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!
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!
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn how you can use living books to teach science to your elementary students. In the post, Paige lays out:
Learn how you can use living books to teach science to your middle school students. In the post, Paige lays out:
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:
If you are looking for a modern living book for science, check out our books!
Hands-on science - what can you use? Why do you have to do this? And how do you actually do experiments at home? Click "Read More" to get the answers.
Writing for homeschool science - what should it look like? And how do you know if you are doing it right? Click "Read More" to learn the answers!
The periodic table visually shows the elements. It is a key concept we need to share with our students, but which table is the right one - click "Read More" to find out.