in Mexico by Audrey Smit

Math (Area of a circle)

Circles by David Adler

Week 20

Science (Parts of the Atmosphere)

Earth’s Atmosphere Composition Demo

Smithsonian Atmosphere Activities

Stickmen’s Guide to Earth’s Atmosphere in Layers by Catherine Chambers

Big Book of Earth & Sky: A 15-Foot Chart Showing the Inner Core to Outer Atmosphere

Fine Arts (Orchestra and Composers)

A Child’s Introduction to the Orchestra

Child’s Own Book of Great Musicians: Handel by Tom Tapper (Kindle only)

Stories in Music: Peter and the Wolf by Simon Lpo

Stories in Music: My Name is Handel by Maestro Classics

History (Mexican Revolution)

Family Pictures by Carmen Lomas Garza

Remember the Alamo: Texians, Tejanos, and Mexicans Tell Their Story by Paul Walker

Geography (Dominion of Canada)

Hey, Canada! by Vivien Bowers

O Canada!: Discover Famous Canadian Cities and Landscapes in Art Paintings, Prints, and Photographs by Alexander Khomoutov, Ph.D.

Math (Circumference of a Circle)

Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander

Week 21

Science (Circles of Latitude)

A Search for the Northern Lights by Elizabeth Rusch

National Geographic Student World Atlas, 5th Ed. by National Kids

Laminated World Map 18″ x 29″

Fine Arts (Bach)

Becoming Bach by Tom Leonard

Music Study with the Masters: J.S. Bach (Simply Charlotte Mason)

History (Exploration of Canada)

John Cabot (Jr. Graphic Famous Explorers)

Champlain: A Life of Courage (First Book) by William Jay Jacobs

Hudson’s Bay Company Adventures: Tales of Canada’s Early Fur Traders by Elle Andra-Warner

Geography (Canadian Waters)

T is for Territories: A Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut Alphabet by Michael Kusugak

Good Night Canada by Adam Gamble

Math (Associative Law of + and x)

This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Each Orange Had 8 Slices (Counting Books) by Paul Giganti, Jr.

Week 22

Science (Kinds of Weather Fronts)

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Weather

Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today?: All About the Weather by Tish Rabe

The Storm Book by Charlotte Zolotow

Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey

Fine Arts (Mozart)

The Story Orchestra: The Magic Flute: Press the Note to Hear Mozart’s Music by Katy Flint

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers) by Mike Venezia

Mozart (Famous Children Series) by Ann Rachlin

Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? by Yona Zeldis McDonough

History (British North America Act of 1867)

The Kids Book of Canadian History by Carlotta Hacker

Canada Year by Year by Elizabeth MacLeod

Carson Crosses Canada by Linda Bailey

Geography (South America-West)

Just One More by Wendi Silvano

Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown

Not Just Tacos by Shirley Solis

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry

Up and Down the Andes: A Peruvian Festival Tale by Laurie Krebs

Math (Commutative Law for + and x)

Here is a quick article describing how you could demonstrate the commutative law through poses or art.

Week 23

Science (Types of Clouds)

A Drop Around the World by Barbara Shaw McKinney

Clouds: Let’s Read and Find Out Science by Anne Rockwell

Tomie dePaola’s The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola

Next Time You See A Cloud by Emily Morgan

Fine Arts (Orchestra Overview)

See books from previous four weeks.

History (Liberation of South America)

A Picture Book of Simon Bolivar by David A. Adler

Pachamama Tales: Folklore From Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay by Paula Martin

Geography (South America – East)

Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel

(Although Material World is outdated, it is a pictorial journey through the homes of real people from all over the world.)

Math (Distributive Law)

I am having a hard time finding a living book strictly related to distributive law, but here are some titles of great living math books that deal with multiplication:

Spaghetti and Meatballs For All! by Marilyn Burns

Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin by Pam Calvert

Each Orange Had 8 Slices by Paul Giganti, Jr. and Donald Crews

The Best of Times by Greg Tang

Science (Globe Markings)

Week 24

Latitude and Longitude (Map Basics) by Kristen Rajczak

North South: A Tale of Two Hemispheres by Sandra Morris

In the Light of a Child: A Journey Through the 52 Weeks of the Year in Both Hemispheres for Children by Michael Hedley Burton

(this is a book of poems to be read through the eyes of children living in each hemisphere – compare and contrast – it is so beautiful!)

Fine Arts (Review and Celebration)

Attend a symphony orchestra concert in your locale. Here is an example of how the orchestra gears its educational concerts towards students of all ages and types.

History (Portuguese Empire)

Songs from a Journey with a Parrot by Magdeleine Lerasle

A Map and a Mule: A Peace Story of Queen Isabel of Portugal by Eric Timar

Note: A Map and a Mule is not from the time period (1800s) of study, but from the Middle Ages.

