Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"The Remarkable Ronald Reagan"

  "Wait! He was a cowboy?! (*swoon*) I LOVE this president!"

We've always spoken highly of President Reagan in our household, but little Phoebe learned some new things about Dutch from Susan Allen's book "The Remarkable Ronald Reagan" (illustrations by Leslie Harrington).

Susan takes children through the life of Ronald Wilson Reagan touching on the highlights of his life and presidency. The book is about 20 pages long with a timeline, sample letters, and quotes included at the end. I found the ending part very interesting (especially the quotes), but the kids found the story more engaging. Jonathan said after I read a funny quote, "I can't laugh at that because I don't know what it means." :-) I love reading the "Important Things Ronald Reagan Said" though ~ he had such a way with words. One of my favorite quotes:

 "The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should be." 

Reagan is admired and respected in our home, so it was easy for us to get into the story to learn about his life. He had such a colorful life too! Movie star, cowboy, athlete, speaker, politics, president. What an interesting person. The book doesn't take long to read, but we did a lot of stopping for discussion, so it may have been more memorable if we read it over several days, especially if used as a school book. Each set of pages covers a new topic which opened up lots of questions from my kids: Was Papa alive then? Wow, so World War II wasn't that long ago. What does divorce mean? Where is California? Is a governor like the president of a state? Did you actually watch it blow up? Why is that boy sitting on top of that wall? And so on and so on......

The toddler of the family enjoyed the pictures. He crawled into my lap to get a good look and join in the family reading time. I would definitely use "The Remarkable Ronald Reagan" as an extra in our home schoolroom. My thoughts on Living Books can be found here, and I would say this book qualifies. It was engaging, written by an author who obviously loves her subject, and didn't talk down to the kids.

This review is a part of a TLC Book Tour where many bloggers give their opinion of the same book.  You can find more reviews of this book here at TLC Book Tours.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

PS I can hear my kids playing in the room saying, "He's a little chubby; we'll call him Dutch!" Funny kids. They picked something up from the book at least.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It Feeds

Enjoying some river time ~ and it counts as school!

That's one of the things I love most about a Charlotte Mason education. It feeds me. It feeds my children. There are seasons of life that are more stressful than others, and I've found that I increasingly look forward to the schooling part of the day during those times. The poetry, Bible reading, songs, paintings, history and science and biography readings, even mathematics and copy work all provide calm yet meaningful nourishment for my mind. There is always something that takes my mind off of stressful worries of life and gives me good in its place to contemplate. The quality of the chosen books is probably the part that feeds my mind and soul so well. The books are not dry. They are not merely facts drained of life. They aren't read hurriedly so that the child can spend most of his time writing out answers to the questions that are asked at the end of the chapter. They contain ideas that we discuss which engages my brain as well as the child's. They are books I look forward to reading. I'm just finishing up reading Winnie the Pooh to one child, and I'm chomping at the bit to read it again to the next child, even though he's at least 2 years away from being ready for it. I'm excited to do school with the kids. It fills up my soul. It feeds.