Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vintage Children's Living History Books: Understanding The Old Fashioned Story Based Approach

I found a new source for children's free public domain history books which is affiliated with The Baldwin Project - Heritage Books. Heritage History books are divided by civilization and general reading level.

For each civilization Heritage Books has "written an introduction and organized the associated books, character pages, timelines, and historical maps into eras, or historical divisions."

A little about old fashioned story-based history books from Heritage Books, which I think is worth repeating:

"Most of the books prepared for Heritage History take a old-fashioned, or story-based approach to presenting history, rather than an analytical or modern approach. Our books do not attempt to explain the "underlying forces," that influence history, or critique ancient notions of human rights, or focus on contrasts between cultures. Instead they are based simply on stories that have been retold for dozens of generations regarding individual characters, important conflicts, and events of special interest. The stories are connected by simple narrative threads, and are completely shorn of complicated analysis.

This approach to history is not our own invention, but was in fact, the traditional approach to teaching young people history in almost every introductory history book right up until the last half century. The trend toward interpreting history as social science in the Universities dates back to the 19th century, but it was not until the baby-boomer generation that "social studies" and historical criticism replaced traditional narrative history in elementary and secondary schools. Many of our authors were aware of these trends, and opposed them, specifically stating in their introductions the importance of emphasizing the most interesting aspects of history first, and avoiding the

"dull recitation of the textbook. That in the past which a child is led to see is history; all else is weariness and vexation."

Whatever the merits of this new analytical approach may be, it is considerably less interesting to most students than the traditional approach, and modern students are far less knowledgeable about history than their great-grandparents were."

Free Vintage Children's Scissor Work Cut-outs

Just click on the images to enlarge and copy/print. I collect these from public domain sources, and will add more cut-outs as I find them. Enjoy!

Dozens more here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Hearts at Home Living History Book List(Timeline)

This is our living history book list, a work in progress. We have either already read these books, or they are on our list. The selected books reflect a middle to late elementary reading level. It will include older conservative public library books, free vintage ebooks and if available, links to purchasable reprints of these ebooks.

12th century:

Where Valor Lies by Adele and Cateau De Leeuw(ages 12 and up)

13th century:

Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle

15th-16th century:

Sir Walter Raleigh by Adele DeLeeuw(ages 9-10)

Martin De Porres Hero by Claire Huchet Bishop(ages 10-12)

Men of Iron By Howard Pyle
(free ebook) In reprint inexpensively at Dover books(ages 12 and up).

Victorian Era:

Queen Victoria, English Empress by Sally Glendinning(ages 10-12)

Collective Biographical Stories Covering Many Time Periods:

Fifty Famous People by James Baldwin(ages 6-9)
, also see the back paper for a historical timeline. This can be used to find additional/supplemental readings for older children.

Fifty Famous Stories Retold
by James Baldwin(ages 6-9)

Thirty More Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin(ages 7-10).

Children's Living History Timeline Book Lists

Bethlehem Books, a conservative publisher has a nice historical time line for their books along with graded readability levels.

Valerie's Living Books has the 1960's Gerrard series listed by subcategory and general readability levels, a super resource for locating more living history books that your public library is likely to have available.

The Baldwin Project, free ebooks and reprints for sale. Here are some listed by grade and historical period.

Christine Miller's All Through the Ages, Nothing New Press, Classical homeschooling education sample reading list page(freebie) for Renaissance, 15th - 16th Centuries.

Catholic, Reading Your Way Through History,

Happy Hearts at Home Living History Timeline Book List(mostly middle to late elementary) .

Yesterday's Classics by grade.

Heritage History, a real gem of a site with free public domain books organized by civilization and readability levels.

In James Baldwin's Fifty Famous People(2nd - 3rd grade)
, the back papers have a timeline list of all famous people covered in this book. This list can be useful for expanding upon the readings for older children. Search the names at your pubic library or Google Books for more mature readings on these people.

Books by G.A. Henty, readable online, downloadable, and organized along a historical timeline.

I'll add to this resource page as I find more links.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Timeline: Children's Living History Books

Bethlehem Books, a conservative publisher has a nice historical time line for their books along with graded readability levels. New and used Bethlehem books can also be found at These books are not for younger children; most are appropriate for reading levels of late elementary school and up.


