Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Books I Wouldn't Sell, Part 2

Woman Reading
Woman Reading

Despite several reduction campaigns, my book collection is not small, thanks to homeschooling four children. Here are more of the books that I just would not sell:

Wisdom and the Millers: Proverbs for Children (Miller Family Series) was recommended to me by a homeschooling friend many years ago, and I'll always be grateful to her for that. This book is part of a series that uses the adventures (and mishaps) of a young family to teach children Biblical principles. Our kids loved these stories! There are workbooks that go with the Miller books, but we only tried one and, not surprisingly, it seemed to dampen my kids' enthusiasm. These books are best-suited for reading aloud or devotions. We also have Prudence and the Millers (Miller Family Series) , which humorously illustrates the need for wisdom. These books were published by and for Mennonites, which means you'll see women wearing headcovers, etc. They are charming books.

I really did try to make myself sell our set of McGuffey's Eclectic Readers/Boxed, but I just couldn't do it. These hardbound readers are reprints of the originals with which so many American children learned to read. The irony here is that I didn't use them to teach my children to read, although they did read these for pleasure. But they're such nice readers that I just can't let them go.

Speaking of reprints, two beautiful books that I will never give up are Aesop's Fables: Childrens Classics and Tales from Shakespeare: Children's Classics. I like these specific versions because they're hardbound, beautifully illustrated reprints from the 19th century originals. Tales from Shakespeare is especially good because it's a retelling of some of Shakespeare's works (including Taming of the Shrew, Romeo & Juliet, Pericles, etc.) written specifically for children.

Two books that were deservedly popular among homeschoolers when they were first published are The BOOK OF VIRTUES and The Moral Compass: Stories for a Life's Journey. Both were edited by Bill Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education. These are great read-aloud books, but I also assigned stories from them to my older kids. I've been known to sit down and read a few stories from these books for my own pleasure.

My husband loves history, and he asked me to hang on to our copy of The Bulletproof George Washington. Not a problem....we all loved this story of how God protected George Washington over his lifetime so that he could become the father of his country.

I got rid of most of our textbooks, figuring I wouldn't be using them with our youngest, who has Down syndrome and is more of a kinesthetic learner. But I kept Saxon's Math 54: An Incremental Development as a memento more than anything else, because we used the Saxon series for many years and it worked very well for my kids. I sold all the rest of the books we used, right up through Algebra 2, but this first one I can hold in my hands and remember all the hours we spent at the table doing math. :)

Before we got started with Saxon, though, we used Miquon Math All Six Student Workbookswith a set of wood Cuisenaire rods very similar to this one: CUISENAIRE RODS INTRO. SET WOOD 74/PK I don't have the workbooks anymore (they're consumable), but I saved some other books we used with the rods, including Lab Sheet Annotations (Miquon Math Lab Series:), Everthing's Coming up Fractions with Cuisenaire Rods: 6 Fraction Lessons with Blackline Masters (Grades 4-6) and Using Cuisenaire Rods: Multiplication and Division (Grades 2-4).

I also spent time with each of my older children using Winston Grammar, and those little cards hold a lot of memories for me, so I'm keeping it. My kids may not share my fondness for this set, but they are all good writers, so I think it was time well spent.

Finally, someone recommended a simple little book to me, and it helped a couple of my kids learn to draw and sketch. It's called Drawing Textbook, and despite its humble appearance, it's a really nice little program for budding artists or anyone who wants to be able to draw. My husband has artistic talent, which has shown up in our kids and will likely be present in some of our future grandchildren. So I'm hanging on to this one!


max said...
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Janet said...

I LOVE the Millers! My kids eat that stuff up! LOTS of good discussion material in those books!

I also love all the Aesop's fables and such. Sigh. Good books are real treasures.

Anonymous said...

I agree, you have a great list of books to keep. Every year I look through my books to try to weed out some. It is so hard to part with them! Though we also depend heavily on the library, more room on our shelves, I guess! :)

Barbara Frank said...

Janet, I should have known a good mom like you would know about the Millers!

Pam, don't be too quick to get rid of them. Janet's right, good books are treasures :)