Educating Alana

I've decided to shake things up a bit in our home school, to foster independent learning, and to increase the content of the kids' reading materials. Towards that end, I organized our bookshelves by category, and in the process discovered we have lots of great resources.

Also, I discovered how few English and American Lit. classics I have actually read, juvenile or adult. I want to remedy this. I might as well work on reading what's on my shelf.

For instance, I've never read a book by Roald Dahl. Yesterday I started BFG (Big Friendly Giant). I don't know what I think yet. Books by Robert Lewis Stevenson and Jack London are on my "to read" list. Along with Wind in the Willows, Mary Poppins, and also Swiss Family Robinson. I don't particularly look forward to this process, but it must be done.

If anyone is stumped for gift ideas, bookstore gift cards would always be welcome, towards the goal of us building an excellent library. It is better to have a good book on hand than not. But we also use the library a great deal.

And some of our books are simply old and falling apart. We have an incomplete set of the Little House books and the Anne of Avonlea series. Narnia books are in tatters, and many others just don't exist in our home library.

I've been very disappointed with this year. They never seem to be able to load the articles I request. That's a resource I'm not spending any more money on in the future.


Ruth said…
Hey Alana,

I hope you enjoy your reading more than you're anticipating! I believe that people SHOULD read what they enjoy. Those books didn't become classics because people were forcing themselves to read them for generations - it was because people ENJOYED them!

We've been having fun reading aloud with the whole family. Our kids are pretty far apart in age, but lots of classics lend themselves to that. They can be enjoyed on so many levels.

But, as I tell my students, if you give it a couple of chapters and you're not enjoying it, you're free to put it back and choose something else.
Philippa said…
My son adored Roald Dahl's books, even the "adult" ones, which when I perused them was shocked at how "off" Dahl was. Even Ian agreed.

I think you'll like Wind in the Willows and Swiss Family Robinson.

I enjoyed The House with Seven Gables. Perhaps you would too.
Alana said…
Nathaniel Hawthorne? That one sits unread on my shelf as well. Thanks for the tip.

I have seen both versions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movies and they are creepy to me.
John Nicholas said…
..and then there is Moby Dick (melville), The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne) and lots of Joseph Conrad stories. So many books, so few days!
Mimi said…
One of my priest's suggestions a few years ago was to read Classics during Lent. I have tried to do so since then - because like you, I'd realized I missed a lot.

So far, I've read Les Miserables, Vanity Fair, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Lorna Doone, and have a couple in my "to read" pile for the next couple of weeks.

The other nice thing is that not only are they often at the library, but you can find very well priced ones at Used Book stores or at FOL sales.
Lightfinder said…
Roald Dahl was one of my faves when I was younger. The first "Chocolate Factory" movie was definitely wierd, so don't let that sway you. The second "CF" movie had Johnny Depp in it, so anything negative that may have been present was immediately eclipsed by his presence... Heheh. But the second one was much more like the book...

"Giant Peach" was a favorite for a while.