Geography (North Atlantic)

Talloqut: A Story from West Greenland by Pannenguaq Lind Jensen

Lundi the Lost Puffin by Eric Newman

Math (Identity Law of + and x)

Properties video (multiplication)

You can find books we have enjoyed from YEARS 1 and 2 of My Little Brick Schoolhouse on my page, “Classical Conversations and the Eclectic Approach“.

I have listed some of our very favorite books from our schoolhouse to-date.

Our Favorite Living Books, Picture Book Biographies

My four-year-old daughter’s favorites:

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jane Bryant (special needs, perseverance)

Leave It To Abigail by Barbara Rosenstock (strong women, politics, American history)

Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully (perseverance, hard work, courage)

My six-year-old son’s favorites:

Crayon Man by Natascha Biebow (inventors)

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon by Jacqueline Davies (biology, nature study)

Benjamin Franklin by Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire (inventors, American history, apprenticeship)

            Our Favorite Series Read-Alouds

My six-year-old son’s favorites:

Ranger In Time by Kate Messner

We read Danger in Ancient Rome and were impacted by the reality of the gladiator life.  The book itself centers around a search-and-rescue dog who has time-traveling abilities and goes on an adventure to first century Rome. While he does not initially know his mission, he does find out later the reason he was beckoned there. Although some of the content was a little graphic for my son, I would say it is up to you and your judgment as to how much you want to bring the Roman Empire to life for your children (Recommended for CC Cycle 1).

            Sarah Mackenzie’s lists               

                        –Favorite Early Reader Books

                        –First Novels to Read Aloud

                        –Picture Book Biographies Through History

            Simply Charlotte Mason’s bookfinder

Living books aligning with CC Cycle 3

Favorite Fall Read Alouds

Super Cozy Family Read-Aloud

Free Downloads and Read Alouds for Our Summer

Now is the chance to gather your June books (see recommendations below)! I found all of ours at the library.

Narration is a vital part of classical and Charlotte Mason education. I created something that will pair well with any living books you choose to read with your children this summer. Make sure you look at the last page to examine the criteria of a good living book, as well as read a note about narration.

I look forward to hearing about your summer adventures in reading and narrating! XO, Holly

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse

Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey

Blueberries for Sal

From Season to Season: Happy County by Ethan Long

Attack of the Underwear Dragon by Scott Rothman

Return of the Underwear Dragon by Scott Rothman

Boats Float! by George Ella Lyon

I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly by Glen Rounds

If I Had A Tail by Karen Clemens Warrick

Dex: The Heart of A Hero by Caralyn Buehner

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss

Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul

Magnets Push, Magnets Pull by David Adler

Prairie Boy: Frank Lloyd Wright Turns the Heartland into a Home by Barb Rosenstock

A Picture Book of George Washington by David Adler

Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #4)

Famous Explorers (reader) by Garnet Jackson

Our Yard is Full of Birds by Anne Rockwell

Summertime in the Big Woods (Adaptation) by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire

Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia by Jeanette Winter

When Walt Disney Rode A Pig by Mark Andrew Weakland

Book Baskets

We keep a basket for each child in the family on the window seat by the kitchen table. Each basket contains four to five personally-owned and library books I have chosen, based on each child’s special interests and reading ability. From my oldest’s basket, we select one for about 15 minutes a day, as I like to keep him (rising third grader) reading aloud as much as possible throughout the summer. The books get rotated out every week to couple of weeks. My daughter is a rising kindergartener, but I still offer her books of interest to read on her own or at least look at the pictures during our quiet time. The youngest is three, so his books and little toys in his basket are meant to keep him occupied while waiting at the kitchen table for a meal, or during our morning time together.

8-Year-Old Boy

Super Heroes: Super-Villains by Victoria Taylor

Super Heroes: Ready for Action! by Victoria Taylor

A Day in the Life of a Musician by Linda Hayward

A Day in the Life of a Builder by Linda Hayward

A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban

5-Year-Old Girl

Snuggle Puppy! by Sandra Boynton

Dick and Jane: Away We Go by Penguin Young Readers

Paddington Plays On by Michael Bond

Dick and Jane: We See by Penguin Young Readers

Amelia Bedelia and the Baby by Peggy Parish

3-Year-Old Boy

Usborne Books First Math Lift-The-Flap Book

Hello, World! Ocean Life by Jill McDonald

Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

Elementary Science: STEM, Animal, Plant, Environmental Science

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Davis

A Drop Around the World by Barbara McKinney

Tale of a Tadpole by Barbara Ann Porte

A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel

Pagoo by Holling Clancy Holling

Minn of the Mississippi by Holling Clancy Holling

Christian Liberty Nature Readers Set of 6 (Grades K-5)

Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Newton’s Rainbow: The Revolutionary Discoveries of a Young Scientist by Kathryn Laskey

The Usborne Science Encyclopedia

History: Middle Ages (Integrated with Fairy Tales and Fable)

Story of the World: Middle Ages (Volume 2) by Susan Wise Bauer (history spine)

Pictorial Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

George MacDonald’s The Complete Fairy Tales

Kingdom Tales by David and Karen Mains

Favorite Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs

Fables LaFontaine (remastered) Warning: the copy I purchased was in FRENCH.

