Books To Help You Talk About Race and Discrimination with Your Children

We live in a discriminatory culture. Despite laws and movements, we've still got stereotypes and biases and preconceived notions about how people might look, act, speak, work, believe. In an effort to confront my own biases and raise children that stand up for justice, fight against discrimination and openly confront and dialogue about it, I've rounded up a list of books for you.  It is my hope that this booklist will help you begin to talk with your child(ren) about race and discrimination, equality and our part in it as we work to change it. 

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As Sarah Mackenzie says in her new book The Read Aloud Family, stories are what shape us. Stories are what change us. Story allows us to step into another person's shoes, to learn about their life.  Stories create empathy, compassion, courage to change in ways that we can't predict.


I've created a booklist to help start the conversation with your kids. Here are just a few books for littles that made it on to the list:  Lila and the Crow, Let's Talk About Race, Whoever You Are, Separate Is Never Equal.


And for mamas and other parents? Here are a few options for you: A Different Mirror, The Hate U Give, Half The Sky, This Will Be My Undoing. These will be coming soon on a separate booklist.

The conversation has to start right now. Studies show that little babies and children as young as 3 or 5 can have be biased.  Don't think you're very biased? Take this test, it is quite convicting!


It is up to us as adults to begin an open, caring, respectful dialogue with our child(ren) about race, gender, identity, wealth, language, power, status. Is it hard? Is it awkward? Is it uncomfortable? YES! But without us modeling it for our kids, they won't have a safe space to learn. 


This article and this one too may be helpful to help you identify your own biases and learn more about discrimination. Want a list of books to help you start the conversation? We've rounded up a list for both adults AND kids to change your thinking, open a dialogue and begin the conversation. These books include authors, subject matter by and about women, men, children, white people, people of color, humans of different socioeconomic status, backgrounds and more.

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Playful Pioneers Curriculum Review

One of my favorite memories while growing up was sitting with my dad and brother and sister and listening to our current read-aloud. Over the years we read rich, living books such as Little House on the Prairie (and the rest of the series), The Chronicles of Narnia, The Call of the Wild and more. I spent many of my formative years donning a bonnet and pretending I lived on the prairie, harvesting crops and protecting my home from bears. Today, I am so excited to share with you our review of Playful Pioneers. 


The Playful Pioneers is a "literature and project based curriculum" put out by Jennifer at The Peaceful Press. It's obvious she poured her heart into this as it made my heart fill up with emotions as I opened it up for the first time. It is a lovely curriculum! We chose the Playful Pioneers for early elementary ages, but they also have a curriculum for preschoolers, word cards (which I will be purchasing as soon as this post is published because they are LOVELY!), chore cards, and more!

As I mentioned, we chose The Playful Pioneers package, which is based on the Little House series. This package included a parent guide, student sheets, cookbook, and weekly/daily schedules and more! It is chock-full of goodness!  The Bible verses and quotes chosen for copywork were lovely. My favorite thing about this curriculum was that it had so many hands-on opportunities! We made bread together just like Ma. We did a science experiment to see if popcorn and milk truly is tasty (I skipped that portion) and if it wouldn't overflow when mixed together just like we read! And even though our trip got snowed out, we tried to get visit horses just like Almanzo's Beau and Beauty.  


 I have absolutely loved testing it and tweaking it for our family (we are using it in conjunction with A Modern Charlotte Mason's Early American History). This curriculum opened up a lot of discussion for our family: what does it mean to call people names they may or may not like? What do we do about jealousy (like when Laura was jealous of Mary's golden hair)? Should we act lazy like Almanzo's cousin or work hard as unto the Lord? I cannot recommend the Playful Pioneers curriculum enough-so many good things here! I


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I have such a fantastic book list geared up for 2018! I am SO excited to share some of them with you today. 


Charlotte Mason emphasized Mother Culture essentially as a time of intentionality. This is separate from teaching children, but is a time just for Mama to focus on her own education. Miss Mason recommended reading three different types of books at one time: a novel, a biography and something" harder", something to learn. Read on for some of our favorite books from those categories. Be sure to leave a comment-do you have booklist for 2018?


The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola

The Happy Dinner Table by Anna Migeon

The Living Page by Karen Bestvater

The Glass Cage by Nicolas Carr

Last Child In the Woods by Richard Louv

The Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson

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EEEK! It's the most wonderful time of the year (or so the song goes). I'm one of those annoying people who decorate for Christmas immediately after Halloween.  I love this season with all it's joy, the reflection on Christ's birth, and creating new traditions with my kids. I especially love taking down all our holiday books from storage.  It gets everyone excited about the season!


Living Books for Christmas (Ages 0-4)

1. Cranberry Christmas- Wende and Harry Devlin

2. Christmas in the Barn-Margaret Wise Brown

3. The Wild Christmas Reindeer AND Christmas Trolls-Jan Brett

4. Carl's Christmas-Alexandra Day


Living Books for Christmas (Ages 5-8)

4. An Orange for Frankie-Patricia Polacco

5.Apple Tree Christmas- Trinka Hanks Noble

6. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree- Gloria Houston with Barbara Cooney

7. The Clown of God- Tomie de Paola

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Want to add more poetry to your day but don't know where to start? Look no further! This list below features some amazing poetry resources for the early years of a charlotte mason inspired education. It also includes a special choice just for you,  Mama.

poetry resources for a charlotte mason inspired education

There are so many fantastic anthologies and authors that we can't possibly list them all. Below are a few of our favorites. Note: links to these are affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you purchase these books.  Read our full disclosure here.

1. A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. 

There are many different illustrators of this book, including a version done by Little Golden Books that is lovely. 


2. A Child's Book of Poems by Gyo Fujawa

I love the illustrations in this one and that it features so many poems by Christina Rosetti, one of my favorite poets.

poetry resources for a charlotte mason inspired education

3. Carver: A Life in Verse

This one is just for you, Mama. I found out about this book from Ma and Pa Modern. This is a biography in verse of George Washington Carver, so good!

4. Falling Up by Shel Silverstein

Really any of the books by Shel Silverstein are good for a laugh. They're full of nonsensical, whimsical poems; these are a family favorite.


(Side note- can you imagine having a ladder like this in your home library?!)

You can also add more poetry to your day by listening to it.  Here is a great resource to do so.

What poets and poetry books do you love to read? Share in the comments below!



Y'ALL! My boys absolutely love Jan Brett books. And I'll admit-so do I! These books feature rich stories and AMAZING, intricate illustrations. Her books and illustrations range from snowy scenes, to Carolina ponds and everything in between. She's even got a few baby board books.

 A New York Times Bestselling Author, Jan Brett now has a BRAND NEW book out on Amazon and other sites. The Mermaid is a retelling of Goldilocks and The Three Bears, set undersea off the coast of Japan. 

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Go check out Jan Brett's brand new book (and if you're an Amazon Prime member, get it in just two days!)

Free Charlotte Mason Inspired Audiobooks AND Free Printable

You know what's awesome?  A free booklist! Download your FREE printable of over 30 audiobooks. Listen in the car, on the plane, to the park, you name it. Our free Charlotte Mason inspired audiobooks printable is full of living books such as Curious George, Paddington, Frog and Toad, Charlotte's Web, Robin Hood, Sir Arthur and His Knights, Paddy the Beaver, and more.  It includes some of your favorite authors like Thornton Burgess, Robert McCloskey, Barbara Cooney, and James Herriot.  Download your FREE Charlotte Mason inspired audiobooks printable below and be sure to click the Audible banner below to find out how you can get TWO FREE AUDIOBOOKS!

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