Picture books capture the attention of the reader like no other book! They are versatile learning tools for any age and provide endless hours of enjoyment whether children page through themselves or they are read to on the laps of their favorite people. The authors at The Curriculum Choice are ready to share their family favorites with you and will give you many instructional tools for your homeschool toolbox. Let’s get started with the Picture Book Homeschool!
The Picture Book Homeschool
Heather from Blog, She Wrote
Though our kids are all teens and young adults, the foundation of our homeschool was picture books. We immersed ourselves in many little worlds and built up skills and knowledge along the way. We studied many topics with our books including STEM, geography, literature, and history to name a few.
You’ll find plenty of lessons to go with some wonderful books in the list below. Most of all, never underestimate the power of a picture book! Enjoy!
How to Capture & View Snowflakes under a Microscope– a lab exercise with a tutorial on how to observe and take pictures of snowflakes under a microscope to go with the book Snowflake Bentley.
What Gregor Mendel & Growing Peas Can Tell Us about Heredity– genetics lessons and activities using Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas.
How to Determine the Frequency of a Trait– another genetics lesson from the same picture book about the life and work of Gregor Mendel
Five in a Row– the home of our Five in a Row picture book curriculum posts. If you are looking for a gentle way to introduce your children to literature and give them a broad experience of many topics, this is for you. It was the foundation of our homeschool through middle school. You’ll find lots of ideas here for copywork and dictation using picture books.
How to Plan Five in a Row– The simple way to plan your homeschooling with picture books. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be!
Before Five in a Row– Picture books for the preschool set!
The Salamander Room: Amphibians & Reptiles– a set of lessons to go with the book, including words of wisdom from the book’s author who we hosted in our home a few years ago for a writing workshop!
Geography Quest: Apple Pie Edition– a geography adventure based on the book How to Make an Apple Pie & See the World. You can sign up for a free geography quest printable at the same time!
Book Play for Preschoolers: The Ultimate Guide– how to play with and enjoy books with your preschoolers featuring lots of ideas and resources
The Ultimate Guide to Establishing a Reading Culture in Your Home– tips for using and making friends with books no matter the age!
Organizing Your Homeschool Library– what do you do with all these books?!
Autumn Book & a Big Idea: The Pumpkin Book– a non fiction lesson and activity set to go with The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons
Art & Nature Study with Beatrix Potter– from her children’s books to her biography and nature works, this is a fantastic study for any age and one of my most popular posts of all time!
How to Find & Collect Animal Tracks– tutorials on how to find and preserve animal tracks to go with the book, Big Tracks, Little Tracks: Following Animal Prints
Even as teens and young adults, our children make references to picture books often. Approaching Thanksgiving, my college sophomore told me during a video call to move the brick in the hearth and get him the recipe for cranberry bread (referencing a much loved book, Cranberry Thanksgiving).
In December, our 14yo built a snowman and came looking for a hat so he could feed the birds just like the kids in, Stranger in the Woods.
Tricia from Hodgepodge.me and ChalkPastel.com
Like Heather’s family, we adore picture books. Some of our very best memories are with Five in a Row selections and beautiful books from our Tapestry of Grace plans. We love to complement our learning with art because it simply continues the fun and reinforces learning in a beautiful way.
A wonderful way to introduce and encourage children in a love of art is to do a project around a beloved book. Chalk pastels and children’s books. This is a collection of those art lessons my mother, Nana, and I have shared!
We have had SO much fun with picture books and art that it overflowed into poetry tea time. Our Tea Time Art Lessons are a collection of ALL of our step-by-step lessons plus Nana’s video art lessons. These lessons are among the over 530 video lessons included in the You ARE an Artist Clubhouse with Nana.
This is more of a chapter book, but we sure love the illustrations! Enjoy a Charlotte’s Web lesson on the Tea Time Lessons page at ChalkPastel.com. Others included are Narnia, Green Ember, Guess How Much I Love You, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, Madeline, Winnie-the-Pooh, Harold and the Purple Crayon and so many more!
Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening is always a favorite we pull out each and every year. See how easy it is to combine several subjects for multiple ages?
