Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In Which I Become Literate

Great Illustrated Classics have been some of Sweetheart's favorites for well over a year now. They are condensed version of....classics. Huh. And guess what else? They have illustrations!

I am a wealth of knowledge.

Anyway, they can be had for very cheap at Michael's stores. Strange combination, I know. Also our local used book store has a good stock and then we borrowed a bunch from my sister. They were a perfect reading level for her for quite some time (actually, I do remember having to read them to her at first) but now they are easy.

In part thanks to the book club we were in, and also these books, I have finally read books that I have only heard about my whole life. I knew the term "Liliputians" but honestly had no idea that was associated with Gulliver's Travels. But I totally read "The Natural" for a novel unit in high school and then watched the movie, so there's always that.

Sweetheart just finished reading Little Women and we watched the 90s version last night. SO enjoyable. I could not have told you ONE THING about Little Women before this year even though I've heard of the book all my life.

I have to say, Sweetheart catches references in books and movies and even cartoons all the time because of reading these classics. I think that's part of what being literate is about.

Now, do I want her to read the original versions? Maybe. Some of them. That would be good. But having read these condensed versions, she knows enough of the story that it will make reading the original easier.

I highly recommend them.

And also, what DID I read in high school? Why am I so illiterate and poorly read?

I'm telling you, Sonlight and I are going to be friends next year. I want my chidlren reading GOOD books.

Do high schools have a required reading list? I bet there are no standards and that it varies from state to state and district to district. I also bet I wouldn't want my children reading half of what's on those lists. Tell me how it works where you live.


  1. I miss book club. :(

    I chose the 1000 classical book list and pretty much go with that for the literature adding a few others that were my favorite and of course adding more historical fiction for history.

    I read voraciously when I was younger, but I think I mostly read fluff. I certainly want to allow my kids some fluff!!! but really i want them reading well written, good literature.

    I love the abridged classics, I love that there are like three different levels you can read them at before you read the actual one-- although I guaruntee they wont read Gullivers Travels! whoo that is a hard one WITH cliffs notes!

    I cant believe you didnt read Little Woman as a girl? I guess I thought all girls read that!

  2. Yeah, um, in high school we read "The Crucible". Wouldn't recommend that in the least...there is so much added un-historical garbage in there. And then we also read "Brave New World". Again, no thank you. What are they thinking...having high school kids reading books where the characters are constantly fornicating, and encouraged to do it!! Awful awful awful! Stick to the classics!!:)

  3. I know...it's been a long time.

    I have a few of these illustrated classics myself. I bought them at...(ta da!!) Walgreen's! Yes, it's also a mismatch, but it got us through Hans Brinker after I'd bought an unabridged version that, to say the least, wasn't working.

    On your Y2K post, I watched Entrapment the other night (Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta Jones); the whole movie was about a robbery that would be possible because of the Y2K issue with 1999 conversions to 2000. Hard to believe that we were that consumed with this in that day, huh? Glad I won't be around for 3000.

    Good to see that all is well, Brenda! God bless!

  4. Thanks for the comment. Love your blog.
    Next year will be our first homeschooling, and I'm so overwhelmed by all the choices/options. We'll have a 6th grader and a 1st grader and they both learn very differently. I love reading other homeschool Mama's blogs so I get more ideas, which leads to the overwhelming stuff...it's a vicious cycle really.

    I remember reading A Modest Proposal in High school and Beowolf (sp) and The Importance of Being Earnest...though the only one I remember anything about is A Modest Proposal, because we did a infomercial style project with it.
    Sometimes you can find reading lists for High School on a local schools website, that's sort of where I'm getting the info on the standards for next year. Though my state is lowest in the country for education so I'm using it as a loose guide. Good luck with Sonlight, I'm looking forward to trying it out.

  5. Yep...I'll have a 6th grader and a 2nd grader (but probabaly first and a half is a better description) so we're in the same boat! Glad I found you!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)