Childen's Living History Book Review: Sir Walter Raleigh by Adele DeLeeuw

Another living history public library book that has turned out to be a gem. The reading level is below my son's level, but it's still interesting, and great for filling in bits of basic history in an exciting way. The book has short chapter's and large print. I'd hazard to guess it's at a third grade reading level. It's not always easy to find living history books for early elementary.

Here's some excerpts:

"The Queen enjoyed poetry. Walter Raleigh wrote verses for her. His musical voice made pictures of the words. They both had quick minds. The two of them would toss sentences back and forth, each trying to better the other. This was refreshing to the Queen. Walter Raleigh made her feel young again."

Sir Walter Raleigh, published in 1964 is a part of the World Explorer Series, a subset of the Gerrard History Series "written especially for children who love adventure and exploration into the unknown". There is a nice big easy to read map of Raleigh's discoveries and adventures across the first two pages . There are large one page illustrations throughout which help expand interest into geography and social studies.

When I did a Google search, I found this book listed at Mary's Books, so I'm assuming that it is Catholic friendly. I believe Adele DeLeeuw was a Catholic apologist?

Valerie's Living Books has the 1960's Gerrard series listed by subcategory and general readability levels, a super resource for locating more living history books that your public library is likely to have available.

Nothing New Press, Christine Miller's All Through the Ages, Classical homeschooling education has this book listed under the grade 3-4 category.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Update: Curly Haircare Product Review: Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil with Ginseng

Last month I posted about this hair product which I picked up at the Family Dollar for $2.00 here. After a month of using this oil regularly on my hair(overnight), I can say it's working well to moisturize my hard to please hair. It does get the tub a bit sticky, but it's not slick. It washes out well, and I can use it on the ends of my hair in between washings. I'll keep using this product which is also an excellent skin moisturizer. My only complaint is that it has a very strong scent. It would smell better if they toned it down just a bit.

Ignore the bags under my eyes; it's ragweed season. OY!

See more tips at Works for Me Wednesday.

Old Fashioned Hot Chocolate Recipes

Housekeeping in Old Virginia by Marion Cabell Tyree, 1879.

Scrape fine one square of Baker's chocolate (which will be an ounce). Put it in a pint of boiling water and milk, mixed in
equal parts. Boil it ten minutes, and during this time mill it
or whip it with a Dover egg-whip (one with a wheel),
which will make it foam beautifully. Sweeten to the taste, at table. - Mrs. S.T.

To one pint milk and one pint cold water add three table-
spoonfuls grated cocoa. Boil fifteen or twenty minutes, milling
or whipping as directed in foregoing recipe. Sweeten to
taste, at the table. Some persons like a piece of orange-peel
boiled with it.— Mrs. S. T.

Household Science and Arts by Josephine Morris, 1913

3 c. milk
2 tbs. cocoa
2 tbs. sugar
1 ts. cornstarch
1 c. boiling water
1/2 ts. vanilla
Speck of salt

Scald the milk in a double boiler ; mix well the cocoa, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan ; stir in gradually 1 c. boiling water and boil the mixture five minutes, stirring it constantly. Turn this mixture into the hot milk in the boiler and beat it with an egg beater for five minutes, or until it is foamy. Serve the cocoa in chocolate cups with whipped cream on top.

See more tips at Kitchen Tips Tuesday.

North Carolina Pig Pickin' History and Recipes

Click on title.

Monday, August 25, 2008

An Old Fashioned Favorite, Pear's Soap

We used this soap in our home when I lived in Europe as a child. This wonderful transparent soap which first sold commercially in 1789 is no longer made anywhere except India. Hopefully, they'll never shut down. India still makes Pear's Soap using the original formula, although I heard that the scent has changed. Pears's soap is made from pure ingredients - glycerin, natural oils, rosemary, cedar and thyme. It contains no animal fat, nor is it tested on animals. Like good wine, it gets better with age, and becomes even clearer.

A little from Wikipedia:

"Pears began to experiment with soap purification and eventually managed to produce a gentle soap based on glycerin and other natural products. The clarity of the soap gave it a novel transparent appearance which provided a marketing advantage. To add to the appeal, Andrew gave the soap an aroma reminiscent of an English garden.

The concave shape of the soap is formed by shrinkage while the soap is drying, and is not due to deliberate moulding. After washing, the concave area on the top of the soap is used to dissolve the last sliver of the previous bar of soap. Pears Soap is often used by the elderly for its skincare properties.

From the late nineteenth century, Pears soap was famous for its marketing, masterminded by Barratt. Its campaign using Millais's painting Bubbles continued over many decades. As with many other brands at the time, at the beginning of the 20th century Pears also used their product as a sign of the prevailing European concept of the "civilizing mission" of empire and trade, in which the soap stands for progress. Between 1891 and 1925 Pears issued their now famous Annuals, now highly collectible. From the early 20th century Pears was famous for the annual "Miss Pears" competition in which parents entered their children into the high-profile hunt for a young brand ambassador to be used on packaging and in consumer promotions. Many Miss Pears subsequently entered acting or modeling."

The soap can be a bit pricey at up to $2.00 a bar, but I did find it at Amazon priced at $14.99 for 12 bars from an Indian food store vendor. This soap is great for sensitive skin.

I've also seen it at the Dollar Tree and Walmart. I plan to return to this soap due to terribly dry skin, probably caused by using my husband's harsh deodorant soap.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vintage Advertisements

I found this vintage Colgate Advertisement in a 1920 Primary Education magazine. I don't know about you, but Cho-cho the
" famous health clown" looks like he's swallowed too much toothpaste!

Here's Jaaaack.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Children's Living History Book Review: Queen Victoria, English Empress

We just finished reading Queen Victoria; English Empress by Sally Glendinning, 1970. My son is ten and easily read this to me, a few chapters a day. As are many books written for this age range of about 10 - 12, the book is written in dialogue between the characters, grasping interest right away. I've read many biographies about Queen Victoria's, and this book hit all the important high points, and low points. There were illustrations and photographs of Victoria and the royal family throughout. A well written book which is recommended for learning about this popular long reigning queen whose throne is linked to many of European monarchies by the marriages of her nine children. We found this book at our public library.

An excerpt:

Such lovely phrases! Queen Victoria cherished every pronouncement from Disraeli. He never argued with her, as others had done in the past. He charmed her, entertained her, and frequently through persuasion brought her around to his point of view.

Disraeli's goal was to enrich the power and prestige of the British Empire. Yet he managed each accomplishment as if it were intended solely for the glory of Queen Victoria.

In 1875 he arranged the financing for the purchase of controlling shares in the Suez Chanel, the great man-made waterway linking Europe and the Orient. It would be impossible to estimate the value of such an investment for the British Isles, always dependent on the commerce of the seas.

I also found two recommended books on Queen Victoria over at Mater Amabilis, Catholic Charlote Mason:

Queen Victoria (Noel Streatfeild) [World Landmark series] – excellent, but out of print
Victoria, May Blossom of Britannia, England 1829 (Anna Kirwan) [Royal Diaries series]

Interestingly enough, it was the American Quakers(my relatives) who gave significant help to the Irish during the famine. As well as Irish, I also have Philadelphia Quaker blood from my father's side. See the Irish Famine Memorial in County Clare. There is still a Quaker meeting house there. Makes me wonder if there is a connection there since both my Catholic and Quaker relatives are from Philadelphia. Even more ironic, my Catholic side of the family is originally from County Clare!

Older children's books have a traditional story based approach without modern analytical analysis. See more here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Living History Children's Book Review: Where Valor Lies by Adele and Cateau De Leeuw

Where Valor Lies by Adele and Cateau De Leeuw, 1959 is living history at it's best! I picked this book up some time ago at a library sale. It was an older book club edition, but I've since learned that Lepanto Press has republished this book.

I've been reading this book aloud to ds at bedtime. I thought it might be a dry historical book beyond his interest level, therefore making it a good fall-asleep book(giggle). It wasn't, and isn't. This book is very well written and peaks your interest in the first few paragraphs as we witness the dialogue of a young man who has a thankless and low paying job as an apprentice carpenter to a cruel taskmaster. Work is hard to come by, and many are starving in 13th century Paris.

Elizabeth Yank reviews the book at the Love2Learn Blog:

"Where Valor Lies includes a colorful cast of characters including Aimar, a father like figure who watches over him, Pierre a dear and close friend, Friar Bernard, whose example of unfailing help to those in need inspires those around him, and the rascal Vincent, an enigma whose generosity ultimately triumphs over his greed.

Where Valor Lies opens with a whirlwind of activity and does not stop until the last page, keeping the reader’s attention riveted throughout. It is a story of personal growth as much as it is an adventure story of an impetuous young man on a quest for great fortune and glory during the Seventh Crusade[Saint Louis the IX]. What is a man’s true valor? In the end, Richard finds out it is not great victories in battles, but the moral victory over oneself."

See the complete review here.

It was a very good book, but I think the ending was a little emotionally flat. Especially considering how exciting it was throughout. Maybe I was depressed by their losses, and wanted to be lifted up with more coverage or discussion regarding their moral victory.

I plan to look for more books by Adele De Leeuw at our public library. What a wonderful way to make history come alive. I'm guessing that the reading level would be appropriate for at least fifth grade, but I enjoyed it as well.

Free Homeschool Printables/ebooks/Curricula

I enjoy researching vintage children's books and making free homeschool printables from public domain resources. We use many of the resources that I've listed, but frankly, I just plain enjoy helping others enrich their homeschool experiences and save money.

If you have any subject area suggestions or requests, please feel free to comment below. I'll do the research and see if I can fill the need. Keep this in mind, I'll only be searching public domain vintage resources. All requests will be posted generally here and on my homeschool library blog. Because of primary obligations to my family, time constraints won't allow me to respond to individual requests.

Free Homeschool Printables: Stories of the Saints

I've reformatted and Americanized some the spellings for these stories which I have excerpted from Stories of the Saints by Candle-Light Vera C. Barclay, 1922, The Faith Press, LTD. London(public domain). They are free to print, but please link back if you repost these. These stories are geared toward elementary school students.

The Story of St. Martin

The Story of St. Antony

The Story of St. Francis, Part I

More to come....and I'm still editing these a bit as I go along. Let me know if you see anything really weird. I've copied and pasted, but I still have had to replace paragraphs, indentations and clean up stuff that came over on the sidebar.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Free Vintage Preschool Printable: This Little Piggy

I've made this into a printable page here. These images are from an Edwardian era nursery rhyme book which is in public domain. When printing, set page to portrait and 150% in order to fill page.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Free Preschool Simple Scissor Practice

I believe this is free through the end of the week from CurrClick. Click here

HT to Just Some Stuff.

Resource for Free Printable Children's Stories: Vintage Graded Readers(ebooks)

I've added new categories to my Happy Hearts Homeschooling Library which makes it much easier to search for children's academic readers by grade level. To search by grade, see the quick lists in my contents for Google books and Project Gutenberg books.

These vintage readers are a super resource for accessing quality printable fiction and non-fiction children's short stories. Each book is linked to the table of contents for easy scanning. The books(and then some) are listed in my Google library which can be searched with key words. The search engine is not the best, but if you keep adding words and fiddling with it, you'll hit on some resources.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Free Curriculum: Teaching Table Manners

From The School Kitchen Textbook, by Mary Johnson Lincoln, published in 1915:

There is no place where it is more essential, or where there
is a better opportunity to observe the golden rule, than at the
daily home table. "

If you please," and " No, I thank you," are in far better
taste than " Yes, thanks," and " No, thanks." Accept what
is offered or placed before you ; but should your preference
be asked, and you have any, it is allowable to name it at once.
When a plate has been filled for you, keep it, and do not from
mistaken courtesy pass it to the next person. Make some
sign of acknowledgment for what is served you, either by an
inclination of the head or a quiet " thank you," whether it be
offered by those presiding at the table or by the waitress.
Courtesy to all, and especially to a child or a servant, should
be the daily habit.

In family serving, wait until all are helped before you begin
to eat, and be on the alert to assist in the serving as much as
possible. But where there are trained waiters and several
courses, begin as soon as you are helped that there may be no

Keep the spoon in the saucer, because if left in the cup,
both may be overturned.

Do not talk or drink while food is in the mouth.

Take your soup quietly, from the side of the spoon, lest
in bending your arm to put the end of the spoon in your
mouth you interfere with your next neighbor. Dip it into
the plate from instead of toward you, and thus avoid dripping
the soup.
Read more here.

And from The Goops, published in 1900: Table Manners, Parts I and II.

The Goops character training books have been republished in color.

Canning Jar Labels: Free Printables

Click on title.

Homeschooling, Old Fashioned Education: Speyer School Curriculum Guide for Grades Kindergarten Through Eight

By Columbia University Teachers College and published in 1913. There are some nice graded book lists. Click here. Many of the books mentioned are available at the library, online in the form of free ebooks(downloadable), and in reprint at stores like Amazon. com or Barnes & Noble.

About Me

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I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: