January 4

George Washington Books

Ancora Imparo (Yet I am Learning), Curriculum, Give Me Liberty, Homeschool


These are the materials we will be using on George Washington.  As a family we have started reading Being George Washington by Glenn Beck (as a side note, my sister stood in line for over an hour so that she could get me an autographed copy for Christmas.  THANKS Lyndsey!!  You’re awesome). I like this book because while a factual account of Washington’s life, it is written in novel form, so it’s very much like reading a thriller so far.  My girls are quite excited whenever Matt pulls it out to read to us.
Last night we read about the battle on the banks of the Monongahela River during the French and Indian war.  During that battle Washington and his men were ambushed by the enemy and though they outnumbered their opponents (by a lot), Colonel Washington and the rest of his men were clearly the inferior force in the battle.  He assumed command when all of the other officers were down even though he was still recovering from a fever and severe dysentery (can you imagine sitting and riding on a horse for hours on end after you had had dysentery?). Washington had two horses were shot out from underneath him.  Most of the men were slaughtered and Washington himself was one of only a few officers left standing when all was said and done.  As he was examining his uniform after the battle he found no less than two bullet holes in his jacket and one in his hat.  French allied Indian Chief said in 1770:

Our rifles were leveled (at Washington), rifles which, but for him, knew not how to miss – ’twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we shielded him from harm.  He cannot die in battle… Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destinies – he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire.

For myself and Matt, in addition to his speeches and Farewell Address, we will be reading the these:


Lucy will have the following books at her disposal
(which are also what we will be reading aloud once we are finished with Being George Washington):


The little ones will mostly just be listening to the stories we read aloud, but these are for them as well:


And we have activities and coloring pages for them too, as well as biographies of Washington’s friends and allies.

I should also mention that we also have the book Washington: A Life which I have read before. Since it was my first biography on Washington I learned a LOT about him (including about him recovering from dysentery during the battle I previously described), but there is also a little bit of speculation. While it’s a very good and, from what I can tell, historically accurate book, I don’t much care for speculation in my histories. I want the facts from the original sources. I don’t want modern eyes and voices to tell me what they suspect their subject was thinking hundreds of years ago when life held an entirely different context (Joseph Ellis is the worst at this.  Hate it).  I will probably read Washington: A Life again during the year, but after I’ve had a chance to read the other two so I can better put it in context.  If you haven’t read anything on him yet, I would start with Being George Washington followed by The Real George Washington.
So in order from highest to lowest difficulty (depending on the ages of your kids) we have:

I’m also toying with the idea of getting the following after we’re through with the above list:

**I have not read all of these books, so I can’t vouch for their content as far as your children are concerned.  I only know what I have read in the reviews and whether or not I trust the author.  Make sure you review anything for familial appropriateness.
I wouldn’t want to be spreading propaganda after all :)**

About the author 

Courtney Ahroon

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  • Awesome list! Who knows, maybe Lucy will get through The Real George Washington. I knew a 10 year-old that did. We absolutely LOVE Farmer George Plants a Nation for the kids, that book is fabulous!!! Another total MUST HAVE is a little booklet called “George Washington’s Vision and Prophecy For America” by John Grady, M.D. George Washington had a vision where he saw the future of America from his time to ours, and beyond. This book tells a little bit about him, then in Washington’s own words it tells his vision and prophecy for America which is recorded in the Library of Congress. The language of the vision reminds me very much of Nephi’s vision. It’s incredible. Definitely a must have.


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