Using The Books of the Gardener in the Classroom by Lauren Brandenburg

What started out as a novel about an ordinary boy growing up in a small Kentucky town, quickly escalated into a ten book series about a world hidden below the earth—a place where goodness grows in unique garden communities, and evil fights to walk among them. I wanted to provide a clean read with spiritual allegory that was not only appropriate for tweens, but also exciting, relevant, and an alternative to some of the more popular contemporary titles. It shouldn’t have surprised me when I received the following from a parent in Nebraska:  Lauren, my family loved your first book, and are looking forward to the second! We are a homeschooling family and chose to use it as a read aloud.

As a homeschooling mom, I don’t know why it had not occurred to me sooner that The Books of the Gardener would make great read alouds! I quickly developed discussion questions, related activities, and a “topics to further research” list. My target market had leapt from tweens to entire families . . . specifically in the homeschool realm. The idea seemed to catch on. This past March, The Hip Homeschool Mom’s—an online resource for homeschoolers world wide—named The Books of the Gardener a top read aloud and top safe read for families.

Along with being used as a read aloud, homeschool parents have found other creative ways to include The Books of the Gardener (TBOTG) in their curriculum:

1.     Read-alouds – Discussion questions are always free online!
2.     Alongside units on the early American church, caves, and geology
3.     Reading Lists – TBOTG is targeted for readers ages 10 to 14/middle grades. The free discussion questions work great for short essay questions!
4.     Summer Reading – Keep your kiddos reading over the summer!
5.     Co-ops  - TBOTG is even more fun when read with others!

I would love to know how you would plan to use TBOTG as part of your homeschool day! Need a copy? I’m giving away a paperback copy of Boone: The Ordinary plus discussion questions!

Feel free to visit my website and sign-up to receive updates on the FREE writing curriculum releasing this fall!

Entries taken until 12:00AM Central Time, June 30, 2015. Only the winning entrant will be notified. Winner must respond to notification within 30 days and provide U.S. mailing address for prize to be sent, media mail. Winner chosen at random. Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash. Neither Homeschooling in Williamson County nor the giveaway sponsors are responsible for lost/stolen/damaged prizes. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Must be 18 or over to enter or have parent/guardian's permission to enter. Giveaway open to all readers of Homeschooling in Williamson County who are residents of the United States, however prizes will only be mailed to continental U.S. mailing addresses. 

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