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The Best Homeschool Tools for a Literature-Based Curriculum


The very best tools for your homeschool that will get you started and keep you going all year with a literature-based curriculumThe days are getting shorter, duckies, and the air is starting to smell of apples, pears, and the end of summer.

For us homeschooling mamas, that means a couple of things: 1) We can peacefully go on field trips again and 2) we’re thinking about getting started back to school.

Here at the Brison house, we use a literature-based curriculum every year, and the upcoming year will be no different. I’m just trying to figure out how to fit The Diary of Anne Frank, The Devil’s Arithmetic, Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed, and Number the Stars into one semester of chapter-a-day read-alouds.

But if summer homeschool was any indication, we might be studying World War II for longer than that. Which is okay, because we’re homeschoolers. We can study our subjects for as long as we want to.

The very best tools for your homeschool that will get you started and keep you going all year with a literature-based curriculum

In 8 years of homeschooling I’ve managed to add a TON (read: ton) of books to my library. Mostly because I tend to buy books in 3s.

Oh, honey, no. I don’t got to Barnes & Noble and buy 3 copies of the same book. I don’t even hop on Amazon and order 3. I pick them up at secondhand stores, garage sales, and library sales. Because nobody can afford 3 brand new copies of every book they read in a lit-based homeschool for 8 years.

I buy 3 so I can read aloud to them and they can read along if they want to. Or so they can read to me and I can follow along. We don’t always use all 3 books, but I like knowing we have the option.

It looks insane now that I’ve typed it out.

Anyway, there are some tools I’ve learned over the years I can’t live without.  If you’re looking to have a literature-based homeschool, you should totally make the most of them.

Arm yourself with these tools and you'll have an easy, successful literature-based homeschool year. Click To Tweet

Absolute must-haves for a literature-based curriculum


Duh. You don’t have to buy copies for every family member like I do, but you should definitely have at least a small home library of quality books you can go to for school purposes and your kids can raid for personal reading. Like, that should be a law. Seriously.

Story Collections

Yes, these are still books, but 4 or 5 quality collections of stories are fantabulous supplements to lessons sometimes. I could probably find stories from those books to link to history, science, art, social studies and more. And they’re quicker than novels while still giving your kids all the benefits of a lit-based education.

Library Card

The next best thing to finding 3 copies of The Great Gatsby for less than a dollar is having access to a good library.

In fact, a library trip should be a weekly part of your homeschool. Your kids should be in on the secret that is the library–that quiet place that takes you anywhere. Takes you everywhere.

Amazing additional tools for a literature-based curriculum

Project Gutenberg

Free. Books. There are more than 57,000 to choose from. You can read them online or download ePUB or mobi files for your eReader.

They have the entire Oz collection, y’all.

How can you not be in love?

Kindle Fire

Or any Kindle eReader, really. Because Amazon also has free books you can download straight to your reader. I suggest the Fire because it’s also a tablet that can be used for more than reading.

But the reading is the most important thing.

Amazon Prime

Because it gives you access to the Kindle Unlimited library, where you can get even more books (including Frog’s Princess by Yours Truly) for free.

It also gives you free 2-day shipping, which is great when you realize last minute that you need a new math book or your Russian text didn’t come with the CD.

I  mean, yeah, I’m speaking from experience.

It doesn’t hurt that Prime also gives you free access to tons of streamable movies, music, and TV shows, either.



Because sometimes you have a sore throat and you don’t want to read aloud.

Or you want to listen A Girl of the Limberlost while driving to the Limberlost State Historic Site.

And listening to audiobooks in the car is a great way to get a little peace.

Arm yourself with even half of these tools and you’ll have a successful literature-based homeschool year. Pack the full arsenal and it’ll be not only successful, it’ll be easy.

And you can’t get any better than that.

Looking for more great lit ideas? Check out:

Keep your kids interested in reading this summer with 10 ways to take classics outside and have some fun!

10 Days of Taking Literature Outside

This lesson on How to Use Literature to Teach Writing will show you how to use good books to teach your kids the intricacies of writing

How to Use Literature to Teach Writing

Learn how to teach geography with literature, grab a free printable, and get a list of 30 books that can take you and your kids around the world

Using Literature to Enliven Geography

How homeschooling with literature can save your day

How Literature Can Save Your Homeschool Day


KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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