Pull on some warm comfy socks...
Settle into your favorite chair with your coziest blanket...
Gather your children around...
Pour everyone a cup of hot tea or cider...
And draw up close to a crackling fire (a flickering candle flame will also do!)...
to explore what's possible when you let just ONE story guide your homeschool block or unit of study!
🪄 ✨ ❤️🔥
The Book Hearth approach is a unique, comprehensive way to bringing stories and lessons to your children or students.
We've found that many homeschool families (including our own!) greatly appreciate the simplicity of centering learning around just one book for one block.
And we show you how in our Book Hearth Guides!
You literally pick a single book for the whole family and build main lesson work around that story, while delivering the lessons in an individual way to each child.
This approach kindles conversations and ignites experiences to savor long after the last page has been turned.
Each Book Hearth Guide is 3-6 pages full of clear guidance, including:
- Book Hearth Bricks ~ so you can build a family culture of learning, living, and loving through literature
- Themes & Connections ~ so you can tie in curriculum topics for different ages
- Laying Your Book Hearth Bricks ~ with a 4-5 reading schedule and activity suggestions so you can bring the book to life with the lively arts
- Book Basket Ideas ~ so you can discover great go-along books for various ages
Each Book Hearth Guide is built up 5 anchor points: Story, Self, Senses, Strengths, and Sharing. When you intentionally integrate these anchor points into your teaching, your students will gain knowledge, build academic and life skills, and take part in memorable learning experiences.
“We used a Book Hearth Guide alongside a block on genealogy. Both of my kids (ages 11 and 14) said this was their favorite block of the year! Jean and Alison have many ideas and options for activities to go along with the book as well as detailed reflection questions to use alongside the book. You choose which activities suit you best. I highly recommend these Book Hearth Guides. They help me to infuse new energy into my lessons.”Rebecca, mother of four
You can use these guides with multiple ages so you can bring these magical stories and engaging experiences to your whole family.
Heartwood Hotel by Kallie George
For children in Grades 1-4, Heartwood Hotel: A True Home (Book 1) is the charming story about a small mouse named Mona who finds refuge in a quirky hotel for animals hidden deep in the Fernwood Forest. This enchanting story will captivate young children (and their parents!) from the get go. Moss-covered beds, acorn cups of honey tea, and walnut-shell lanterns await your arrival!
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
For children in grades 5-8, The Witch of Blackbird Pond is a young adult novel that takes us into the harsh and rule-bound world of Puritan New England in the years immediately preceding the Salem Witch Trials. This story is infused with compelling historical detail and coming of age themes, engaging characters and descriptive scenes of the marshland and rivers of the east coast.
Coo by Kaela Noel
For children in grades 3-7, Coo is the story of a young girl's determination to save the flock she calls family. This story will pull you in from the opening line, exploring the bonds of family, friendship, and the importance of being true to oneself.
Hi, I'm Jean Miller! As the homeschooling mother of three now-grown children, I've loved sharing stories in so many ways through the years – reading, telling, and dramatizing stories. In my close to 25 years of homeschooling, I've savored the stories as the vehicle for teaching new content ~ while integrating language arts and history ~ and all the creative ways of combining stories with the lively arts. In our homeschool, we also loved spending time outdoors and having fun with circles of song, poetry, and movement. These days, I spend my time mentoring homeschooling parents at Art of Homeschooling.
Hi, I'm Alison Manzer! Waldorf-inspired homeschooling, and working together with Jean, have been a very big part of my life for many years. Our collaborations and friendship continue to guide and inspire me as an educator. Our workshops focus on one of our very favorite things ~ books ~ and how to use them as "main lesson containers." Most recently, I've taught yoga at Fusion Academy, an alternative high school, where I've also taught English and History. Currently, I serve as the president of the Little Angels Service Team, a non-profit whose mission is to change lives through the power of education by supporting struggling students and teachers in rural India. My passion for India's people and culture was kindled during the years I homeschooled my three grown sons, especially with the ancient India main lesson block in 5th grade!
Together, we have taught children of all levels, from preschool to high school. We've worked together for 15 years at the annual Taproot Teacher Training for homeschooling parents and alternative educators.
Over the years, we’ve presented numerous workshops where we not only talk with teachers and parents about how to “start with stories” in their own teaching, but also encourage them to experience firsthand the power that stories have to drive learning.
Parents and teachers have often told us that these workshops were game changers for them, and that they left feeling prepared to teach their children with more ease, improved outcomes, and a deeper sense of purpose.