Living books are responsible for educating my four kids in their younger years.

buried in living books

We would make trips to the library and check out hundreds of books at once (we had multiple library cards to make it possible). We then spent our days together on the couch, reading, reading, reading.

I never intended to homeschool my kids. In fact, I was counting the days until I could send them to kindergarten so I could stay home and have some space.

But a less-than-ideal school situation prompted us to consider homeschooling. I was terrified at first, with visions of tiny desks in a dank basement and me standing at a blackboard all day, teaching my kids traditional school style.

Then a dear friend said, “Oh no, all you have to do is read.”

I had no idea how that statement would change everything.

Where does the list come from?

Many of the titles included in the list are ones we have read and enjoyed in our family. However, we have not read them all. I also include recommendations from other trusted sources like:

Who am I?

I’m Amy, an online entrepreneur and a reluctant homeschooler. I started the Living Books List in 2011 when we were in the thick of homeschooling. It was a way to keep track of good books and share them with others.

My kids are older now (18, 16, 13, 11) and we no longer homeschool full time. Along the way, we have tried every possible education environment — homeschool, public, private, University-Model® and dual credit. We have settled nicely into a combination that suits us well, but great literature will always be one of my favorite methods of learning.