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:
- George Washington’s Sacred Fire (FYI, this is not a weekend read. This is one thick book)
- Washington: A Life
- George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation
- The Real George Washington (good for adults, youth and advanced readers. Lucy is determined to read this one this year though I won’t hold her to it since she is only nine.)
- Being George Washington
- George Washington: An Illustrated Biography
- Washington at Valley Forge
- The Bulletproof George Washington
- The Crossing: How George Washington Saved The American Revolution
- Revolutionary War On Wednesday (Magic Tree House 22, paper)
- Farmer George Plants a Nation
- George Washington
- George Washington: the human being and the hero: 1732-1762
- Valley Forge: George Washington and the Crucible of Victory (love him or hate him, Newt Gingrich is a historian so this could be interesting)
- To Try Men’s Souls: A Novel of George Washington and the Fight for American Freedom (George Washington 1)
**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 :)**