Friday, May 4, 2012
Homeschool Review: Saints for Young Readers for Every Day
Saints for Young Readers for Every Day, Vol. 1: January-June and Saints for Young Readers for Every Day, Vol. 2: July-December from Pauline Books and Media
These two books are easily among my favorite saint books for children. A short biography of a saint for each day of the year is included in one of the two volumes, generally the saint whose feast is celebrated that day. We have the third edition, updated in 2005, which includes recent saints and blesseds like Mother Teresa of Calcutta. At the end of each story, there are a few sentences that bring the lesson of the saint into the child's own life.
The stories are just the right length of reading every day, though we read them twice a week this year. I also used these books many times when I wanted to highlight a saint in our character study or on a particular feast day, especially if there were no good picture books available. I used these often for our narration work this year. Many of them are five to six paragraphs long, which was a good length for First Son as he worked through the exercises in Writing with Ease.
One of the things I appreciated most about these books was the care taken in telling the stories of the martyrs. So many Christians have faced horrible deaths for their Lord. Though these books do not shirk from sharing a martyr's story, I never felt uncomfortable reading them aloud while my two young girls (five and three) were listening.
Not every saint's day is illustrated, but the black and white illustrations that are included contain many elements children can examine, describing why certain items are included.
We began reading these books in second grade. In third grade, we'll read the story for the saint of the day every school day we're not reading a different saint story (for history or character study). By the end of third grade, I hope for First Son to be writing narrations for a few of these, but we'll see how things go.
I highly recommend these books to any Catholic homeschooling family or any Catholic family looking for an appropriate book on the saints to include with morning or evening prayers.