Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Entry!

Hello, again!

We just finished reading history for the day and I thought I would take a few minutes to pop in and update here. It is Mystery of History (no surprise to any of you longer readers here :+) and boy are we enjoying it. We go slowly and stop when we want to concentrate on something of interest or take a break when we need it so we are just finishing up the first book. Today the children took a quiz of sorts in the book on the 20 prophets in the Bible. Can I just tell you that has been one of the neatest things we have learned over the course of studying ancient history? I am simply amazed that my children can identify most of the prophets by memory. I mean it is really something. They know more than I do. (She sheepishly admits...)

We will be starting the next book immediately after the cessation of the first and I cannot wait to get into the middle ages again. Our history study is such a joy and we have learned SO much. I received the third brand spankin' new Mystery of History Volume III - The Renaissance, Reformation, and Growth of Nations. It is a beautiful hardback full-color book. The look, the feel, the information - wow! It is all so wonderful. I am very excited about using this level next year. They did this one differently than the last and it is more expensive than their previous softcover all-in-one Volumes I and II, but after talking to Linda Hobar about it I know why they had to do it. Many of the Renaissance art reproduced in the book could not be reprinted in black and white so they chose to go with color - and hardback makes it study and lasting. It is truly, in this homeschool mom's opinion, worth the price. :+)

I am trying to figure out which books to read out loud as we start the next year. I try not to repeat books we have read before so I will have to do some searching to find the very best historical fiction. I love that genre!

So right now I am reading Gone With the Wind. I have been reading all sorts of interesting books - some are re-reads of books I have enjoyed in the past from the Cadfael series. These are so enjoyable to me. The other focus I have had has been Rome. Quo Vadis? was one of the books I recently finished and WOW was it powerful to me. Set in the time of Nero's Rome, the book focuses on the relationship between a powerful Roman Patrician and a Christian barbarian princess. Peter and Paul play parts and towards the end the stories of those dying in the arena are shared. It was published in 1896 and has that older feel to a book I enjoy so much. It depicts some of the Roman oppulence in a very descriptive manner so I cannot endorse it for children, but I felt I knew a great deal about Rome and the persecution of believers - and their example to many around them - by the end of it.
It is a powerful book and I really recommend it. In my search to understand Rome a bit more before we dove into it with MOH, I spent some time reading The Story of the Romans, from Nothing New Press. I had never read the whole thing all the way through and it was a good overview of the history of Rome. It is very obviously written for children as it is quite delicate with some of the more unseemly events in Rome's past. It helped me understand it from a broad perspective and I was glad I read it.

But back to Gone With the Wind... It is highly engrosing. I cannot say that I *like* Scarlett at this point in the story and am not sure I ever will. The self-love of this firey young girl is pretty palpable, but the story is very different in some places than the movie and the movie was all I had to go on. I am enjoying it enough to stay up later than I ought. :+) We shall see where it goes!

So what have been your favorite reads for the middle ages and what are you reading now? Blessings to you this October.

1 comment:

JenIG said...

I am jealous that you have the third volume of MoH. I saw it at one of the conventions in the spring. It was BEAUTIFUL! We are clipping thru volume II at a pretty good pace right now.

And I am really really liking Lorna Doone. Matter of fact, I bought a copy yesterday because I know Coie and Ryann will love it and I had to own it. My next purchase will probably be your Quesedilla recommendated book. : )

miss you love you!