I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

The Storied Mom Reading Challenge

The Storied Mom Reading Challenge #readinglifestye #christianbooks #christianmoms #motherculture

Calling all bibliophiles...and other moms who maybe aren't avid readers yet, but who want to be!

With the school year kicking off this month, we're all keenly aware of our part in helping our children nourish their minds and their moral imaginations. This is especially true for homeschool moms. We feel the weight of their education daily.

In our earnest desire to build a good foundation within them, we become very passionate about growing our kids' intellect and kind of dispassionate about growing our own.

We convince ourselves that learning alongside them is good enough--that if we just read with and to them, we'll nurture our own minds along with theirs. And while that's true to some degree, in many ways, it's a theoretical platitude.

Our children need to see us provoking our own thoughts, developing our own interests and insights, and nourishing our own souls. They're looking to us to lead by example.

The Storied Mom Reading Challenge #readinglifestye #christianbooks #christianmoms #motherculture

Wide reading equals a wide life.

To limit ourselves to only what we are reading to and with our children is to limit the broader conversation of our home. We have nothing to add beyond what we've already taught them. But they need so much more than that and so do we. Nurturing our own intellect is one simple step towards elevated motherhood.

This school year, I invite you to take the challenge--the Storied Mom Reading Challenge--to begin reclaiming the education you never had and to start making your reading life a priority.

Just as you relentlessly carve out time for teaching math, language arts, science, and history, you can start prioritizing time to read. In fact, you can start right now.

The Storied Mom Reading Challenge #readinglifestye #christianbooks #christianmoms #motherculture

How does the Storied Mom Reading Challenge work?

Well, you'll need to download the Reading Guide to get the full skinny, but here are the cliff notes.

Each month of the school year, you'll consult the reading record (included in the guide) in order to learn the month's reading category/genre. Then, you'll choose a book based on that category. (Don't worry, these monthly parameters are very loose and can be interpreted in many different ways. I wouldn't dream of bossing you around.) You'll read the book, record it in the reading log, and hopefully share your opinion of it with the rest of us on social media. We'll use a few specific hashtags to be able to find one another's book thoughts. Sharing is completely optional but heavily encouraged. (Friends don't let friends read dumb books. We're all in this together.)

In addition, you'll get access to a curated, 3-page list of clean-and-captivating fiction titles/authors to help you as you select books for the fiction-based categories. Because let's face it, fiction that is both clean and captivating can be hard to find.

Does this sound too simple to you? Perhaps you're among the small percentage of the population who find more than 16.8 minutes to read each day. Well, don't worry. There's room for overachievers in this thing too.

The Storied Mom Reading Challenge #storiedmom #cleanandcaptivating #readinglifestye #christianbooks #christianmoms #motherculture

How is this reading challenge different from the zillions of other reading challenges out there?

For starters, it's self-paced. Unlike most online or in-person book clubs, this one will never require you to read a boring book that you hate. In fact, should you start a book and find that you're just not that into it, you can skip it and move on to a different title.

No one ever likes to be voluntold what to read. Mandatory reading makes most people bristle because it feels like a chore.

In addition, this is a book challenge you can trust. At first blush, every online book list or challenge seems like a good idea. I mean, what could be wrong with reading? But here's the thing, I've tried on lots of book clubs and reading challenges over the years and none of them have fit right. (Especially that one book club whose participants talked about the month's book selection for all of three seconds and spent the rest of my precious-night-out verbally dissecting the latest Rihana album. Glory be!)

The Storied Mom Reading Challenge #storiedmom #cleanandcaptivating #readinglifestye #christianbooks #christianmoms #motherculture

Sadly, so many book clubs and challenges, including ones from really popular "Christian" bloggers and online influencers, contain titles that would be considered R-rated, if books had ratings, that is. I don't know about you, but I don't watch R-rated movies, so why would I want to read R-rated books?

You'll not be asked to read any books that contain traumatic and graphic violence, sexual perversion, or distasteful language. You'll be able to set your sights on Philippians 4:8, reading only things that are true, noble, pure, lovely, and admirable. If these are the qualities we should be looking for in books for our kids, why shouldn't we also be looking for them in books for ourselves?

Does this mean you'll only be encouraged to read "Christian" books? Nope. Reading only "Christian" literature--or only books that you 100% agree with--is like living in an echo chamber. I think we'd all benefit from building a diverse library in order that we might better understand the world in which we are called to love and serve and reach out to. That does not mean, however, that we should pack our TO READ list with immorality. On the contrary, Scripture warns us in several places to have nothing to do with it--to flee from it.

The Storied Mom Reading Challenge #readinglifestye #christianbooks #christianmoms #motherculture

So, unlike most reading challenges, The Storied Mom Reading Challenge will act as both a mother art (motivating you in your own educational and recreational pursuits) and a vital piece of your spiritual discipline (building and growing your faith).

Take the challenge. Every mom's invited, homeschooling or otherwise.

Download a Storied Mom Reading Guide and join with me and dozens and dozens of other mamas as we seek to build our own moral imaginations--as we spend the school year learning at home.

***Update: In the original edition of the Storied Mom Reading Challenge Guide, I included a book called Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. After vetting it further, I've removed it from the list. It contains quite a bit of language and does not line up with the clean-and-captivating framework.


  1. Thank you so much! This sounds like a book club I might enjoy. I have never joined one because have the titles. Yes, I judge a book by its title and synopsis. I dont want to waste my few moments to myself on some gross secular book. I do want to grow and learn but not like that.

    1. Yes. I feel the same way. There are too many good books worth reading to waste my time on a gross book.

  2. This looks AMAZING!!! Thank you so much! Sunshine

  3. So is this printable once I download it I assume? Thank you!!

  4. Hmm...can you email me at theunlikelyhomeschool@yahoo.com, Nicki? I'll get that to you.

  5. so i have completed reading for september and then i read one for october. i have picked out one for november. is there a discussion board where we can discuss the books we have read?

    1. No. I've chosen not to open a "group" on FB because of all the profiling that is going on in groups lately. But, you can post about it on social media or even on my FB page, using the #storiedmom hashtag so that other moms can glean your thoughts about what you've read.