I am going through my homeschooling library to see what I can part with and what I would like to keep. Sometimes it is hard to let go. The thought that I may be able to use this for Daniel is nagging me a little. But I am weeding through it slowly. I made it through history and science so far. I have some on the religion shelf that I will probably offer up (I've already done some, but know there is more). I also have to go through the myriad of books on the literature shelves. We've collected so many.
I am not sure about you, but I have a hard time saying no to books. I am thrilled that the kids all have some love of reading. Books become gifts for Christmas and Birthdays, special Feast Days, and even as rewards for good behavior or a job well done. My kids can "waste" time reading and often, I will find them sneaking off to a far corner of the house to read rather than do their school. The neat thing is that their reading is something that they own, and their habits and tastes reflect each of them.
Jeremy loves the fantasy fiction, as do all of the others. He can read and enjoy other genres, too, though and did enjoy Huckleberry Finn and the Scarlett Letter. Both books that I had him read for American Literature this year. Now, that is not to say that he enjoyed everything I made him read. He found Poe a bit odd and James Fenimore Cooper difficult to get through. He also did not enjoy Don Quixote last year - - thought the stories were too repetitive - - old senial man gets in trouble, his valet gets him out and then he gets into trouble again. A simplistic viewpoint I am sure! He loves the adventure, and if it has a little bit of magic or dragons in it, so much the better. As the oldest, he is constantly trying new things - - the first at many. He will be the first to get a license, the first to leave home . . . or so we think. At 16, he is realizing that he is on the cusp of something new, something exciting. The beginning of the end of his childhood and the start of adulthood. I am sure that can be both frightening and exciting at the same time. He realizes what he wants to do is almost the same as what he is able to do, if that makes sense. Just as Huck is able to tramp around the countryside, he is beginning to realize that he is able to make some of his own decisions and live with the consequences if need be.
My daughter, Andrea (13), also enjoys the fantasy fiction. Andrea's style is a bit different from that of her brothers in that she likes the "romance". I guess this appeals to teen girls - - that sense that somewhere out there is a prince or someone special for her. Someone who will understand her and need her. I get it! Isn't it everyone's desire to be loved by someone special? My problem here is that she also is enjoying some of the more popular teen fiction, of which I abhor to some extent. I've tried weeding through some of it and don't allow all of it in my home. The ones I do allow, we take time to discuss some of the more problematic elements. I am sure these books speak to teens living in today's culture and it is sad that they reflect the culture so well.
My Alex is a devourer of books. Also 13, he is the one who will read and reread books a gazillion times over until the book's cover is falling off and the binding has loosened. The others don't wish to allow him to borrow their books because of this! He enjoys a myriad of fiction, tending to the fantasy, but will also read fictional biographies, historical fiction, mystery, etc. He would rather read than watch movies sometimes, allowing his imagination to work. You will often see him listening to books on his mp3 player over and over and is the one who will always ask for a new book. Ranger's Apprentice, Eragon, The Lord of the Rings, Rick Riordan's books can all be found on his shelves or scattered about his room. I often wonder what he thinks about when he reads.
And then there is Jenna - - at 10, she still enjoys the Little House books. She also enjoys other historical fiction and some of the "dime store paperback" series that have become popular, both from my days and beyond - - Nancy Drew, Babysitter's Club, etc. She often reenacts the Little House books, dressing up and playing with dolls. She will make up beds for her dolls and have "teas" in the playset in the yard. She will pick wild onions and flowers, creating a world for herself and her dolls. She welcomes anyone who wishes to join her into this world, and sometimes hoping for that bossom friend to come along, as Anne of Green Gables would say. I would keep her this way if I could!
I am sure there is twaddle, as Charlotte Mason would call it, among our books - - and I am sure we don't adhere to the philosophy that for every "new" book you read, read an old book, but it gives me comfort to see my kids curled up with a book every now and then. And, in my joy, it doesn't bother me if the kids sneak staying up late to read by a flashlight. I remember doing that every now and then, too. And while I am thrilled they are reading, I always try to maintain some sort of interest in what they are reading and to try and point them to good books when I can.