The D’Aulaire biographies are a time-tested stand-by for homeschool history. Almost any literature-based curriculum is going to use at least ONE sometime. Our curriculum uses them A LOT. Over and over. At first I thought that was weird, but after going through a few rounds of them and realizing that they remember more each time, I like it. There’s Columbus, Leif the Lucky, Washington, Lincoln, Buffalo Bill, Pocahontas, and Franklin in the series. Pocahontas and Buffalo Bill are the least used, so if you have a limited budget, those aren’t going to be used as much as Washington and Columbus, for example.
They’re generally 45-55 pages long and filled with odd lithograph (painting on stone, I think?) drawings. Here’s a weird little shipwreck:
As you can see on the left, there are a LOT of words. These aren’t SHORT. They generally take us 2-3 days to get through. Some are less wordy than others, though I haven’t really counted them out. In each book, there’s at least 2/3 page of writing on every left side page of the spread, but in many cases there’s more. The shortest one is about 5000 words, I think.
Regardless, they’re adorable and popular year after year with the kids. It may seem repetative to the parent to read these several years in elementary school, but the child gets more out of it every time and becomes familiar with the characters of his own story.
A Peek Inside: D’Aulaire Biographies
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