Books, Charlotte Mason, Charlotte Mason Homeschool, Commonplace, Home Education, homeschooling, Living Books, micro book reviews
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I read 35 books last year! So I’m releasing my micro book reviews in manageable chunks. Here are the books I read while homeschooling or in support of my role as a home educator in 2022.
Books Read for Homeschool
Grimm’s Fairy Tales These were sometimes delightful, sometimes familiar, and sometimes utterly absurd. I pre-read this collection of 55 tales in order to select the best for my son to read for school this year. Here are the ones I chose for their cultural importance and/or entertainment value: The Cat and Mouse in Partnership, The Frog Prince, Briar Rose, The Fisherman and His Wife, Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Water of Life, The Golden Goose, The Table, the Ass, and the Stick, Red Riding Hood, Tom Thumb, Frederick and Catherine, Snow White and Red Rose, The Four Accomplished Brothers, The Giant with the Three Golden Hairs, Hansel and Gretel
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (My copy translated by Marie Borroff) This is probably the first epic poem I’ve ever read all the way through. What does that say about the education I received from Kindergarten through college?!?!? I pre-read this before having my 13-year-old read it this year. It’s a little bazar but also fun. The alliterative style of poetry was new to me, but I enjoyed it. Here’s a passage that highlightss the story’s themes of Providence, courage, and integrity, as Sir Gawain tells how he cannot turn back from meeting the enemy:
Fair fortune befall you for your friendly words!Lines 2118-2139
And conceal this day’s deed I doubt not you would,
But though you never told the tale, if I turned back now,
Forsook this place for fear, and fled, as you say,
I were a caitiff coward; I could not be excused.
But I must to the Chapel to chance my luck
And say to that same man such words as I please,
Befall what may befall through Fortune’s will
Though he be a quarrelsome knave
With a cudgel great and grim,
The Lord is strong to save:
His servants trust in Him.
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula (read aloud) This is a years-long read-aloud project that we finally finished this past summer, reading it alongside our history book (see next). I highly recommend Trial and Triumph as a good survey of individuals whose stories inspire our faith and play an important role in church history. I dare you to read it aloud to your kids without crying.
The Story of the World, Volume 4: Modern Times by Susan Wise Bauer (read aloud) This has been an incredibly enjoyable journey through all four volumes of The Story of the World. This one on Modern Times was a really great read at ages 12 and 10. My boys were old enough to handle the challenging level of violence that makes up modern history. Bauer traces patterns and events well, helping the reader to see how events connect chronologically, geographically, and in parallel.
The Fallacy Detective by The Bluedorns (read aloud) This was an incredibly fun read—my boys would constantly ask for it, or ask for me to read more when it was time to stop. Fallacies may not be the most ideal way to get acquainted with logic for the first time (it’s generally recommended for any discipline that you learn the rules before you learn how they are broken), but this was so accessible and fun (not to mention I won a copy as a door prize at a local homeschool event) that I couldn’t resist. The boys love to identify errors in thinking: in the news, each other…. We have urged them, though, that they don’t actually know logic yet, so take it easy. These are tools to help us evaluate arguments and propaganda, not for us to tear others down.
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard J. Maybury I pre-read this book for my 7th grader this year. I don’t remember having any early and gentle introduction to economics before being thrown into it in high school—having to read a large portion of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations over the summer and take a test over that tome on the first day of class. I wish I had learned a little bit along the way and in the context of history. Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? supplies this need quite well, covering topics like money, inflation, boom and bust cycles, the role of government, and more in short, well-explained chapters—err, uh, letters, from Uncle Eric to his nephew. This would NOT make for a complete economics course for high schoolers, however. Just like The Fallacy Detective is not a comprehensive study of logic, Penny Candy is not a comprehensive study of economics–but both books can whet the appetite for further study.
Gather by Pam Barnhill and Heather Tully This was less for school and more about it. Gather is about what many homeschool moms refer to as Morning Time–a time in the school day when most everyone in the family is together for shared learning or activities, ranging from worship and singing to reading, making, and exploration. This book is full of inspirational and practical essays and full-color photographs from a handful of homeschool families in various stages and of various sizes. It’s a pretty great day-in-the-life kind of encouragement for homeschool moms. I enjoyed it.
CommonPlace Quarterly (a refreshing magazine on Charlotte Mason homeschooling)
These are the issues of CommonPlace Quarterly that I read cover-to-cover last year: Lonely Places, Way of the Will, Balance, Method, and Ordo Amoris.
I have read every issue from the first year of publication. It is a little pricey, but the content is very encouraging in the faith, in loving and educating my kids well, and in growing in my own education toward what is true and good and beautiful. About a year ago I was thinking super-frugally and canceled my subscription, and my husband questioned me on it, saying I’d probably regret that. And he was right. 🙂 This makes for excellent bedtime reading when I’m too tired to read a stiff book. If you are into Charlotte Mason homeschooling, this is a resource worth checking out.
That’s it for this post!
Next up: Christian Thinking and Life Management Books I read in 2022.
Coming Soon: Books I read on Marxism and Black Christian Perspective
I was looking at the Fallacy Detective in my Christian Books catalog just the other day for my rising 5th grader. I want to start her with some logic and reasoning. That’s good information thank you.