Have you ever heard it said that homeschooling effectively could be accomplished with nothing more than a library card? While I do buy my fair share of curriculum, I also fully believe in that statement. So much of our at home learning is the part that happens naturally when we open a book and get curious. To spark this interest-lead learning, I’ve tried to curate a selection of books in our homeschool library that lends itself to imagination and discovery.
There are so many beautiful and incredible books out there that I could never attain them all (though that won’t stop me from trying). However I have assembled a nice variety of books on a wide range of topics that are not only pretty to look at, but also provide us with a jumping off place for our favorite kind of learning.
Whether you homeschool too or are just looking for some great books to have around for your kids, I hope you find this book list helpful. I’d say these are geared towards ages 5-10, but honestly they can be enjoyed by any age, even this 36 year old woman likes to thumb through them from time to time!
I’ll go through the list starting on the top shelf of our homeschool library and working my way down. Some of these are Amazon affiliate links and others are links to the Usborne website. If you have an Usborne representative near you, I encourage you to buy through them (yay for supporting small businesses!), but if you don’t, then you are able to purchase directly from the site itself.
- A Library Book for Bear: We are proud owners of several books of the Bear and Mouse series. The stories about the friendship between the curmudgeonly bear and cheerful little mouse are sweet and engaging. They always make my girls giggle.
- Maps: If I could only gift you one book, this would be it. We bought it as part of our Beautiful Feet around the world curriculum but have used it so many times outside of our lessons. It details the countries of the world in a unique and beautiful way that depicts the landscape, wildlife, and unique culture of each country. I can not recommend this book enough.
- Atlas of Ocean Adventures: This book is just a pleasure to look through thanks to it’s thick, high quality cover and engaging illustrations. While there are no photographs (just illustrations) the content shows geographical areas and has a written description of the sea creatures and their habitats. Every page has lots of bite-sized information that is easy to thumb through and spark curiosity.
- The Story Orchestra Swan Lake: We have a couple of the Story Orchestra books (we pull out The Nutcracker version every Christmas!) and they remain at the top of the girl’s favorites list. The books depict scenes from the famous orchestras and each page has a button to push that plays a snippet of the songs. The writing is engaging for a young audience and it’s a great way to introduce them to classical music! The only downside I have to note is that sometimes the buttons can be difficult to push, so be aware of that if you are ordering for a young child.
- Adding and Subtracting: Lift the Flap: This Usborne book makes it fun for kids to practice solving all kinds of adding and subtracting puzzles. There are over 150 flaps to lift that reveal the answers along the way. Topics include number bonds, money puzzles, number lines and fact families.
- Illustrated Grammar and Punctuation: I won’t say that the girls eagerly pick this one up to thumb through, but it is a great resource to have on our shelf to reinforce what we learn in language arts. It’s an easy-to-use guide to grammar and punctuation with sections on nouns, pronouns, verbs, apostrophes, quotation marks and more. Clear explanations, fun illustrations and lively example sentences make it a keeper.
- The Dictionary of Difficult Words: This is such a gorgeous book. The illustrations are fantastic and while some the words may be difficult or rare, the definitions are super accessible and kids have no problem with understanding them. It’s a great resource to encourage a wider vocabulary in a fun way.
- Encyclopedia of Animals: While the short snippets about the animals are geared toward younger kids, the wording of the entries is fairly scientific. However, the girls still really enjoy perusing it and I like that it “levels up” in descriptions and details so it can be a go-to resource book for us for years.
- Children’s Discovery Atlas: Regions around the world (and the states of the USA) are shown using physical and political maps. They feature iconic animals, natural wonders, famous landmarks, and more. Each spread includes ‘sight-seeing’ features and a Fast Facts panel, which is helpful for seeing the top stats at a glance.
- First 100 Words in Spanish: This Spanish/English word book has one hundred everyday words illustrated in busy scenes and with labelled pictures to introduce children to basic Spanish vocabulary. There is a lot to look at and talk about, and a yellow duck to find on each double page (which the kids think is fun). Includes an alphabetical Spanish/English word list with pronunciation guide too!
- 365 Science Activities: I’ll be honest, crafting and science experiments are not my natural strength but my 8 year old loves them both dearly and learns well through them too. This book is incredibly helpful for me because it is full of easy and exciting experiments. Activities include splitting light into different colors using glass and white paper, making food for birds and insects and watching cells shrink and grow by placing carrots in salty water. It’s a great bookshelf staple for days when we need to shake up learning!
- Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: Edible Edition: Now this is a science book I can get behind! The instructions are simple and educational and the recipes are tasty. It’s certainly not a hardcore science book but it draws the connection between cooking and chemistry and best of all, the kids really enjoy it.
- The Random House Book of Poetry: This has always been one of my favorite books on our shelf. It’s well-loved and shows it. It features a wealth of beloved classic poems and modern days gems. It has 572 poems of varying lengths, and over 400 one-of-a-kind illustrations from the Caldecott-winning illustrator of the Frog and Toad series, Arnold Lobel. This collection is the perfect way to introduce children to the world of poetry.
- Rosie Revere Engineer: We just adore this book- the story, the rhymes, the pictures, all of it. The writing is fun and whimsical, the pictures are colorful and intricate, and the message about perusing one’s passion with persistence and how to celebrate failure along the way is powerful. Gosh, it’s just the best and makes me tear up near the end no matter how many times I read it. We also absolutely adore and own the other books in the series- Ada Twist, Scientist and Iggy Peck, Architect. I also just realized there is a new one out and will be under our Christmas tree for sure- Sofia Valdez, Future Prez.
If you are like me and trying to foster an environment for budding book worms, you may also like to check out these posts:
- Kindergarten Homeschool Book Wish List
- The Best Board Books for Toddlers
- 7 Impactful Books to Teach Kindness to Kids
- 8 Authors Your 4-6 Year Old Will Love
- 4 Things You Can Check Out at the Library that Aren’t Books
Now I know I don’t need to buy anymore books for my homeschool library, but if you have a favorite that your child absolutely loves, I won’t be mad if you decide to share it with me below //wink wink//. Happy reading!