Chanticleer and the Fox by Geoffrey Chaucer (illus. Barbara Cooney)!

Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess by Richard Platt

Stephen Biesty’s Cross-Sections (Castles) by Richard Platt

Rupert’s Parchment: Story of Magna Carta by Eileen Cameron

Marguerite Makes a Book by Bruce Robertson

How Children Lived: A First Book of History by Chris Rice

A Medieval Feast by Aliki

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci by Joseph D’Agnese

Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges

The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur by Margaret Hodges

DK Eyewitness Books: Viking by Susan Margeson

D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali by P. James Oliver

Sundiata: Lion King of Mali by David Wisniewski

Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta by James Rumford

Alfred the Great: The King Who Taught His People by Jennifer Pepito

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli


Visits to Europe by Simply Charlotte Mason

6 Ideas for Teaching Homeschool Geography + Books

Elementary Math

The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins

The Lion’s Share by Matthew McElligott

My Even Day by Doris Fisher

One Odd Day by Doris Fisher

Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians by Dale Seymour Publications

Bedtime Math by Laura Overdeck

Composer Study

Becoming Bach by Tom Leonard

Beethoven’s Heroic Symphony by Anna Harwell Celenza

Living Biography

A living biography is one of my all-time favorite genres. Here is a description of what I look for to distinguish between the “living” and the “dead” books: This is what every homeschool bookshelf needs!

In alphabetical order, here are some of our favorites:

A Boy Called Dickens by Deborah Hopkinson Illus. by John Hendrix

""Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis Illus. by Gilbert Ford

Tad Lincoln’s Restless Wriggle by Beth Anderson Illus. by S.D. Schindler

Peter the Great by Diane Stanley


The Donkey Who Carried a King by R.C. Sproul

Rechenka’s Eggs by Patricia Polacco

I See Jesus by Nancy Guthrie

Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones

The Garden the Curtain and the Cross Easter Calendar by Carl Laferton

A Tale for Easter by Tasha Tudor

That Grand Easter Day by Jill Roman Lord

Simon and the Easter Miracle: A Traditional Tale for Easter by Mary Joslin

A Jesus Easter by Barbara Reaoch (devotional to do with younger kids)

Lord, Have Mercy by Amy Edwards (devotional to do with older kids)

An Ocean of Grace by Tim Chester (devotional for adults)

Memorial Day

A Day for Rememberin’ by Leah Henderson

The Wall by Eve Bunting

Twenty-One Steps:Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by Jeff Gottesfeld

Fathers’ Day

Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer

Why a Daughter Needs a Dad by Gregory E. Lang

Why a Son Needs a Dad by Gregory E. Lang

Just Helping My Dad by Mercer Mayer

Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems

A Father Like That by Charlotte Zolotow

All the Little Fathers by Margaret Wise Brown

Independence Day

Boys and Girls of Colonial Days by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

A Spy Called James by Anne Rockwell

Benjamin Franklin by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire

What’s the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? By Jean Fritz

George Washington by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire

If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution by Kay Moore

Charlotte by Janet Lunn

Veterans’ Day

Tucky Jo and Little Heart by Patricia Polacco

The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans by Barbara Walsh

Brave for My Family by Davidson Whetstone


Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco

The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg

The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving: The True Meaning of Christmas by Jan and Mike Berenstain

The Mitten by Jan Brett

The Queen and the First Christmas Tree: Queen Charlotte’s Gift to England by Nancy Churnin

The Last Christmas Tree by Deborah Hoffman

Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect by Richard H. Schneider

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (adapted)

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

The LEGO (c) Christmas Book: Christmas Ornaments Book, 16 Designs to Spread Holiday Cheer! by Chris McVeigh

Who Was Born This Special Day? by Eve Bunting

Night Tree: A Christmas Holiday Book for Kids by Eve Bunting

Going Home: A Christmas Holiday Book for Kids by Eve Bunting and David Diaz (illus.)

The Christmas Story: A Little Golden Book

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: A Classic Holiday Story Keepsake by Parragon Books

The Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones


  1. Thank you very much for sharing this. It is very helpful for a mother who didn’t have access to books growing up and yet wants to introduce her kids to them. These lists allow me to save much needed time.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing this. It is very helpful for a mother who didn’t have access to books growing up and yet wants to introduce her kids to them. These lists allow me to save much needed time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *