Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tying Vocabulary Words to Henty Books Being Read

I love the idea of tying learning new words (vocabulary lessons) to the literature (books) children are reading. So long as the book is not dumbed down this makes a lot of sense.

I am so impressed by this idea that I’m sharing one resource that does this with you. (I am not receiving any income from mentioning this.)

Jim Hodges has created vocabulary lists tied to books written by G.A. Henty. You can see the list at this site:

Jim Hodges Henty Vocabulary Lists

Presently they sell for $3 each (not a bad price).

Many homeschoolers like to read the Henty books. They are based on history and they were first published in the 1870s-early 1900s. The language is more difficult than today’s modern books, in keeping with the style of the writing of that time. The sentence length is longer and some words are not commonly used today, perhaps even between adults let alone between children. Some have numerous battle scenes, vividly described, so that is liked by some readers (especially some boys).

Some families I know read them aloud to their children in elementary or middle school grades. Other kids who love the books read them to themselves.

These books are often recommended by Christian homeschoolers and sold by Christian homeschool providers. They are also read by homeschoolers who are not Christians.

These books are in the public domain and a number of publishers have reissued them for sale. You can also read them for free online or at least skim them to see if these books would be of interest to your children, at Project Gutenberg. Some people take the e-text from this site, reformat it and print it off on their home computer to read in a hardcopy format. I don’t do that with eBooks or e-texts because my husband has calculated the per page cost of paper and toner or ink for our computer printers to be eleven cents. When I calculated the cost of printing off entire books on our home printer the cost is usually higher than buying an old book used, even an antique book used, or buying an in-print reprint of the book, and I’d prefer a regular book to computer printed pages.

No, our family has not yet read any Henty books. I was given some by a local homeschooler who was finished using them. I had hoped to use these one day but just have not done so.

List of Henty titles available for free viewing at Project Gutenberg

Wikipedia entry for G.A. Henty if you want to learn more about the author of these books.

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1 comment:

dstb said...

I highly recommend the Henty books. Last year, during our study of ancient times, I read "Cat of Bubastes" to my boys. They loved it.

This summer, on our way back and forth to Maine, we listened to "In Freedom's Cause" read by Jim Hodges. I will say we loved the story, but I had problems with Hodges inflection (if that is the right word for it). Also, his CDs come in MP3 format which we had to convert to CDs to listen to in our car.

I also have purchased, but we have not yet listened to "Wulf the Saxon". I decided to try Jim Weiss' "thoughtfully abridged" version. I have really enjoyed listening to his story telling CDs and I do think there is enough repetition in the Henty books that we won't notice too much of a difference.

The cost of the CDs is enough that I probably won't buy all of them, but perhaps one per year of study is a good compormise and if we want more Henty, I'll just read it myself like I did for "Cat of Bubastes".

For someone like me who likes living history books, I really think you should give Henty a try.