Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Home-schooling Bestsellers

The WSJ recently had an article on what homeschoolers are reading.

Home-schooling is sort of like a college student's virginity:
People figure it's a mark of religiosity, but nearly as often it's just personal
taste, or a lack of better options. The majority of families who home-school are
conservative Christians, to be sure. But another sizable portion are secular
counterculturalists, and then...anyone far from a school.

I'd argue that conservative Christians are counterculturalists, but let that go. What's interesting is that book choices overlap. Both groups favor books about children behaving in a self-sufficient way, both like the Narnia books and love Laura Ingalls Wilder and George Alfred Henty.

I've never read Henty, although I've read some praise of him, but I really enjoyed Wilder's Little House books when I was a child. Much better than the TV show, which I also liked. When I wasn't reading the books, I would look again and again at those wonderful pencil illustrations by Garth Williams. If I'm ever blessed with a child--not likely, as, to quote Raising Arizona, my womb is a barren and rocky place where Uncle Pookie's seed can find no purchase--the complete Little House set goes on the Books for Baby list. I figure they'd not only be fun to read aloud but would help reinforce my "you don't have to have lots of expensive toys like the other kids to be happy" indoctrination. (I have a little bit of Calvin's dad in me.)


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