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10 Posts You Must Read About Living Books

September 15, 2015 3 min read

Blaine and I didn’t know what a living book was before we meant Paige and Johnny.

Blaine would have thought it was a book with legs, arms, and a head that you only see at Halloween or book fairs. I, on the other hand, would have been smart enough to ask – the benefits of being the smarter twin!

I found out that living books are pretty common in Charlotte Mason circles. That living books are a great way to bring a subject to life. And that living books are way more fun to learn from than textbooks!

Anywhoo, nowadays we are constantly throwing around the term “living book” here at Sassafras Science and we wanted to make sure that you understand what we mean.

So, I have compiled this list of posts to help you learn more about these amazing resources!

10 Posts You Should Read About Living Books

10 Posts You Must Read About Living Books

Just in case you want the quick and dirty version, here is our nutshell definition of a living book:
A living book is simply a book that engages the reader and draws him or her into learning more about a subject. This type of book is typically narrative in style and written by an authority on the material. - Paige Hudson

OK – onto the list!

#1 - What is a Living Book

Victoria shares her definition of a living book based on the writings of Charlotte Mason. She defines living books as:

Living Books are those which have worthy thoughts, inspiring tales, inspiring ideas or pictures of life, and with fit and beautiful expression. 

#2 - Charlotte Mason Series - Living Books

One the second day of her Charlotte Mason series, Cindy West discusses living books. She writes:

Living books come alive as you read them.  They are so well-written and engaging that you can hardly put them down.

#3 - Why Use "Living" Books?

Terri Johnson does a fantastic job of explaining what living books are on the Knowledge Quest Blog. She also lays out how she has used them in her homeschool and the results of doing so. She writes the following:

How can you keep your children excited about learning? The answer is to supply them with “living books.”

#4 - Living Books for the Mind and Heart

Karen Andreola has written a beautiful post about the benefits of living books in response to a reader's question. She says:

...when the student begins to not care for anything he is studying, a parent has something new to worry about. Living books can remedy this. They make the homeschool come alive.

#5 - How to Use Living Books in your Homeschool

Dollie digs deeper into living books and how you can use them in your homeschool. She states:

Charlotte Mason believed that in order for a book to be living, a child (or reader) must enjoy it.

#6 - Reading Living Books versus Textbooks

Michelle Caskey shares her experiences of reading textbooks with her students versus reading living books. She concludes that:

Reading living books has transformed our homeschool experience.

Paige has also written quite a bit about living books on Sassafras Science! So numbers seven through ten all come from her.

#7 - Are Living Books Superior or Not?

Find out the benefits and shortcomings of using living books. Paige writes:

In some ways, living books are a superior learning tool when compared to the typical textbook or encyclopedia.

#8 - How to Use Living books – as Spines or Supplements?

Living books can be used as both spines and supplements; see how this works. Paige shares:

When you use a living book as the spine for your science studies, the students’ interest in the subject grows.

#9 - How to Use Living Books for Science with Elementary Students

Learn how you can use living books to teach science to your elementary students. In the post, Paige lays out:

  • Your goals for elementary science education
  • The components of elementary science
  • A sample week of using a living book to teach science to elementary students

#10 - How to Use Living Books for Science with Middle School Students

Learn how you can use living books to teach science to your middle school students. In the post, Paige lays out:

  • Your goals for middle school science education
  • The components of middle school science
  • A sample week of using a living book to teach science to middle school students

I trust that after reading all these posts you will understand what a living book is and how you can use one in your home!

Check out our living books Pinterest board for even more ideas:

Follow Sassafras Science's board Living Books Tips & Ideas Board on Pinterest.

If you are looking for a modern living book for science, check out our books

Tracey Sassafras

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