2023 Reading List

This is my fourth year of creating a reading list for myself for the year. It is my second year of writing my own list without any reference to a reading challenge. I have so many things I want to read (thank you Reddit!) that it feels disingenuous for me to force them into someone else's categories. 

I'm also finding that I read so much faster and effortlessly when it is a book I really want to read rather than a book I want to have read. So this year I'm focusing on books I find easy to read, which include memoirs, true-crime or true-adventure, science fiction, 19th-century literature, and short classics. 

2022 Reading List Update

For 2022, I made a nice, meaty list of great books to read. And in a year when so many things I had hoped or planned for did not get done, it felt amazing to finish my last book on the list on December 30th!

I never read as widely as I have these past three years since I began setting reading goals (2021 recap, 2020 recap) and I am loving it. I feel like a more interesting person to myself and I feel better able to home educate my kids as well as be a good example to them of a lifelong learner. To me, it has nothing to do with the number of books read, but rather that I'm feeding myself a rich feast of ideas. 

Where I've been all these months...

It has been almost 8 months since I posted anything here. And it is the first time since beginning this blog in 2018 that I did not get around to posting our school plans which is one of my favorite posts because I get to share all the excitement of the wonderful books and resources I hope to use.

After my last post in May, we went full speed into fun spring/summer mode. We all went to visit my sister in Columbus, OH, and had a great time spending time with her and her friends and visiting the Columbus Zoo. We came home and hosted our first tie-dye party in several years which was so much fun after missing so much friend time over the previous 2 years. We spent a day at our much-loved local amusement park. And we were getting ready to go camping at a beach park in Deleware when we finally got COVID for the first time and had to cancel our plans. 

Recap and Review 1st/2nd Grade Charlotte Mason Homeschool Plans, 2021-2022

Sylvia started the year as a very young 2nd-grader who just turned 7 (the age I turned 3 months into my 1st-grade year). If I could go back in time, I would have given her a second year of kindergarten before starting 1st grade. But we did start early and so she thinks she just finished 2nd grade, but I feel like she did 1st-grade material. 

So I'll call this year we just finished 1st/2nd and next year 2nd/3rd and just see where she is at when its time to decide if she needs to take our state-required standardized tests for 3rd-graders. This year her reading took off in a big way so she may "catch up" in another year or so. Homeschooling is flexible which allows for that. On to the recap:

Recap and Review Fourth Grade Charlotte Mason Homeschool Plans 2021-2022

Another year is in the books for John! When I made this plan for him, I knew that I would have to be flexible and adapt depending on how his reading progressed. This year it feels so good to say that John is a reader. He can and does read recipes, instructions, signs, and even Shakespeare. But it isn't an effortless pleasure for him yet. 

So while my plans provided many opportunities for John to read, we didn't get to all of them this year. We also added some things that were a great fit even though I hadn't planned for them. I'm already thinking about how to provide the atmosphere and resources for John to continue to grow as a reader while supporting his interests in science and tinkering.

Recap and Review Sixth Grade Charlotte Mason Homeschool Plans 2021-2022

We have just wrapped up another fruitful year of homeschooling. My plans for Peter worked well, but of course, we all grew and changed throughout the year (including me) and so adjustments were made. I'm going to recap mostly what we did accomplish, but you can check out my original plans to compare all the things that we didn't get too this year!

Spring Update


To Spring by William Blake

O Thou with dewy locks, who lookest down
Through the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!

The hills tell one another, and the listening
Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turn'd
Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth
And let thy holy feet visit our clime!

Come o'er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our lovesick land that mourns for thee.

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour
Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put
Thy golden crown upon her languish'd head,
Whose modest tresses are bound up for thee.

It has been a long time since I gave any kind of update around here. This time of year has me raring to get started on too many projects! But first, a look back at the last few months:

Best Materials [Free or Low-Cost] for Teaching Shakespeare's Plays

We've been including Shakespeare in our homeschool since way back when my oldest son was in first grade. Back then, I only had little kids and we didn't read the full plays. 

Over time, one child and then another has gotten old enough to read the original plays and we love taking different parts and reading 1-2 scenes from our current play once or twice a week. 

Now, six years later, reading Shakespeare's plays is just a normal thing we do. Here are my favorite free and low-cost websites and books that help keep our Shakespeare studies easy and fun. 

2022 Reading List

I had another great reading year thanks to my reading goals, so I knew I wanted to intentionally plan a list of books to read this year. 

But, some big ideas that have been percolating in my mind have given way to a new desire for less structure in many different areas, including my reading goals. I really needed these reading challenges the last two years to get me reading different types of books and to push me to read "harder" books. 

And that diet of excellent books has helped awaken my natural curiosity to read more widely. So I already have a great list of books on my TBR list. And it seems disingenuous to force them into arbitrary categories on a challenge.

So this year, I will plan to read most of the books on my list below. Maybe next year I will be back to Books and Chocolate, Schole Sisters 5x5, or this art one from Rebecca at A Humble Place.