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Living Books Book List – Subject by Subject

A Living Books Library

Living Books are a core feature of a Charlotte Mason Education and teaching with living books means we need to find living books on many subjects. This collection of book lists began with Mary Collis and her magazine A Living Education which is now out of print. She kindly allowed me to add to Homeschooling Downunder. Over the years I’ve added to the list of books. It can be used to teach subjects using well written books. Some living books are out of print (OOP) and need to be hunted down but many are still in print.

At My Homeschool we have incorporated many of these books into our curriculum as they tie into the Australian Curriculum. See our courses here.

When you begin homeschooling your library often grows and using these living books book lists are a way to make make sure that grows intentionally.

“Never be without a good book on hand.” Charlotte Mason

Finding living books takes time and research.  I hope you can find some treasured books here to add to your homeschool library.

General Homeschooling Book Lists

How To Homeschool Book List

How To Homeschool Book List

Encouraging books about how to homeschool and family life as a homeschooling mum. Books like this have kept me going in the tough times. I would read these books in the holidays as I looked for inspiration in the coming term.

Learning To Read Book Lists

Some successful books for teaching reading and suggestions for early readers.

Christian Stories For Children

Look here for devotionals, biographies, true stories and historical fiction during Bible times and early church history.

Enrichment Book List

Art Appreciation Books

Use these books for group or individual picture study. Some can also be used for art techniques as well.

Poetry Books

Homeschool poetry book lists are subject to personal taste. However, the suggestions here are popular with most children.

Classic Read Aloud Books

This Classic Read Aloud Book List was put together so you can enjoy the pleasures of a shared adventure with your children. Many of these books are considered classic books that delight most children.

Australian Literature Living Books

Australian history is studied in the Australian Curriculum from Year 4 to Year 6. It is then studied as an elective in Year 8 and Year 9. However all curriculum grades encourage using Australian Literature. At My Homeschool we have incorporated many of these books into our curriculum.

Australian Picture Books

We as a family have loved these Australian picture books and still have most of them in our personal collection. Look for them in your library, or purchase some of these gems while they are still in print. However not all Aussie picture books are great but some are absolute perfect to add to a living books library.

Australian Nature Stories

Here is a list of Australian nature study and nature story books for children.

Australian History & Stories Books

Charlotte Mason encourage us to use living books that told real life stories and historical fiction to learn history instead of dry text books. If you want to find out about Australian history and the Charlotte Mason Curriculum this link should also help.

Stories About Antarctica

There are seven sovereign states who have territorial claims in Antarctica. One of those is Australia.

Science and Nature Books

If you want to teach science without a textbook then you will find a very tempting selection of books here. It can sometimes be hard to know exactly how to teach science in a sequential manner but we have some tips on the Australian Curriculum Science and Charlotte Mason here. We also have incorporated living books literature into our My Homeschool science curriculum for K to Year 8.

Living Books For Science

This is mostly primary aged science books but it also includes a topic guide on various science subjects.

Science Books for High School

Science biographies, stories of inventors and living books that help children put science in its context.  These suggestions can be read aloud or used independently for the more confident reader. We have also made some suggestions for some literature based high school homeschool curriculum.


World History Living Book List

No world history (except Australian history) is covered in the Australian Curriculum in the primary years. However that doesn’t mean homeschoolers can’t cover it. Here are some ideas for teaching history. Use the primary years to give your children a good overview of history, before they are required to do in-depth studies in the high school years. The books listed here will help you with that.

At My Homeschool we have gathered together a range of history books and historical living books and made them fit easily into a four term schedule with a few scheduled readings per week . We also encourage notebooking and narrations and give you suggestions of when to use them. For Year 7 and Year 8 we have compiled specific living books that cover the Australian curriculum with the added bonus of a chronological coverage of world history.

Ancient History - Eden to Egypt

Ancient History: Greece, Rome & The Church

Asian History Books

Since Asian history is covered each year throughout the Australian Curriculum it is good to include various stories from Asia into your curriculum Therefore, this Asian history book list for kids covers many countries and could be used for geography and history. It also includes books for primary and high school Asian studies.

At My Homeschool we follow the Australian curriculum covering Asian immigration stories in Year 6Ancient China in Year 7 and Japanese and Mongol History in Year 8.


Medieval History & Early Middle Ages Books

This includes general medieval history books that give an overview of history plus early middle ages history.

330AD – 1100AD . Includes Anglo Saxons, early spread of Christianity, and the vikings .

Late Middle Ages Books

1100 – 1400 AD

Medieval history from the late middle ages. It includes knights and the crusades.

Renaissance Books for Kids

1300 AD to 1500 Ad
This book covers revivals, the Reformation, and exploration. Whilst this is only a small indepth study that is brushed over in the Australian Curriculum, it is a rich period of history. Especially relevant if you want to understand modern Europe and Christianity today.

Stories of the British Empire for Kids

Children’s History Book list 1850’s AD-1900AD
The British Empire, Franco Prussian War Period and The Turn of the Century

Industrial Revolution Book Lists

Revolutions of the 1800s Books for Kids

World War I & Russian Revolution Books

The period of history covered in Year 9 of the Australian curriculum is from 1750 – 1918.

World War Two Books

Slavery and Convict Books for Kids

Convicts & Slavery History Book List -1619 to 1861

Modern History Books - The Last 50 Years

Geography Living Books For Kids

Finding out about countries is never really taught  in the Australian Geography curriculum. (There is one depth study of a neighbouring country of choice in Year 4). I think this is a wasted opportunity. Here are some ideas for teaching geography.

World Picture Books For Children

Canada & Artic Books For Kids

Books on Asia

European Living Books

Living Books on Africa

America Book List

Includes USA, Mexico and South America

My Homeschool Curriculum

If you are looking for a curriculum that has already worked out all the planning for you then My Homeschool Graded Courses might be for you!

In short, it follows follows state and territory syllabus requirements while using a literature rich approach inspired by Charlotte Mason.

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