Education Methods

Literature Based

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 nonfiction 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.

Father helping son with homework with baby in arm


  • 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

Points to consider

  • 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

* The Resources on this page are examples of resource options that many homeschooling parents have found helpful. Note that they are not created or distributed by HOMESCHOOL.TODAY. For your convenience we occasionally add links to helpful websites, books, etc. but these will open in a separate tab.

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