Literature-Based Homeschool Curricula : Every Homeschool Mom's Ultimate Guide

Are you looking for literature-based homeschool curricula? You've found the right guide!

We started our homeschooling journey with textbooks and workbooks. As a former teacher, it was all I knew.

I can clearly remember the day my oldest daughter- a first grader at the time- and I were reading through a history lesson in the textbook. As we read, I realized this was so boring. She was determinedly reading along. But neither of us were interested. I knew something had to change.

Although I didn't know it at the time, it was then that my desire to base our learning on good books was born.

Even though I’m all for reading good books as the core components of your curriculum, I realize that unless you’re an unschooler, you might want a little more structure, a little more planning. I’ve often wanted to be brave enough to try unschooling, but I need a little more structure myself. To that end, I’ve collected a huge list of literature-based homeschool curricula and resources. Some of these are full curricula. Some are resources that you can use for one part of your homeschooling, but they may not be a full year curricula.

This post is part of a five day series - Five Days of Literature-Based Homeschooling. If you want to read the whole series, you can check out the links here. You can also get a curriculum planning freebie at the end of the post. Use it to plan out your curricula resources if you’re choosing to piece materials together instead of using a complete curriculum.

Literature-based homeschool curricula
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There are lots and lots of links in this post. I’ve tried to put them in categories to make things a little easier. You can find boxed/complete curricula, subject-specific curricula, literature-based unit studies, and resources that you can use as a supplement to your literature-based curriculum.

Boxed/Complete Literature-Based Homeschool Curricula

These curricula choices offer a full year of curriculum. Most have lesson plans that will schedule your year of learning.

My Father’s World– My Father’s World has curriculum for PreK-12th grade. The boxed sets include all subjects except math (and science for high school grades). All the instruction is literature-based, and the core reading is always real books. The material has history at the core. Younger grades focus on American history. 3rd-8th grade goes through the world history cycle from ancient to modern. And the high school books go through the world history cycle again.

Sonlight– Sonlight also has curriculum for PreK-12th grade. It covers Bible, history, and literature, and offers materials for language arts, math, and science. Sonlight is also based on history. They offer some choices of world history or American history throughout the grades. All the reading is from real literature.

Moving Beyond the Page - This publisher has secular literature-based curriculum for ages 4-14. (There are also some language arts units for high school.) The complete curriculum will cover language arts, social studies, science and math (for the very young grades).  Units can also be purchased separately for social studies, science, or language arts. You can purchase physical copies of the units that will make up your year’s curriculum, or use an online version and print what you need.

Ambleside Online– Ambleside Online is a free, online, Charlotte Mason, literature-based curriculum for K-12th grade. All the materials used are real books, and the curriculum covers every subject except math. Many of the books that are on the booklist can be read for free online as well.

Simply Charlotte Mason- This publisher has Charlotte Mason, literature-based curriculum for grades K-12. They have materials that cover all subjects except math and science (although they have suggestions for these). The history/geography/Bible lessons are the core curriculum and are based on a Christian worldview.

Five in a Row– Five in a Row has literature-based curriculum for preschool through age 12. The lesson plans use real literature and cover all subjects except for math. Five in a Row uses a unit study approach with books as the core. 

Heart of Dakota is a Christian, literature-based curriculum for preschool- 12th grade. Their basic package covers Bible, history, and literature, and they have packages for English, math, science, and electives.

Winter Promise– This curriculum offers resources for PreK-high school. Real books are the core of the curriculum, and the focus is on family activities and meeting the needs of children with different learning styles.

Living Books Curriculum has Charlotte Mason resources for grades K-8th. Each full year curriculum is based on real books and covers all subjects except math.

Book Shark- Book Shark has literature-based curriculum for grades PreK through one year of high school. It is based on the history cycle, and the full year curriculum packages include all subjects covered through real books.

Logos Press is a classical literature-based curriculum for grades early childhood through 6th grade. The complete curriculum bundles include all subjects and are all based on real books.

Train Up a Child offers curriculum for 1st-12th grade. It’s a literature-based curriculum that covers history, language arts, science, Bible, and fine arts.

