Monday, June 23, 2014

A Home Library, 1919 Article

When I began homeschooling my girls I knew that having a good home library would be important.  I ran across this article written in 1919 that put into words many of my thoughts.  I believe even in a world where we can get so much information online and have a whole library on an iPad that it's important to have a home library, even if it's small, for your children.

The article is republished below.  If I ever find the original source I'll add it below.

"The home ought no more to be without a library than without a dining-room and kitchen. If you have but one room, and it is lighted by the great wood fire in the flaming fireplace, as Abraham Lincoln’s was, do as Abraham Lincoln did; pick out one corner of your fireplace for a library, and use it. Every man ought to provide for the brain as well as for the stomach. This does not require capital; there are cheap editions of the best books; it only requires time and forecast. We write in a private library, and a fairly good one for working purposes, of three thousand-and-odd volumes; we began it many years ago, on a salary of $1,000 a year, with five books -- a commentary in four volumes and a dictionary. The best libraries are not made; they grow.

"At first buy only books that you want immediately to read. Do not be deluded into buying books because they are classics, or cheap, or that you may get rid of an agent. One book read is worth a dozen books looked at. No book is possessed till it is read. Reference books constitute an exception, and an important exception, to this rule. These are the foundations of a good library. The essential reference books are a dictionary, a good atlas, and an encyclopedia. Any school atlas will do, though if you are able to purchase it a good atlas is much better; and best of all is a wise selection of atlases. There is no best encyclopedia; your choice must depend upon your resources, pecuniary and mental.

"In purchasing books exercise a choice in editions. The lowest-priced books are not always the cheapest.  Buy books of transient interest or minor importance -- all novels, for example, and current books of travel -- in cheap form. On the other hand, histories, classics of all sorts, and generally all permanent books, should be bought in good binding and good type. It takes well-seasoned lumber to make a good family library.

"Have a place for your library. A dollar spent in pine lumber, and a little mechanical skill, will make a larger and better one. Varnished pine is handsome enough for any parlor. A place for books will cry to be filled till it gets it prayer answered. Book shelves preserve books. One shelf of books gathered together is a better library than twice the number scattered from attic to cellar.

"Finally, a taste for reading is an essential prerequisite to a useful library. A well is of no use if you never draw water from it. At the same time a good library in the household, accessible to all, from baby to grandmother, is one of the best influences with which to develop a taste for reading. Have no books so fine that they cannot be used."

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Book List: 9 Books for Girls Who Love Adventure

This is probably not your typical reading list for a preteen girl but it's a list written by my daughter when she was 13.  She loved reading adventure stories or stories about Indians or pioneers and then acting them out.  I know there are a lot of girls out there like her so I thought I'd share her list with you.  Please feel free to pass it on to others!  (The words are her own and I didn't change any of the grammar or spelling.)

1. The Lord of the Rings - This is my favorite book of all times. I think it's the best book ever written

2. Beauty - This book is based on the Beauty and the Beast story. And is really really good.

3. The Swiss Family Robinson - I love books were people are shipwrecked and have figure out how to survive with what they have.

4. The Princess and the Goblin - Is a great fantasy book and lots of great morals in it, by the famous author George MacDonald.

5. The Redwall Abbey Series - Is another great story of mice and other small animals.

6. Mara, Daughter of the Nile - Is a action, love story set in Ancient Egypt.

7. Little Woman - My mom loves this story about the life of four sisters

8. King Solomon's Mines - Is a action book about Allen Quatermain and others trying to find treasure.

9. Christy

NOTE:  Thanks for reading my blog post.  If you decide to scroll through and read other posts please realize that I'm in the process of uploading lots of content from other locations that I've gathered through our homeschooling years.  And I'm updating many of the old posts... a few at a time so come back and visit us again!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Author Review: Robin McKinley

I asked my oldest daughter last week which author I should include in the next newsletter and she immediately replied with, “Robin McKinley.” We first learned about Robin McKinley from the Sonlight Curriculum catalog. Her book Beauty is a reader for the eighth year. We’ve both read it twice now and it’s a keeper. (“Keeper” = a book we don’t sell after eading it!)

Robin (Jennifer Carolyn) McKinley was born on November 16, 1952, in Warren, Ohio. Her father was in the U.S. Navy and Merchant Marines and her mother was a teacher.  McKinley was an only child and a self-described “military brat” who moved every two years with her family, from California to Japan to New York. Books were a refuge for her and she “decided early on that books were much more reliable friends than people.”

Soon she decided that she would be an author like J. R. R. Tolkien or H. Rider Haggard when she grew up. Except she would write stories about girls.

McKinley graduated summa cum laude from Bowdain College. Not long after that she saw an adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” on television. She was so disappointed in the story she decided to rewrite it herself. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast was the result.Amazingly, this was her first book, written at age 24, and still her most popular.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Interview: Maggie Hogan, Bright Ideas Press

Today's post is a LONG one!  This article was first published in the ABC Books Newsletter, Vol. 1 Iss. 1, in March 2005.  It is reprinted here with permission.  I will be reprinting articles from this newsletter from time to time until they're all online.  Thanks for reading!  Please feel free to share with your book-loving, collecting, and reading friends!
This week's interview is with an incredibly busy homeschool, book-loving mom who is also an author, business owner, and speaker. I got a chance to meet Maggie Hogan several years ago at a homeschool conference that she did with Teri Camp in Waco, Texas. I think it was the most fun I'd ever had with a bunch of moms I'd never met before. Let me just say, the chocolate was flying!

Ann: Maggie, tell us about yourself and your family.

Maggie: Oh sure, that’s easy! Let’s see where to start...I was born on a dark and stormy night . . . no wait, that’s probably more than you want to know. Try this:  Bob and I have been married almost 25 years. We met in Florida at the swimming pool where I was a lifeguard. I had just recently accepted the Lord as my Savior. Bob was a very devout Catholic who had strongly considered going into the priest- hood. (Whew!) We married and were both baptized. After moving a number of times with his job God brought us here to Dover, DE.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Interview: Jan Bloom, Author of Who Should We Then Read?

This article is reprinted from one of my newsletters from 2005.  I'll be reposting these articles over the next few month.  There will be more interviews from authors, book collectors, and author reviews.
Although I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Jan Bloom in person, our home library has greatly benefited because of her. She has written two great books that have a permanent place on my reference shelf: Who Should We Then Read? and What Should We Then Know?.

Ann: Jan, tell us about yourself and your family. As the mother of a high-school student I was very encouraged to read that your children were homeschooled until college.

Jan: Gary and I heard about homeschooling in 1982 when we attended a L'Abri seminar. Debbie Schaeffer Middleman spoke on developing a Philosophy of Education and then her brother-in-law, Ranald Macaulay, the husband of Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, spoke about the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason. During a Q & A session, someone mentioned home schooling, which we had never heard of, but it fit in with what we had already heard and gotten excited about from Debbie and Ranald.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Author Review: Geraldine McCaughrean

I first learned about Geraldine McCaughrean several years ago when I read TheWell-Trained Mind.  WTM recommended several of her books: The Canterbury Tales, Greek Myths, The Odyssey, and Saint George and the Dragon.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Getting back to the Blog

Just wanted you to know that I've renewed my commitment to blogging and I'll be working on this and my other blogs in 2014!  I may start off slow but I have a stack of articles that I've written for other publications that I'll be sharing here.

If you are currently homeschooling, or thinking about it, please feel free to leave a question in the comments or send me an email.  I'll use those to inspire future posts.

Thanks for not giving up on my blog!