Reading "Ourselves" Volume 4

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  • albanyaloe

    Good afternoon.

    I have been enjoying reading Book 1 of “Ourselves”.  This really is a wonderful resource.  It got me thinking a lot about MY habits.

    I think it would be beneficial to read to my children.  They are aged 14, 12, and 9.  We do have Laying down the Rails which is great, but at the moment I am enjoying the flow of “Ourselves”.  I was always put off plowing through the Volumes, with their older style of English, but after all the lovely old literature we have been reading,  I am managing it,  and so enjoy the language.

    Have any of you read this Volume aloud to your children?  If so, Book 1 or Book 2, and what ages.  I seem to recall from my research about CM years ago, that the Book 1 is actually meant for children, under 12 and Book 2 for those above 12.  I have looked at the modern translation, on AO, as it may be easier for the children to grasp.  I know it is a personal matter, but if you have done this, which version did you use?

    Then, I wondered if I should just start Book 2 with my 14yo son, or have him go through Book 1 with us?

    Also, I wonder, have any of you made a reading schedule for “Ourselves” ?  I think AO used to use it in one of their years, but I cannot find much on their site about this.

    Look forward to reading replies about this.


    I haven’t read it yet but Ambleside Online starts it in late middle school I believe. I remember starting it years ago but never finishing it. I need to pull this one back out to read myself and consider assigning to my 14 year old.


    It is great, isn’t it? =)

    I listened to the audio version from Living Books Library first and this last year I started reading it aloud with my two teenage daughters, 15 & 14. We read the original language and just do a section at a time, which is usually about 2-3 pages. The section questions in the back are helpful to start a discussion. My oldest actually told me that she liked the mental pictures she had when reading about Mansoul.

    I have to say that sometimes (no matter how careful people are) the translations can lose the delightfulness of the original. I felt that way after reading Volume 1 in the translation and then reading the original language.  I feel that way about the Bible, Shakespeare, and Plutarch (some are better than others), though, too. =)

    Go slow enough to have time to think and enjoy the experience: the language, the mental pictures, the ideas themselves. That is what will be the life-changing moments of this book.

    I have created some study guides to go along with all the volumes if that would be of help. I have a student version also for Book 1, but I haven’t posted it yet. I will try to do that soon. It had enough lessons for 1 lesson a week for a school year in short sessions. It utilizes the questions in the back of the book so that I do not have to keep flipping back and forth. Here is a link:


    Thank you so much for your posts Melanie32 and Sheraz.

    Yes, Sheraz, I do agree with you about original translations.  Your experience of using “Ourselves” encourages me.  Thank you also for the links to your study guide, that will be SO useful!  Wow, how did you find the time to create it?

    Off to browse your guide.


    I also wanted to mention that I was told last week that a beautiful hardbound copy and softcover student copy of Ourselves will be ready soon from Riverbend Press. Their books are pure lovely. It’s always more fun for me to read from a beautiful book!


    Sounds lovely erin.kate.  I am fortunate that I own the Original Homeschool Series.  I too love hardcopy books.

    Thank you,


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