Konos is a literature-based curriculum for K-12th grade. Volumes for grades K-8th focus on character traits, and the high school volumes focus on a world history cycle. All volumes have booklists that learning is based on.

Learning Adventures- This is a unit study curriculum that uses real literature. There are three volumes for grades 4-8. History is the base, with one volume covering world history, one early American history, and one modern American history. Al subjects are included except math.

Cadron Creek has three year long unit studies based on literature. The units cover all subjects except math. The Prairie Primer is based on the Little House on the Prairie books and is for 3rd-6th graders. Further Up and Further In is based on the Chronicles of Narnia and is for 4th-8th graders. And Where the Brook and River Meet is for junior high and high school, and is based on the Anne of Green Gables books.

Build Your Library– The Build Your Library curriculum is a literature-based full curriculum for grades K-10. It covers all subjects except math and uses Charlotte Mason methods. It’s a secular curriculum.

Subject-specific Curricula

Most of these resources are a full year’s curricula in the specific subject. Moving Beyond the Page is a little different, because you can choose a year’s worth of units or use their units separately.

Language Arts, Social Studies, Science– Moving Beyond the Page– Although I mentioned this one above, this publisher also has individual units for science, social studies, and language arts for ages 4-14, and language arts units for high school.

HistoryBeautiful Feet Books has a history curriculum that is totally literature-based for K-12th grade. Each history pack uses real books as the core reading. There are several history topics available for various grades, including American history, world history, the history of science, and more.

ScienceNOEO Science (from Logos Press)– Logos Press, mentioned in the complete curricula resources above, also has a science curriculum for grades 1-8 that is totally literature-based. It’s harder to find real literature for studying science, so this is a good one to check out.

History- BiblioPlan is a literature-based curriculum for history. It is based on a Christian world-view and can be used for grades K-12. There are four main guides that rotate through the history cycle. Each of the four books has a guide for using the book for all of the grade levels, and a booklist for every grade level.

HistoryA Blessed Heritage offers literature-based American history curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school. The book selections and readings focus on African-American contributions to history.

History, Literature, and Bible- Tapestry of Grace/Lampstand Press is a literature-based curriculum for K-12th grade. There are four volumes that follow the classical history cycle. Each volume has many, many books to choose from for different age levels, and there are activities for each grade level.

Literature Unit Studies

These resources offer literature-based unit studies that are not a full year’s worth of curriculum. Most of them cover multiple subject areas.

Literature Unit Studies from the As We Walk Shop - I have a variety of literature-based unit studies available. Some are history-based. Others are based on great kids’ books and include activities for different academic subject areas. All of these are complete studies that include vocabulary, discussion questions, activities, printable notebooking pages, and a weekly schedule.

Homeschool Share has various unit studies for different grade levels. Most of these studies, based on literature, cover multiple subject areas.

Proverbial Homemaker has a great list of homeschool moms who created literature unit studies for various books and age ranges.

Mama’s Learning Corner has literature unit studies for various books.

Supplements to a Literature-based Curriculum

Remember that I said at the beginning of this post…it’s okay to just read good books. You don’t have to have a curriculum that you’re following. You can just find good books and read them. If you’re ready to take that leap, or if you’re just looking for some supplemental resources to use with good books you’re reading, here are a few supplemental resources for a literature-based homeschool curriculum.

Notebooking has a huge, huge variety of notebooking pages. These are great to use with any books that you’re reading. Kids can take notes on them, write written narrations, use them for creative stories inspired by what you’re reading. There are so many uses for them. With a lifetime membership to Notebooking, you get access to all the many notebooking pages available. I love these! You can get a free sample pack of the notebooking pages here.

Homeschool Share has lapbook templates that you can type in. This allows you to create your own lapbooking mini books to go with any book you’re reading.

The Crafty Classroom has an awesome set of free notebooking pages that can be used with any living book. It’s a five page set that guides kids through what to do each day as they’re reading.

Homeschooling with literature

I hope you can find great literature-based curricula for your homeschool. Reading great books is an awesome way to learn. Do you have other favorite literature-based curriculum? Let me know.

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