Our family has the public library to thank for our treasured collection of prized books! Our homeschool library is much, much smaller than theirs, containing only the very best of personally hand-selected titles. We read constantly so we have consumed an innumerable amount of books, purchasing only a fraction. To land on our home shelf, a book must be the best of the best. It has to be a story worth telling over and over again. Today, I want to share twenty of the best books ever, according to us – a couple of self-respecting book nerds, that have landed with distinction in our own homeschool library.
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Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.Dr. Seuss
Let me begin with an expression of gratitude for public libraries across the country. The value of a public library and the savings it allows homeschoolers are immense. For us, the Johnson City Public Library has been a huge part of our homeschool journey. T has been part of their book clubs, their Stories To Service Projects, and on the Teen Advisory Board since he was twelve. He has attended countless events, met many published authors, attended game nights and movie nights, learned art skills, and even participated in cooking competitions over the years. Most importantly, he has made many friends through this group.
We have picked up bundles on countless subjects across the years. We have researched, imagined, and DIY’ed our way through just about every aisle. For many of us homeschool families, it is the place where a vast array of the most cherished tools in our teaching belts can be found. And if we can’t find something, the library will hunt it down and have it ready in a week. They never let us down.
Not just books either. We borrow documentaries, music DVDs, and even tickets to local museums and historic places. We have combed through town archives with the town historian in Elizabethton’s public library, reading newspapers from the time our state was founded and digging through selections in the Tennessee Room in Johnson City to discover local landmarks and historic sites we wouldn’t have found without those resources. Even better than textbooks are these personal relics of our local history. These are the things the internet can’t compete with. The things you can hold in your hand. The things yet to be scanned. The hidden treasures.
It’s been amazing. And we couldn’t have enjoyed such a thorough education without the help of our public libraries. If you haven’t reached out to your local library to see what they can offer your homeschool, I strongly encourage you to do that now.
T and I will finish our homeschool journey this May and the ending will certainly be bitter-sweet. Like any homeschool, our days have been filled with triumphs and challenges. We have both desperately struggled and victoriously achieved far more than we ever dreamed. Sometimes all in the same day. It has been delightful and difficult, beautiful and emotional, and oftentimes as exhausting as it was exhilarating. But overall this journey has been one of the greatest rewards I’ve known in my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything at all. It has all been worth it.
So back to my point in this post. Our homeschool library is full of some of the greatest stories ever told. Today I want to share our very favorite titles for you to consider for your own homeschool library. Ours will soon be carried over to our home library as a reminder of all the days we spent turning those pages together, emerged in lands far away, learning compassion and hope one adventure at a time. We think every family can benefit from shared experiences like these.
Our Top Twenty Book Picks for Your Homeschool Library
- Charlottes Web by E.B. White
- The 39 Clues by Rick Riordan
- The BFG by Roald Dahl
- Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
- Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
- A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck (Christmas Pick)
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park
- Treasure Island by Robery Louis Stevenson
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
- Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
And there we have them. Our very favorites. One day when T has children of his own, I hope he reads with them the way I did with him. I hope his family values that time spent together at the end of the day lost in imagination and when my grandchildren are grown I hope the tradition continues as these books pass from one generation to the next. Our homeschool library today, one day a family heirloom. That’s the dream.
Do you have a book you would like to recommend? If so, please share in the comments section below. We love to hear from you.
Happy tales to you,
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