Educationally Speaking: The many books homeschoolers have the chance to read

The curriculum I picked up for the kids this year for social studies included eight different books in Little Miss’s set and 12 in The Boy’s.  

There is no way we will be able to get through all of them in one school year. They are supposed to be read with certain units but reading them would require reading them all back-to-back and that’s a lot of reading for me (since I’d be reading them for Little Miss) and for a ninth grader, since he is also reading a lot in his textbooks.

Instead, I’ve been picking and choosing the books and putting the others aside for future school years.

So far this year, Little Miss and I have read Freedom Crossing, Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin, Tolliver’s Secret, and Emily’s Imagination. We had already read Farmer Boy, which is what we are supposed to be reading for this current unit, so we are reading it again. We read Emily’s Imagination, but I hadn’t even noticed it was on the list when I chose it to read. We haven’t even reached the unit where we are supposed to read it.

Other books in her set included:

Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates, The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill, Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass.

I’m hoping to read a couple more before the end of the school year and so far, I think The Year of Miss Agnes looks interesting so we will probably get to that one, if not the other two. She and I already read quite a few books during the year, and we’re also probably not going to finish this curriculum for this school year because we don’t do history every day. This history is very detailed and I add supplemental material, such as videos, to the lessons to make them a little more expansive.

For The Boy, we have already read Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour and A Long Walk to Water, as well as part of Know Why You Believe by Paul Little. We also read some other literature in our American Literature book. Right now, we are reading Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Before the end of the school year, I am hoping to have us read at least two more books if not three.

The books that interest me the most include Lost in the Barrens by Farley Mowat, Revolution is Not a Dinner Party by Ying Chang Compestine, and Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger.

Here are the descriptions for those three:

Lost in the Barrens: Awasin and Jamie, brothers in courage, meet a challenge many mountain men could not endure.  When their canoe is destroyed by the fury of the rapids, they must face the wilderness with no food and no hope of rescue.  To survive, they build an igloo, battle a towering grizzly bear, track several wolves, slaughter caribou for food and clothing.  Two lost huskies they tame bring companionship–and maybe a way home from their dangerous adventure.

Revolution is Not a Dinner Party: The summer of 1972, before I turned nine, danger began knocking on doors all over China.



Nine-year-old Ling has a very happy life. Her parents are both dedicated surgeons at the best hospital in Wuhan, and her father teaches her English as they listen to Voice of America every evening on the radio. But when one of Mao’s political officers moves into a room in their apartment, Ling begins to witness the gradual disintegration of her world. In an atmosphere of increasing mistrust and hatred, Ling fears for the safety of her neighbors, and soon, for herself and her family. For the next four years, Ling will suffer more horrors than many people face in a lifetime. Will she be able to grow and blossom under the oppressive rule of Chairman Mao? Or will fighting to survive destroy her spirit—and end her life?

Tales from Silver Lands: Tales from Silver Lands is a book by Charles Finger that won the Newbery Medal in 1925. The book is a collection of nineteen folktales of the native populations of Central and South America. These interesting folk stories include tales about giants, witches, and animals.

What is fun about reading these books to or with the kids is that I get to read them as well. There are books in these lists that I never would have read because I never would have heard about some of them otherwise.

Last year I read Silas Marner, which I really enjoyed, but never would have read on my own. Choosing to homeschool is a joint decision, so the children can decide to switch to public school in the future if they want to, but I’m hoping they’ll choose to continue if only so I have no excuse not to read some classics. *wink*

4 thoughts on “Educationally Speaking: The many books homeschoolers have the chance to read

  1. Pingback: Sunday Bookends: A total bizarre car accident, worship music, and what’s next for my fiction | Boondock Ramblings

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