Alison from Learning Mama
There’s something about a picture book that even my oldest child can’t resist. She’s been reading independently for what feels like forever and devours lengthy classics and the releases from her favourite authors, but when her sisters and I curl up with a stack of picture books she still manages to squeeze in with us all.
Of course, the very first picture books we enjoyed together were of the board book variety, and you can check out our Top 5 Favourite Board Books that have been loved by each of my children over the years.
At the start of each new season, I like to put a request on all our favourite seasonal picture books to read as we enjoy the change of season. We’ve got our favourite Snowy Books for Snowy Days, and in the summer we love to go on a book picnic!
I’ve also got a list of 40 Must-Read Picture Books on my list of 100 Books You Should Read Aloud with Your Children (with a printable list!)
Eva from EvaVarga.net
We also adore picture books and though my kids are all teens and young adults, the foundation of our homeschool was picture books. It was common for us to come home from the library each week with over 20-30 picture books amongst us, a storied collection to compliment our studies is science, history, and literature.
As we immersed ourselves in the rich stories, the artwork and illustrations would also captivate us. Often we would use look to the back pages to see if the art medium was noted and we would try to emulate it on our own. Down Down Down by Steve Jenkins was one such picture book that yielded amazing results – my daughter’s work was even selected for honorable mention in a statewide art contest.
Another great book that inspired us to create our own artwork was The Amazing Paper Cuttings of Hans Christian Andersen. Kids are generally familiar with the art of paper cutting – having made paper snowflakes to adorn their windows in winter. However, scherenschnitte is an art that can be enjoyed year-round.
Science and nature studies have always been a big part of our homeschool as well. Picture books are a wonderful way to introduce science topics to young learners. Bridges Are to Cross is an example of how their enthusiasm for a subject was sparked by a simple picture book.
On our weekly nature walks, the kids would often ask a myriad of questions and I would thereafter find picture books that we could enjoy together and further explore their interests. In my post, Running with the Chinook, I share one such nature outing that led to a more in-depth study of the salmon life cycle.
I also used picture books to develop unit studies prior to our travels abroad. Here are a few The Galápagos Islands: A List of Books to Read Aloud.
Almost nothing warms a homeschooling mother’s heart more than references to long ago memories of favorite picture books shared together.
From Annie Kate at Tea Time with Annie Kate
Although our family’s actual picture book stage is long past, we have read some good ones lately. More and more quality picture books are being written for older children, teens, and adults. Some of the best nonfiction books these days are lavishly illustrated with photographs and they are easy to find in nonfiction sections of good children’s libraries.
In terms of artistic merit, both literary and visual, The Girl Who Drew Butterflies is outstanding, one of my favorite books.
Simonetta Carr’s beautiful Christian Biographies for Young Readers church history books are both informative and inspiring for all ages, not just young readers. I highly recommend them for general history as well as for church history for all ages, including high school, as a superb series of introductions to important Christians and their times. The illustrations make all the difference.
If you wish to read The Anglo Saxon Chronicle for high school, try to find an illustrated version. As I recall, Anne Savage’s version is excellent; we ended up buying the illustrated, annotated version edited by Carruthers which is not as good, but still helpful. Writing about this motivated me to buy the Anne Savage version for Miss 19—she doesn’t know yet, and I can’t wait to see her face! I can’t wait to reread it myself as well.
And if you really wish to understand Beowulf, find the illustrated version by Seamus Heany and John D. Niles. The translation is remarkable and the archeological pictures of places and treasure bring the story to life as nothing else can.
We have always loved Garth William’s drawings in Laura Ingalls Wilders’ Little House on the Prairie series. We read those over and over, once even losing on a transatlantic flight.
Also I can’t resist mentioning the many novels we read aloud as a family that are not really picture books at all, but that have filled our minds with all sorts of pictures.
You might also like these from our archives:
- The Read Aloud Homeschool
- Five in a Row – Kendra’s review
- Tapestry of Grace – Tricia’s reviews
- Children’s Favorite Books by Age or Grade
- Favorite Summer Reading Lists
- The Kids Book of Weather Forecasting
- Tips for Switching Homeschool Curriculum Mid-Year
Did you know that our Curriculum Choice review team features a different homeschool topic each month? You can see what they have shared on various homeschool topics under Review Team Features.
What books are your favorites?
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