"'Education is the Science of Relations'; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of––
'Those first-born affinities,
That fit our new existence to existing things.'"

Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education
with a quote from The Prelude by William Wordsworth

Sunday, January 31, 2010

F. N. Monjo History Books

I love library books sales and I have been to many since adopting a Charlotte Mason educational philosophy. I am no children's literature expert so I rely on a lot of Internet sources for suggestions. I don't stick to those lists, though, especially for non-fiction. I take risks on those 25 to fifty cent books that, judging by the cover, may be good.

Recently I happen to come across several books by F. N. Monjo. I first picked up Vicksburg Veteran, but I have not read it because we have not covered the Civil War yet (later this year.) Later I picked up Me and Willie and Pa, and The One Bad Thing About Father. They all look really good, but I have yet to read them.

Now we are studying the Industrial Revolution. As I mentioned, Ds#2 researched Slater's Mill, so when I saw the book by Monjo during a library search I borrowed it--and I read it.

What a fabulous historical fiction account of Samuel Slater coming to Pawtucket to rebuild Moses Brown's mill! Into the story Monjo worked in Rhode Island's reluctance to ratify the Constitution, positive descriptions of Quakers, every day life during that time, and, of course, the building of the mill. This author is wonderful for elementary students!

His books are fairly common and several have paperback reprints, so they are easy enough to pick up on the used book market for a reasonable price. You can probably get them through your library, too.

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