October 2, 2023


From Heart and Soul Homeschooling

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It’s no secret that we love books in our family. Homeschooling has introduced a great variety of reading material into our studies. The concept of living books has enabled us to learn in a way that is engaging, unlike the way I learned dry boring facts in public school.

Living books are commonly associated with the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling. They can be a great alternative for those homeschoolers who want to learn about history topics, but do not thrive academically when presented with traditional textbooks.


Charlotte Mason was a firm believer in introducing children to great literature. She didn’t believe in books that were dumbed down or that kept expectations of a child’s reading potential low. She felt that the value of good literature was that it could inspire as well as inform. However, she didn’t think that textbooks (in the traditional sense) encapsulate all that literature could bring to the table. Like many others, she found textbooks to be dry and not very engaging. The biggest drawback, though, was that they didn’t really provoke thought. Instead, they told you what to think and believe. They don’t encourage imagination, creativity, or exploration – they simply present information.

Living books are a way to not only educate, but to inspire new ideas and individual thoughts.They are typically written by someone who has firsthand experience with the subject or who is truly passionate about it. For example, if you wanted to study the Holocaust, you could read a textbook about World War II or you could read books such as The Diary of Anne Frank or Night by Elie Wiesel, which give firsthand accounts of life in the midst of the Holocaust.


As you could imagine, reading a textbook would give you facts, but reading the autobiographies would provide you with depth, spark emotions and thoughts, and generally be more engaging.

They provide more opportunities for curiosity. They bring not only the subject to life – but the people, issues, things, and times that the subject covers. Living books put you in the shoes of people. They encourage you to see, think, and feel as though you were in that world. In short, you LIVE the books that you read.

how to homeschool with living books


Find out how to use Living books and much more by visiting: https://heartandsoulhomeschooling.com/homeschooling-with-living-books/?fbclid=IwAR2NACHtGab10UtddGM98ARijii_tfjIRyBGMkbDRYy79097ZvbM46ib8ts


Needing help for your home schooling journey: https://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/


Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttps://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/


Information on getting an exemptionhttps://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: https://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: https://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Beneficiaries: https://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading