In light of my recent post re. my many booklists, I wanted to share this terrific article found at Valerie’s Living Books re. book lists. It’s lengthy, but a very worthwhile read!
What a great article!
I agree totally. I am not against booklists…I do keep some (that I have compiled myself by picking and choosing from others’ lists) but they are my slave and not my master.
I remember when that whole Kingfisher episode happened. We were just starting homeschooling using WTM, and I felt so bad that I couldn’t find that “excellent” book for my children. The Lord showed me otherwise, as He did Valerie. When I finally saw a copy of the book, I thought it was horrible and was glad I couldn’t afford it!
I often see this phenomena in among homeschool moms….I know I was this way until the Lord set me free from it- constantly doubting myself, believing that if something was in a curriculum, it was “set in stone” or because it was part of booklist it was necessary. I believe it’s part of the “one size fits all philosophy” that we were indoctrinated into in the public schools and the “peer mentality” that never really changed once we grew up. At least I know that’s what it was for me.
I don’t know many moms who are not first generation homeschoolers, but I bet it will be different for those who have been homeschooled themselves. I see in my older daughters (15, 13) that they are not concerned at all with what their peers think and they are strong in the Lord.
Thanks for posting this (and your booklists!
That’s why we’re so careful around here to say that our curriculum guide recommendations are only suggestions. We hope everyone feels free to substitute as needed and make choices that best suit their families.
By the way, Valerie from Valerie’s Living Books lives in our area. We had the pleasure of meeting her and her family when we ran into them at a local library book sale. She has a house and garage full of books and great knowledge of good books.
Yes, Doug, that’s one of the strengths of SCM and I so appreciate that and I’m sure others do as well.
I know this is an old thread, but I happened upon it from another thread and I am so glad I did! What a wonderful, encouraging article.
What a neat article. I have really started to feel a little more “free” to not follow that guide to the “T” – it’s a hard thing to let go, isn’t it? =) Very helpful to hear this message again.
I love this article. Valerie was my go-to person in the very beginning when I was learning about living books. I would have missed out on some of the wonderful books I have if she hadn’t directed me to them.
Valerie was my “first” too. I bought my first big box of living books from her (excepting the ones I was already lucky enough to have before I knew exactly what they were. OK, I knew what they were, I just didn’t know what to call them.) Valerie is terrific.
“Living book people” generally are! Don’t think I’ve met one yet I don’t like!
I just have to share this.
I went to a library book sale this week. I walked in, felt overwhelmed (much how Valerie described in her article) and I realized I had booklists at my disposal and what were the chances I’d find anyting good here? The public library can be atrocious. We all know that. Well today was “fill a box for $5 day” and, with my newfound confidence after reading Valerie’s article this afternoon, I headed out with my family to scour the tables again. I realized that I have read ALOT about living books. How to find them, what to look for, etc.
My daughter walked up to me holding Beautiful Girlhood and I froze. I saw Karen Andreola’s name and I was shocked. Here? I truly felt the Lord speak and say, “Yes. I am even here.”
I found a Genevieve Foster book as well as several others that look promising. I came across a novel written by a woman about her experiences as a Jewish girl in hiding during the war. I am especially hopeful about this one…a firsthand account…a true living book.
I have a lot of pre-reading to do before I know what I have and what my children can read. But I wanted to share this…the more we read, the more we scour lists, the more we educate ourselves…the more likely we are to notice a living book when we see one. And let us not forget our dear Savior who never forsakes us, guides our eyes at times, makes our fingers twitch and speaks ever so silently that He is. Sometimes that Gentle Voice guides us to a book for no known reason, a book that doesn’t exist on a list, and provides us with the very words we need…
ETA: I am also in the process of making my books available for others to check out and use. I am so excited to be able to share these treasures with my dear homeschooling friends!
3littlegirls – thanks for sharing.
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