As a classically Charlotte Mason homeschooler, I have an interest
in teaching history chronologically using really great historical
fiction. Over the years, I have spent countless hours searching
for the "best of the best" literature to include in our studies.
I've often come across nice lists of literature for certain time
periods, but I've never found anything that's comprehensive without
Unveiling Heart and Soul is a literature list that is
both comprehensive and succinct. It includes tried-and-true reading
suggestions for just about every era or major event from Creation
through the present. However, while you still have a few choices
within most topics, the list is limited to only the author's top
picks. You won't feel like you have to narrow down a giant list
of possibilities. If you trust the author's opinion, she's done
the legwork for you.
The booklist comes in four PDF files, separated for your convenience
into Ancients, Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation, and Modern
Times. The pages are arranged in spreadsheet format to show the
time periods, book titles, authors, and reading levels. Mrs. Ledbetter
has included appropriate books for elementary, middle school, and
high school within each time period, even inserting occasional
worthwhile movies. Quotes from various books add visual appeal
to the booklists and also work well as copywork or narration assignments.
I have enjoyed the complete timeline included in each list much
as I've enjoyed the literature suggestions. Whether I'm creating
my own unit study or using a prepared curriculum, the timeline
has helped me cover all the must-teach topics--and know exactly
when to include them! Does anyone else struggle with remembering
what came first in history and whom to talk about when?
Mrs. Ledbetter suggests that you not allow the booklists to become
overwhelming. There are far too many books listed to be able to
read them all, so you are encouraged to let your child's interests
help as you choose what fits best into your homeschool. On that
note, she also encourages you to print out a copy of the entire
list for each of your children to keep in a history binder. Her
hope is that having a great list of living literature at their
disposal will inspire children to read more.
My children and I have been diligently using the Medieval list
this year. I have felt such a burden removed from my planning time!
I simply browse through the choices, type a short list into my
library's search engine, and I'm ready to roll. Hours and hours
of planning time have been saved--and for that I am very, very