SS #134 – What is the 5×5 Reading Challenge?

Scholé Sisters is committed to equipping homeschool moms with intellectual courage and increasing the number of thinking Christian women (homeschoolers or not) engaging their brain in their family life.

The main way we all grow and apply intellectually is by reading good books – widely and deeply – many topics, and no single gurus.

Learn how the 5×5 Reading Challenge can help you awaken your mind to all the living ideas – and help you apply them to your real, everyday life.

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Keyword Intro

  • [1:16] The history of the 5×5 Reading Challenge
  • [4:43] The benefits of the 5×5 Reading Challenge
  • [16:55] Accountability for the 5×5 Reading Challenge

Today’s Hosts and Source

Mystie Winckler
homeschools 3 of her 5 children and read over 50 books last year.

Abby Wahl
homeschools 3 of her 5 children and read over 50 books last year.

Join us for our 5th annual 5×5 Reading Challenge!


The 5×5 Challenge began from Mystie’s desire to tackle the ever-growing stack of unread books on her shelves. Recognizing the futility of resolving not to buy any more books before she read the ones she already owned, Mystie decided to shift her approach. Instead of resisting her book-buying habits, she committed to a realistic annual reading plan: five books in five different areas of her continuous interest.

She reflects on her father’s approach to learning and homeschooling—encouraging the pursuit of knowledge by finding and reading five books on a subject of interest. Thus was born the 5×5 Challenge, setting the stage for a personal journey of intentional reading and growth for hundreds of women around the world.

The 5×5 Reading Challenge Is Flexible

The beauty of the 5×5 Challenge is its flexibility. Rather than simply following an assignment, participants choose their own categories.

Instead of rigid rules, the 5×5 Challenge focuses on reading both broadly and deeply in five areas of personal interest. The challenge encourages a diverse reading experience without needing to follow someone else’s list.

Setting realistic goals helps us avoid overambitious plans we never follow through on.

If even 25 books seems too daunting, we also have a 3×3 alternative, promoting progress through gradual steps rather than attempting to leap into the deep end with wide and deep reading.

The 5×5 Challenge is adaptable. Participants can adjust categories and book selections, ensuring a personalized reading plan as the year unfolds – and as the deadline looms at the end of the year. In our reading challenge, everyone has the freedom to modify the categories and selections throughout the year, allowing for spontaneity and unexpected changes.

Our 5×5 Reading Challenge is not about adhering strictly to a predetermined plan, but about cultivating a habit of consistent reading.

Reading Accountability and Community

We also offer additional support for our 5×5 Reading Challenge through the Sistership—an online community where we share our reading progress, seek encouragement, and discuss our challenges.

The 5×5 Accountability Group within the Sistership provides ongoing weekly support and quarterly Zoom check-ins to foster a sense of community, troubleshoot issues, and share book recommendations. It’s always fun for readers to gather and chat about their current book stack!

Accountability is key to achieving consistent reading habits. The Sistership offers a source of inspiration, motivation, and understanding for women to balance reading, thinking, and engaging with the world of books alongside their busy lives.

Read with us!

The Scholé Sisters 5×5 Reading Challenge is more than just a reading plan; it’s a transformative life of intellectual growth we can all enjoy even as busy homeschooling moms.

Whether you are a seasoned reader or someone taking the first steps toward a more intentional reading life, the 5×5 Challenge offers a flexible and enriching experience that celebrates the joy of learning.

The challenge is not just about earning a finisher pin at the end–although that is a fun perk!– it’s about immersing oneself in a vibrant community of women who share a passion for books, ideas, and continuous intellectual exploration.

So, are you ready to embark on the Scholé Sisters 5×5 Reading Challenge and join this community of thinking moms? The adventure awaits!

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Want to talk about the ideas presented here? The conversation is happening inside Sistership.

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