Primary Source Material…This phrase became part of my vocabulary as I started realizing my homeschooling method actually had a name: Charlotte Mason. I wouldn’t say I completely subscribe to all aspects of this teaching style, but living books in particular have captured my heart. Applewood Books is a company dedicated to publishing primary source material. Because so many of these books are older, they can be very hard to find. I’m was thrilled to have the opportunity to review an assortment. The best news is one blessed reader of mine will receive one of these three books (of their choice) from Applewood Books!
Hello America! by Marth Day Zschock is an absolutely darling little story in board book form. So many topics of American heritage are covered in this sweet book it is sure to instantly ignite curiosity in your littlest learner. The illustrations are colorful and captivating, sure to keep the pages turning! Although Applewood Books focuses primarily on older books, there are some new series being published such as these board books.
Beth and Grace read this together and enjoyed every page! I love hearing Beth read to Grace. She puts great emotion into everything she reads and enjoys learning with her younger sister. Grace said she really liked the baby eagle, and I don’t blame her. Isn’t that eaglet the cutest!?!
In Words of One Syllable books were a popular way to teach young readers in the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s. They were the next step after basic phonics instruction. While not all of the words in these books are actually one syllable, any word has multiple syllables is broken syllabically to make reading easier. Two of our history books for 2nd grade were written in this style and I very much enjoyed them with my daughters.
The History of The United States by Josephine Pollard is a reprinting of a book originally published in 1884. Beth just finished Kindergarten and is reading on a upper 2nd grade-early 3rd grade level. While some words were more difficult, she read this fairly easily and enjoyed the stories. Some may say they are old-fashioned, but I disagree. The word usage feels a little bit more formal, buy my daughter’s vocabulary has increased after lots of informal definitions in response to many, “What does that mean?” moments. It is also nice for my girls to be able to read history on their own and the living books style used in these children’s history books is excellent.
A Yankee Girl in Fort Sumter, by Alice Curtis and originally published in 1920, is a fictional story set in South Carolina just before the Civil War. Sylvia is from Boston and she has many adventures after moving Charleston. The south is a different world for a northern girl encountering slavery. This delightful story was written to engage young girls with history, something Alice Curtis did very well with her books.
Rose enjoyed this book although she isn’t quite through with it yet. It is written in a style typical of the early 20th century, which I personally love, but is a little harder for her to stay excited about yet. She just finished 2nd grade and is reading on a high 5th to low 6th grade level, but the word usage and sentence structure are not what she is used to at this point. Even though this has not been an easy book for her to read I think it is important to introduce literature written in a more classic style early on in a child’s education. Without this introduction other literature great literature they will read by the likes of Mark Twain and Charles Dickens will be more difficult. This sweet story will also serve well as a read aloud to children.
Applewood Books is a company I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know these last several weeks. I have a heart for great literature and many of my favorite authors are from last century and before. This company is actively pursuing and distributing quality, classic literature for future generations to enjoy.