The literature-based homeschool avoids the use of textbooks and workbooks whenever possible, using high-quality literature instead. “High-quality literature” is also referred to as “Great Books”, “Living Books” and “real books”. Literature choices may include: fiction or non-fiction written by renowned authors; children’s books; chapter books; popular best sellers; biographies; historic fiction; online magazines; relevant ancient texts and original source material such as historic journals, eyewitness accounts and correspondences. A literature-based homeschool day might include sitting on the couch to read books together; some memory work or copy work from good literature; discussion, quizzes, written summaries or student narrations about what was read; some colouring or crafts while listening to stories; and, further reading or discussion over dinner about what was learned during the day.


  • with a careful choice of books, learning can be current and in-depth
  • well-chosen books can help a subject “come alive” and lead a student into further research
  • interesting learning allows for better memory retention
  • high-quality literature offers rich vocabulary, grammar and word usage and demonstrates excellent writing for the student to emulate
  • read-aloud choices are often read to the child above their grade level which further expands their vocabulary and knowledge
  • high quality literature promotes a desire for independent learning
  • this style of homeschooling can be integrated into most other homeschool methods
  • can be a low-cost method by using the library


  • an excellent choice for parents and students who already love to read and write; may not be the best choice for very active hands-on learners or for students who struggle with reading and writing
  • higher level math may be a challenge to teach without the use of textbooks


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