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Thursday, April 14, 2011


I have been trying to read (and re-read) some books considered, by almost anyone, to be classics.  Some might think I would've gotten enough of that stuff through my University degree since I WAS an English Major.  But I've come to realize that I learn MUCH more of value now that a degree is not on the horizon... and answering questions on a test is not an issue.  I don't have anyone dictating to me what I should see or understand from a given text.  The thoughts I have as reading the classics I've been able to read/re-read thus far are way more interesting than the interpretations shoved in front of me by my professors!  What a joy!!

And sharing the enjoyment and joy of this experience with my daughters makes it even more wonderful.  So far we've completed Great Expectations and we will finish Jane Eyre very soon (within the next two weeks, but it would be much sooner if we were not going to have the joy of visitors in our home very soon).  Listening to my 7 year old talk about the characters almost as if they were people she interacted with in real life and wanted to know better... and to hear her excitement... her anticipation to learn what happens next... well, that is a treasure for THIS homeschooling Mama!

Thus far, in my personal efforts to read classics, I've read: The Chosen, Pride and PrejudiceA Girl of the Limberlost, and The Lonesome Gods.  The girls and I have also started Alice in Wonderland, but because of Daddy's work situation changing we haven't made much more progress in that one.  Ria has already read it a dozen times and Kat and Tea don't really interact with these stories yet (they are "only" 2 and 4 as yet, so when they listen at all, I think it's wonderful!).

For my own reading, I'm planning to begin Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea next.  And if I can find them, I'd like to read Laddie and Little Britches soon after I finish 20,000 Leagues.  I can't remember which it is, but I've only been able to find ONE copy of one of those last two titles in all of my very large county and to check it out myself I have to travel a bit... I could ask for inter-library transfre, but it costs $5 to get it transferred to my nearest branch!  ugh!  I'm SO hoping to begin building up our classics collection through thrift store and yard sale shopping... and I'm HOPING to find Laddie and Little Britches among so many others that I hope to add to our library!  :)  Oh, also on my list for my own classics reading in the near future: Les Miserable, Wuthering Heights, and Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography.  Because I'm also reading parenting books and still a homeschooling Mama of two homeschoolers, plus a toddler and a newborn... I think I'll be quite busy with "just" those for some time!  :)

Why bother?  Why do I love classics (now more than ever)?  These two questions have, for me anyway, basically the same answer: Because they are classic!  ^_^  They are absolutely wonderful because of the lessons they teach.  The strength of charcter (and weaknesses) illustrated in stunning detail through beautiful prose is extremely attractive to me.  The opportunity for deep conversation about said is extremely valuable to me.  The blessing of self-introspection that reading and then pondering the ideas and actions explained so well as to create movies in my mind while reading these books is priceless.  So even though lots, probably even most, of these books can be found for less than a dollar up to around ten dollars each when purchasing them at yard sales, thrift stores and even used book stores... they are of much greater worth than their cost would/could otherwise signify.  Especially to me in our homeschool!

What are your favorite classics?  What have you read lately?


Anonymous said...

Well I'm not so sure this is a "classic" but my all-time FAVORITE book is The Giver by Lois Lowry. It is amazing!

Tori said...

It totally IS a Classic, Jaimee! At least, I would include it on the classics list because of ALL that it teaches!

Have you ever read the two books that were sort of follow-up books to The Giver? (I love The Giver, too, by the way!!) ^_^ I really enjoyed them as well. :)

Creating Nirvana said...

I have also been going back and rereading classics and enjoying some new ones for the first time. A series that perhaps you could look into is the The Great Books of the Western World by Encylcopedia Britantica. We found a set for $30 on Craigslist. The set had never been opened. I love it. I am slowly making my way through that series. http://www.nirvanahomeschooling.blogspot.com/

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